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

By Tom Pritchard on at

One of the things I seriously hate about American television is the sheer number of commercial breaks they have. I'm sure they can come up with many sensible-sounding reasons why it's necessary, but do you need a three month gap halfway through your series? It's even more infuriating when the English decide it's a good idea. It's not. Anyway, back to things that are actually important: the apps.

 

iPhone Apps

Quip: This is a messaging app with collaboration in mind. Not only does it allow you to contact people, it also allows you to easily share documents and files with them. Since there is also a PC/Mac version of the app, you don't need everybody to have an iDevice to take part. All these things make it perfect for work, academic projects, or if you just want a better way to transfer files about. [Free]


Picamatch: Simply put, this is a mobile version of the game snap. But unlike most card versions, which usually have cartoony imagery, this version has a wide selection of photographic cards showing off rather interesting things. Don't worry if you don't know how to play, the app does have a tutorial that aims to get you playing as soon as possible. [Free]


SKRWT: The folks who made SKRWT realised that there is one thing holding mobile photography back: crooked lines caused by the phone's wide angle lens. SKRWT is here to stop that from happening, and all it takes is a swipe of your finger. There's also some very basic image editing included (cropping etc) to ensure that the final product is the best it can be. [£1.49]


Elevate: Want to work on your mental skills? You might want to give Elevate a try. The purpose of Elevate is to improve things like focus, speaking speed, and processing skill through a personalised mental workout. The latest update has brought with it more adaptive learning functions, and more learning material for free and premium users. [Free -- with in-app purchases]


PDF Expert 5: PDFs are almost at the stage where they're a universal format for document sharing, but the issue is that you usually can't edit them without expensive software. PDF Expert 5 is available to allow you to edit and annotate PDF documents on the go. This version brings the iPhone up to speed with the iPad, offers free-hand annotation and drawing, in-app calculations, and continuous scrolling. [£6.99]

 

iPad Apps

Frozen Karaoke: The sort-of-not highest grossing animated film ever is now available as an iPad sing-along. As well as letting you sing along with your favourite Frozen songs, the app lets you record yourself singing them from scratch. You can then export your recordings to iTunes for listening at a later date. [£5.49]


Romans In My Carpet!: A cool turn-based strategy game where you take control of a 16-bit Roman legion. There are four game modes that let you play against people and computers. One such mode is inspired by the comedic genius that is Monty Python. If that doesn't convince you, I don't know what will. [£1.99]


Bark Buddy: Finding yourself a dog can be a bit tricky. Where do you even start to look? Bark Buddy is there to help you find a dog that's right for you. It's been described at Tinder for dogs, but obviously replaces creepy perverts with adorable pooches. It's possibly one of the easiest and handiest ways to help you find yourself a canine companion. [Free]


The Guardian: I'm going to assume you know exactly what The Guardian is and go straight into the good stuff. This update gives the a brand new shiny design, a smart adaptive layout, a customisable home screen, and the option to follow your favourite writers, series, and sports teams. [Free -- with subscription]


Cook With M&S: One for the regular M&S shopper who is looking to add a little flair in the kitchen department. Functionally, this behaves the same as many other cookery app. The difference is that you can purchase all the ingredients from M&S, and make a note of them with the in-built shopping list apps. [Free]

 

Android Apps

Lookout: Phone theft is a problem, and thieves become wise to new recovery techniques almost as quickly as they're thought up. Lookout's latest update is trying to get one step ahead, by focusing on the common tactics phone thieves use to avoid being detected. Whenever it detects that something suspicious has occurred (like multiple failed passcode attempts) it will send you an email with the thief's picture and the location of the phone. It is important to point out that you will need a subscription for the anti-theft features to work (£2 a month, or £20 a year). [Free -- with subscription]


Gritness: If you're looking to branch out your exercise activities or trying to get motivated, it's always helpful to be part of a group for the social aspect and the support available. Gritness will help you find local exercise groups, regardless of whether you're a runner, a swimmer, a cyclist, or something else entirely. [Free]


Chrome Beta: Google's very own browser has had a bit of an overhaul this week, mostly focusing on aesthetics. There's now improved text rendering on non-mobile websites (handy if you're like me and hate mobile sites), the reintroduction of Google Doodles to the homepage, and improvements to search recommendations. [Free]


Watch_Dogs Companion - ctOS: Companion apps are becoming increasingly common, and I can see the appeal. As you may have guessed, this is the companion for Watch Dogs, Ubisoft's latest much-anticipated game. It's a game in itself and doesn't require you to have a copy of Watch Dogs, but of course you'll get more out of it if you do. Your goal? stop other players from causing havoc and maintain order in the city of Chicago. [Free]


Dragon Quest VII: The eighth instalment of the Dragon Quest series, hailing from the year 2000, is now available on Android. The downside is that it is expensive for an app, but you have access to the full game and there are no sneaky in-app purchases. Let's face it, if you're a fan of the series it's a small price to pay to have it available all the time. [£13.99]

 

Windows Phone Apps

FlickPic: Ever wanted to share a photo but haven't had a data connection to do so? FlickPic is here to help you out. Simply select the photos you want to share and flick your wrist. It'll then share to FlickPic using friends who are within a 20 metre radius. [Free]


iTV Player: Windows Phone users rejoice, iTV Player has arrived! Now you can join the ranks of iOS and Android users with the full set of (formerly) terrestrial catch-up services. You can't seem to watch live TV, but you do have access to the last 30 days of programming from all the iTV channels. [Free]


Salvage: One for fans of dubstep, music games, and spaceships. Salvage is a music game where you have to keep the ship on track to continue throwing out the dubstep soundtrack. Definitely a nice change than just tapping coloured buttons on the screen. [Free]


iPlayer: Live BBC TV comes to Windows Phone at long last! This does mean you lose radio functionality, but the BBC promise that'll come back in the form of a separate app in the near future. [Free]


Files: If you wanted to go rooting through your phone's files without attaching it to a computer you've had to use an app from a third party developer. Those worked fine, but some of you might have been wary of that. Fortunately Microsoft have released their own file viewing app, aptly named Files. There's not much else to it, it'll do the job you want it to do. [Free]