8 great apps to try this month
Our pick of the best new and updated apps on the market this month
From sarcastic weather reports to a lifelike table tennis simulator, this months app selection is full of dumb fun, and - hey - what's wrong with that, we say. But if it's something more productive you're after, there's also an awesome image editor, an app for streaming video via Twitter and one of the most innovative fitness trackers we've yet seen. Take a look through our pick of this month's best new apps.
This is the latest in a series of interactive storybook apps from developer Nosy Crow. There's a choice of two modes: Read and Play or Read by Myself, with the former playing a narration by children and the latter prompting more confident readers to work their way through the story's speech bubbles. Simple game elements keep the interest up throughout, but it's the striking artwork and the timeless story that will really grab your child's attention.
It's pretty tough to make a photo-editing app that stands out - there are already tons of them to choose from. Enlight is being marketed as the only one you'll ever need, with a raft of editing features contained within a simple and elegant interface. Advanced functions are on offer, such as tilt-shifting (for giving your pictures that miniature-world look) and a clever cropping gimmick for eliminating dead space from the middle of your photos, but what makes this really useful is that the whole thing is based around a strong selection of guides and tutorials, so you can be sure you're getting the best of it.
Want to be bang on trend? Meerkat is the latest app causing a buzz; it's a free tool that makes it possible for users to stream live video broadcasts that are then shared via Twitter. Start up a stream and a tweet will be sent out, alerting your followers that you're about to address them. While you're filming, viewers can tune in - their avatars and tweeted comments will show up on your screen.
Part fitness app, part game, Atari Fit takes your nostalgic love of retro gaming and uses it to force you into dropping and giving it 20. Work your way through more than 100 different exercises and more than 30 workout plans and you'll gradually build up enough points to unlock classic Atari games. Centipede, Pong and Super Breakout are in the app already, and more are on the way.
Stick Cricket 2
Cricket fans can fill the gap between end of the World Cup and start of the new season with this sequel to the much-loved Stick Cricket. This new take on the classic brings spanking new graphics alongside a load of new features and game modes. Gameplay is pretty much the same as with the original, but that's no bad thing.
Angry Birds Stella POP!
And so the Angry Birds juggernaut rolls on, this time with a neat take on the match-three puzzle genre. Rather than launching your birds horizontally across a level, here you're shooting them vertically to burst bubbles and knock those dastardly pigs out of their high-up hidey-holes. Gameplay gets spiced up with the addition of special powers and unpoppable obstacles, making this another strong addition to the AB canon.
Table Tennis Touch
Table tennis is one of those games that translates brilliantly to video games, as Rockstar showed with its Xbox take on the sport way back in 2006. This touchscreen simulator is just as intuitive - you make your shots by swiping across the screen, adding spin and power as you go. A campaign mode ensures longevity, with a variety of challenges and tournaments to be beaten.
Carrot is an app developer that's building its portfolio on snark. It's already released a to-do list that aims digs at you for not getting on with things, and a fitness app that sneers at your lack of commitment to burning off your love handles. Now we have this, a sarcastic weather forecaster. Its unerringly pessimistic reports are delivered in a deadpan female computer voice - suddenly checking the weather in the morning is like being in your own version of Portal.