Where is Apple's 12 Days of Christmas 2017? Apple's 12 Days of Christmas isn't happening this year for the second year running, but here are 12 great apps you can get for free anyway.

For the fourth year since it began in 2008, Apple has decided not to run its 12 Days of Christmas promotion, disappointing many iTunes users who've loved getting a free gift each day during the holiday period.

The 12 Days of Christmas promotion used to run from Boxing day (26 December) until 6 January, with each gift available for free for 24 hours, downloadable through a dedicated 12 Days of Christmas iOS app. That app normally becomes available in early December, so it looks like Apple might be a Scrooge again this year.

In previous years, Apple has given away movies, music videos, TV shows, games, books and other apps, but we'll be getting nothing of the sort this year. But that doesn't mean you won't be able to get your hands on some brilliant free apps, such as the 12 listed below:

Apple 12 Days of Christmas alternative: Free apps

Colorfy: Coloring Book for Adults - Download the Colorfy app to keep you entertained and clear your mind after the busy Christmas period. In-app purchases are available for more pages, but you should find plenty to occupy you in the free-to-download app for iPhone and iPad. Download here.

Snapseed - One of our favourite photo editing apps perfect for making the most of your Christmas snaps is Snapseed, which is now owned by Google. Its tools and enhancements rival those of many paid-for photo apps on the iPhone. Download here.

Akinator the Genie - If you've never tried Akinator, download it right now! You'll need to think of any fictional or real character and the Genie will ask you a series of questions to guess who it is. It is very, very clever and you'll be amazed by what it can guess. Watch out for in-app purchases, though. Download here.

Cocktail Flow - Discover a new favourite cocktail with this universal app that helps you create something tasty from the drinks you've got in your cupboards. There are in-app purchases for extra themed packages but you'll get a good range of recipes for free. Download here.

7 Minute Workout - If your New Year's resolution is to get fit quick, the 7 Minute Workout app will help. Without paying a penny you can get access to 12 high intensity bodyweight exercises that are 30 seconds each with 10 seconds rest in between. There are in-app purchases to allow you to log your progress, customise exercises and unlock alternative workouts if you decide you love the app. Download here.

SkyView - This one is brilliant fun for kids and grown-ups alike, helping you discover the night sky and the universe beyond it. Download here.

See our round-up of the best iOS apps ever here.

Apple 12 Days of Christmas alternative: Free games

Fallout Shelter - Be warned, this game is addictive, but if you're looking for something to occupy you while you're off over Christmas this strategy game from Bethesda will certainly do the trick. Download here.

Alphabear - This word game stars bears! And even better, it's really, really good and dead easy to get into. Download here.

PAC-Man 256 - Endless Arcade Maze - A twist on the classic Pac-Man, don't let the endless maze catch up with you! Download here.

Spaceteam - If you're looking for a group activity, Spaceteam is the answer. It's a brilliantly fun game that requires you to work as a team with up to eight players all on their own iOS devices. It can get a bit shouty but that's the whole fun of it! Give it a go. Download here.

Piano Tiles 2 - Test your hand-eye co-ordination with the most popular free game in the iOS App Store right now. It's great fun, and it can get pretty competitive when you start testing your friends and family too. Download here.

PEAK - Train your brain with a variety of workouts designed to improve memory, language, problem solving, focus, mental agility, coordination and more. You'll get access to four games each day, with a workout summary that allows you to track your progress, compete with friends and compare with other PEAK users in your age group and occupation. The Pro version is an in-app purchase, but we've used this app's free version for years and still go back to it daily. Download here.

For even more brilliant free apps, see Macworld's round-up of our favourite  free iOS apps.