We’re back with our pick of the best new and updated apps for you to download this December...


December is here, and with Christmas just around the corner we’ve got all the apps you need to keep you entertained, inspired and on-top of dinner table discussions. Fill your boots with this month’s must-have downloads for iOS, Android and Windows…

Petrol pumping through your veins? Meet the new app from ex Top Gear trio Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May that’s so adrenalin-fueled it requires capital letters. Developed as a new social platform for keen motorists, DRIVETRIBE lets you share your passion for particular vehicles through videos, photos, articles and forums. Once logged in, you can opt to join a raft of ‘’tribes’ covering every aspect of car and bike culture imaginable, including ‘The Perfect Roads’, ‘Italian Masterpieces’ and ‘Dogs in Cars’, or go ahead and create your own in the hopes of attracting fellow enthusiasts.

Attenborough’s Story of Life | iOS, Android, FREE
Sticking with the TV theme, the BBC’s new Story of Life app lets you explore over 1,000 of the greatest wildlife moments ever filmed with legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Launched to coincide with Attenborough’s 90th birthday, the app’s vast collection of clips is split into categories including ‘Habitat’, ‘Species’, and ‘Behaviour’. It includes footage from the current series Planet Earth ll, and all playlists have been curated by the main man himself.


Dingless | Android, FREE
Solve a problem you didn’t even know existed with Dingless. Chances are you don’t need to be alerted to new Facebook messages, Whatsapps or Snaps while your phone is in your hand. You could go into settings and disable sound notifications for each app individually, but Dingless enables you to configure the lot with one single switch. It won’t affect your music or calls, it’ll just mute those pesky dings – and the moment your phone is back in your pocket your alerts will come through as normal. Plus, you can introduce time delays between notifications when your phone’s in rest mode to eliminate the rapid-fire dings and buzzes synonymous with group conversations. Perfect.

Stephen Hawking’s Pocket Universe | iOS, £5.99
Why not grapple with the wonders of the universe as you digest your Christmas dinner? Stephen Hawking’s Pocket Universe covers six mind-bending topics including the space-time continuum, black holes, and the expanding universe, all beautifully illustrated alongside simple explanations of complex science – to make you sound super smart.


(COMING SOON) Super Mario Run | iOS, TBC
Nintendo is set to launch its much-anticipated Super Mario Run on iOS this month, with an expected release date of 15 December. It’s the first ever Super Mario title to break into the mobile gaming world, and even Apple CEO Tim Cook is excited. With a classic Nintendo twist on the easy to play ‘Endless Runner’ gameplay, the aim of the game is to help Mario navigate his way to collect coins and reach the flagpole with deftly-timed swipes and taps. There’s no Android release as yet, but we’ve been assured everyone’s favourite Italian plumber won’t be iOS exclusive for long.

(UPDATE) NORAD Tracks Santa | Android, Windows Phone, FREE
It just wouldn’t be a December round-up without a Christmas-focused app. For years, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has taken on the important role of tracking Santa, and this December is no different. Updated for Christmas 2016, NORAD Tracks Santa will keep you abreast of Santa’s movements come 24 December, with plenty of games to play and videos to watch in the lead-up to St Nick’s big day.


(UPDATE) NY Times Crossword | Android, FREE + IAP
Put your brainpower to the test with New York Times’ daily crossword puzzle. While the NY Times app has been available on iOS for a while now, it’s just been released on Android, allowing even more of us to access its head-scratching goodness. Mini puzzles are available without a subscription, but if you want the full shebang following the seven-day free trial, subscriptions are offered at an annual cost of USD $39.95, or monthly at USD $6.95. New puzzles are released at 3am GMT daily, ready for your morning commute.

(UPDATE) Instagram | Android, iOS, FREE
Live is all the rage when it comes to social, and now Instagram’s joined the party with its take on real-time video. Scroll across to ‘Live’ mode in the ‘Your Story’ camera to begin your live broadcast. Your viewers can send comments and unlimited hearts while you’re live but, unlike Facebook and Periscope, the minute your broadcast is finished the video disappears forever. Designed to feel a bit more intimate than other live streaming options, the app only alerts a subset of your followers who engage with your photos and videos the most.

Seeking further entertainment? Check out December’s essential entertainment mix for this month’s top TV, movies, sports and music.