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Mobile apps round-up: Google Maps, Vocre Translate, more

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Each week, Digital Spy rounds up the biggest mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. This week's highlights include the long-awaited return of Google Maps to the App Store and some festive treats for celebrating Christmas in style.

iOS

Google Maps for iPhone screenshot
Google Maps
Price: Free
Publisher: Google
iPhone users had much to celebrate last week when a replacement Google Maps app finally found its way to the App Store. This is the application iOS users have been crying out for since the launch of Apple's much-criticised iOS 6 Maps, with its missing landmarks, airports in the middle of water masses and obscured satellite imagery.

The new Google Maps comes with all of the usual features - sync search options, directions, voice-guided navigation, live traffic updates and Google Street View integration. More than 10 million users downloaded the software within its first 48 hours and user feedback is strong. Until Apple improves its first-party service, this is an essentially addition to any handset.

'Airbnb' screenshot
Airbnb
Price: Free
Publisher: Airbnb, Inc
Airbnb is a network connecting people with property to rent and a means of finding accommodation anywhere in the world. Recently named 'iPhone App of the Year' by Apple, the free service helps property owners value their space and facilitate bookings there.

Whether you are looking for a private island or a humble apartment, Airbnb has travellers well catered for, providing them with directions as well as the chance to message guests and hosts directly for feedback. This one is a must for anyone in the property game, but it might just save your skin while you are on your travels too.

'12 Days of Christmas' screenshot
12 Days of Christmas
Price: Free
Publisher: Apple
Apple may be an 'evil corporation' in the eyes of some, but it's giving something back during the festive season. You won't find any partridges in pear trees or calling birds in this app, yet users will be treated to free songs, music videos, apps, books and TV episodes between December 26 and January 6.

12 Days of Christmas costs nothing to download and it's a gift that keeps on giving (during the period in question at least). Users who don't own an iPhone or iPad can even download the freebies directly to their computer providing they have iTunes installed on there.

Android

Google magazines screenshot
Google Play Magazines
Price: Free
Publisher: Google
Google has taken its sweet time bringing its Magazines service to Europe, but it's finally available to access through the Android store and in dedicated app form. The web giant's answer to Apple's Newsstand comes to these shores with hundreds of titles in stock, as well as a range of special offers for customers to take advantage of.

Users can access free 30-day trials to magazines including Total Film, Wired, GQ, Classic Rock, Future Music, Vogue and Esquire, download back-issues and purchase yearly subscriptions to their favourite titles. So unless you're a Zinio employee, this app has plenty to offer.

Vocre  translate screenshot
Vocre Translate
Price: £1.85
Publisher: Vocre
The modern world is more connected than ever, yet language barriers still have the potential to divide us. Vocre Translate is an attempt to tear them down, helping users communicate with anyone in the world in their native tongue.

Vocre offers voice and text translations in more than 30 languages thanks to Nuance's vocal technology and text-to-speech voice powered by iSpeech. Google Play users have reported generally favourable feedback, but don't expect the service to be flawless. The app's publishers admit the development process is ongoing, so expect regular updates to iron out any creases.

'Let's Create! Christmas' screenshot
Let's Create! Christmas
Price: 76p
Publisher: Infinite Dreams
There are myriad applications out there for creating and sharing virtual Christmas cards, though few offer the same level of flair and finesse as Let's Create! Christmas. Infinite Dream's festive application lets users design their own Christmas baubles to share with friends and family.

There is a range of brushes and colours on offer to get your virtual ornaments just right and the developers have promised to add additional customisation tools in the run-up to Christmas. So if sending real cards feels like too much effort this year, Let's Create! Christmas is surely the next best thing.

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