Best Apps 2013: This year's hottest apps
App of the Month: Digital Theatre
While music, film and games have long embraced the digital age, the humple play has remained staunchly old-school – until now. A new online service is working not to only preserve theatrical performances for posterity but build their audience with a pay-for-play, on-demand, dramatic buffet.
“There needs to be a revolutionizing of the capture of live theatre,” says Michael Boyd, artistic director at the Royal Shakespeare Company, “We are fulfilling that ambition with Digital Theatre.”
Digital Theatre aspires, effectively, to be the iTunes of stage plays, offering high-def streaming and downloads of shows from across the UK. Whether it’s David Morrisey chewing scenery in Macbeth at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse to Tony Graham’s footballer-at-war, coming –of-age tale Billy The Kid at the Unicorn, the productions are strong and diverse, although not yet plentiful - there’s currently only 20 available.
Pricing starts from £3 for a £48-hour rental or from £5 to own - HD versions cost a bit more. It’s a small price to pay for the best seat in the house.
Price: Free | Platforms: iOS (5.0+), PC and Samsung Smart TVs | Download Digital Theatre iOS app
If you don’t fancy investing in a dedicated fitness tracking device, this GPS-enabled monitoring app can record walking, cycling and running data and visualize the information in a Storyline picking out key locations that you frequently visit. All without having to sign in or remember another set of login details.
Price: Free | Platform: iOS 6.0 iPhone and iPad | Download Moves iOS app
The second screen app finds the best opinion, updates and news from social media spots like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram plus offers match-tracking features like visual stats and a graphic timeline picking out key incidents for MLS and Premier League games.
Price: Free | Platform: iOS 5.0+ iPad | Download SportStream iPad app
The Car Park Finder
With data from over 10,000 car parks in the UK, find the perfect place to pull up with information on the nearest parking sites and how much it will cost for your long or short stay. There’s also live updates from car park managers and if you can’t remember if you were on level 3 or 4 it will even point you in the right direction to reunite you with your vehicle.
Price: Free | Platforms: iOS 5.0+ iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android | Download The Car Park Finder iOS app
Offering a fine array of tutorials to help optimise your home cinema, you'll be able to take care of every aspect of your setup with custom video test patterns and the ability to assign speakers correctly as well as configuring your TV to your lighting and balancing your surround sound.
Price: £1.49 | Platform: iOS 5.0+ iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch | Download THX Tune-up iOS app
Inspired by the minimalist design of Dieter Rams rather than by, er, us this iPod-esque music player is a beautiful thing offering the ability to easily browse music through the custom UI and also boasts Airplay support with optimization for the 4-inch Retina display-toting iPhone 5.
Price: £0.69 | Platform: iOS 5.0+ iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch | Download T3 Player iOS app
If the National has given you a taste for the horse racing action this latest time-killer from mobile RPG-kings Kairosoft let's you manage your own ranch, training derby-winning nags by keeping them well fed and improving stamina and speed. Before you know it, the virtual bucks will be rolling in.
Price: £2.99 | Platform: Android 1.6+ | Download Pocket Stables Android app
Locate yourself via GPS, then bring up a list of everything around you. Select shops, restaurants or services and receive contact details and directions. It also supports Augmented Reality which means you can raise your smartphone in the air and see all the data laid out in front of your eyes.
Price: Free | Platform: Windows Phone 7.5+ | Download CloseToYou Pro Windows Phone app
The Marathon Runner
Whether your 26.2 mile challenge is fast approaching or still months away, plan your sprints, hill attacks and rest days, and increase your strength and endurance ahead of the big day to get in peak running condition
Price: Free | Platform: Windows Phone 7.5+ | Download The Marathon Runner Windows Phone app
Marking the 125th anniversary of the British & Irish Lions, this app is the official place to find out about Warren Gatland’s squad and the tour to Hong Kong and Australia with player interviews, the ability to pick your starting 15 and even win the chance to meet the team and interview World Cup winner Will Greenwood.
Price: Free | Platforms: Windows, Windows Phone 8, Android and iOS | Download Lions Official Windows Phone app
Tart up your photos with frames and photo filters before sharing with Facebook, Twitter and the like, Pic Mix has now been upgraded and debugged for BB10 which means you can make the most of that decent Z10 rear-facing camera.
Price: Free | Platform: BlackBerry 10 | Download PicMix BlackBerry app
Helping you trick iTunes into treating your BB handset like an iPod, all you need to do is simply connect the BB10 handset to your PC/= or Mac, open up the app and port your Apple tracks across. Bingo.
Price: £1.50 | Platform: BlackBerry 10 | Download iTunes Sync BlackBerry app