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26 of the best smartphone apps from 2013

With so many apps released over the year, here are some of our favourites.

WITH THERE BEING more than two million apps across the three main app stores, smartphone and tablet users have never been more spoilt for choice.

Not only has the quantity of apps have risen, but the quality has increased as well. While covering all of them is an impossible task, here are a small selection of the best apps from 2013.

Anyone who’s only recently received a smartphone should check out our list of the best starter apps here.

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Dots
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Deceptively simple, but incredibly addictive, Dots is a compulsive game that will swallow up all your free time as you try to beat your own high score.

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Robot Unicorn Attack II
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

A eccentric platform runner, Robot Unicorn Attack II is every bit as bizarre as the name suggests. The theme tune alone will be stuck in your head.

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Super Stickman Golf 2
For:
iOS, Android
Cost: Free (Android), €2.69 (iOS)

A fun and quirky golf game, Super Stickman Golf 2 puts you through numerous unconventional worlds as you try to get a below par score for each course.

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Clumsy Ninja
For: iOS
Cost: Free

An impressive ragdoll physics engine is the basis for this great tamagotchi-style game as you train your ninja up to become the best.

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Infinity Blade III
For: iOS
Cost: €2.69

An action packed hack and slash game which pits you against knights and other monstrosities, Infinity Blade III is one of the sharpest games around, both graphically and gameplay-wise. The original is now free should you want to try before you buy.

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Cut The Rope II
For: iOS
Cost: €0.89

The sequel to one of the most popular smartphone games arrived last week on iPhone and is every bit as addictive. An Android version is expected in the new year and is worth the download.

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Duolingo
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Want to learn a new language? Duolingo will teach you the basics of French, Spanish, German and Portuguese in bite-sized chunks that’s both fun and easy to handle.

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VSCO Cam
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

One of the best photo editing apps out there, VSCO is an essential download for anyone serious about photography.

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IFTTT
For: iOS
Cost: Free

For those unfamiliar with IF This Then That (IFTTT), it’s a web app which combines actions together. For example, if you post photos on Instagram, you can create a IFTTT formula where every time this happens, it’s automatically posted on Twitter as well.

Downloading and using it is much easier than explaining it (thankfully) and the iOS app builds upon the foundations set by the web app.

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Soundwave
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

The music discovery app lets you see what songs people are listening to in your area. A novel way of discovering new tracks and artists.

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Ridiculous Fishing
For: iOS, Android
Cost: €2.69

A wonderfully crafted game, send your line down as far as possible, hook as many fish as you can, bring them back up and blast them with your shotgun. Exactly the way fishing should be.

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Oceanhorn
For: iOS
Cost: €7.99

If you’re a fan of The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker, Oceanhorn is a nice homage to the series and is a decent game in its own right.

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Limbo
For: iOS
Cost: €4.49

A puzzle platformer that will play upon your fears, Limbo is a work of art that everyone should play. For a game that practically expects you to fail before completing a puzzle, it’s tense and the art direction adds to this atmosphere.

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Foldify
For: iOS (iPad)
Cost: €3.59

Anyone who’s interested in arts and crafts will love this app. Draw, create and print out your 3D creations for the world to see.

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Digg Reader
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Digg’s resurrection from a forum to a content aggregation site has paid off massively. Not only is its content fantastic, it also has a RSS reader which former Google Reader users will love.

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Swype Keyboard
For: Android
Cost: €1.46

A gesture type keyboard that is an essential download for all Android users. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do, you’ll wonder how you’ve ever lived without it.

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Nokia Camera
For: Windows Phone
Cost: Free

One of Nokia’s biggest strengths is the quality of camera its Lumia range has so it’s only fitting that the best Windows Phone camera app comes from it as well. A plethora of features and editing options means it one of the best camera apps around.

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MyAppFree
For: Windows Phone
Cost: Free

This app searches the Windows Phone app store to find the latest and best apps that have been made free. With one new app every day, it can uncover some real gems making it an essential download.

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Strata Free
For: Android
Cost: Free

A smart puzzle game, the premise of Strata is to strategically create layers of patterns. Like all good puzzle games, it starts off simple but becomes more complex as you progress.

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Rayman Fiesta Run
For: iOS, Android
Cost: €2.69

Another platform runner, Rayman Fiesta Run is definitely one of the more colourful and vibrant versions of the genre out there. A number of clever twists means it’s worth a look.

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Asphalt 8: Airborne
For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Cost: Free, €0.99 (Windows Phone)

A fun arcade racer that doesn’t take itself too seriously, Asphalt 8 focuses on tricks and aerial stunts as you race to the finishing line.

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Flow Free
For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Cost: Free

A relaxing puzzle game, the aim is to connect the same colours pipes together and is another example of being easy to learn, but gets challenging the further you progress. Should you finish the free game, you can purchase the expansion packs which will allow you to continue the fun.

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Box
For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Cost: Free

A collaboration tool for businesses, Box syncs with Google Docs and Salesforce and is a brilliant productivity tool for those regularly using either service. It also allows you to assign tasks and update in real-time so that everyone is up to date.

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Fresh Paint
For: Windows Phone
Cost: Free

If you’re feeling creative, Fresh Paint is a very polished app and one of the best of its kind on any platform. There’s a whole variety of features and templates to get you started, but should you wish, you can draw whatever comes to mind.

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Streambels
For: Android
Cost: Free

This app allows you to stream video and photos from your smartphone or tablet directly to your TV. Handy for those waiting for Chromecast to arrive over here.

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Moves
For: iOS, Android
Cost: €2.69 (iOS), Free (Android)

Moves is a unique activity tracker as it only requires your smartphone to track your progress and not an accompanying gadget. The app is always on and it tracks the distance you’ve covered, how many calories you’ve burned and locations so you get the full picture of how active you are.

Read: 10 messaging apps that are worth downloading >

Read: 10 ways to improve your smartphone’s battery life >

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