Top 10 Lifestyle Apps for your GALAXY Note II

By Your Mobile Life on at

Your Samsung GALAXY Note II can be a complete lifestyle companion, encouraging you get fit, eat well and generally helping you to get lots more out of life in 2013.

So without any further ado, here is our pick of the top 10 lifestyle apps for your GALAXY Note II.

Jamie's 20 Minute Meals

£2.49

Jamie Oliver may have his critics but the chirpy chef does know his way around the kitchen and this app distills his expertise into 65 easy to make recipes that you can knock together in 20 minutes or less. Each recipe has step-by-step instructions and colour photos to illustrate the cooking process.

The app shows you the ingredients you need and at a tap can turn them into a shopping list that you can tick off with the S Pen as you wander around the supermarket. Jamie has helpfully provided a selection of videos that show you both the basics of how to prepare food and tips such as how to secure a chopping board and the right way to shop for fish.

Zombies, Run! 5K

69p

Want to keep fit but lack motivation? Try a horde of brain-hungry zombies lurching after you while you are out for your morning run. Motivated yet? That is the premise behind the award-winning Zombies, Run! - a running app with a difference.

Plug your headphones into the Note II and this app will give you instructions for each 'mission' you must perform to find supplies and survivors during the zombie apocalypse. Curiously, all the missions seem to involve running short distance in set times - a hassle for survivalists, but good news for your general health and fitness. By sticking to the exercise program you unlock more of the story and receive points to spend on upgrading your zombie-proof base.

This special edition of the app is designed to get novice runners from running zero to five kilometres in just eight weeks.

Google Goggles

Free

Goggles is a clever 'visual search' app that lets you take a picture with the Note II's camera (or from the gallery) and then analyzes it, looking for readable text (it can cope with most fonts) as well as searching Google's impressively large database of similar images.

Using it you can read a film poster to get a link to the box office, scan a barcode to get price comparisons or quickly identify landmarks and famous faces. It can even read and translate between nine languages.

Google Maps

Free (already installed)

Maps may seem like the most boring, run-of-the-mill apps on your phone if you haven't used it yet. In fact, it is one of the most powerful and packed with useful features.

As well as being, well, a map, Google Maps will plot routes for you either by car, on foot or using public transport. You can check out what a destination will look like using Street View and 'Search nearby' will show you restaurants, pubs, landmarks and tourist attractions as well as thousands of other local businesses, many with user-submitted reviews and links to websites as well as one-tap telephone contacts. The Note II's expansive screen and loud speakers makes it an ideal sat-nav with Driving Directions turned on.

Sleep as Android

Free

A good night's sleep is very important to both physical and mental health and this app is aimed at helping you get the right amount and quality of sleep that you need.

Place your GALAXY Note II next to you on your bed and this app will use the tilt sensors to measure your sleep patterns and build up a picture of how you sleep each night. Over time it will recommend different wake-up times for you to ensure you wake during light sleep and maximise rest. It will even wake you with a soothing, faded-up alarm that you can only turn off by solving a puzzle.

Skype

Free

Skype is still the king of voice over IP and video chat apps. As long as the person you are calling uses it there really is no excuse but to use its free audio or video link rather than your mobile tariff.

The GALAXY Note II's 1.9 megapixel front camera makes for nice, sharp outgoing images and of course the expansive HD Super AMOLED screen makes even the most tired-looking chatters look better. The app does a great job of integrating into your phone contacts and voice quality has improved a lot in recent versions.

Hailo

Free

Do you ever travel by cab? Hailo can make that a little bit easier. Rather than scrambling for local cab numbers and trying to work out exactly where you are to tell the dispatcher, Hailo will grab your location from GPS and contact the nearest approved cab firm for you.

You can give the app your card details to pay automatically if you prefer. It can even add a tip.

Google Now

Free (already installed)

A built in app you may not be aware you had. Hold down the Menu key on your Note II when you are at the home screen and Google Now will spring to life. This unique app is Google's attempt to figure out how you live our life and offer the useful information it thinks you will need, before you know you need it.

After a few week's use, it can offer you driving directions when you start a journey; recommend somewhere for you to eat in a new city; tell you what the weather will be like that day and let you know if you are near a popular spot for taking photos. It is either a bit magical or a bit creepy, depending on your perspective. Either way, it is impressive.

Ancestry

Free (with optional fee)

Plotting your family tree can be a difficult process but Ancestry.com combines a useful app for making the trees themselves plus access to millions of public records from around the world (for a small fee) to help with the research side of things.

Family trees can be composed or manipulated entirely on your GALAXY Note II but your account details are stored in the cloud so you can access it from any web browser or send links to other family members to show off your work or ask for their help.

Flipboard

Free

Flipboard is your own unique glossy magazine. You tailor Flipboard by selecting different sources and subject areas and it does the rest, dragging in news from the web and presenting it for you as a colourful, dynamic magazine.

Flipboard was originally a tablet-only app but the Note II's screen is ideally suited for reading your daily dose of news and features.