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

By A Kennedy on at

It's only 88 days 'til Crimbo, aka the holiday of shopping, aka the holiday of hell. Which to me, really only means one thing: it's time to start organising. I'm heading to Colorado this year, so I have to be extra-organised. I already lost £200 by delaying the purchase of my flights by a week; here's hoping a secluded cabin in the mountains with booze for two weeks is worth it. In the meantime, here are some fabulous (mainly free) apps that were released recently. Enjoy:

 

iPhone Apps

Memoir: If you have a happy trigger finger, and like looking over past memories, Memoir is for you. It's an app that collects all your photos, tags places travelled, and steals your social media posts to provide you with easy access to all of them. Memoir can dig out photos of you and friends instantly if you request them, and can show you what you were doing at this moment a year ago, for nostalgic effect. However, if you want to forget something (trust me, we all do) then the app makes it easy to edit and remove "memories" too. [Free]


DogVacay: Best. Invention. Ever. Who likes sticking their dog in a kennel while they jet off to a romantic break/sun holiday/chinchilla ranch? Nobody, that's who. Poor Fido stuck in a cage, freakin' out because he's a chihuahua with a rottweiler as a neighbour. Well hey, here's an alternative: DogVacay is like an AirBnB for pets. Book a dog-sitting stay through a fairly straightforward process in-app, cough up the agreed amount, et voila. Fido gets cuddles from a stranger instead of PTS. [Free]


SongDrop: Songdrop collects all of the free music from around the interweb in one place with the help of its user base. Subscribers drop in links to tracks from services such as Spotify, Vimeo, Soundcloud et al., and the end result is a massive collection of free songs and music videos for you guys to enjoy on your iPhone. It's been a web-based service for a while, but this is its first venture into the world of mobile. Personally, I think we'll be seeing a lot more from them. [Free]


FoodSpotting: This is like a restaurant guide with a twist. Rather than reviewing restaurants as a whole, you can see photo reviews of particular dishes. It's a highly visual app, with tonnes of pictures of various foodstuffs and if you're not hungry before sifting through it, you definitely will be after. The benefit of this is when you're craving a particular dish, you can ask "where is the best *insert dish here*?" and lo and behold, you get a string of delicious pictures, with directions to the delicious food.  [Free]


Shuttersong: Shuttersong is an app that combines any digital still image with up to 15 seconds of sound, forming a single, shareable, high-quality JPEG file. Like regular photography, Shuttersongs capture defining moments in time and, by adding voice, sound or music, they become multi-sensory, memorable and shareable creations. See an example here. [Free]

 

iPad Apps

Infinity Blade 3: I hated Infinity Blade 1 and 2 for the iPhone, but loved them for the iPad, which is why the sequel is in this section rather than the one above. In this edition, the epic trilogy reaches its conclusion, with beautiful scenery, more characters characters and more things to slash into two. It's fairly similar in relation to gameplay to the previous two, with extra challenges to co-operate with players around the world. [£4.99]


Hamlet: Explore Shakespeare: Cambridge University Press has been releasing a series of Shakespeare plays as iPad apps in the last while; the latest of which is Hamlet (one of my favourites). You basically get the full text, an audio "performance" and photos of the more well-known productions of the piece, with a huge amount of interactive features all aimed to give you a better understanding the play. Especially good if it's on a secondary/uni syllabus. [£9.99]


Cotracks: This is a new idea, a collaborative music studio for teamwork on a single iPad. Huh? With Cotracks you can create multiple layers of loops and phrases, using multiple instruments. Cotracks is designed to "maintain your creative flow and to capture your ideas, regardless whether you are flying solo or collaborating with others" The key focus here is collaborations. Everyone in your session has the ability to play and record at will, without disrupting or being disrupted by the workflow of others. [£2.99]


Angry Birds: Star Wars II: Do I really need to say anything about this one? Well, okay. The huge franchises of Star Wars and Angry Birds once again clash in the next installation of (surprise) Angry Birds: Star Wars. 120 new levels with more bound to be released, you can play this game as either the egg-saving birds or the egg-stealing pigs, both with unique powers and masquerading as characters from the Star Wars Universe. There's even a range of Telepods toys that interact with the game. Awesome. [£0.69]


Facetune for iPad: If you're anything like me, you hate photos of yourself. This app exists for people like us. The masses of the self concious. It's effectively a piece of photo-editing software, but one that's incredibly easy to use, and on that's designed specifically to smooth over peoples faces. Remove blemishes, even skin tone, brighten eyes etc. Vanity? Nah.  [£2.49]

 

Android Apps

Stoptober: Oi, tobacco-sucking Android users! Want to quit? Now's the time. Well, tomorrow. Stoptober is a campaign in the UK for people to stop smoking for the first leg of a lifetime -- 28 days. This NHS backed "SmokeFree" app is an official accompaniment to the the month-long campaign, promising daily support messages, progress badges, tips on how to deal with cravings, and sharing features to let friends know how you're getting on. [Free]


Linqapp: A clever little number that promises "assistance from native speakers instantly and for free" when we non-linguists encounter an unfortunate language problem abroad, including possibilities such as taking a photo (can you say menu options?) and then get a near instant chat-window reply explaining what it means. [Free]


Anchor: This app is 100 per cent about the people you work with. From my experience, great teams, and great organisations, aren’t built on tasks and documents, but rather on relationships between people who work together. Anchor is about empowering those relationships. Basically, it’s the best way to share and connect with your colleagues. [Free]


Moves: Moves automatically tracks your everyday life and exercise; just carry your phone in your pocket or bag. It's like a fancy pedometer which can differentiate between running, walking, and cycling using movement. [Free]


Wickr Self-Destruct Messaging: In these days of no privacy, self destructing messages have never been cooler *cough* Snapchat *cough*. Wickr is slightly different though, it's a messaging app that claims to possess "military-grade encryption", and promises to store no personal data on its developer's servers. An interesting claim. Let's see if those messages appear all over the internet, shall we? Public Beta [Free]

 

Windows Phone Apps

Adidas MiCoach: In the not-so-inspiring, but gradually improving Windows Phone app selection, this is a welcome choice in the fitness section. It's exclusive to the Nokia Lumia range unfortunately, but we'll take what we can get in that market. Apart from that, MiCoach itself has been around for a while, and works well for what it is. [Free]


Ocado on the go: Convenient shopping is always a plus, and Ocado releasing its "on the go" app to the Windows Marketplace is a very welcome move. It has all the basic functionality of the Ocado website, with very easy navigation. The only negative is when you look at the final cost of your shopping cart. Ouch.  [Free]


Where's My Water 2: The original Where's My Water hit the iOS and Android markets hard last year, and WP earlier this year, and the sequel offers the same time wasting fun. It's a good physics-based, water-themed game, with 100+ levels that you don't get bored of easily. The characters are cute too. [Free]


Periodic Table Pro: Periodic Table Pro is the ultimate chemistry app for those heading back to school, literally giving you the essentials of the periodic table at your fingertips. This app includes an extensive range of information of all the elements, including photos. For an extra way to revise, there's a game to help you learn the names, symbols and atomic numbers. [£0.79]


Percentages Calculator: Advertised as a "back to school" app, I'd actually disagree. I'm a bit of a "mathtard", so I've found this useful when I need to pull up a stat fast. It's a simple but handy app that contains eight features to make your life easier, including changing a percentage of a numbers, values and more. All you need to do is fill in the fields, press calculate and the answer will be calculated for you. [Free]