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Top Tech apps for iPhone

20 best new iPhone and iPad apps and games this week

This week's best iOS apps include Microsoft Translator and InboxVudu.This week’s best iOS apps include Microsoft Translator and InboxVudu. Photograph: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images

You can read the previous Best iPhone and iPad Apps roundups for more recommendations, but if Android is your platform of choice, check the Best Android Apps roundups. On with this week’s selection.

Apps

If you often find yourself turning to The Power Of Google Translate when abroad and stuck for a phrase, Microsoft is hoping you’ll give its new app a try as an alternative. You can quickly search for a translation and display it on your iPhone or Apple Watch - useful for showing people if you don’t want to balls up the pronunciation.
iPhone

The latest in an increasingly long line of apps promising to help you towards the fabled Inbox Zero. In this case, the app aims to prioritise emails requiring action, from scheduling meetings to sending documents; with the promise that it “trains itself” to respond better to your habits over time.
iPhone / iPad

Related: The best iPhone apps of 2014

MSTY is one of a flurry of startups exploring the middle ground between WhatsApp and Spotify: music messaging. It’s a quick, slick way to choose a song from the app’s catalogue, add a background image and text message, then send to a friend. Like Music Messenger, Rithm and others, it’s hoping to spread via word-of-mouth among chatty music fans.
iPhone

There are millions of fans of scribbling app Paper, but it now has several competitors. Morpholio Journal is the latest: a “paper sketchbook” without any paper, aimed at creative types wanting to jot down their latest ideas. In-app purchases buy more brushes and tools.
iPhone / iPad

“Wildcard is a news and entertainment experience like no other, ” promises the App Store listing for this daily news app. Apart from all the other daily news apps that have used a similar approach of breaking down stories into bitesize chunks for mobile reading, of course. It looks nice, for sure, but as the recent shutdown of Circa News shows, turning this kind of thing into a sustainable business isn’t easy.
iPhone

Another smart mobile assistant, but unlike InboxVudu, this one’s focused on your diary. It’s a service for automating your meetings, figuring out when you and your contacts are free for a given sit-down, and booking it in both of your calendars.
iPhone

Heaven knows if this will catch on, but the idea is very fun: a collaborative fiction app that introduces an element of competition into the process of strangers writing stories together. You kick things off with a chapter, then other users submit their drafts for the next one – and a vote decides which one gets the nod, which in turn spurs a new round of drafts.
iPhone

Related: The best iPad apps of 2014

If you’d been able to mix virtual chemicals on a smartphone when I was doing GCSE Chemistry, I might have passed. And the lab wouldn’t have blown up, etc etc. No, this is really interesting: an app to see what happens when you mix, light and heat 150 chemicals – including a nifty iPhone-to-iPhone “AirMix” feature.
iPhone / iPad

New from Mind Candy, the publisher of Moshi Monsters and World of Warriors, this is a partnership with British YouTube stars Dan Howell and Phil Lester. It’s a collection of seven-second micro-challenges, which you’re supposed to video and then share with friends and the wider ‘7SC’ community.
iPhone / iPad

Finally: hair! Dyed hair, to be specific. This is a Vidal Sassoon-branded app that gets you to take a selfie, trace the outline of your glossy locks, and then experiment with new shades via digital manipulation. And of course, persuading you to buy branded product is the goal here, but it could still be useful if you’re mulling that switch from strawberry-blond to autumn-plum or turtle-green.
iPad

Monsters Ate My Metropolis for iPhone and iPad.

Games

2011’s Monsters Ate My Condo remains one of my favourite mobile games, but this follow-up is quite different: a card-battler rather than an arcade puzzle game. It sees you dealing destruction to a series of cities using a pack of monster-based cards, with lots of scope for strategy.
iPhone / iPad

If you grew up playing tabletop roleplaying games, you’ll be delighted with Loot & Legends: a pseudo-cardboard lootfest with a distinct Dungeons & Dragons feel. Some players have been put off by its in-app “pizza” purchases to get better items, but on the whole it’s not too aggressive.
iPad

Fantasy-themed massively-multiplayer strategy games are, it turns out, a big money-spinner on mobile - even if you don’t hire Kate Upton to ride a horse in your TV ads. Gameloft is hoping to attract lots of players to its new empire-building title, as you build a castle, tool up an army, wage war on foes and trade with friends. It’s hard to judge this kind of game a day after release, but it looks like it has plenty to explore.
iPhone / iPad

When Atari launched Rollercoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile last year, it received buckets of criticism for its freemium mechanics, which made the classic strategy game a bit of a chore. If you were one of the complainers, you’ll prefer this: a paid-only port of the third Rollercoaster Tycoon game. Which, for newcomers, involves creating your own theme park.
iPhone / iPad

More monsters, more heroes, more match-three puzzling and in-app purchases. DeNA knows what it’s doing with this sub-genre of mobile games, and there appear to be plenty of players out there interested too. Blood Gate sees you dispatching beasts with your matching skills, with lots of party and character-customisation to get your teeth into.
iPhone / iPad

As a parent of two sons obsessed by World of Warriors at the moment – the trading cards as well as the mobile game – the fact that it’s already got a spin-off is interesting. It’s a turn-based RPG featuring the same historical warriors as the main game, with plenty of potential for younger gamers.
iPhone / iPad

Related: The best iPhone and iPad games of 2014

Adventure Time remains a marvellous TV series, although the quality of its increasing stable of mobile games varies. Rockstars of Ooo is diverting fun: a music rhythm game featuring the cartoon’s key characters, and some brand new songs based on familiar scenes from the show. Well, familiar if you’ve been watching it as much as I have, under the guise of “parenting”.
iPhone / iPad

On one level, this is a fun puzzle-strategy game, as you try to get out of a series of mazes without falling victim to pits, spikes and other traps. But it really comes into its own once you start designing and sharing your own mazes, and watching people try to beat them.
iPhone / iPad

Finally, someone at Square Enix has clearly been playing puzzle game Triple Town: it’s a clear influence on the company’s latest mobile game. You have to match objects on the on-screen grid to create larger and larger items - yes, castles and farms. It’s sent me back to Triple Town, which surely wasn’t the publisher’s goal, but this is fun on its own merits too.
iPhone / iPad

This is certainly throwing in a few genres: “match-three RPG pet puzzle game” is its App Store strapline. It’s a pretty good description too: Candy Crush-style matching, Puzzle & Dragons-ish battling, and more than 150 pets to test out.

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