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+.
With November now firmly behind us and December rapidly passing by, it’s time to take a look at the best new and updated apps for iPhone and iPad from last month.
From emoji-fying keyboards, to new ways to record a podcast, to ‘Tinder for new music’; we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.
Rinbw is a new iOS app that lets you record and upload a five-second video to set as your incoming call alert for other users of the app. Of course, seeing other users’ video clips, or other people seeing yours, relies on them also having uploaded a clip, so you’ll likely need to get your friends on board if you like this app.
Will it catch on? That remains to be seen. Will constantly recording your ‘status’ videos as an incoming call alert get annoying quickly? Perhaps, but it’s worth trying out if you’ve always wanted a video contact list instead of static images.
There’s also an Android version in the works.
If you’d rather send a message using emojis than regular, boring old useless words, then Emojimo is the iOS app to check out.
While there’s now no shortage of new keyboard apps for iOS, there’s not too many like this one. It allows you to either automatically translate each word as you type or tap away normally and then hit “the giant poop button”, as TNW’s Owen Williams put it. It’s also free.
Dropbox Carousel for iPad
Dropbox Carousel has been available for iPhone and Android devices for some time now, but it seems crazy that an app for storing and viewing your photos wasn’t optimized for tablet viewing too.
Well now it is, for iPads at least. A version for Android tablets is still on the way.
In addition to being optimized for the larger display, there are also tweaks to the grid view and conversations interface, as well as an improved lightbox.
The second keyboard in our monthly iOS app roundup is Crimson, which takes a more sensible, word-based approach than Emojimo above.
In fact, it doesn’t try to revolutionize the typing experience at all. Instead, it focuses on being familiar, but with extra efficiency by suggesting words in-line above each letter, exactly like the BlackBerry 10 keyboard does.
In order to train you in proper use of Crimson, errors are not autocorrected – you need to swipe up on the suggested correction instead. It might take some getting used to, but if you’re looking for something different but still familiar, it’s worth checking out.
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 iOS (and Android) 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.
Launched last month, Disco Fingers is a strange little app that turns the process of creating music into a cartoon-like dream.
To use it, you just put together ‘Disco Fingers’ on a 2D grid, and when you hit play, they’re each turned into beats with different characters representing different instruments and filters.
The basic app is free, but you’ll need to pay $4.69 (£2.99) if you want to unlock additional instruments and other features.
While Android users got a new live broadcast podcasting app in the form of Spreaker Studio last month, iOS users also got a new podcasting app, if not quite the same thing.
Opinion is a super-simple way for you to record and edit podcasts using your iPhone, and uses a vertical waveform approach to keep things nice and easy to reorder by dragging your finger around. Once you’ve created a clip, you can share it via SoundCloud, email, Airdrop or iMessage.
It’s free to use for recordings of up to 10 minutes, but you’ll need to pay $3.99 to unlock unlimited recording.
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 groups.
It also brings a Discover tab so you get suggested groups based on location, pages you’ve joined and groups you already belong to. The update has also been made available for Android devices.
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 Android.
If you’re in doubt as to whether the world needs another photo-come-messaging app, then Biz Stone’s latest creation Super 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 Android.
Surely that’s enough?
If your appetite (sorry) is insatiable and you want more iOS apps to check out, you can always look at some of the best ones from October, or the rest of our other monthly roundups from this year.
Alternatively, you can check out some of the best Android apps from November too – a few of which appear in this post.
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