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

By Tom Pritchard on at

The weather is going absolutely ballistic recently, with 'spring' arriving alongside a bout of erratic weather patterns that has included sporadic periods of thunder and hail. Yet five minutes later, the sun rears its ugly head as if nothing had ever happened. With that going on I've barely left the house, which means plenty of internet research for your weekly dose of apps.

 

iPhone Apps

Cloak: Stylising itself as Incognito Mode for real life, Cloak is a fantastic anti-social-network for those of you who don't want to be disturbed in public. Cloak scours the realms of Instagram and Foursquare to keep track of people in your life who you'd rather not run into: whether it's a disgruntled ex, the dodgy bloke in the pub that you owe money to, or people you just plain don't like. [Free]


Firechat: Here's an interesting one, a messaging app that is "off the grid" -- i.e. it works when there's no data or phone coverage available. Before you get all excited this isn't the kind of app that will let you converse with your mates in Australia, this is restricted to the local area. But if you're in an area with sketchy signal, like a festival or a sports stadium, then it's a rather useful (and easy) way to stay in touch with your friends. Of course you can always start conversations with randomers, whatever floats your boat. [Free]


Flying: Let's face it: travelling is a massive hassle, especially if your flight has been delayed, or worse cancelled. Flying is an app that will, first and foremost, keep track of your flights and give you up-to-date information. Should something happen that gives you the right to claim compensation from the airline, Flying will let you know. The app will also keep track of your travels, and present them in a very pretty visualisation that you can then show off to your friends (and hopefully make them jealous). [Free]


Survey Monkey: For those of you who didn't know, Survey Monkey is a website dedicated to surveys (funny that). The new app allows you to do everything you can in the browser: create your own surveys and distribute them across social media channels, check your responses, and analyse the data. Whether it's to measure customer satisfaction, collect research data, or any number of other things, it's a useful app to have. [Free -- with optional subscription]


Thesaurasize: It's a Thesaurus, there isn't really much more +to it. Thesaurasize claims to be the largest collection of synonyms in the English language, and it's available right there on your phone. With daily updates to the content and a stylish purple dinosaur as a logo, it's well worth a look. [Free]

 

iPad Apps

Fridge Poems: Did you ever have those magnets that you could stick onto the fridge and string together a sentence? They even made an erotic version for those of you who never matured past your teens. Well now it's available on the go in the form of Fridge Poems. Use your imaginary magnets to create your own literary masterpieces/abominations (mood dependant). The app has recently been updated and scaled-up for those of you who prefer to work from your iPad. [Free -- with in-app purchases]


Next for iPad: Next is a way to keep track of your finances, in an easy to use and visually appealing way. Whether it's recording how much you're spending on shopping, bills, or all of them combined. Next has been available on iPhone for a while, but this version of the app has been designed specifically for the iPad. Don't worry if you've been using the iPhone version either, both now have iCloud integration so you can transfer between devices whenever you need to. [£1.49]


DIY Sun Science: A cool little app funded by some little known people at an organisation known as NASA (no, I haven't heard of them either). DIY Sun Science is designed for families and classrooms so that to children can learn about the Sun. With activities, videos and even live satellite images of the sun. A must for budding astronomy enthusiasts. [Free]


Cuckoo Corner: A Tamagotchi style game, where you raise your very own Cuckoo chick. Raising your Cuckoo will earn yourself gold coins which you can then use to buy your pet toys and decorations. With two additional mini-games to play, this should be a good way to spend some of your time. [£0.69]


The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends: If you don't remember The Very Hungry Caterpillar then you had a poor childhood, that or you're over the age of 45. This is a 21st century update to the classic children's book that utilises 3D pop-ups. There are eight mini-games and activities that will teach young children skills, like counting and sorting, without them even realising it. [£2.99]

 

Android Apps

Metal Gear Solid V: GZ An app to provide a second screen experience to the latest offering in the Metal Gear series -- Ground Zeroes. Acting as a support terminal, it lets you view maps and call in air support. Away from the game it can also be used to read game-specific intel and to listen to the soundtrack. [Free]


uPod light: A new podcast player built around the Google experience. There's cross-device synchronisation that records your position between devices, automatic downloads, subscription management, and Bluetooth support. If you're a fan of podcasts then this will definitely make your life easier. [Free]


Link Bubble: A mobile browser specifically designed for mobile devices and makes opening links much much easier than it is in some browsers. Have you ever opened a link from an app and had to sit and wait for it to load? Link Bubble will load it in the background so that you can continue doing whatever you're doing until it's ready. Find an embedded YouTube video? Link Bubble will redirect you to the native YouTube app. If you've ever found mobile links to be a pain then this is one for you. It even totals how much time you've saved. [Free]


Maps Measure: An interesting concept, a function that is well overdue. Maps Measure will allow you to measure distances and areas in Google Maps. Just click two points and Map Measure will work out the distance between them. Perfect for planning out your own routes if you feel like a wander. [Free]


Run Blob Run: An infinite runner that seems to have taken some inspiration from Flappy Bird. In this one you take control of the eponymous Blob in an attempt to jump as far as possible. To make things interesting you also face the challenge of coloured lasers that require you be travelling a specific way (red is up, green is down) in order to pass through. [Free]

 

Windows Phone Apps

Office Lens: Designed to act as a scanner you can carry in your pocket, Office Lens is used to take picture of your surroundings and then turn them into an editable document. Whether it's a brainstorming board in a business meeting, a classroom blackboard, or even something as simple as a shopping list -- Office Lens and OneNote integration will make sure you always have them with you. [Free]


BBC Good Food: The official app for the BBC's cookery magazine, Good Food is here to give you a great selection of recipes to spice up your culinary life. Only 20 recipes come free with the app, but there are literally hundreds of other available to purchase. With the likes of beef & beer pie, slow-cooked pork, and lemon drizzle cake, this is well worth looking into. [Free]


F1.com: With the Formula 1 season well under way, the motor sports enthusiasts among you will be wanting to keep themselves up to date with race results and developments. F1.com is there to keep you informed with the latest Formula 1 news without the hassle of search for it for yourself. [Free]


Photo Lab: Applying filters to photos is all the rage these days, and there are hundreds of apps out there that have included filters as an editing option. Photo Lab isn't just a case of applying a single filter and pretending you're an artist. No, this one lets you apply two filters on the same photograph, opening up a whole host of new combinations for you to try. [Free]


Argos Stock Checker: The closest thing you can get to an Argos Catalogue in your pocket, Argos Stock Checker is the ideal way to browse the stock at your local Argos store. Unfortunately you can't actually buy or reserve anything, but if you're on-the-go this sure as hell beats using a browser. [Free]