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

By Tom Pritchard on at

I am not particularly looking forward to Christmas. Maybe it's the fact that I have to spend it at my grandparents' house in the middle of nowhere, maybe it's just because I'm a miserable git who doesn't want to be forced to spend time with my brother, or possibly because I'll be stuck with my family for three days with no means of escape. Curse you public transport closures.

At least this week's apps aren't reminding me of my impending familial interrogation where I have to explain what my job is again.

But that's enough of the grumbling, I have found a great batch of new apps to see you through the inevitable opened-all-your-presents-so-now-what Christmas downtime. Onwards!

iPhone


NENX: Playing the stock market is a long game, so what if you could make a quick gamble in the short term? That what NENX is, it's a gambling app that lets you bet on whether stock will go up or down over a set period of time. [Free]


FishBrain: I've covered FishBrain before, it's an app designed to make fishing easier for angling enthusiasts. There's a new feature called 'FishBrain Forecast', which reveals the optimum time you can find the biggest and best fish. It's using science, so you know it's good. [Free]


Tripnary: An app dedicated to creating your travel bucket list by collecting all the places you want to see and helping you plan your trips there. You can browse through the local attractions, and even compare air fares to save yourself a few quid when you decide to cross something off the list. [Free]


Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings: Relive the Star Wars prequel trilogy by reading, racing, and battling your way through all three films. There's also plenty of original art to browse, and podracer racing to quell your fast-paced fix. [£0.69]


Plotagon: Writing a script isn't easy, but if you do write one, having your work visualised could be a great tool. Plotagon does that, to a limited extent, showing off a 3D animation that acts out your script. It's been out on the iPad for a while now, and now it's just made its way to the iPhone. [Free]

iPad


Toca Kitchen 2: A game for kids, meant to unleash their culinary creativity as they cook food and feed their virtual guests. They have five tools and a variety of foods to choose from, and it's up to them to prepare everything in the way they see fit. Maybe they'll fry up some salad, or juice the burger. There are many ways to do it, so who knows what they might do? [£0.69]


Duet Display: You might have an iPad sitting around at home not doing much. Maybe it's good for watching videos in bed, or perhaps reading books and comics. If you want to add some extra use to your iPad, try Duet Display. The app lets you use your iPad (or iPhone) as a second display for your Mac if you plug it in via USB. Why spend money on a fancy monitor, when you have a perfectly good device right there. [£10.49]


iPlayer Radio for iPad: Forget digital radio, who needs that when you can stream radio directly to your iPad? iPlayer Radio lets you do just that so you can take full advantage of your licence fee and listen to the Beeb's many radio stations. [Free]


4oD: We all know 4oD, and its extensive back catalogue of Channel 4 and E4 programming for us to enjoy. There has been an update, and now you can actually stream 4oD to your TV via HDMI and Airplay. It's only a small feature, but now you can enjoy on-demand Channel 4 content on a big screen without too much faffing about. [Free]


My Om Nom: You may know Om Nom as the adorable sweet-eating monster from Cut the Rope, and now you have to take care of him. It's your typical virtual pet affair here, you have to wash him, feed him, and play with him to keep him happy. There also a bunch of mini games to play, and a house to decorate. [£2.99]

Android


Minuum Keyboard: This one is a smaller keyboard that takes up much less space on your screen, and has an advanced autocorrect that means you can type quite poorly without things going wrong. It's been updated with a Material Design-style interface, and the aforementioned improved autocorrect. [£1.10]


Indiegogo: Everyone's favourite Kickstarter alternative, but on your Android device. You can keep track of campaigns you've pledged to, find new campaigns with personalised recommendations, and share it all with your friends. All the best bits of Indiegogo, in a nice easy-to-use mobile interface. [Free]


HTC Video Chat Enhance: Video chat is great, but it isn't perfect. If you are an HTC phone owner who enjoys using video chat on regular, or even occasional basis, then Video Chat Enhance is something to try. It's compatible with most major video chat apps, and tracks your face to keep it in frame all the time, lets you share your screen so you can show someone something, as well as letting you draw notes and annotations for the other person to see. [Free]


Impossible Draw: This one is designed to test your drawing skills with a number of different challenges. You are taken to a computer-esque digital space, and to progress you have to mimic something on screen by drawing it. Sound simple? It's not, the point is that it's supposed to be challenging, even with the most basic shapes. [Free]


IFTTT: IFTTT has a massive number of things you can do, by following the basic principle of 'If this, then that'. The Android app is improving on that with a brand new look for IFTTT recipes, improved recipes syncing, and a number of brand-new channels to help you find things that can make your phone more useful. [Free]

Windows Phone Apps


Netflix: I'd be very surprised if you didn't know what Netflix was, and Windows Phone users will be happy to know it's been updated. This update comes with content pinning, better video playback, and Cortana voice-searching. [Free-- with subscription]


GoPro: The GoPro app has had one crucial update this week: those of you with a GoPro Hero 4 can now control it with the Windows Phone app. That means you can take photos, control video recording, and even copy those videos over to your phone to share with the world. [Free]


Fitbit: Anyone with a Fitbit device could do with using this app, but even those without one can use this app thanks to a new update. MobileTrack is a new feature in the app that will estimate your progress using the phones own sensors, meaning you don't always need a Fitbit tracker. Also included is a beta version of Cortana support that will let you log your food intake without fiddling in any menus. [Free]


Duolingo: Duolingo has been praised for its basic-yet-effective approach to learning a new language, and now there are more for you to choose from. Now included in the app is Swedish and Irish, so you have a little bit more choice when learning something new. [Free]


Shazam: Shazam has just been updated with a brand-new design specifically tailored for Windows Phone. That's not all, because it also comes with faster and more-accurate song recognition, faster load times, and Xbox Music integration so you can look up lyrics and buy songs from within the app. [Free]