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

By Tom Pritchard on at

I wonder how long it'll take me to get used to the fact that from Wednesday it won't be 2013 anymore. Quite a while I imagine. In any case New Year's Day is one of those holidays that I don't really understand. Sure, it's a new year but it just seems to be a collective hangover-induced-sickday. But if you're going to take the day off, you can use it to mess around with the contents of this weeks list.

 

iPhone Apps

Bubblechat for Facebook: A messenger for Facebook with an emphasis on aesthetics, because let's face it, Facebook messenger is rather boring to look at. Bubblechat utilises iOS 7 to make your Facebook messaging time much more interesting. With custom backgrounds, the option to send drawings, as well as everything Facebook offers - it's a great way to stay in touch with your friends. [Free]


Google Play Music: It may be odd to use Google Play when you have an iOS device, but it's nice to have options right? Google Play Music can be used across multiple devices, allowing you to listen as many songs as you like without any limits. There is also no need for syncing, or downloading, but best of all, it's available for offline use - so no more data worries. [Free]


Spark Camera: A video app that is a substantial upgrade from the native app, Spark Camera has a whole host of features that you'll wish you had. The main one of note is the ability to toggle recording by pressing anywhere in the screen, which can be used to create multiple 45 second clips within the same file. [£1.49]


Next - Numbers: Brain training is all the rage nowadays and Next - Numbers is a new one, the aim is simple --- tap the numbers in order. The only issue is that they're scattered around the screen which makes it a bit tricker. There are two modes to choose from, 'Blitz' which gives you 60 seconds to find as many numbers as you can, and Zen which has no such limit. Before long you'll be constantly be trying to beat your own records. [£1.49]


Translate.com: An excellent tool to have, especially if you're going abroad. Translate.com is crowd sourced, so your translation is coming from a community who have worked on this together and definitely knows what they're talking about. With 75 languages and the option to translate voice and images, it's one of the best ways to make sure you understand what's going on. [Free]

 

iPad Apps

Groupon: The well known company, aiming to give you discounts on everything from meals out, to tourist attractions. Each deal is available there and then in your iPad ready for you to purchase and redeem. Not a bad app to have, lets face it money is always a bit tight in January. [Free]


Clash Music: An independent music magazine, designed to cover the variety of musical subcultures out there, while still sticking to the fringes of the mainstream. The digital version is designed to be immersive and interactive, meaning you won't just be stuck reading articles, you'll be able to watch and listen to the music that's being covered. Each month you'll be able to purchase a new issue from within the app itself. [Free -- with in-app purchases]


Sky Guide: For your inner astronomy-nerd, Sky Guide is a mobile guide to the heavens, regardless of the time. With the option to view constellations, galaxies, planets, and even satellites at any time and any places ---data connection or not--- so you'll never be left wondering just what is going on above your head. [£1.49]


Republique: A stealth game, set in a future totalitarian, big-brother-esque state --- An escalation of the NSA spying if you will. The goal is to guide Hope, a resident of the oppressive nation, and help her escape. The game is set to continue over the course of four more episodes in the future so you'll be playing this for a while. Sadly, the price only covers the first episode, but it looks pretty impressive so it's worth a try. [£2.99]


Star Wars - Knights of the Old Republic: The legendary RPG from BioWare available iOS for your mobile-gaming-pleasure. With choices galore as you decide whether to play for the light, or succumb to the dark side, KOTR is something any Star Wars fan needs. The game has recently been updated, so know there are better graphics and less bugs [£2.99]

 

Android Apps

Frozen Free Fall: Mobile movie tie ins are all the rage these days, and who can fault it when they're cheap and easy to play - Frozen Free Fall is one of the latest. The game is similar to games like Bejewelled, match up crystals to make them disappear. With 90 levels to get through it should keep you entertained for a while. [Free -- with in-app purchases]


Truck Simulator 3D: I've never been one for simulator games (except perhaps The Sims), but people do seem to enjoy them. Truck Simulator is one such game, with an emphasis on realism. There are factors to take into consideration as you drive, like fatigue, fuel, and traffic, as well as realistic driving physics (lets just hope it doesn't end up like GTA IV). With eight trucks to choose from and 11 cities to visit you should have plenty of fun. [Free]


Meetup: A social app designed to get you taking part in groups and activities near you. You can browse by categories, location, and RSVP there and then in the app. The latest update has updated the interface for 2014, making it look cleaner and less cluttered, as well as a navigation tool to help you find where you're going. [Free]


Calendar Status: It might seem trivial, but it's the kind of thing you'd never want to be without again. Calendar Status has one simple function - it puts alerts from your calendar into your notification bar. Honestly, I'm shocked that this isn't already a thing. [Free]


avast! SecureLine VPN: The anti virus people have released a mobile VPN to keep your connection and browsing time safe, secure, but above all else - fast.It's got everything you would need from a VPN: choosing which country the host server is in, private browsing, and easy access to turn it on and off at will. Sadly, the VPN is only free for seven days - after you've used up the trial you will need a subscription. Luckily a year is just £12, the same as two months of Netflix. [Free -- with subscription]

 

Windows Phone Apps

WiFi Booster Pro: Supposedly, this app can boost your WiFi signal by up to 30% using a variety of tactics to improve the signal quality. If it does do as it claims then it'll be incredibly useful to have, especially if you're using a public WiFi network. If it doesn't, well it hasn't cost you anything - so you might as well. [Free]


Now That's What I Call Music: This is one for those of you who are fans of pop and chart music. NTWICM has been going on for 30 years (blimey) and has released it's 86th compilation album (double blimey). The app will let you view the track listing for all the previous albums, as well as previewing and buying them through Xbox Music. It will also give you access to NOW's dedicated music TV channel. [Free -- with in-app purchases]


Lock Screen App: This one is designed to customise your lock screen with your own image gallery, turning it into a slideshow of the pictures you have stored on your phone. While it is another Lock Screen customiser amongst many, this one definitely gives it a nice personalised touch. [Free]


Barcode Lens: A barcode and QR code scanner, Barcode Lens is simple to use. Simply hover over your selected code and the app will do the rest. Best of all, any contact details you may uncover can be saved into your phone, as well as giving you the option to share them over Facebook, Email, and SMS. [Free]


Picasa: Google's own image hosting service, Picasa users get 1GB of free web storage to let them share their photos. The app allows you to upload your photos to your account, as well as tools to edit and organise them. [Free]