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

By Tom Pritchard on at

As some of you might have noticed from the AMA, I spent a significant amount of time building a Lego pirate ship this week. It's now finished, proudly sitting on my desk and taking up a lot of space. Seriously, I forgot how big this thing actually was.

Not that I'm complaining, the cost of Lego these days is so high that you better get your money's worth. Sadly the building process is over, which means I have to get back to actual work, so here is this week's best apps for you to peruse.

iPhone


Roald Dahl Audiobooks: The author's classic books for children are available to listen to on the iPhone and iPad, with 19 stories read by a selection of famous people including Kate Winslet, David Walliams, and Stephen Fry. With music and sound effects, it's a great way to relive the tales. Plus, it's compatible with Ford's App-Link so you can listen to them in the car whilst keeping your eyes on the road. The first five chapters of each book are free, then you have to pay for the rest. [Free -- with in-app purchases]


Grabble - The Fashion Finder: A nice way to find millions of fashion items from all your favourite shops and brands, whether its clothing, bags, hats, sunglasses, you name it. The way to think of this is Tinder for shopping. See something you like? Swipe right. See something you don't? Swipe left. Easy, quick, and effective. [Free]


Stopcast: Getting around London is relatively simple if you have to use the Tube, but if you need to catch a bus then it becomes a bit trickier remembering when and where it'll arrive. Stopcast is an app that will let you save the routes you need and keep you up-to-date with what's going on. One simple screen will tell you roughly when the next bus will arrive, all in-app or in a new widget. [Free]


SwiftKey Keyboard: iOS 8 has brought one big advantage to the world of iPhone: third- party keyboards. SwiftKey itself is one of the most popular options from Android, bringing its unique predictive texting over the the iPhone. SwiftKey adapts to the way you type by learning your typing style and offering you more-accurate auto-corrections and intelligent word prediction, which makes your typing faster and more efficient. [Free]


Zenmate: A VPN that's designed to keep your stuff secure, while unblocking various sections of the internet through proxy servers located in five different countries. This is good for whether you want to watch a foreign version of Netflix, access websites blocked by UK ISPs, or just want to make it harder for people to snoop on your online habits. [Free -- with subscription]

iPad


Omnifocus 2 for iPad: An organisation app that brings task management to your fingertips. It's a simple tool that's location aware, with flexible viewing options, and on-the-fly task entry. Not only that but it also syncs to your own server meaning everything is available on all of your devices. It may be expensive, but if it's pretty in-depth so it could be worth the money if you need something to help your organisation. [£20.99]


Carrot Fit: You might remember this one from about a year ago. Carrot Fit is a snarky fitness bot that taunts you into losing weight. Imagine if HAL was more motivated on people keeping fit than it was in killing astronauts, then you'd have Carrot Fit. But don't worry, it's not horrible; it's taunting is actually rather funny. It's available on the iPhone as well as the iPad, so you don't have to use it on a (relatively) small iPhone screen if you don't want to. [£1.99]


Seasonal Cities: The thing about travel apps is that they usually provide a general overview of places across the year rather than what's going on at any given time. Seasonal Cities is designed to give you a overview of cities' seasons around the world with updates coming every three months written by resident travel journalists in each of the 11 cities. [Free]


Storehouse: A cool way of combining your videos and photos with text to create your own stories in the app. You can import those from your iPad, Dropbox, Instagram, and Flickr, and once your videos are done they can be shown off to your Storehouse followers, and shared via social media. [Free]


Leaf on the Wind: Sadly this not a game related to the beloved science fiction character Wash, of Firefly fame; this is a game where you blow leaves around the map by poking the screen with your fingers. You just have to make sure to avoid the obstacles such as fire, water, and even man-made machinery. There are 30 levels to play through, so there's plenty to occupy yourself with. [£1.99]

Android Apps


Adobe EchoSign: It's been lagging for a while, but digital signatures are a fast-growing feature on a lot of mobile platforms. EchoSign is a way for you, and others, to sign documents instantly. Not only that, but you can also send them to other people and track them so you know document's progress. This is optimised for tablets, but it will also work on your phone. [Free]


Castround with Twitter: Twitter is a fantastic platform, especially for tracking news in real-time. The issue is filtering searches it to a specific thing. Sure keywords are useful, but they don't always get you what you want. Castround is a nifty little tool that will show you a real-time view of what's going on in a particular area so you can find out what's going on in the places that matter to you. [Free]


OneNote for Android Wear: OneNote is Microsoft's note-taking platform that syncs across your devices, and note-taking is a great advancement of the smart-device era: allowing you to make a record of your musing wherever you are and having an automatic backup in the cloud. OneNote for Android Wear is functionally the same, the difference being that it's on your wrist and the notes are recorded with voice recognition rather than text input. [Free]


Horizon: I've talked about the iOS version of Horizon before, and now this important tool has made it to Android. The key feature of the app is that regardless of how you hold your phone, the camera will always record video horizontally. We've all had to suffer through the god-awful vertical videos on the web, and hopefully apps like this will fight back. [Free]


Tunnelbear VPN: VPNs are all the rage these days, what with the extra security they offer and the fact that they can unblock various websites that we wouldn't normally be able to access. Tunnelbear functions much like any other VPN to help secure your data in a simple, easy to use way. [Free]

Windows Phone


6cret: From the maker of other unofficial Windows Phone clients like 6snap, 6tin, and 6tag, comes 6cret -- the unofficial app that brings Secret to Windows Phone. Share your secrets with the world anonymous and securely. Got a dying need to tell the world that you have an unnatural obsession with cheese? Give 6cret a go. [Free]


Insteon for Hub: Insteon devices are a way to upgrade your home into more of a smarthome. The app itself will allow you to control those devices and let you sort out what's going on in your home. It also has Cortana integration, meaning you can actually control your home with your voice. [Free]


Photo Mic: Want to make your own comics? If you want the basics then Photo Mic will provide you with the tools and templates to create your own comics. Use photos from your own gallery to craft your own tales and forge your own visual stories. [Free]


Robo Form: A password manager that automates the entire process and means you'll never have to worry about forgetting your passwords ever again. This is an updated version that will help you generate passwords and craft online identities for added security. [Free]


Tubecast Pro: An app that is designed to let you cast YouTube from your phone onto a number of different devices to enhance your viewing experience. Devices include the Xbox One, Chromecast, and Smart TVs. You can also download them to cast at your leisure, regardless of internet connection. [£1.49]