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Best iOS and Android games

Draw Something by OMGPOP (Universal: $2.99, also available for Android): While the momentum for this touchscreen-based and unofficial variation of Pictionary slowed down after it was acquired by Zynga in March, there are reasons why Draw Something generated tens of millions of downloads in only its first few weeks (faster than Angry Birds, Instagram, and any other app in history). It’s really fun to play! The premise of the game is simple enough for a five-year-old to pick up. Further, Draw Something’s social integration via Facebook and email makes it easy to play the game with a friend or stranger regardless of what kind of iOS and Android device they own. Don’t own a device on either platform? No worries, you’ll soon be able to watch the upcoming Draw Something primetime game show.

JAZZ: Trump’s journey (Universal: $2.99, also available for Android): Loosely based on the life of Louis Armstrong, JAZZ: Trump’s journey plays well as a “greatest hits” for platform games. With beautiful graphics that capture 1920’s era New Orleans, great controls, and of course a killer soundtrack, Trump’s journey has enough features and depth to appeal to established gamers while also serving as a spirited and soulful introduction to newbie players.

Angry Birds Space (iPhone and iPod Touch: $0.99, iPad: $2.99, Android smartphones: $0.99,Android tablets: $2.99): With a launch promotion that was literally out of this world, there was a concern that Angry Birds Space wouldn’t live up to its hype, or just be a slight variation of previous versions of the game. That fear was flung into the stratosphere once we actually began playing it. With new gravity-based mechanics, awesome new birds, a darker color palate and bizarrely amusing space aesthetics, Angry Birds Space is arguably the most refreshing and enjoyable title in the franchise.

N.O.V.A 3 (Universal: $6.99, also for Android): If you are a fan of first-person shooters, than this is the game for you. Developed by Gameloft, N.O.V.A. 3 more than any other title available on mobile devices moves and feels like a console game. N.O.V.A. 3 has you blasting aliens and enemies through a number of planets (including a war-torn Earth). The multiplayer aspect of the game will have you sharing your battle with as many as 11 other players. Each beautifully animated level takes about 30 minutes to complete, offering a lot of bang for your seven bucks.

Spellsword (Universal: $0.99): With furious and addicting gameplay, unique mechanics, and retro graphics and music, Spellsword is a fresh new platform game contained within a sword and sorcery kind of environment. Use your single sword to strike down enemies, and launch fireballs along the way. As you proceed through the missions and maps, new spell cards will be introduced along with new enemies. The best thing about Spellsword, at least for more competitive gamers, is that it contains no in-app purchases, and all of the achievements must be earned by the player.

Best Android apps
Flipboard (free): Our favorite iPhone app of 2011 finally and officially arrived to Android in June. The socially curated magazine – which beautifully presents news, photos and status updates shared by your social graph – included YouTube integration as part of its Android launch (Google+ integration arrived a few days earlier). Flipboard is also the best way to read content from third-party publishers on mobile devices, including the New York Times which on June 28 debuted its NYT Everywhere service to subscribers within the app.

Instagram (free): Instagram’s arrival to Android was a positive development to say the least for the photo-sharing pioneer. Within one week, Instagram attracted more than 5 million downloads. A few days later, the company was acquired by Facebook for what was at the time a 10-figure valuation. The company’s immediate triumph illustrates how apps need to be available for both iOS and Android devices to emerge as a true pop-culture sensations.

Google Drive (free with subscription, also available on iOS): In our two months of using the service, we are finding that Google Drive is a superior and more cost-effective solution for storing and sharing documents than Dropbox. For individuals and organizations that already rely on Google Docs, migrating to Google Drive is a no brainer. The app works seamlessly across all of our Android devices. Now that the service as of June 28 is available to download to iOS devices, there is not much else standing in the way of market domination.

Airbnb (free): Airbnb’s arrival to Android in January, after previously being available online and via iOS devices, was more than just a copy and paste job from one platform to another. The service, a vacation-rental marketplace, for the first time made it possible for property owners and travelers to quickly instant message each other for questions or go over any issues that arise during a stay. There are more than Airbnb 200,000 listings across the world, as well as curated travel recommendations from the likes of Ashton Kutcher and Jack Dorsey.

Chrome (free on Ice Cream Sandwich devices only, also available on iOS): If you use the Chrome desktop browser and own an Android smartphone or tablet powered by Ice Cream Sandwich, owning this app is a no-brainer. The Chrome mobile and desktop apps interact seamlessly with one another, meaning you can access your bookmarks and browsing history on the app. The app also lets you swipe between tabs without ever having to go to the tabs menu. The Chrome app also supports voice search, bookmarking and private browsing. Like Google Drive, Chrome launched on iOS devices on June 28 during Google I/O 2012.

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