1. After the End: Forsaken Destiny
£3.99 on Android and iOS
A well conceived puzzle game, which has you controlling a strange orange-scarfed explorer figure, as it makes its way across ancient sepia-toned landscapes, turning hidden levers and pressing secret switches, to explore hidden pathways and collect stone fragments.
At its heart is the story of a father and son, on parallel paths, separated by time – the time-shifts are intriguing, and you are compelled, through its puzzles, to reunite the pair ‘after the end’.
The gameplay takes a bit of getting used to – you control the main character with an on-screen joystick, the camera-angles have to be constantly tweaked, and your immediate objectives are not always clear.
Still, it is nicely put together, and the mood of it is calming, almost cerebral, as you approach each new puzzle. A curious travelogue-puzzler that will appeal to all ages.
Free on iOS
In a way, this is more significant than it is essential. It heralds Apple’s latest foray into the world of messaging, bringing it up against the likes of Whatsapp and Snapchat, and away from its core hardware and media services.
Clips, which goes live in April, will allow customers to edit their videos, and insert text, effects, and graphics into them, and send them to friends, as well as post them on social media outlets.
We haven’t yet tested it out, but this is Apple, which means it will be a polished affair, from the start.
Free on Android and Windows
This tells you which apps are wasting your data, acting suspiciously, or slowing down your phone’s internet speed – which, given the storage capacity of the latest smart devices, and the propensity for many of us to clutter them up with random apps and novelties, is very useful.
The fact is, without us knowing it, most of our apps are sending data back and forth, even when we’re not actively using them.
So knowledge about which apps are caning our data allowance, and which are, in fact, taking our private data is important.
Plus, it doesn’t use any data itself, at all, and looks pretty nice, too – with elegant graphs and charts, which you can scroll back through.
4. IQ Boxy
Free on Android and iOS
Most other expense management apps use smoke and mirrors (someone behind the curtain) to create the illusion of artificial intelligence.
This is the real deal, says its maker. No sleight of hand here – just clever machine automation, which digitises and logs your paper receipts in quick-time, and simplifies your book-keeping.
The results are good – snap a photo of your receipts, and all the data is there, extracted from the image, in a quarter of a minute, on a spreadsheet within the app.
For anyone who likes to log their personal spending, or their work expenses, this is a godsend.
Free on iOS
Another video messaging app; this one allows you to create and send interactive videos (‘in-vi-os’; yes it is a stretch!), with a DIY choose-your-own-adventure twist.
It is a new concept, and the experience isn’t perfect – video quality and customisation tools are both limited – but it is novel, and worth a look.
Basically, you can create short home videos, and insert questions into their climax to poll viewers about the outcome – whether it’s which clothes to wear, or what BMX stunt to pull (all these apps feature adverts of outdoor adventure types).
You can publish your mini narratives and mega dilemmas to the Invio platform, of course, for other users to vote on and share. Whether or not this is the platform for it, interactive video is the shape of things to come.