Matter for iPad

We're back with the latest and greatest iPhone and iPad apps that launched in the last month. There are some big-name games and surprising utilities to come out of the woodwork over the last 30 days. Whether you're looking for action games or strategy games, photography apps or business apps, July had a little bit of everything.

Sit back, boot up the App Store, and get downloading.

Modern Combat 5: Blackout

The world's premiere mobile first-person shooter has finally ditched in-app purchases. The graphics are great, there's excellent multiplayer, and there are tons of unlockable weapons and skills. The usual tropes like killstreak rewards and achivements are baked into multiplayer, while the single-player campaign missions are peppered with gesture-based quick-time events at the particularly cinematic bits. Dig into our full Modern Combat 5 review for a look at live gameplay and get a feel for what's new.

Modern Combat 5 is easily the best first-person shooter available on mobile.

Fates Forever

Fates Forever is a refreshing new multiplayer lane defense game in the same vein as League of Legends, Dota 2, and mobile counterparts such as Heroes of Order & Chaos. Players pick a hero and must defend against waves AI opponents battering against their defensive towers on the way to their core base, the Gyro. Those tiny Tribute enemies are really just backup for the real enemies: other human players controlling heroes just like yours. You've also got to push back along one of two lanes in order to take out their Gyro. Throughout a match, players level up their hero, improve abilities, and purchase gear. There's great long-term progression for each hero you purchase access to, plus the graphics are absolutely phenomenal.

Strategy gamers would do well to try out Fates Forever.

Magic 2015

The 2015 edition of Magic: Duels of the Planeswalkers launched this week. The biggest addition to this iteration of the classic fantasy card game is that now you can custom build your decks card-for-card. Previously, you would be given a core deck and would unlock additional cards to swap in through gameplay. As usual, players put on their robe and wizard's hat in the role of an elementally-attuned planeswalker. They duel one-on-one against other interdimensional mages by summoning powerful allies, hurling spells, and wielding ancient artifacts. Five colors of spells represent different elements, each with their own play style and themes. Magic 2015 spans five planes, each with their own series of challenges, and of course online multiplayer. You can sample gameplay for free, and upgrade to the full game for $1.99, with additional purchases available for early access to other planes and getting extra cards.

Magic is a highly polished card game that has stood the test of time, and its latest version doesn't disappoint.

Civilization Revolution 2

In Civilization Revolution 2 players build an empire starting with a single humble city. They then harvest the resource tiles nearby, expand their nation in science, culture, religion, and military, and achieve global dominance through warfare or diplomacy.

The refreshed Civilization Revolution features new wonders like the Red Cross and Silicon Valley, new units like the Stealth Bomber and Jet Fighter, leaders such as JFK and Churchill, and research options for Modern Warfare, Modern Medicine, Lasers, and Information Technology. To top it all off, there are going to be new scenarios, including one which is Revolutionary War-themed.

Civilization Revolution 2 is the perfect game for keen micromanagers.

The Wolf Among Us

The fifth episode and season finale of The Wolf Among Us was launched this week. It's made by Telltale, the same folks behind The Walking Dead. The Wolf Among Us puts players in control of Bigby, a sheriff with a temper problem who also happens to be a wolf. The game takes place in Fabletown, and as you might expect, there are plenty of characters that come from some childhood story, but they're a little more… adult than you might remember. These guys have to use magic to disguise themselves and not disturb the citizens of New York, though that's not always easy. The game's first episode kicks off with an encounter with the Wolf's well-known adversary from Little Red Riding Hood, the Woodsman. It's up to you how you handle every situation, and every decision has lasting effects on the rest of the story.

Be sure to snag the whole season of The Wolf Among Us if you're in the mood for a dramatic, gritty, and mature game with a strong story.

Caramel

Caramel is an app for audio professionals to add crunchy kinds of distortion effects to their sounds. Caramel supports all sorts of USB interfaces, as well as audio being pumped through other apps. Crunch, Sizzle, Crush and Bite are just some of the variables you can tweak. If you want to get really fiddly, you can enable even controls.

Matter

Matter lets you drop surreal 3D objects into your photos. Pick, rotate, and scale your shape, then pick its texture. Shadows are left behind behind which you can reposition laterally and vertically, as well as fuzz out depending on the light source. With a bit of extra masking tools, you can make it look like these objects are tucked behind other objects in the picture. This ties in with Pixite's other excellent apps such as Fragments and LoryStripes.

NPR One

NPR One

NPR One puts all of the thoughtful audio programming of NPR into a nice little iPhone-friendly package. It keeps tabs on the kinds of podcasts you're into and provides curated selections in the future. Local news is fed in with everything else so you get a nice mix. Of course all of the standard media controls are there such as pause, play, and skip. You can also share out particularly great episodes as well as discover new podcasts.

Anyone looking for something to listen to during their morning commute will want to pick grab NPR One.

Overcast

Overcast is a refreshing new take on listening to podcasts on your iPhone. It features a particularly neat Smart Speed feature that shorts silences in the conversation so you can get the absolute most out of the conversations you're enjoying. Playlists can be sorted and filtered based on priority, making sure you listen to your favorite shows first. Overcast also helps you find new shows, as well as share shows you're enjoying yourself on Twitter. Voice quality is boosted and volume adjusted so it suits your surroundings and stays consistent. Dig into our Overcast review for a closer look.

If you listen to a lot of podcasts, you'll want to give Overcast a try.

Hours

Hours is a highly polished timekeeping app for anybody doing freelance work. Easily track billable hours for multiple projects, clients, and tasks, and keep notes for each individual stretch of work. Reminders can be put in place to get you to start and stop timers throughout the day. Rounding rules ensure your hours are as rough or precise as you like. Full days can be exported as CSV or PDF reports for invoicing and other bookkeeping.

Hours is one of the best timekeeping apps available on iOS. Be sure to dive into our full review of Hours here.

Your favorite iPhone and iPad games from this month?

It's a big big App Store and lots of great apps can come out in 30 days. What caught your eye? Leave a comment and let us know your favorite iPhone and iPad releases this month?