We're back again with our monthly round-up of the best new apps available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone for October!
October’s shaping up to be another exciting month for new apps and updates. But with so many on offer, where do you even start? Thankfully, we’re on hand to help you wrap your thumbs around the best of a brilliant bunch.
Check out our list of must-downloads to help amp up your mobile entertainment, feel better connected or simplify your life this October…
Google Allo | iOS, Android, Free
With the proliferation of instant messaging apps you’d be forgiven for asking why you might need another one on your homescreen. Enter: Google. Despite sharing similarities with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and iMessage, the thing that sets Google Allo apart is AI. Invoking the power of Google’s machine-learning software, Allo serves up ‘smart’ responses based on your chat history, while its inbuilt ‘Now On Tap’ Assistant brings relevant info from the web directly into your conversations, without the need to flit between apps or windows for the best restaurants or cat pics.
Google Trips | iOS, Android, Free
Speaking of restaurant recommendations, why not turn your smartphone into your personal travel agent with newly released Google Trips? For those with a Gmail account, this clever app scans and organises all your reservations and tickets into a single itinerary complete with day-by-day plans and intel on local attractions. All the information is neatly arranged in a grid, and suggestions are even personalised based on your current location, available time and local weather.
(UPDATE) City Art Search | Windows 10, Free
Trying to track down your favourite piece of art? Maybe you’re heading away for the weekend and keen on a culture fix, or maybe you just fancy yourself as the lead character in a Dan Brown novel. With the updated City Art Search you can search over 7,300 famous works of art from around the world to find out where to find each one. For added cultural kudos, opt to update your lock screen with a new piece of artwork every day – now with 4K image support on devices that have a 1080p display.
Paper Planes | Android, Free
Not travelling but still seeking a sense of connection with the wider world? The Paper Planes app by Google and Active Theory lets you fold and send a virtual paper plane to anyone across the globe. While you’ll never actually hold that paper plane in your hand, you can stamp it with your location to let recipients know its origin, and when it comes back to you you’ll be able to see where it’s been since. Flick your phone to send your plane and shake to catch another. Pro tip: don’t let go while flicking.
Grammar Snob | iOS, £0.79
Make enemies of all your contacts by correcting their error-laden messages with this handy new sticker set for iMessage. Corrections are written in red marking pencil for maximum effect. Simply hold the sticker and place it over the offending text to apply and voila – incorrect use of ‘your’ be gone! Such fun for just £0.79.
(UPDATE) Minecraft Pocket Edition | Windows 10, iOS, Android | £4.99
Listen up, Minecraft: Pocket Edition fans: a release date of 18 October has been confirmed for the all-important Boss Update. Amongst a raft of new features and improvements, you’ll find more slash commands and the introduction of new add-ons to help transform your virtual world. This update also brings two fearsome new bosses: the laser-shooting Elder Guardian – who’ll roam the newly-added underwater monuments – and a three-headed monster called the Wither, who shoots blue skulls. Of course.
Vulture Island | iOS £2.29, Android £2.89
Creator of Traps n’ Gemstones, Donut returns with another charmingly retro-feeling 2D puzzle-platformer game in Vulture Island. The game begins when your characters’ homemade glider crashes on a large tropical island, from where you must take control of each character individually as they explore their surroundings and figure out how to get home. The non-linear approach shifts the focus from high scores to exploration, making it a nice one to duck in and out of – though we doubt you’ll stay ‘out’ for long.
(UPDATE) Shazam | iOS, free
Short on time before that song ends? Now you can Shazam from your homescreen with the Shazam widget for iOS 10. Thanks to Apple’s new rich notifications, you can also now buy, share and add songs to playlists straight from the notification shade. No more lost-song disappointment.
Run An Empire | iOS, Free
Time to get active with Run An Empire – the strategic running game that takes place in the real world around you. Funded on Kickstarter in 2014 by no less than 2,000 backers, the app combines the game mechanics of Pokemon Go with a run tracker, allowing you to go head to head with other users to capture unclaimed lands and raid neighbouring territories. While currently only available on iOS, plans are afoot to introduce the app to Android later in the year.
Bohemian Rhapsody Experience | Android, Free
Take a journey through front man Freddie Mercury’s subconscious with this VR experiment by Google and Queen. While it may sound a little gimmicky, the 3D, 360-degree creation is actually pretty impressive. By reacting sonically to your movement the app allows you to ‘step inside’ the music, as it recreates the sensation of being onstage. The Bohemian Rhapsody Experience is currently only available to download from Google Play – though we’re assured it is coming soon to iOS. Best viewed with Google Cardboard, it also works as a standard 360-degree video.
Seeking further entertainment? Check out our wrap-up of the top TV, music, sport and movies to stream this month.