The market is packed with fantastic free apps, but so often they bombard you with ugly ads and tempt you into paid-for extras.
Now Appszoom brings you 6 of the best ad-free and IAP-free downloads your iPhone is crying out for.
The best bit? You won’t need more than a $10 gift card.
Best for short bursts of fun: Threes! ($1.99)
Threes! is one of those beautifully-designed, dangerously addictive games you keep coming back to. Bored on a bus? Waiting for the kettle to boil? Threes! will be there for some quick brain-teasing action. Simply slide tiles of the same value (1s and 2s) into each other to reach the highest number possible. Each tile even has a name and a musical theme, like the seafaring Capt. Triad.
It’s quirky, full of character, and just a joy to play.
Best stunning gameplay showcase: Monument Valley ($0.99)*
Monument Valley is a much more visually striking title. With moments of awe-inspiring illusion, and levels that pop with color, there’s nothing else like it. You manipulate the world, twisting steps and platforms as you lead Ida to her next trial. As Apple’s Game of the Year 2014, it truly pushes the boundaries of iOS design. It’s a short experience, but one of the most exquisite you’ll have.
*Monument Valley offers an additional level pack for $1.99, but it’s not critical to your enjoyment of the game.
Best for focused productivity: Forest ($0.99)
Smartphones are perfect for getting things done, but they’re also a great distraction. Forest aims to incentivize time spent away from your shiny device: a tree grows as you avoid Facebook and other temptations. You can even create a forest with enough dedication. It’s not an advanced task manager - it’s a uniquely charming concept that rewards focused work.
Best for educational thrills: Sky Guide: View Stars Day Or Night ($1.99)
Sky Guide might not seem like an app with mass appeal; after all, we’re not all star-gazers. Take one look at this educational tool, though, and you’ll be hooked. Fully interactive, it lets you inspect constellations wherever you are, even when there’s no internet connection. Sky Guide will use the gyroscope in your phone to detect where you’re pointing and highlight what’s most visible in space. Genius.
There are plenty of free photo editing solutions out there, like VSCO Cam, Snapseed and of course the social media behemoth Instagram. But we’ve chosen the little-known Waterlogue, because it demonstrates the graphical power your mobile device is capable of. It can convert any photo into a beautifully fluid watercolor that will definitely impress your mates.
We can’t pretend that Amount is particularly ground-breaking or fun. But, in addition to all those exhilarating games and inventive productivity tools, every iPhone user needs at least one slick utility app in the ol' toolbelt. Amount is a unit and currency converter that takes up just 2MB, but crunches numbers in no time at all. The epitome of no-frills, intuitive design.