In Pictures: Cool Yule apps

13 new things to put onto your iPad or tablet

  • OK, so you got your new iPad or Android tablet for the holidays, and you’re wondering what to do. Or maybe you haven’t gone looking for new apps for your device in a while. Presented here are some new apps to check out after you unwrap (or update) your new shiny toy.

  • The Virtual Human Body $4.99 (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch) It’s never too early (or late) to explore your own body – this app provides lifelike depictions of 11 systems of the human body, including the skeleton, muscles, nervous system, endocrine system and digestion system, to name a few. The app includes more than 1,000 anatomical structures, and includes an anatomical dictionary. Users can zoom in and out, pivot the model and look at cross-sections of organs.

  • Word Tag Free ($1.99 for ad-free version; iPhone, iPad and Facebook) If you enjoyed the board game Taboo, you’ll like this game. Players get to describe a word for their friend, but they can’t use six key words in their descriptions. They also only have a 120-character limit. The game mechanics remind me of Draw Something – get a word right and build up a streak with your friend.

  • KIDO’Z app filter for Android Free (Google Play) This app lets you filter out all of the “grown-up” apps on your tablet and keeps only the kid-friendly ones, letting you hand off your smartphone or tablet (or even computer) to the kids. The app comes preloaded with approved apps, letting kids use apps and explore the web safely. Parents can also set time limits on the device.

  • Real Soccer 2013 Free (iOS) The latest version of this soccer simulation lets you play soccer, but also develop your club’s facilities, hire new staff members and build a team that can go all the way.

  • Zombiewood Free (iOS, Android) Zombies are the monster-of-the-month, and this game lets you destroy a lot of them. Zombies have invaded Los Angeles, and it’s your job to take them out. The dual-stick shooter game lets you go through wave after wave of zombies, with a choice of 20 different weapons, and a cartoon style.

  • Safely Go Free (Google Play – Android phones) This app lets you reduce the number of text messages or phone calls you might get when you’re driving. You can pick 3 “VIP” contacts (family, boss) that are allowed to call/text, with automatic text replies telling callers/texters that you’re driving. It also forces calls to go through a Bluetooth or other hands-free device.

  • Wreck-it-Ralph $0.99 (iOS, Google Play) As a tie-in with the Disney movie “Wreck-it-Ralph”, this game lets you play three small mini-games associated with the movie’s arcade games. While you can’t play a Sugar Rush go-kart game (maybe they’re still making it), these games are fun and kids should have a blast playing them.

  • iCookbook $4.99 (iOS, Android, Windows 8) This is a voice-activated recipe app that includes thousands of recipes, step-by-step instructions, and sorting features by occasion (search for Thanksgiving and Christmas, for example). Tools include timers, measurement conversions, create-a-grocery-list and substitution lists. The voice commands let you turn pages, start/stop a timer or check your notes without needing to touch the tablet or phone. Great for cooks!

  • Catalogue by TheFind Free (iOS, Kindle Fire, Google Play) Right before the holidays begin, hundreds of paper catalogs show up in the mail. Help save the planet by unsubscribing to the printed catalogs, but search through hundreds of catalogs to your smartphone, tablet or e-reader. Catalogs include national brands (Nordstrom, Crate & Barrel, Lands’ End). The app lets you click on highlighted items and then let you purchase them directly.

  • Diptic $0.99 (iOS) This cool photo app lets you create photo collages out of the photos you’ve taken on your phone or tablet, and then share those collages with friends through social media channels. It’s like Instagram, but for a bunch of photos.

  • My Little Pony – Friendship is Magic Free (iOS, Google Play) This one is for the “bronies” out there who enjoy this animated TV show, or for any parents who have daughters age 3-6. This game lets you help the ponies from the Hub TV show free Ponyville from Nightmare Moon to bring light and friendship back to the land. Includes voice talent from the show, and includes mini-games as well as the main adventure.

  • Shatoetry $2.99 (iPhone) The official William Shatner app for the iPhone is as crazy and bizarre as Mr. Shatner himself. Arrange words to compose sentences, statements, etc., and Shatner then performs the message for you. You can save, send them to friends and share through social media. The app includes more than 400 words, with three different “delivery versions” – if you want Shatner to emphasize a specific word, for example.

  • Draw a Stickman EPIC HD $1.99 (iOS) This game lets you draw a stick figure (or anything really) and have him go through an adventure and solve puzzles. The game lets you control all aspects of the environment, and the animations and environments are quite awesome.

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