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

By Tom Pritchard on at

My tech-savvy dad just got Windows 8. It doesn't bode well when someone who understands computers needs help from his son set it up. For some reason it's subtly different to my copy of Windows 8, so I'm struggling to figure it out too. So instead of being helpful, I'm hiding and writing up this week's best-apps list:

 

iPhone Apps

Timera: Ever wondered what streets or buildings looked like in the past? Normally this would require a great deal of internet research. Timera allows you to search for images from the past based on your current location, so you have a phone-based window into the past. For those of you with an artistic streak, the app also allows you to combine old photographs with ones you take yourself. Basically, this is the closest thing you can get to a time machine. [Free]


Marriott International: The official app for the Marriott hotel chain with a new update allowing for mobile check-in and checkout. This means you can come and go without having to waste time standing in queues. It's not quite universal yet, but you can use this cool feature anywhere in North America and select hotels around the world. [Free]


OneDrive: We've been promised this rebrand for a while, but it's finally happened -- SkyDrive has become OneDrive. It's everything from SkyDrive, but with the brand new name. This is a universal change, and OneDrive is also available on Android and Windows Phone. [Free]


Superburst Camera: A simple, yet effective way to take multiple high speed photos but without losing the convenience of smartphone photography. Superburst can take 25-6 photos a second, depending on which iPhone you have. Never again will you have to pray you got the timing of your photo just right. [£1.49]


Quiz Fortune Trivia: Think you know it all? Or maybe you have pub-quiz training to do? Whatever your reasoning, it can never hurt to brush up on your general knowledge. Quiz Fortune Trivia has a database of over 100,000 questions, covering pretty much any topic imaginable. A fantastic way to spend your time testing yourself, or your friends. [Free]

 

iPad Apps

Enigmo - Explore: This is an interesting one, a game focused on combining physics and Art-Deco. I take one look at this game and get some serious Portal 2 flashbacks. The puzzles involve manoeuvring paint to a specific target on the other end of the map. This one is bound to cause some immense frustration when you can't complete a level, but just can't stop playing. [£1.49]


Brian Cox's Wonders of Life: Everyone's favourite TV physicist narrates the tie-in app to the BBC television series Wonders of Life. With Professor Cox as your personal guide, the app can show you over 30 different creatures and habitats in full 3D (the good kind, not the crappy cinema kind). With 2 hours of Full HD video, and over 1,000 high resolution pictures, this is a must for any fan of biology or nature. [£3.99]


Calcube: Calendar apps are quite useful, but they are a bit of a pain to navigate. Calcube is designed to be much faster and intuitive, so that organising your time isn't such a headache. Plus, there's weather forecast integrated into the app itself and the design is a snazzy little cube. Really, what more could you want?  [£1.49]


Only One:  An 8-bit fighting game, where you stand on a large pillar and face off against waves of enemies, pushing them off the pillar to their deaths. With over 70 levels to complete, upgrades to be unlocked, and mini-bosses to defeat, this should keep you plenty entertained. [Free]


Tengami:  This one is interesting, a game set inside a pop-up book. Tengami brings Japanese fairy tales to life with a unique gameplay style that involves flipping, folding, and sliding away segments of the world. With a particularly haunting soundtrack, this is definitely something for those of you who are always looking for something new. [£2.99]

 

Android Apps

Dormi: A smartphone baby monitor, Dormi gives you the opportunity to pair two of your Android devices: one to send, and one to receive. There's no need to alter microphone sensitivity, Dormi adjusts to background noise so that it can detect a crying baby and transmit the sound to the parent device. [Free -- with in-app purchases]


Samsung Powersleep: This is one that's less useful for the individual, but using it does a fair bit of good. After the initial setup, Powersleep will begin using your phone's processing power to support researchers at the University of Vienna in decrypting protein sequences. Once decrypted the sequences can be used to help research into ailments such as cancer or Alzheimers disease. It's completely automatic and the decryption ends when your alarm goes off in the morning. [Free]


Lynda.com: Lynda.com is a database of training videos, designed to help you learn new skills in specialist subjects, such as Photoshop, business, or web design. Course trackers mark your progress through an individual topic, so you can pick up exactly where you left off, and playlists let you curate all your topics of interest in one place. [Free -- with subscription]


Meet Me Halfway (Beta): Finding somewhere to meet someone can be a bit of a tricky, especially if you're travelling long distances and don't know the area. Meet Me Halfway will not only calculate the halfway point for you to meet someone, but also local places of interest so you have somewhere definitive to find each other. [Free]


Mikey Shorts: Your typical side-scrolling platform game, with gameplay that brings back memories of the first Spyro the Dragon game. You play as the titular Mikey, who is on a quest to free his friends and collect coins. There are 84 different levels to play through, as well as unlockables and time trials. Definitely one for the morning bus. [£0.54]

 

Windows Phone Apps

Bing Food and Drink: Bing is really branching out from being just a search engine, with a host of new apps releases this week. Food and Drink is just one. Simply put, this is a cooking app. It's filled with easy-to-follow recipes, with important tools like a shopping list, recipe collections and multi-device synchronisation. A perfect way to add some jazz to your meals. [Free]


Bing Health and Fitness: Designed to help you stay fit and healthy, Bing Health and Fitness has everything you need to keep yourself active and in great shape. There's GPS tracking to monitor your exercise, calorie counters so you can monitor your food intake, and step-by-step instructions for thousands of workouts an exercises that you wouldn't have dreamed of trying. [Free]


Bing Travel: Last Bing app for this week I promise! Bing Travel is a comprehensive guide to your sunny holiday destinations. There's plenty here to make planning your trip as easy as possible: with location photos, reviews, hotel listings, and price comparisons. Better yet, all these bookings and plans can be organised right there on your phone. [Free]


Pin.it: Your run of the mill third-party Pinterest app for Windows Phone -- anything you can do in Pinterest itself, you can do here. So whether you're a big Pinterest user, or you just want to see what all of the fuss is about, this is an app you can't afford to miss. [Free]


Draw & Wear: One for you wannabe fashionistas, Draw & Wear is an app that lets you create your own custom fashion designs and then share them across social media. It may not replace the good-old-fashioned sketchbook, nor is it any use if you can't actually draw, but it makes it easier to make quick designs should inspiration strike you when you're out and about. [Free]