The recent hint of Spring weather has reinvigorated our love for our 2010 ‘Time-killer gadget of the year’, the AR Drone. But if its £300 price tag is beyond your battered new year wallet, we have good news – a fresh new category of ‘App-Toys’ (or ‘App-cessories’) has emerged, and these playthings bring fun in exchange for much more modest price tags. Here’s our pick of the five best:
iKon R/C £80 (due Autumn)
This App-toy has the loftiest price tag here, but that’s the payoff for having Apple endorsement. A cool looking buggy that'll likely hit shelves in late Autumn, an R/C dongle will be supplied that sticks in your idevice’s port and works alongside the downloaded App.
After downloading the Apptoyz Alien Invasion shoot-em-up, pop your iPhone or iPod Touch in the cage. Thanks to augmented reality, you’ll be able to shoot green men down in your local street from the privacy of your home. There are more games in development, which will hopefully be as utterly addictive as this.
Slot a dedicated device into your iPhone or iTouch 3.5mm jack and it becomes a fully functioning infra-red controller. Once you've downloaded the app you’ll full control over this three-channel gyro-chopper either via your device’s accelerometer or old school screen-based controls.
iPhone Pinball Magic
It doesn’t quite match having a full-size Twilight Zone behemoth in your spare room, but this miniature dock is perfect for nostalgic nudging on your iPhone. Download the free app and use the ball-launcher and flipper buttons to rack up some high scores. An iPad version is in the works too.
It may be the lowest tech of the lot, but the App Wheel gives extra control and potential speed boosts while you’re tearing up on-screen tracks, and doubles as a handy (if slightly awkwardly-shaped) rugged iPhone case.