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

By Tom Pritchard on at

In an attempt to build a repertoire of employable skills, I've started volunteering in the communications department for a local housing association. Volunteering is a funny thing, it's like having an actual job but without the financial incentive. You know, the reason why most people go to work in the first place. Speaking of work, here's my weekly contribution to this fine website:

 

iPhone Apps

Greggs: "ZOMG. MUST DO. GREGGS APP," was Kat's reaction when she found out about this one, and I'm very much inclined to agree. The main focus of the app is to pay for your pastry purchases on your mobile via PayPal, and by doing you so you have the chance to win yourself free food. What a time to be alive...oh and if you top up £20 first time around you get a free breakfast. Cash pfft, who needs it. [Free]


Explovia: A messaging app designed around communicating with your friends about events going on in London. Explovia shows you a comprehensive list of what's happening and when, so you don't have to spend time scouring the web. Using your contacts list, you can then send out messages to people you know to see if it sparks their interest, and if you find something good you can book the tickets in-app. [Free]


Yahoo News Digest: Designed to make your news-reading experience easy and painless. Yahoo News Digest finds the best and most important news and creates news digests, delivering them to you twice a day. Perfect for you to stay up-to-date with what's important if you're short on time. [Free]


This App Gives You Easy Access to Your Best Reaction GIFs AnytimeGIFwrapped: In the modern world, simple text-based emoticons just don't cut it. You want to convey an emotion or expression that's far more specific than anything a colon/punctuation combo can offer. GIFwrapped is a way for you to collect the best reaction gifs on your phone ready to be sent via iMessage, or posted online. [Free]


Our Favorite Android, iOS, and Windows Phone Apps of the Week

AccuWeather: A customisable weather app that provides minute-by-minute weather info for your exact location--right down to the street you're standing on. Plus, with push notifications, you'll never be stuck unaware during an imminent storm. The new updated version is completely redesigned for iOS 7, with even more detailed forecasts. [Free]

 

iPad Apps

Roxio MediaBook:  A great way to share with people, Roxio MediaBook lets you create your own custom eBook with pictures, videos, and text. You have complete custom control of the final product, including design, page numbers, and even the ability to edit video clips in-app. [Free]


PORTER Magazine UK: A new magazine from the Net-A-Porter Group, the PORTER Magazine app is the best in fashion, beauty, art, travel and shopping. Individual issues are £3.99 each, or you can subscribe for £22.49 a year. [Free -- with subscription]


Musyc Pro: A music production app that, rather than relying on knowing how to play instruments, focuses purely on touch. You can create music using a variety of features, such as drawing shapes, or just general messing around. The new version includes new sound kits, the opportunity to record and export your creations, and inter-app audio support. [£2.99]


Paper Ocean: This is a cool way to learn how to make origami versions of marine animals. It may well be aimed at kids, but that doesn't mean it's unsuitable for those of you who consider yourself grown-up. There are 20 animals to create, and six mini-games included. [£1.99]


Disco Zoo: A new game from the creators of Tiny Tower, Disco Zoo is similar, but rather than building a tower to earn money, you're building a zoo. You can travel the world to find new and exciting animals in order to bring in the customers, and then throw disco parties to get them happy and dancing. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

 

Android Apps

Don't Pause: Using your phone to listen to music is one of the highlights of owning a smartphone, but it is a pain to get notifications that interrupt your aural experience. Running Don't Pause will switch your notifications to vibrate whenever you're listening to music so it doesn't interrupt. But you can do this yourself by turning your ringer off right? Well, some people may forget to turn the ringer back on after they're done -- Don't Pause will do that for you automatically. [Free]


Type Machine: Have you ever been in the middle of typing something in your phone, only for it to cock up and force you to start over? I know I have. Type Machine will make a backup of everything you type, so that if you do lose it, there's a backup for you to go back to. It's customisable, so you can tell it to not record for specific apps, and it all runs in the background so you won't even know it's doing its magic. [£1.24]


HTC Power to Give: Similar to Samsung Power Sleep, which was covered last week, HTC Power to Give uses your phone's processor at night when you don't need it. By utilising the app, you allow your phone's processor to be used in conjunction with scientific research and help develop cures towards the likes of AIDS, Alzheimer's, and cancer. Sadly this one is not universal, you do need some high end hardware to run it. [Free]

Auto Finder: Apps that remember where you've parked aren't exactly a new concept, but the majority of them do require you to manually tell it to mark the spot. Auto Finder is a smidge different, in that the use of 'Auto'  in the same has a dual meaning: it's short for automobile and automatic. Auto Finder learns by itself, and will automatically tag your cars location when it sees that you have parked up. [Free]


Telegram: It's been available on iOS for a while, but the official Android version is now here. Telegram is aiming to fix problems that have been plaguing similar messaging apps that are available. Their prime motivation seems to be not having gaping holes in their security and providing a fast, efficient service. It's definitely one for those of you who are worried about Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp. Plus they're offering unlimited cloud storage, so you can access your message archives from any of your devices. All that, and it has no ads. Bargain! [Free]

 

Windows Phone Apps

IQ Safe: A very cool game, that relies on you finding and solving puzzles that have been strategically placed around famous cities. You play against time and have to crack the safe codes. While the campaign is where most of the fun comes from, for people who can't travel to all of the locations (which is probably most of you), there are 570 individual puzzles included for you to solve at anytime. [Free]


Tap the Frog: This one is 11 separate mini-games that involve helping the frog complete various tasks. Whether it's driving, flying, or painting, it should be a fun way to spend a few minutes every now and again. Sadly, it doesn't seem to involve navigating the frog through traffic, but we can't have everything now can we? [£0.79]


Press Reader: For the news aficionados out there, Press Reader is a very cool app that gives you access to over 2,300 newspapers and magazines from 97 countries around the world. Some content is free, but there is a subscription available if you want unlimited access (£18 a month), or alternatively you can pay by issue (60p each). [Free -- with subscription]


Squishy Bird: One of the main reasons Flappy Bird became so popular was how addictively infuriating it was. Squishy Bird lets you get some payback. The aim is simple, tap the screen to close the pipes and squish the little bastards that try to fly through. [Free]


Ravelle: A cool little app for adding text-captions to pictures, either existing ones or camera shots. There's not much else to it, but it's a great tool for those of you who want to add captions to your photos, but lack the necessary photoshop skills. [Free]