This week’s edition of the best new apps is special because every single title is free. From a couple of tools to sniff out who’s behind political ads, to a witty selection of the day’s best stories, we’ve got plenty of gratis goodness for you this time around.
NextDraft (iPhone) : From the mind of Dave Pell, NextDraft gives you the top 10 stories of the day with a unique, witty perspective. Dave hand-picks each story and the app delivers you a new digest each day. Free.
Mixel (iPhone) : A lot of photo collage apps like this are tacky, but Mixel is actually kind of cool. It lets you select photos from your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or your phone, and automagically turns them into a neatly arranged panel. Don’t like it? You can choose from six different styles and shuffle around the order of the pics to your liking. Free.
Hairstyle Magic Mirror (iPhone): This app made the cut for no other reason than this has been a really terrible day. And sometimes you need to laugh at something so utterly silly. This joins the ranks of apps that give you a fat face and make you look old. Now you can be a punk rocker or a mullet apologist, sporting whichever hairstyle you like. Free.
Stick Tennis (iPad): Who knew it took just a swipe of your finger to perfect your backhand and become a worldwide tennis champ (on your iPad)? Play against champs like Nadal and Williams in four different levels, or just lob around the ball in a casual game. If you think you’ve mastered the basic version, you can buy up to 32 more levels from within the app. Free.
Viator (iPad): If a hostel and a backpack are your preferred method of world travel, this app is not your bag. But if you like everything to be planned for you, it will show you more than 10,000 guided tours in 800 destinations around the world from Rome to Vegas. Free.
Zumba Tutorial HD (iPad): Sue me, but I freaking love Zumba — It’s like what jazzercize was in the ’80s, and don’t even have go to the gym to do it. This app will teach you all the latin-style exercise dance moves in the comfort of where ever you happen to have your iPad. $1.99.
Pinball Pro (Android): Unless you’re lucky enough live in close proximity to a bar full of arcade games, you might feel a tinge of nostalgia for old pinball games. You can squash that feeling with this app, which replicates the old Pinball games you know and love. Free.
Organ Trail (Android): It’s been a big year for zombies thanks to The Walking Dead and bath salts, and it seems like the entire internet is feeling some serious longing for the ’90s. All of that has been combined in the Organ trail, an app that lets you hunt the undead in the style of the Oregon Trail. Very clever. $2.99.
DriveOFF (Android): You may refrain from texting and driving, but your phone is still a distraction while you’re behind the wheel. This app understands how tempting it can be to fiddle with your device in the car, so it automatically turns off all notifications once you start going faster than 16km/h. Free.
Regularly (Android): This is a more flexible approach to staying on top of those tasks you have to do habitually, like changing your oil. It organises them by priority, understanding that a weekly chore that you’re five days late on is more pressing than a yearly one that you’ve put off for a week. And it will remind you of these things automatically. Free.
Pops (Android): Your phone needs more gifs. This app will make that happen, by adding animations to your notifications and messages. You can create your own or buy new ones from the Pops Store, and send them to your friends. Free.