The best new iOS, Android apps of Oct. 2012


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A recent application engagement study issued by mobile analytics firm Flurry identifies no fewer than 30 distinct app categories, up from 19 three years ago. The categories run the gamut from weather apps (no doubt particularly popular this week as Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast) to financial budgeting tools--some categories are new to the list, like food and drink, while others have grown so large that Flurry has broken them down into subcategories (e.g., social games and single-player titles).

Understandably absent from Flurry's list are the oddball niche categories on the periphery of the mobile ecosystem--for example, did you know that Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play together offer 107 pro-smoking applications? Me neither, but researchers at the University of Sydney counted 'em up, noting the existence of cartoon game Puff Puff Pass (which prompts users to click on characters to make them smoke) as well as apps enabling consumers to smoke virtual cigarettes by holding their smartphone to their mouth or set tobacco brands as wallpapers. "Pro-smoking apps that show that smoking is 'cool' in a cartoon game, and provide a chance to explore the available cigarette brands and even simulate the smoking experience with high quality, free apps could potentially increase teens' risk of smoking initiation," researchers said.

Rest assured there are no pro-smoking applications among FierceMobileContent's selections for the best new apps of Oct. 2012--in fact, the list goes in the opposite direction, spotlighting an innovative new health app dedicated to smarter eating as well as selections spotlighting music, games, news and even comic books. Each one makes its respective category more engaging.--Jason

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Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin
Totem Runner
Punch Quest
The Wider Image