Best Tech apps for iPad 3

This week's best iOS apps include Microsoft Translator and InboxVudu.This week’s best iOS apps include Microsoft Translator and InboxVudu. Photograph: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images

You can read the previous Best iPhone and iPad Apps roundups for more recommendations, but if Android is your platform of choice, check the Best Android Apps roundups. On with this week’s selection.

Apps

If you often find yourself turning to The Power Of Google Translate when abroad and stuck for a phrase, Microsoft is hoping you’ll give its new app a try as an alternative. You can quickly search for a translation and display it on your iPhone or Apple Watch - useful for showing people if you don’t want to balls up the pronunciation.
iPhone

The latest in an increasingly long line of apps promising to help you towards the fabled Inbox Zero. In this case, the app aims to prioritise emails requiring action, from scheduling meetings to sending documents; with the promise that it “trains itself” to respond better to your habits over time.
iPhone / iPad

Related: The best iPhone apps of 2014

MSTY is one of a flurry of startups exploring the middle ground between WhatsApp and Spotify: music messaging. It’s a quick, slick way to choose a song from the app’s catalogue, add a background image and text message, then send to a friend. Like Music Messenger, Rithm and others, it’s hoping to spread via word-of-mouth among chatty music fans.
iPhone

There are millions of fans of scribbling app Paper, but it now has several competitors. Morpholio Journal is the latest: a “paper sketchbook” without any paper, aimed at creative types wanting to jot down their latest ideas. In-app purchases buy more brushes and tools.
iPhone / iPad

“Wildcard is a news and entertainment experience like no other, ” promises the App Store listing for this daily news app. Apart from all the other daily news apps that have used a similar approach of breaking down stories into bitesize chunks for mobile reading, of course. It looks nice, for sure, but as the recent shutdown of Circa News shows, turning this kind of thing into a sustainable business isn’t easy.
iPhone

Another smart mobile assistant, but unlike InboxVudu, this one’s focused on your diary. It’s a service for automating your meetings, figuring out when you and your contacts are free for a given sit-down, and booking it in both of your calendars.
iPhone

Monsters Ate My Metropolis for iPhone and iPad. Heaven knows if this will catch on, but the idea is very fun: a collaborative fiction app that introduces an element of competition into the process of strangers writing stories together. You kick things off with a chapter, then other users submit their drafts for the next one – and a vote decides which one gets the nod, which in turn spurs a new round of drafts.
iPhone

Related: The best iPad apps of 2014

If you’d been able to mix virtual chemicals on a smartphone when I was doing GCSE Chemistry, I might have passed. And the lab wouldn’t have blown up, etc etc. No, this is really interesting: an app to see what happens when you mix, light and heat 150 chemicals – including a nifty iPhone-to-iPhone “AirMix” feature.
iPhone / iPad

New from Mind Candy, the publisher of Moshi Monsters and World of Warriors, this is a partnership with British YouTube stars Dan Howell and Phil Lester. It’s a collection of seven-second micro-challenges, which you’re supposed to video and then share with friends and the wider ‘7SC’ community.
iPhone / iPad

Finally: hair! Dyed hair, to be specific. This is a Vidal Sassoon-branded app that gets you to take a selfie, trace the outline of your glossy locks, and then experiment with new shades via digital manipulation. And of course, persuading you to buy branded product is the goal here, but it could still be useful if you’re mulling that switch from strawberry-blond to autumn-plum or turtle-green.
iPad

Monsters Ate My Metropolis for iPhone and iPad.

Games

2011’s Monsters Ate My Condo remains one of my favourite mobile games, but this follow-up is quite different: a card-battler rather than an arcade puzzle game. It sees you dealing destruction to a series of cities using a pack of monster-based cards, with lots of scope for strategy.
iPhone / iPad

If you grew up playing tabletop roleplaying games, you’ll be delighted with Loot & Legends: a pseudo-cardboard lootfest with a distinct Dungeons & Dragons feel. Some players have been put off by its in-app “pizza” purchases to get better items, but on the whole it’s not too aggressive.
iPad

Fantasy-themed massively-multiplayer strategy games are, it turns out, a big money-spinner on mobile - even if you don’t hire Kate Upton to ride a horse in your TV ads. Gameloft is hoping to attract lots of players to its new empire-building title, as you build a castle, tool up an army, wage war on foes and trade with friends. It’s hard to judge this kind of game a day after release, but it looks like it has plenty to explore.
iPhone / iPad

When Atari launched Rollercoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile last year, it received buckets of criticism for its freemium mechanics, which made the classic strategy game a bit of a chore. If you were one of the complainers, you’ll prefer this: a paid-only port of the third Rollercoaster Tycoon game. Which, for newcomers, involves creating your own theme park.

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V Tech VTech Light-Up Baby Touch Tablet, Orange
Toy (V Tech)
  • Tablet for kids teaches letters, numbers, shapes and more; 10+ pretend apps and activities engage your child in imaginative play
  • Kids tablet has a swipe and tap light up screen; 160+ playful songs, melodies, sounds and phrases are included
  • Electronic learning toy opens up pretend email and checks the weather and time just like mom and dad; infant learning toy has bright light-up screen
  • Toddlers can tap on Cody the VTech Smart Cub to interact with him as they play; pre-K learning toy allows kids to swipe back forth between screens
  • Baby tablet is intended for toddlers 9 to 36 months old; 3 batteries are included for demo, use new batteries for regular use
LeapFrog LeapFrog LeapPad3 Kids' Learning Tablet, Green
Toy (LeapFrog)
  • LeapPad3 is the high-performance, fun-packed Wi-Fi tablet that allows kids to learn and play in a way that s just right for them. Ages 3-9.
  • Access the most engaging learning library for kids tablets, with 1,+ educator-approved games, apps, eBooks, videos and more. (Sold separately.)
  • With Wi-Fi and LeapSearch powered by Zui, children can explore kid-friendly web content that is 100% pre-screened and approved by learning experts
  • Features a lithium ion rechargeable battery, 4GB memory, parent controls, light-touch capacitive screen, two cameras and video recorders, and more.
  • Includes 10 apps: Photo Fun Ultra, Pet Pad Party game, Pet Chat, choice of 1 app download, Utility Suite and more.
Nintendo Tomodachi Life
Video Games (Nintendo)
  • Create Mii characters for people you know, such as your friends, parents, your teacher, plus anyone else you ve ever dreamt of befriending
  • Characters in Tomodachi Life act as living, relatable characters with a voice and a personality all their own
  • Players become the director to their Mii characters lives by helping them find love and happiness
Binney & Smith Crayola Virtual Design Pro-Cars Set
Toy (Binney & Smith)
  • Crayola Virtual Design Pro brings your exciting car designs to life virtually, just like a professional designer!
  • Use the app to customize your car and do stunts, Compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets and iPod Touch
  • Contains: Design case and 20-page design book, 36 colored pencils, pencil sharpener, 20 Super Tips markers, 4 stencils and Virtual Design & Drive app
Anki, Inc. Anki DRIVE Starter Kit (Previous Version)
Toy (Anki, Inc.)
  • Anki OVERDRIVE is now available, the next generation of robotic racing!
  • Part toy, part video game, Anki DRIVE is all-out high-speed family fun where you battle and race against friends or AI controlled vehicles
  • Setup is easy, simply rollout the starter track, download the free Anki DRIVE app, and take control of your car
  • Starter Kit includes: 2 Anki DRIVE cars (Boson & Kourai), 2 charging cases + power cord, Starter Track (3.5 x 8.5 ), tire cleaner
  • A compatible iOS or Android device is required to play

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