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Five iPhone apps for the Holiday Season

Many of you may receive brand new iPhones under the tree and in your stockings this Christmas, and so we thought we’d share some Christmassy iPhone apps for you to play with. These will keep you entertained for hours once the excitement of the festivities has passed!

Elf Command

A free app, Elf Command is a game requiring quick reflexes. The aim of the game is to help the elves sort out their Christmas deliveries by putting presents from the conveyer belt into the right boxes - get them right and you rack up points. The game  speeds up as you play, so you have to deliver them all before time runs out. A great game to check out how fast your reactions are!  

 


Christmas Quest

A stunning visual game, Christmas Quest is  a High Definition (HD) game which makes it really enjoyable to play. The aim of the game is quite simple- tilt your iPhone to steer the sleigh  over New York City.  Flying over buildings and lakes with your reindeer through the snow, it is fun to see where Santa goes! There is a choice of exploring the city in Santa’s sleigh, or collecting letters from children - all before time runs out. This is a fantastic free app which is even suitable for children aged 4 and above. 


Angry Birds Seasons

For  all the Angry Bird fans out there, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a recently updated Angry Birds Season app for only 69p. Use your skills with 25 new festive levels, a harder challenge than the usual Angry Birds. With the pigs wearing Christmas hats and scarves, they smash into Gingerbread cookies, gifts, and bells, so it’s more addictive than ever!

 

Cut the Rope: Holiday Gift

We have mentioned Cut The Rope in a post before, but we couldn’t resist this festive version.- Zeptolab who make Cut The Rope have given their fans a special Christmas gift with 25 levels. The little green character ‘Om Nom’ has a hunger for all things sugary, so the aim of the game is feed him!  It sounds simple, but there are things that get in the way such as spikes, stars and spiders. Shake your iPhone for an extra special surprise! Cut The Rope: Holiday Gift is a really fun game that you can play for hours and costs only 69p.

 

iTree

If you want the spirit of Christmas to  continue all year round then this is the perfect app for you. iTree is a cute little app of a virtual snow globe, where you can watch your tree grow from a seedling to a fully grown tree. Nearer to Christmas you can decorate your tree by adding some baubles, candles and candy sticks. Tap on the tree to turn the lights on and change the background from day to night. Like any snow globe, shake your iPhone to see the snow fall! 

Top of the Apps 2

There are always new apps coming out but which ones are actually worth downloading?

Cut the Rope


IGN is a casual/news website which is a mecca for all games, and they have recently announced that Cut the Rope is the best game on iPhone, and this game deserves a mention. 

Cut the rope is a great puzzle game, easy to understand yet very difficult to master. With more than 55 million people who have played this game, and an average rating of 4.81 (out of 5!) this app is available for iPhone and Android. 

The object of every level is to manoeuvre a piece of candy into the mouth of a cartoon monster called ‘Om Nom.’ The candy hangs by one or two ropes which can be cut by the swipe of your finger. Don’t be fooled, this isn’t a game just for children but is challenging for adults too. Costing just £0.69p, this game will definitely keep you entertained for hours.

Shazaam


Our next app is the 4th most downloaded app of all time, and  a fantastic app for music lovers out there. 

Do you ever listen to music in the car and wonder who the singer is? This handy app identifies what song is playing, and you can also have a choice to buy the track. Once the song has been identified, its tagged, which means you can share these tags by text, email, Twitter or Facebook. Read track and album reviews, and lyrics. Available for iphone, Android and Blackberry with no limits, you can Shazaam as often as you like all for free.

 WhatsApp

If you and your friends want to have free real time messaging but are on different networks and have different phones, this could be the app for you.

WhatsApp is a cross-platform that replaces SMS allowing you to send free messages to your friends whenever you like.  All you need to use WhatsApp is a data or wifi connection - if this is covered in your monthly bill, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends. 

Using WhatsApp, you can use group chat to talk to more than one person at once, send images, video and audio messages. It’s available for Blackberry, Nokia, iPhone and as for the Android, it’s free for a year and after that it costs £0.69 a year. 

Top of the Apps

There have been quite a few new and exciting apps to come out this month, not least the much anticipated Facebook app for the iPad.  We couldn’t complete this blog without mentioning it, and for the most part it’s a welcome addition. 



We’ve had a look at how the Facebook app differs from the mobile version of the website, and there are some key new features to look out for, including the ability to scroll through your news feed with your fingers, easy navigation with a left-hand menu and swipe-to-view images.  The most obvious is how much easier everything is to view, with CNN noting that ‘the iPad app leverages the iPad’s larger screen and highlights photo and videos beautifully’. Of course, it’s up to you to see for yourself, and we’re sure it won’t be long before you’re tapping up your friends.  



Everyone likes to take a little bit of time out and what better way to fill your time than getting creative. An app that we’ve been having a lot of fun with in the last month is PicPlz.  Taking photographs and then applying retro filters has garnered mass popularity within the last year, and no app has been more successful than Instagram.  Android users might know of the frustration associated with not being able to join the up-and-coming Instagram community. While Instagram have reported that an Android version is in the pipeline, in the meantime PicPlz appears to be a worthy contender.   
PicPlz offers many filters for you to use, including instant film, cross-process, C-41 (so called after the analogue film process of the same name), and one simply, and helpfully titled as ‘The 70s’.  Picplz also benefits from a large community - and therefore encourages appreciation of your photos .   Some elements of Picplz seem a little clunky - for example adding friends, but we hope that newer iterations of the app will improve on this. 



Our final app up for review this month is a seriously handy utility app. CrossCountry trains have taken the train time platform display and packaged it up in app form. I’ve often been running late and wished I could buy my train tickets on the move, rather than waiting in a queue at the station.  On CrossCountry’s app you can look up train times, check real-time running information and buy train tickets, and it’s got good multiple platform functionality, being available on iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, Android and offering a general link for other mobiles too. 

Top iPhone Tips: Keyboard Auto correct

This week we’re addressing frequent iPhone problems; today we tackle an issue with the iPhone’s Keyboard’s auto correct function:

Problem:

• Laura: Every time I write a text, the auto correct function changes some of my words to completely different words. There are so many words that I want to include in my text messages, but they’re not included in the iOS dictionary.  

Tip

• We would recommend downloading iTeachWords from the Apple App Store, a fantastic free app which will allow you to include your own personal words into your iPhone’s dictionary, meaning that you will no longer have to fret about sending jumbled texts to your friends.