Ben WoodsEurope Editor
Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.
November sure was a busy month for new apps and notable updates; from photo recognition, to launchers, to Biz Stone’s new app for sharing random thoughts.
Here are 10 of the essential new apps and updates that you should know about from November.
If you’re an Android owning foodie, there’s a good chance you’ve been hankering for a slice of Yummly’s recipe search and discovery app for a long while now. And now you can.
The core package of recipes and recommendations is delivered alongside additional features and slick imagery designed to get you slavering.
While iOS owners have been able to get in on the action since September 2013, it was only last month that the first Android version arrived. Still, better late than never.
While it might not be the most exciting app in the world, it’s hard to deny the usefulness people seem to find in having a suite of document editing tools on their phone.
And now, personal users can get access to Microsoft Office Mobile on Android (and iOS) completely for free.
OK, so it doesn’t include the more advanced editing options (for that you’ll still need an Office 365 subscription), but it is enough for making basic edits on-the-go.
In an expansion of its Milk music streaming service launched back in March, Samsung chose November to introduce its new Milk Video app.
In a nutshell, it lets users view a list of curated videos from the likes of Vice, Venmo, Vevo, Funny or Die, Red Bull and more. The fact that it allows account-free use is a bonus, but it would be nice if it let you add videos you found online to your own collection too, perhaps.
Of course, while it is an Android app, you’ll need one of the supported Galaxy devices (Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Mega, Galaxy S III, Galaxy S 4, Galaxy S 4 mini, Galaxy S III mini and Galaxy S5) in order to use it.
When Nokia first introduced its Z Launcher for Android this year it came as a surprise, but was only available in a limited beta.
This was probably disappointing to many an Android owner who wanted to get a peek at the contextually relevant home screen replacement for Android.
Now, however, it’s open to all. Rejoice!
There are plenty of podcast management apps out there (I particularly like Pocket Casts, if you’re asking), but sometimes maybe you want to be the creator, instead of the consumer.
For this, there’s now Spreaker Studio – a nifty, free Android app that lets you broadcasts a podcast live directly from your phone.
There’s an iOS app pencilled in for the start of next year, too.
If you’re in doubt as to whether the world needs another photo-come-messaging app, then Biz Stone’s latest creation probably isn’t for you.
If, however, you quite like the idea of being able to quickly share an image overlaid with some stylized text as an expression of your thoughts, then you might want to check it out. It’s also available on iOS.
Foto Tiger for Facebook
Sometimes you want a better way of automatically tagging and identifying all the people in your photos, and now with Foto Tiger you have it.
This Android app uses your list of Facebook friends to identify the people in your photos, or you can manually add a person. All other photos containing the same person will then also be tagged, and there’s no obligation to share the photo to Facebook.
Right now, Foto Tiger is a bit of a work in progress, but it’s definitely showing promise. An iPhone version is due in the first quarter of next year.
Although not a new app, Rormix rolled out an update last month designed to make it easier and more enjoyable to discover new music, which is, after all, its raison d’être.
Most easily described as a ‘Tinder for new music’, the new discovery feature can be a fun way to quickly flick your way through some previously unheard tracks and artists. It’s also available on iOS.
Yes, first it was Slingshot, then Paper, then Rooms, and now Facebook has added Groups to its ever growing list of standalone apps.
Essentially, it provides easier access to group functionality by making it easier to quickly create, join and navigate between them.
It also bring a Discover tab so you get suggested groups based on location, pages you’ve joined and groups you already belong to.
This one is really simple, and really handy if you spend long hours sat at your computer. AirDroid allows you to see and control your Android phone from the desktop, and November brought native Mac and Windows clients to make the whole thing a bit more reliable.
It allows you to make simple file transfers between devices, read and compose SMS, view incoming calls and notifications, plus more.
There’s also a cool AirMirror mode that allows you to control the whole device directly from the desktop, but you’ll need a rooted phone for this to work.
Surely that’s enough?
If you just can’t get enough, then there’s always last month’s 10 best Android apps and all of our other monthly roundups.
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