We’re always on the lookout for great new iPhone and iPad apps to help you get more from your kit – and we’ve got a fantastic selection of iOS apps and games for you this September.
We’re kicking things off this month with a fantastic free game that’ll stretch your vocabulary to its limits – while also providing satisfying gameplay for those quiet moments.
The premise here is simple: compete against the clock to unjumble a series of mixed-up four-letter anagrams. Get it right, and you’ll add a few extra seconds to the timer – and get a new set of four letters to unscramble. Run out of time, and it’s game over.
What makes Four Letters so fun to play is its finely balanced difficulty. Generally, anyone with a decent grasp of English should be able to decipher most four-letter anagrams at a glance, so you’ll jog through the puzzles at a decent rate – but every so often, you’ll come across a particularly rare or confusing word that’ll have you scratching your head as those precious seconds tick down.
When the timer runs out and the answer’s revealed, you’ll want to kick yourself for missing something so obvious, and you’ll be raring to jump back in and beat your high score. Alternatively, you can browse through a dictionary of words you’ve unlocked to read the often-amusing definitions – and with a total of 2,473 words available, there’s serious replayability on offer.
In the old days, if you wanted to browse the second-hand tat at your local car boot sale, you’d have to drag yourself out of bed on a Sunday morning and make your way down there in person – but with Shpock, you can find a whole galaxy of pre-loved goods right in your pocket.
The app is a simple marketplace, where anyone can list their unwanted items just by snapping a quick picture, typing a short description and hitting the “Sell it!” button.
As a buyer, things are even simpler. Shpock uses your location to show you nearby offers, and you can, of course, search for specific items. You’re able to ask sellers questions about their items – and even make offers below the asking price if you’re feeling lucky!
All told, it’s a fantastic alternative to sites like eBay and Gumtree, taking advantage of your smartphone’s features to streamline the buying and selling process.
That said, as with those sites, it’s important to stay on the lookout for fakers, scams and swindles: the app doesn’t handle payments or deliveries itself, so make sure you take sensible precautions and use common sense to stay safe buying and selling.
Most fans of mobile gaming will be familiar with Snake – the classic handheld game where you steer an ever-growing snake around a tiny enclosed area, eating apples to score points while avoiding your own tail.
Well, developer Steve Howse has come up with an intriguing twist on the well-worn formula: other players! That’s right, Slither.io is a multiplayer game, using your device’s mobile data or Wi-Fi connection to pit you against other snakes from around the world.
The basics remain the same: you’ll guide your snake around the playing field, gobbling neon snacks to grow ever longer. But rather than avoiding your own tail, you’re trying to avoid every other player in the game!
If you bump into another snake, it’s game over – but if you can trick them into bumping into you head-first, you get to eat their remains and grow even bigger. It’s a challenging and unusual take on a mobile classic, and with daily leaderboards to compete for, there’s a real incentive to keep playing.
Avid social media fans may be familiar with “throwback Thursday” – the perfect excuse to dig up some vintage selfies and reminisce about the good old days with your friends and family.
Well, Timehop is an app that makes every day a throwback Thursday! Connect it to your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, and every day you’ll get a nostalgic reminder of what you were up to on that day last year, the year before, and so on.
And as well as showing you pictures from your past, the app also shares interesting anniversaries and trivia each day – for example, thanks to Timehop, I know it’s been 20 years since Chumbawamba released the album album Tubthumper. Now that’s useful information!
Joking aside, Timehop is a fantastic way to enjoy a spot of welcome nostalgia each day, and you’ll love sharing your finds with your loved ones. It’s easily one of the most used apps on my phone – give it a try and it could become part of your daily routine too.
Shen Ji Pan
We’ve all stared up into the sky at night and marvelled at the beautiful stars and constellations – but without a background in astronomy, it can be hard to know what you’re looking at. Step forward, StarTracker!
Point this visually stunning app skywards, and you’ll see a detailed illustration of the night sky in that location – including stars, planets, constellations and more. There are even charming illustrations of the Zodiac constellations overlaid on the screen. Pan around and the app will track your movements, so you can explore the galaxy as you wander around your garden.
In fact, you don’t even need to be outside – so if you’ve ever wondered which constellations are whizzing above your head while you’re at home or in the office, just point StarTracker at the ceiling and you’ll find out.
It’s a fantastic way to learn more about the night sky, and a captivating toy to play with in your idle moments.