iPhone apps continue to be Apple’s big earner.
Billions are downloaded and sold, with developers continuing to push the limits. 2014 has seen some superb new games, impressive productivity tools and smart add–ons tip up in the App Store.
Hundreds arrive every week, but we’ve worked our way through the ones to avoid and come up with the pick of the bunch.
Here are our five favourites of the year.
1 Monument Valley
Ustwo’s gorgeous Monument Valley is unquestionably the best game to come out for iOS in 2014.
Not only does it offer sensational graphics and a surreal, beautiful storyline, it also proves that iPhone and iPad owners were more than happy to pay for games.
Leading silent Princess Ida through a series of bizarre and unique environments which look every inch like an Escher painting, gamers are able to buy extra levels via in–app purchases.
As good a game as you’ll find on this platform and one that will stay with you long after you’ve finished playing.
Grab Monument Valley here: Monument Valley
This gorgeous game sees you create towers and bridges of little people in a bid to guide your citizens to freedom.
Like all classic platform games, it’s fiendishly difficult and beautiful to look at.
We promise you’ll lose hours trying to master this and won’t regret a minute of it.
The throb of the dubstep theme music gives it a pleasing, old–school feel, setting Kiwanuka well apart from rival apps.
At £1.49, it’s a bargain that you should invest in now if you haven’t already. There’s an Android version too if you haven’t got an iPhone or iPad.
Grab Kiwanuka here: Kiwanuka
Let’s face it, budgeting is a thankless task.
Pennies is a blessing for the the financially challenged, undoubtedly this year’s best app for those looking to make their money go further.
Its simple interface makes a pleasant change from the work–like graphs of rivals.
Simply set a budget for a given timeframe or a particular event (like lunch or Friday nights out). Every time you put your hand in your pocket, add the amount you’ve spent and it’ll come off your budget.
If you’re spending too much, the screen will go red to indicate you need to slow down.
If you’ve been frugal, it’ll be green, showing you can spend more if you wish. With Apple Pay set to be big in 2015, the potential for tie ins and automatic updates is huge.
Grab Pennies here: Pennies
Third party keyboards are now big business on the iPhone, after Apple let developers have run its QWERTY interface with iOS 8. Swype remains our favourite, an easy to use add–on that makes firing off missives a breeze.
As with Android’s native keyboard, you swish your finger over the touchscreen instead of tapping out words, the app learning your patterns as you go.
It’s far cooler than the standard Apple keyboard. And if you want something a little more fun, remember there’s always the much–loved GIF keyboard available as an alternative.
Grab Swype here: Swype
We’re big fans of Apple’s new Continuity tool for OS X and iOS, which lets users of its latest software handle calls and messages from their iPhones on their Macs and iPads.
Notifyr takes this whole concept to another level, using Bluetooth to pair your Mac and iPhone so you can get WhatsApp and other key notifications delivered straight to Notification Centre on your Apple computer.
It’s a real help for those who want to leave their iPhone shoved in their pocket while working but still stay up to date with anything that’s happening on their handset.
Grab Notifyr here: Notifyr