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

By Tom Pritchard on at

There's always that dilemma when you buy cheap tech. You know it won't last very long, but the fact that the thing you need only costs 50p means you're tempted to buy it anyway. Even then you kind of expect it to last a decent amount of time, and not fall apart when you unplug it from your tablet. This may or may not have happened to me yesterday.

But that is life and we must continue onto greater things. Speaking of which, let us delve into this week's list of app-centric goodness.

iPhone Apps

Manything Home Security Webcam: If you want to make sure you have a video record of what's going on in your house at all times, you don't have to purchase an expensive security camera. Manything will utilise IFTTT recipes to turn an iPhone into a security camera; activation can be set to occur on sensing motion, when you leave the house or a host of other functions. It can also be streamed to any other internet-connected iOS device. [Free -- with subscription]

Periscope: Twitter's answer to other live-streaming services, Periscope is a way for you to live stream whatever you feel like broadcasting and announcing that fact via your Twitter feed. You can also chat with your followers and receive 'hearts' which let you know just how popular you are. [Free]

Transistory: We've all had that conversation with someone we're trying to meet. "Where are you?" "Over by the green shrub, where are you?". Obviously it can be a hassle, so why not use the lovely GPS technology science has given us? Transistory lets you send a destructible email link to your friends with your exact GPS location. Even better, the recipient doesn't even need Transistory for the system to work. [Free]

Layout from Instagram: Just snapping a picture and adding a filter is fairly boring, what if you wanted to add some extra flair to your photos? Layout lets you remix photos and throw them together in a number of different collage combinations. Best of all? You don't need an Instagram account for it to work. [Free]

Horizon: That magical app that prevents people from filming wretched vertical videos is back with a huge update. It's now free (with a £1.49 premium version), and has a bunch of new video capture tools. That includes 2K resolution, 60 FPS, slow-motion, and more. [Free]

iPad Apps

Parkopedia: Looking for parking is one of the most irritating tasks imaginable, and often the internet isn't a particularly helpful because it's not up to date. Enter Parkopedia, an encyclopaedia of thousands of parking spaces in 52 countries. This will let you look up opening times, prices, and that coveted location. Best of all the information is all crowdsourced, so it should be fairly up-to-date. [Free]

Woodpost by Fuzel: A digital screen isn't always the best place to keep photos and messages, but by printing them onto wood you can creating great lasting memories. Doing that yourself is tricky, so you can skip that and order it directly through the Woodpost app. Worldwide shipping is free, and prices start at $8/£5.40. [Free]

Retrospecs: Tired of all these promises of 4K and x number of unnecessary megapixels? Want to go back to the days of retro imagery with actual pixels? Retrospecs will take you back to the simpler times, allowing you to see what your photos would look like on the games consoles of the '80s and '90s. There are many different bits to tweak, and once you're happy you can save it to show your friends. [£1.49]

Swifty: If you want to create apps for iOS or OS X devices, then Apple would rather you conformed and used the Swift coding language that it came up with – none of that riff-raff they use on other systems. If you're a total novice, Swifty is the place you can go to in order to start learning. There are over 200 lectures covering everything you need to learn, all in one handy place. The first chapter is free, but you have to pay £2.79 for the rest. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

The Trace: If you're fond of the murder mystery genre, then you might want to check this out. The Trace puts you in charge of a murder case, and you need to solve puzzles and decipher clues in order to uncover the perp. It's mostly about the forensics, so you get to examine the crime scene and scan hundreds of different items to try and track down the evidence you need. [£3.99]

Android Apps

Atari Fit: It was announced a while back, and it's actually here now. Atari Fit aims to give you an incentive to do some exercise, by rewarding you with points that you can spend on classic Atari games. Those games in turn allow you to unlock extra exercise routines. Exercise is important, but it can be hard to stay motivated, so this system could be a great help. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

UltraTuner: Tuning apps are handy, but they're not quite the same as using a dedicated tuner for your instruments. UltraTuner wants to be the next best thing, promising a system that's faster, smoother, and more responsive than other tuning apps available. Musicians need to tune up their instruments on a regular basis, so why not just use something that you carry around anyway? [£2.99]

Action Launcher 3: I've covered Action Launcher 3 before, and it's just had a hefty update with new functions and designs added into the mix. The app is primarily focused on making access to your phone's apps and settings as quick and easy as possible, which just got even more useful thanks to fully customisable gestures and shortcuts. On top of that there's also Android 5.1-style dock indicators, and a Google search overlay. [Free]

drupe: There are so many different ways of getting in touch with people these days – too many in fact. It's especially annoying when you have different tools to talk to different people, so why not bundle them all together in one place? Drupe will keep all your contacts in one place, and lets you set your preferred method of communication which you can access with a swipe of the screen. [Free]

LinkedIn Job Search: LinkedIn has a variety of uses, and one of them is the ability to search for jobs. The main LinkedIn app has a lot going for it, but if you'd rather have a streamlined job searching experience then this is one to try. In addition to searching by field and location, you will also get recommendations and notifications based on your searches. [Free]

Windows Phone Apps

Taxify Beta: If you're not a fan of services like Uber and their *ahem* questionable policies, then there are plenty of alternatives out there. Taxify is one of them, letting you request one of many ranked taxi drivers with a simple tap of your phone screen. [Free]

Camera360: One of the more popular camera apps for Windows Phone, Camera 360 has just been updated with new features. Those new features include Cortana voice commands (Cortana, take a selfie), noise reduction tools, and a range of new filters. [Free]

Telescope for Periscope: Twitter released Periscope for iOS devices this week, but not on other platforms. But Windows Phone users are used to being ignored by devs, so a third-party version is already available on the platform. Telescope is a live-stream service, but in this initial version you can't broadcast yourself. You can, however, log into Periscope and watch other people do their thing. It's not much, but it's something. [Free]

Simplify: Sometimes you can't be dealing with going into menus and apps to perform basic tasks, so Simplify brings them to the homescreen an automates the process for you. So whether it's sending the usual "on the way home" text, emailing yourself reminders, or calling a particular person. [Free]