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

By Tom Pritchard on at

I've noticed an abominable trend in recent months, one that should fill people with rage: photography apps that are being updated to include iPad compatibility. It's bad enough that we have to deal with idiots taking photos with the native iPad camera app without developers encouraging them as well. It certainly makes my job harder when trying to find some decent new apps:

 

iPhone Apps

Dubble: You may remember this one from a while back, and it's quite a cool concept. Dubble is a way of merging two photos to create a double exposure effect without the need for fiddling about in Photoshop. One picture is yours and the other is randomly selected so you needn't spend ages indecisively thinking about which secondary photo to choose. The new update adds a social element, allowing you to comment and like other photos, as well as new changes to the UI with shortcuts, zooming, and a notification centre. [Free]


Night Terror: This is one of the most bizarre apps I've ever come across, one that claims to interfere with your dreams and cause nightmares. Using sounds to affect your subconscious, Night Terror believes that it can induce five differing intensities of nightmare while you sleep. On a slightly more sane level, it also has a TV Guide for the Horror Channel (the makers of the app). Please be aware, you use this at your own risk. If it does actually work and you wet the bed in fear I'm not being held responsible. [Free]


DocuSign Mobile: Gone are the days when paperwork had to be filled in by hand, we have computers for that now. Sadly, paperwork has not caught up and often still requires a signature -- causing you to print it out, sign it, and scan it back in. DocuSign lets you do that on your phone and saving you that hassle, regardless of the format or source. The new version has rebranded the app (formerly DocuSign Ink), but is still a fantastic tool to have -- especially if you have to sign forms far too often. [Free -- with optional subscription]


Rooster: One of the main drawbacks of reading during a commute is that you usually can't read something all the way through in a single sitting. Rooster is a subscription service that provides you with reading material that takes 10-20 minutes to read. Released bi-monthly, each book-sized instalment should keep you occupied -- whether it's on the bus or just before you go to bed. [Free -- with subscription]


I Want a Car: Buying a car can be a stressful process, especially if you want to get it out of the way quickly. I Want a Car gives you access to over 200,000 cars nationwide, and has a messaging function that lets you get in touch with sellers and ask them all the questions you will no doubt have. Just one tap (or voice command) and you'll be given a list of all the cars for sale in your local area. [Free]

 

iPad Apps

NASA Visualisation Explorer: Who is more qualified to teach you about space-age research then NASA? With new stories each week, Visualisation Explorer will give you the latest news and developments in space exploration. Better yet, it's all presented in an engaging, easy to read format. Which is good because, let's face it, nobody really wants to sift through academic research do they? Latest update is improved for iOS 7, and is now universally compatible with all iOS devices. [Free]


Doggins: An interesting concept here, with Doggins you take control of a dog as he dreams the night away and does battle against the evil monocled squirrel, Fitzwilliam. The particular dream takes Doggins to the moon, where he must solve numerous puzzles and put a stop to Fitzwilliam's evil plans. It's got a nice minimalist design, and has absolutely no in-app purchases (hooray!), definitely one to try out. [£2.49]


Wonder PL: Styling itself as the home of the world's best video content, Wonder PL is, you guessed it, an app centred around watching video. The videos within the app involve Wonder PL's communities: Culture, Wellness, Home & Family, Food, the Mind, and Entertainment. So whether you want to learn to cook, watch interviews with well known figures, or just waste some time -- this is worth a look. [Free]


NFB StopMo Studio: Thanks to cheaper and easier-to-use computer animation software, time-consuming stop motion is fading out of mainstream existence (unless your name is Tim Burton). NFB StopMo Studio is a way to make it more accessible to the general populace, with an easy-to-use, intuitive interface, that lets you film and edit your own stop motion films. Once you're done you can export it as an MP4, or upload it to any number of video streaming websites. This is only available on the iPad, which is annoying, but I'm willing to forgive because this is a very cool little app. Let's hope iPhone compatibility turns up soon. [£0.69]


Meet Science - Magnetism and Electricity: An app designed to help school-age children learn the basics behind the concepts of Magnetism and Electricity. With a selection of animations, experiments, and mini games, it's nice way to try and get kids interested in science. [£2.49]

 

Android Apps

Web PC Suite: Everybody hates wires. They get in the way, and use up valuable USB ports. But USB cables are the only way to mass organise your device's data, aren't they? Not any more. Web PC Suite allows you to connect your device to your computer wirelessly with the magic of QR Codes. We saw something similar a few weeks ago with Superbeam, but that was limited to file transfer. Web PC Suite lets you access and organise all of your device's files from a browser without the need for an annoying wires. All you need is a Wi-Fi network and you're good to go. [Free]


mac.remote: This one is designed to be easy to use, but at the same time providing a great user experience. Straight out of the box you can control a number of programmes on your Mac, including iTunes, VLC, Spotify, Quicktime, and iPhoto. But customisation is key, and you can add control to other programmes, or custom commands. mac.remote is free from ads for five days, after which you can purchase the ad-free version or submit to a sometimes-necessary-evil. [Free]


Booktrack: An e-reader with a twist. Booktrack contains thousands of books, each with their own customised soundtrack. That's right, you can read while listening to music that has been specifically chosen to go with the book in question. With thousands of titles, ranging from full novels to collections of poetry, this is a must for any literature fan. [Free]


Schedule XD: An awesome scheduling app that's designed to keep track of lessons, while looking nice and shiny. You don't have to be a student to use this, you can use the app to keep track of other things like business meetings. There's an automatic mute, so you don't have to remember to turn the ringer off; note capabilities so you can keep track of everything; and support for multiple timetables in case you're a busy person who needs them. [Free]


Play to Cure - Genes in Space: Apps that help advances in medical science are becoming more and more prominent, and that's not bad thing. Genes in Space is designed as a fun way to get people involved in Cancer research. The game itself is a cover, and by playing you are inadvertently analysing gene sequences and locating cancer causing genes, leaving researchers time to use this information to develop appropriate treatments. [Free]

 

Windows Phone Apps

Latté Locator: Everyone has to feed their addictions, caffeine is no different, and Latté Locator is the best way get step-by-step directions to the nearest Starbucks outlet. Claiming to be more accurate than the maps Google and Bing have to offer, it's a great way to get yourself a tasty hot beverage. A new update includes integration with Nokia HERE to make it a little bit easier to feed your habit. [Free]


CloudSix for Dropbox: Dropbox is one of many services that hasn't officially made the leap to Windows Phone, so people have to make do with the offering of third party developers. Cloudsix has everything you want from a Dropbox app: view and manage your files, as well as backing up the ones on your phone. [Free]


Theory Test UK: It's the bane of the learning driver and sadly doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, the Theory Test. Unfortunately it's also not the kind of test you can wing your way through, practise is key to getting that coveted pass. Theory Test UK has an extensive database featuring all of the questions that may crop up on your test, and mock tests, all to help you prepare. Sadly there doesn't appear to be any Hazard Perception included in the app, so you'll have to learn that elsewhere. [£1.49]


Spartan Runner: If there is anything Windows Phone does best, it's unofficial/third party apps. Spartan Runner is a fan-made Halo game, taking the form of a side-scroller. Fight your way through seven levels with eight weapons, two vehicles, and a jetpack, to kill all the Covenant. [Free]


Rayman Fiesta Run: Another side-scroller featuring the French's answer to Crash Bandicoot. There are 75 levels to run, jump, and punch your way through and three bosses to defeat, it should definitely help you pass the hours. [£1.99]