The Week's Best Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows Phone Apps

By A Kennedy on at

I spent the half the week going through various departments in hospital after I managed to perform the stupidest, yet most horrific, kitchen injury I've ever heard of -- to myself. The end results were: being forced to type this with one hand, and having a TONNE of free time to find great apps for you all:

 

iPhone Apps

iPhone Apps of the Week: Receiptmate, Snap Save, and More

Receiptmate: I don't keep receipts, in the same way that I hate physical media, I hate keeping those countless (or rather -- countable) little pieces of paper that slowly accumulate in a box at the back of your wardrobe. Because let's be honest, I'm far, far too lazy to ever count them up and file them in any coherent way. So this little number is perfect. Scan in your receipts at the end of the day and you have an automatic filing system for your outgoings. If you're the type to budget. [£1.99]


iPhone Apps of the Week: Receiptmate, Snap Save, and More

Grid: This clever little app is really great for all the visual thinkers out there. It allows you to make a collage, or grid, of various types of multimedia, be it photos, maps, pictures, text etc., and share it so that you scan collaborate with other. (My partner manages a team of apps developers; they're going nuts for the iPad version at the moment). Only available for iOS for now, Grid is one to get. A really beautiful way to organise your thoughts too. [Free]


iPhone Apps of the Week: Receiptmate, Snap Save, and More

Snap Save: Jumping on the bandwagon for saving Snapchats, but with a slight twist, Snap Save differs from its competitors by preventing the sender from knowing that you've fasted your Snapchat. Just open your Snapchat in the app and it automatically saves a version for you. Simples. A version optimised for iPad is available too. [Free -- £2.99 for ad-free version]


iPhone Apps of the Week: Receiptmate, Snap Save, and More

MIxbit: This app is fantastic. Potentially dodgy depending on the filters on the Mixbit servers. But fantastic. Using Mixbit, you can record up to 16 seconds of video which you can then edit on your device. But the best part is, you can then download 256 other clips -- both yours and other anonymous users' clips --  and string them together to create an hour-long video, which Mixbit then seamlessly ties together to stream in clumps, that you can then share on Facebook, or Twitter, or whatever. While your clip is up there in the Mixbit cloud, it remains anonymous. And there's no commenting system either. Hence my earlier 'potentially dodgy' comment. It's the work of a company set up by YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who are hoping to get people creating videos together rather than alone. You can get a version optimised for iPad too. [Free]


Glow: This is not applicable to me; the world would be a better place if I never sired a child, I'm sure. This app is specifically designed for couples who are trying to conceive. Glow makes calculations based on input data as to when is the best time to get down to business, if you know what I mean. Included are also helpful tips and advice. Future updates promise charts, the ability to download and print your data, and communication features between partners. [Free]

 

iPad Apps

djay 2: Now, With this sequel to the original, popular iOS app djay -- developed by Algoriddim -- you get a new user interface to flick between virtual decks and track waveforms. As well as that there's also a built-in sample player and recorder, and a tonne of useful features for pro DJs and bedroom (digital) steel-wheel spinners alike. [£2.99]


Treehouse – Learn Programming and Design: The Treehouse website has been helping teach people to code for quite a while now, but now it has a spin-off iPad app to take the process to mobile. Subjects and languages covered include Objective-C, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, and SQL, but it requires a Treehouse membership to run. [Free – Must have Treehouse Membership]


Tube Map Live: The name says it all. If you're the type who really doesn't like the estimates in the tube station jumping from two minutes, to four minutes, to one minute, to three. Here is an app that shows you in real time (based on the data received from TFL, so at least, as near real-time as the data allows) where the trains are represented using a teeny train icon on a underground map. Basic idea. Good idea. Strangely hypnotic. [Free]


Quip: This app claims to be a "modern word processor" designed for collaboration across different devices. It was designed with workplaces in mind, and presents documents in chat-like update threads, showing which users are online and using @mentions (hi Twitter) to link to people and documents. What sets Quip apart is its built-in chat and collaboration -- it's great for documents that need to be edited simultaneously by multiple parties.  [Free]


