Fire is an incredibly fickle thing, it has a number of incredibe uses yet it's so dangerous it borders on ridiculous. I say this because I spent some time hacking away at vines growing up the side of my house and couldn't help think that it would be easier to just grab a lighter and an aerosol can.
Sadly I quite like having somewhere to live, so I had to use a hacksaw instead. It's yet another thing there still isn't an app for. Someone better get to work on that, you'd make a fortune.
Ping: We live in an age where we have so many different forms of communication it gets confusing. Facebook, texting, Snapchat, Twitter, and so on. Wouldn't it be nice if there was something nice and simple for us to use? That's where Ping comes in. Ping is a simple tool that lets you send one type of communication: a ping. It's a bit like a nudge, and only you know what it means. Just make sure you tell your friend ahead of time so they're in the now as well. [Free]
The Economist Espresso: There's a lot of news out there, and you don't have time to read it all in full. That's why The Economist has developed Espresso, a morning briefing delivered to your iPhone that tells you what's going on in the world that day. There are three editions, America, Asia, and Europe, and they each come with a £2.49/month subscription. Or you can read one free article per day. [Free -- with subscription]
Sleep Better: A good night's sleep is incredibly important, so if you're not getting the rest you need then you should probably find out why. Sleep Better is a way of tracking your sleep quality, determining how your sleep affects you during the day, and a dream diary so you can remembers what your subconscious has shown you at night. Just download it and stick your phone next to your bed. [Free]
Sky+: The Sky+ companion app that allows you to control your Sky+ box from anywhere in the world, provided there's an internet connection. Gone away and realised you've forgotten to set The Simpsons to record? Just sort it out in the app. The big change now is that Sky will let you beam photos from your phone to your Sky box via this app. [Free]
Timista: Your free time is precious, and you want to make the most of it while you have it. That's why you should give Timista a try. Timista is a tool that lets you find events, restaurants, and other leisurely activities in real time so that you can make the most of your time off and do something enjoyable. It'll then plot them out so you can keep track of everything. Sadly it's only working in London at the moment, but if you're in the capital then you know how you're going to spend your weekend. [Free]
Molecules by Theodore Grey: A sequel app to 'The Elements' which I covered a little while back, this is an interactive book that teaches you all about molecules. There are 14 chapters to work through, with 500 videos, and 348 different molecules for you to fiddle about with. Stretch them, squeeze them, heat them up and see what happens. [£9.99]
Monzo: We live in the 21st century, so you don't want the hassle of making models in real life. You might get paint on your hands, shock! Ok, in all seriousness making models is tricky, you only have one go to not ruin it and they do take up a lot of room. That's why Monzo is rather handy, it's all digital so you can make many models without making a mess and without ruining the final product. [Free -- with in-app purchases]
McLaren: In case your F1 loyalties mean you prefer not to here about the other teams then you might as well give this a whirl. Everything you need to know about the McLaren team is right here, whether it be news, videos, images, or behind the scenes exclusives with the people behind the drivers and the cars. [Free]
Mind Node: Putting your ideas into practice isn't easy at the best of times, but it's even harder when you try and store it all in your brain. Mind Node is designed to make visualising your ideas much easier, offering a place for your brainstorms and your ideas to come together in a coherent fashion. [£6.99]
Bitcoin Billionaire: Ah bitcoin, the currency that enabled a CEX marketing campaign and many an illegal transaction (among other things). Bitcoin Billionaire is very similar to Cookie Clicker, you tap the screen and generate bitcoin, which you then spend upgrading your lair with various bits and pieces. [Free -- with in-app purchases]
Primer: If you have a business or you run a startup and you have no idea about the world of marketing then you might want to give Primer a try. The app will teach you the basics of marketing in five-minute levels with no nonsense and zero jargon. Currently there are lessons on content marketing, PR, and search engine marketing. [Free]
Gmail: Google's own email app has had a pretty big update, bringing with it a complete design overhaul and ushering in another presentation of Google's Material Design. It's also got the added bonus of having all your email accounts in one handy place. [Free]
Twitch: The games streaming channel has had an update on Android, bringing with it a few cool little things. There's now a new following section listing all activity, channels, and games, an updated profile with a follower count and views, and the option to enable the broadcast title in your settings. [Free]
minube: When you go on holiday you tend to take far too many photos, and if you're not great at the organisational side of things then you will eventually forget where they were from. Fortunately minube can you help you out in that respect. The app will identify where your photos were taken, and allows you to add your own little travel tips. Plus it has lots of other features that help you organise your holidays: it hotels, restaurants, points of interest, and more.
Workout Trainer: Help get yourself into your ideal shape with thousands of different workout programmes to help you achieve your fitness goals. You have personal trainers in-app who will guide you through them all, step-by-step using photos, audio, video, and encouragement. You choose the area you want to focus on and it'll act accordingly. In fact the only shape it can't help you get into is round. Be warned, some workouts are free, but you'll to pay for some of them. [Free -- with in-app purchases]
Windows Phone Apps
UC Browser: UC Browser is one of the better Internet Explorer alternatives available on Windows Phone, and it's just been updated. This update includes some privacy boosting features like an incognito mode, and the ability to clear your cookies and stop the unscrupulous folks from using them to track your browsing habits. It also has predictive URL input and the option to turn off slide gestures. [Free]
Office Lens: The app that essentially functions as a scanner for real life has had an update, and quite a useful one too. There isn't a lot too it, but now Office Lens is able to process images much faster than it could before -- especially useful if you have one of the cheaper devices. [Free]
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion: It is that time of year again, so if you plan on some serious Call of Duty playing then you may need a companion app to help out. There's clan management, in-app multiplayer called Clan Wars that lets you win in-game loot, and an emblem editor. [Free]
6Sec: Good news for all three of you who use Windows Phone, because the trend of '6-apps' is continuing by bringing Vine to Windows Phone in an unofficial capacity. Now you can create your own six-second movies, watch other peoples, and explain to others what the whole point of Vine actually is. [Free -- with in-app purchases]