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The best apps to buy with your Christmas iTunes vouchers

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There are tens of thousands of apps and games on the App Store, and so finding the gems amongst the dross can be tricky.

If you find yourself in possession of a lovely iTunes voucher this Christmas, here's what we reckon you should buy.

How to spend £25

If you've £25 to spend, concentrate on grabbing low-cost apps. Our selection includes the odd throwaway item, but most offer surprising depth, despite many costing just 59p. You'll find yourself using several of these apps daily.

First, grab some games. There are loads of great 59p titles on the App Store, which are great for quick blasts yet will still be on your device for months to come.

Line-drawing airport game Flight Control (opens in new tab), vertical platformer Doodle Jump (opens in new tab), swipe-based rescue game Parachute Panic (opens in new tab), and puzzler Geared (opens in new tab) are all fab.

If you've kids, grab mix-and-match dinosaur toy DinoMixer (opens in new tab) to keep them occupied. And for quiet moments, Drop7 (opens in new tab) is the best puzzler on the App Store and well worth a little extra, costing as it does £1.79.

Flight control

FLY HIGH: Flight Control remains one of the most compelling games on the App Store

Make the most of your device's multimedia capabilities with apps for music, reading and imagery. Brushes (opens in new tab) (£2.99) is a great sketching app, and if you've an iPhone, QuadCamera (opens in new tab) (£1.19) gives you a Lomo-like multi-shot, TiltShift (opens in new tab) (59p) enables you transform scenes into miniature worlds, and Snapture (opens in new tab) (59p) provides filters, stabilisation and many more camera features.


MULTI-SHOT: QuadCamera is a great multi-shot 'toy' camera app

More apps for your £25

We're not even half-way yet - £25 can go a long way on the App Store.

If you enjoy music, grab TonePad Pro (opens in new tab), Ocarina (opens in new tab) and Internet Radio Box (opens in new tab). These apps all cost 59p and are, respectively, an addictive grid-based synth, a virtual wind instrument, and an app that effectively transforms your device into a DAB Radio.

Slightly more expensive - and just as good - are Pianist (opens in new tab) (£2.39), a great piano app (with recording features), and Classics (opens in new tab) (£1.79), a beautifully designed virtual library, housing some of the greatest stories ever written.


MUSIC MAKER: Your device's touchscreen can be used for virtual instrument apps, such as Pianist

If you're feeling sociable, check out Tweetie 2 (opens in new tab) (£1.79), the App Store's leading Twitter client, and Balloons! (opens in new tab), a really sweet 59p app you use for releasing and capturing virtual helium balloons with personalised notes attached. And for tracking news and blog updates, Reeder (opens in new tab) (£1.19) is a top-notch Google Reader client.

Should you find yourself a little more rotund after Christmas excess, invest in a trio of GymFu apps, CrunchFu (opens in new tab), PushupFu (opens in new tab) and SquatFu (opens in new tab) (59p each), which work rather like videogames, charting progress over time to a set number of 'reps' and enabling you to battle friends over the internet.

If you plonk your device in a dock, buy FlipTime (opens in new tab) (59p), a charming clock that resembles old-fashioned information boards at airports and railway stations. And if you're a pay-monthly user, buy Mobile Allowance (opens in new tab) (59p) to keep track of your usage.


TONE UP: Get rid of your Christmas spare tyre by using GymFu's apps

Finally, download a copy of Postman (opens in new tab) (£1.19) to send whoever gave you the voucher a personalised thank-you note.