Lumosity: Brain-training app Lumosity has been available on iPhone for some time, but this is a separate iPad-only version of the app. Similar to the Nintendo DS Brain Training series, these "scientific workout" mini-games aim to have a noticeable effect on your memory, attention and other skills. The company behind it stresses its neuroscientific credentials, but nearly more importantly, the games are rather fun, making them one part of your daily workout you won't dread. [Free]

 

Android Apps

QuickTerminal [Root]: So, I realise that terminal apps are quite often far from efficient as far as UI goes. QuickTerminal can make things slightly easier on you using a simple system. Store specific commands and assign them to different shortcuts. The app comes with several stock shortcuts but you can easily add in custom commands and run them from a menu. Not only that, you can script your own commands from scratch. [Free]


Instagram: Instagram's updated again; you can finally upload video straight from your camera roll. The updates are live right now. [Free]


GQueues: Yet another to-do app. I know. But if you haven't found one yet that's quite the right fit, give GQueues a go. It has everything you'd expect a good to-do app to have, as well as public task sharing so you can delegate items to other people, whether they're using GQueues or not. It also features "Smart Queues," which is basically a flagging system that organises things into a list of importance (overdue). [Free]


Floating Youtube Popup Player: Samsung Galaxy has it, so why can't all Android devices? This app let you to open up a YouTube video in a small window that you can float on your screen as you get on with it in the background. It has the capability to search within the window and you can use regular pinch gestures to resize it. As you would expect, the bigger the screen, the better in this case. [Free]


Blastron: Who doesn't love robots? Especially robots with guns. This is a hugely popular iOS game that has now become available on Android. Published by social gaming firm Kabam, you play a (surprise!) robot who, during the large game, spends time collecting weapons, upgrading itself and competing against other players around the world in this turn-based, platform-based action. [Free]

 

Windows Phone Apps

Bing Apps: Bing has just brought out a variety of apps for Windows Phone 8 covering all of the necessities. With Bing Weather you get all weather information from current conditions worldwide to 10 day forecasts. Bing News gives content from partner sources including the Guardian, Sky News and the Independent as well as international sources. Bing Finance provides up-to-date finance news and allows users to read the latest articles, see market quotes and customise market watch lists and sources. And Bing Sports gives you all the latest sports news. It includes 60 worldwide leagues and allows users to access the latest scores, read articles, view photos and videos and customise options for a favourite team. All useful, eh? [Free]


Drawtopia: This beats any game for mind numbing addictiveness. You’ve got a ball and you have to guide it towards a target. Draw a line onscreen with your fingertip to create platforms for the ball to roll along, avoid all the obstacles and collect all the bonus stars. It’s like bowling crossed with Lemmings and wow, does it get hard. [Free]


Metrotube: During the time that Microsoft and Google continue to quibble about an official YouTube app, we lowly drones back in the real world should really be able to watch videos on our Windows Phone handset. So why wouldn't you already be using this app from LazyWorm? There are many knockoff YouTube apps out there with sneaky in-app purchases that force you to buy after a few clips. This isn't one of them. After the 79p upfront charge, watch to your heart's content. It gives you full access to your YouTube account, favourites, subscriptions, the higher resolution YouTube videos, and all the metadata from each video. [£0.79]


Runtastic: A running app similar to Nike Run Keeper for iOS, Runtastic features track training via GPS, which automatically records time, distance, calories that you've burned, speed, elevation and other statistics. Also has good connectivity to social media sites and gives you a live tile on your home screen with monthly statistics. [Free]


Battery Saver: This handy app is great if you end up using up your battery life quicker than you should be (just be glad it's better than the iPhone 5). It features tips to help you save on battery life, allows you to have live tiles related to power saving that you can pin to your home screen, and has an alarm that goes off when you have an application on and draining power without physically using it.  [£0.79]