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All the best iPhone apps in one place – what more could you ask for?

Apple’s App Store boasts one of the most extensive collections of apps this side of the sun. Inside you can pretty much find anything – and we mean anything. But what are the best and, more importantly, which are worth having on your iPhone?

In a bid to locate, download and test the best apps for iPhone in 2013 we’ve been tinkering with applications all year to bring you a list of the best apps in the run up to Christmas. We’ll be adding 10 new applications to this list every week as December 25 approaches.

To keep things tidy we’ve decided not to include the big apps that every man and his dog knows about –– Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Mail and the like. Instead, we’re focusing on useful applications that might have slipped under your radar.

So, without further ado, here’s our pick of the best.

Facebook Groups (free)

Facebook Groups have existed for a while now. They allow specific Facebook friends to form a group and share text, messages, and photos between them. Until now the Facebook Groups feature has been built into the normal Facebook app. However, like Facebook Messenger before it, now Facebook has decided to give Groups its own app (though the Groups functionality is still staying in the main app for now, Facebook says). With the dedicated Facebook Groups app users can see all their groups in one place and post updates, links and photos with the entire group. The app also has a discover feature that suggests new groups you may like to join and of course you can create your own new groups right in the app.

Next Glass – Explore Craft Beer & Wine (free)

Next Glass is a great app for those that like to drink (you know who you are). The app makes suggestions on what kind of beer and wine you would like based on your previous tastes and preferences. You begin by rating the wines and beers you already like in your Taste Profile, then the apps matches the chemical data of those drinks with others you have not yet tried to provide personal recommendations for your next drink. I’ve used the app twice for recommendations and each drink it recommended it was right–I loved it. With holiday parties coming up, this is a must have.

DeeDay – Countdown with a Badge (free)

DeeDay is from the makers of the popular unit conversion app, Vert. With DeeDay users can use the app to count down to specific days and events. You can create your own events or select the built-in events. What’s cool about the built-in event option is that it’s not just the big holidays that are included. Sports, movies, TV shows, and video game release dates are all in the app (and constantly updated). Just pick an event and it will appear on DeeDay’s home screen and also in the widget extension the app comes with. It’s a beautifully slick UI (just like Vert) and a great little utility for those that like counting down to their favorite days.

Sleep Better − Smart Alarm Clock & Sleeping Cycle Tracker (free)

Sleep Better is a smart alarm clock and sleep cycle tracker from Runtastic. How the app works is you’re supposed to place your iPhone running the app on the bed. The app reacts to your movement during the night, collecting data about how often you twist and turn and get out of bed. In the morning you’ll be greeted with beautiful graphs of your nights sleeping pattern. The app’s alarm functions also allow you to wake up on you own terms, to your own music or alerts, and with full customization options of how long you snooze for. It’s also fully compatible with iOS 8’s HealthKit so you can view all your sleep data with the health app and even share it with other third-party apps.

SNOWidget – The Most Magical Widget Ever (free)

Digsby

IM, Email, and Social Networks in one easy to use application!

http://digsby.com

SNOWidget isn’t really an app. It’s a widget that lives on iOS 8’s Notification Center–and one with a very singular purpose. All SNOWidget does is count down the days and hours until Christmas–but it does so against a very beautiful backdrop of snowfall using particle physics. By launching the app you can customize the size of the widget, the size and font of the text, and the time units of the countdown. It’s the perfect widget/app for those who can’t wait until Christmas.

Doodle Jump DC Super Heroes (free)

Doodle Jump was the first game I ever played on my iPhone. Matter of fact, I suspect that’s true for many of you. Now in its 5th year the makers of the game have decided to start teaming up with popular brands to release custom versions of Doodle Jump. Doodle Jump DC Superheroes allows you to play as Batman as he jumps through levels filled with legendary DC villains such as The Penguin, Mr. Freeze, The Joker, and The Riddler. It’s a fun twist on an old game–and still just as addictive as ever.

Vivino Wine Scanner (free)

Digsby

IM, Email, and Social Networks in one easy to use application!

http://digsby.com

Vivino Wine Scanner is an app that I’ve wanted for a long time. I enjoy a good glass of wine, but I am by no means a wine expert. When I like a glass of wine I always make a mental note of it, but I inevitably forget the brand and type the next time I am out. Vivino Wine Scanner solves that problem by allowing you to snap a picture of the label on the wine’s bottle. It then matches that label to the wine in its database of over 3 million wines. You can then save it to your favourites list and even get links to stores where you can buy the wine in the future. The app also has a heavy social element allowing you to read other user’s reviews of wine and share your favourite types with friends.

Pennies – Personal Money, Budget & Finance Manager (£1.49)

Digsby

IM, Email, and Social Networks in one easy to use application!

http://digsby.com

Pennies is a simple personal finance app that allows you to track your spending with ease. The app forgoes the flashy financial charts and spending graphs you see in other personal finance apps. If you want to track your spending for a certain thing–like home improvement–you can create a budget for it and then simply populate that budget with the amounts you spent each time you buy something towards it. Once you’ve created several budgets and also entered your income Pennies will give you a daily breakdown of how much you can spend each day. Think of it as a personal finance advisor that is always with you whispering financial advice into your ear to keep you on track with your financial goals.

Writing Aid — Dictionary, Synonyms and Meanings (£0.69)

Writing Aid is a godsend for anyone who writes a lot but finds themselves using wordy phrases instead of succinct words. It acts as a reverse thesaurus and dictionary. Type in a phrase or description like ‘green blue colour’ and the app will give you suggestions such as ‘turquoise’ or ‘aquamarine’. Tapping on a word suggestion will also show you the definition of that word.

Plane Finder (£2.99)

Digsby

IM, Email, and Social Networks in one easy to use application!

http://digsby.com

Wouldn’t it be interesting if you can find out where the a flight is heading every time you spot one in the sky? With Plane Finder you can now do that, if you spot a flight in the sky you can just open up the Augmented Reality view, point your iPhone’s camera up at the plane and find out all the details on it.

The app will share the flight number, the place name, the airport, the airline, the specific aircraft and where it currently is on the map. If you head into the map mode you’ll see all the flights nearest to you and you can even zoom out to other countries to see how busy the airspace is.

You also get the preference to use Google Maps or Apple Maps depending on your taste. This isn’t just one for the aerophiles amongst you, it’s actually quite interesting to those not accustomed to plane watching.

Swype (£0.69)

Digsby

IM, Email, and Social Networks in one easy to use application!

http://digsby.com

With the release of iOS 8 last week, the iPhone can now finally support third-party keyboards. One of the most popular third-party keyboards, of course, is Swype. The keyboard allows you to enter text by simply dragging your finger from one key to the next. Swype also comes with five free themes to choose from.

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