iOS app reviews, tips and features - iPhone and iPad

What do you get if you cross a velociraptor with a spider? The answer is a velocispider, which combines the best of both creatures. Plus, it has a huge gun on its head. It is a silly idea of course, but Velocispider is a lot of fun.

Canva is both an iPad app and an online tool for creating impressive designs. With a few taps you can design a wide range of items and it is a very easy app to use. If you lack the design skills or tools to draw something from scratch, Canva will enable you to create what you need.

A fisheye lens is an extremely wide angle one with a short focal length that captures distorted, but interesting photos. A real fisheye lens can only be mounted to a traditional camera, but InstaFisheye is an app for the iPhone that simulates the effect.

I have covered brain training apps twice before and have examined four apps for iOS and Android. I make no excuse for covering two more brain training apps and you simply cannot have too many. In order to have a healthy, active brain you need to spend as much time exercising it as you do the rest of your body at the gym.

The camera on the iPhone is excellent and it is easy to point, tap and shoot high quality video. Apple has an excellent video editing app and iMovie can do all sorts of wonderful things with videos. However, Replay is a different type of video editor and you can have maximum fun for minimum effort.

There are so many photo editing apps to choose from, it is hard to know which to install on your iPhone. Your choice is made even harder because so many of them offer similar features. Typically you can take a photograph using the iPhone's camera or load a previously taken one, crop it, apply various filters and then save it or share it. LensFlare can do all of this, but it also has some extra features that set it apart from the crowd.

There are many farming games and many city building games for iOS and Android. Township takes elements from both types of games and blends them into something familiar, but also slightly different. It is not pure farming or pure city building and you get to do a bit of both. I have been playing Township on the iPad for the past week, although an Android version is available too.

iOS notifications

Some people have been experiencing an odd problem on the iPhone with iOS 8 - phantom notifications. What happens is that a notification sound is heard from the iPhone, but when the phone is checked, there is no notification. The chime can occur throughout the day and night with no obvious cause, but there is a solution.

Remember Flappy Bird? It was an infuriatingly simple, yet maddeningly difficult game that was incredibly addictive. It was nothing really and could be knocked up in an afternoon by a reasonably competent programmer. 2 Cars is similarly exasperating and its simplicity, difficulty an addictiveness will appeal to Flappy Bird fans.

Plague – The Network is an unusual kind of social network and unlike rival services, you don’t have any friends at all. In fact, you don’t even need an account. At first sight this seems to be a very odd concept for a social network, but it is strangely addictive and quite entertaining. You will soon be hooked!

Transport Empire is a free game that runs on just about anything – iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets and even Facebook. It takes you back to the early days of steam trains, steam boats and airships, and you must build and manage cities and transport systems, and accumulate lots of money. I am playing the iPad version and it is a lot of fun.

When traveling, whether it is across town or across the world, I always have my iPhone on hand. Technology allows me to have a world of technology at their fingertips. When I'm somewhere unfamiliar, there's a bevy of applications that can help me save time and money. Here are some of the applications that I simply cannot live without while traveling.

iBooks is an excellent app that enables you to buy ebooks in the iTunes store and then read them on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. You can carry a whole library of books in your pocket, read them on the bus, train or plane, take them on holiday and so on. But how do you delete a book?

There is a fantastic full moon tonight, with a perfectly clear sky. The moon looked fantastic, so I decided to see which mobile phone could take the best shot of the full moon. I used a Samsung Galaxy S4 and an iPhone 6. The Samsung has a higher resolution camera than the iPhone, so the expectation was that it might produce a better moon shot, but did it?

Rooms is a sort of throwback to the early days of the internet, perhaps even to bulletin boards before the internet existed. It is an app for iOS devices like the iPhone that people can use to create chat rooms. Unlike modern social networking services like Facebook, Twitter and others, Rooms is anonymous and that could be a problem.

Snapseed

There are so many photo editing and enhancement apps in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store it can be hard to decide which one(s) to get. With dozens to choose from and, it has to be said, all very similar, which one is best? Google Snapseed is an excellent tool that can be used to apply special effects to your snapshots and bring out the colour and detail.

I have been running several activity trackers on my iPhone 6 with iOS 8 including Argus, Nike+ Move and Human. They are all great apps and a lot of fun, but they do require quite a lot of battery power because they run in the background and three is just too much. One is all you need and all you can afford unless you want to charge your phone twice a day.

There are many new features in iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 and one interesting one is the Today screen widget. Pull down from the top of the screen and there are two tabs – Today and Notifications. On the Today tab is calendar appointments, reminders, stock market information and so on. Apps are now able to insert widgets into this Today view to add extra features and a couple I have been trying lately add the weather forecast.

Argus

Sitting at a desk all day is not good for you and too many people spend too much time sitting down. To keep yourself fit and to fight the flab you need to be more active. Even if your weight is OK, your muscles will weaken if you spend too much of the day sitting. Argus is an app for the iPhone that will help you to track your activities and get fit and healthy.

The iPhone Stocks app is one of Apple’s favourite apps and it has been on the home screen for many years. It even comes preconfigured to show Apple’s share price when the app is started. Is anyone else bothered though? Not only is Stocks on the home screen and cannot be deleted, it also appears in the Today screen in the newly released iOS 8. Fortunately, it can be deleted from there even though you cannot entirely remove the app.