From 2008 until 2013, we looked forward to Apple's 12 Days of Christmas, which ran from Boxing Day until early January offering a free app, game, song, TV show, book or movie each day. For the fourth year in a row, though, Apple isn't running the promotion, so we've got 12 apps and games here that you can download for free instead.

Cally's Caves 4

This free game for iPhone and iPad is a side-scrolling, level-based game that offers huge amounts of fun. There are more than 300 levels, with 88 weapon forms that can be customised using the Weapon Mod system, 11 bosses and 24 enemy types.

Download here.

Pocket

This app allows you to save any article, video or link that you see while you're at work or out and about, ready to revisit when you have more time. It works with various other apps and there's a browser extension available too, so you'll truly have everything in one place for your convenience.

Download here.

Asphalt 8: Airborne

Another of our favourite free iOS games is Asphalt 8: Airborne. It's brilliant racing game by Gameloft, with plenty of free fun available without needing to cough up cash for the in-app purchases.

Download here.

Peak

This brain training app is a both fun and practical, helping improve your memory, coordination, problem solving and more. Compete with friends, keep track of your progress and compare your scores with others in your age group and occupation. There is an in-app purchase for the Pro version of Peak, but we've used the free version for years and still use it every day.

Download here.

Snapseed

One of the best free photo editors you'll find for iOS, Snapseed lets you do the simple stuff like cropping, rotating and adding filters, but it also offers more advanced tools such as curves, white balance, healing and brush. You'll also be pleased to hear that each of your edits is saved in a stack, meaning you can go back and forth as you make changes to create the perfect final image.

Download here.

Adobe Sketch

If you find that creativity can strike at the least convenient times, you might enjoy Adobe Sketch, which turns your iPhone into a canvas at your fingertips. Draw and paint using brushes, pencils, pens and markers, with the ability to add layers and export sketches for use in more advanced editing software on your computer.

Download here.

Calm

If you have trouble sleeping, you might find that the Calm app helps. The free version will get you various features, including several free Sleep Stories that we have found work wonders. You'll also find meditation and music features that are designed to help you clear your mind and destress.

Download here.

Akinator the Genie

This one is bound to be a hit this Christmas. If you've never tried it, we urge you to give it a go. It can guess any fictional or real character within an incredibly minimal number of questions, even the most obscure.

Download here.

SkyView Lite

Fun for both adults and kids, SkyView lets you explore the night's sky, revealing galaxies, stars, constellations and satellites before your eyes. You can use Augmented Reality to identify where things are in the universe and see them with your own eyes on a clear night.

Download here.

Spaceteam

If SkyView makes you want to travel amongst the stars, you might enjoy Spaceteam, a hugely fun multiplayer app that sees you and your friends or family working together to successfully launch a spaceship.

Download here.

Alphabear

A word game this time, and this one is as fun as it is challenging. Suitable for kids and adults, it's colourful, cute, addictive, and of course free.

Download here.

7 Minute Workout

Wahoo's 7 Minute Workout does exactly what it says on the tin. Each workout includes 12 high intensity exercises designed to shift bodyweight without requiring lengthy and expensive trips to the gym.

Download here.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to free content available on the App Store. For more, visit the following round-ups of our favourites: