We've had universal phone chargers for some time now (with the exception of iPhones), but where are the universal laptop chargers? I know USB Type-C is coming, but that's not without it's problems. It would be so nice to be able to buy a spare/replacement charger online without having to pay extortionate amounts for the one Toshiba has for sale, and without the uncertainty of whether the cheap one on eBay is the right model. Just a thought.
But enough about that, it's time to get down to business. It's apps time.
Departure Board: A handy app for people who travel by train on a regular basis, Departure Board shows you the departure board signs from train stations across the UK. It'll show the time, platform, as well as where it currently is and when it should arrive where you need it. [Free]
Hykoo: You can turn your videos into mini stories with this one. Hykoo lets you film three short film clips and add text to turn them into a 'hykoo'. There's not much more to it than that, but it's a cool way of sharing your thoughts without resorting to social media. [Free]
POPSUGAR Weddings: Weddings are an enormous hassle to organise, and you need a lot to sort out before the big day. Thankfully apps are there to help you, which is where POPSUGAR Weddings comes in. Whether you need a registry list, honeymoon advice, or even help choosing a theme, it's all here. [Free]
Listen to Wikipedia: If you want some ambient noise to block out distractions while you work, this is a great one to try. Listen to Wikipedia turns every edit being made to Wikipedia into a symphony of bells, strings, and notes in real time. The louder the pitch, the larger the edit. [Free]
7 Minute Workout: Nobody has time for a full gym workout these days, and you still need to keep yourself in shape. Enter the 7 Minute Workout app. While it's hardly a new concept, the app has had some updates. Now it works on the Apple Watch, comes with a new design for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, along with improved iCloud syncing. [Free]
BBC Proms 2015 Guide: We're coming up to proms season, and whether you're a seasoned prommer or a newbie, this app has everything you need to get through the lot. Not only is there a full listing of the performances, you'll find articles about the various composers, information on new music, and even the chance to buy tickets for yourself. [Free]
Travelocity Hotels & Flights: A travel app designed to help you enjoy the best trip possible by letting you book your flights and hotels in one place. It's hardly a unique concept, but Travelocity has a lot of mobile exclusive deals that will help you save money on your dream holiday. For example, you can save 55 per cent on your hotel room if you buy your plane tickets first. Pretty great isn't it? [Free]
Tasty Health: You want to cook outlandish and exquisite meals, but you still want to be able to eat healthily and stop yourself from packing on the pounds. We've all been there, and Tasty Health is able to let you enjoy the best of both. Inside you'll find a wide range of delicious recipes for you to try at home, but importantly they show you all the necessary nutritional information (including levels of fat, protein, and carbohydrates) and ensure that they won't turn you into Jabba the Hutt. [£2.99]
Noodles!: An addictive little puzzle game where you have to connect all the different 'noodles', which look like little pieces of piping. You have to spin them around and make sure they all fit into place. Sound easy? Well it's not. [£1.49]
FreshFeed: Trending Content: There's too much information on the internet for everyone to keep up with, and if you want to keep up with what's popular then you should give FreshFeed a try. It'll keep you constantly updated with trending content from all over the web, ensuring you're up to date with what's cool and hip. It'll even personalise over time to match your own interests. Just be warned, it does require a Facebook account to log in. [Free]
Podcasts To Go (Beta): A handy tool for the podcast aficionados out there, Podcast To Go is a system for downloading, playing, and managing your podcast collection. It's designed to be as simple as possible, which means no pointless features, no fancy colouring schemes, and lock screen playback control. On top of that you'll be notified of new episodes of your favourite podcasts and, if you so desire, they will download automatically. [Free]
Ready Contact List: Ready has been out for a while sprucing up the contacts lists of everyone out there, and now the big 2.0 update is finally here. Now in addition to providing more context to your incoming calls, it integrates with third-party apps (like Viber or WhatsApp), a call bubble for managing calls anytime, and a new flat-design interface. [Free]
Moovit: There's nothing worse than standing at the bus stop for ages waiting for the next one to pop along, especially if the bus stop inconveniently doesn't have a timetable. Moovit is an app that aims to get rid of all that hassle by giving you detailed information on travel routes. This is the fourth version of the app, which comes with new features like searchable transport directions to any place you like, a favourites menu, and live ETA information.
reTxt: Ever sent a text and then wish you hadn't? Maybe it was embarrassing, or maybe you made a grievous typo. With ordinary texting and messenger services there's nothing much you can do about it, but reTxt is different. It's a cross-platform messaging app (iOS and Android) that works exactly like any texting app, except for the fact that it lets you delete or edit texts you've already sent. There are other features too, like the option to leave and rejoin group texts as you see fit, and one-swipe requests for clarification. [Free -- with subscription]
Windows Phone Apps
VLC: Say what you like about the amount of developers who support Windows Phone, but the ones who do provide support are fairly good at updating. VLC hasn't been out for long, and it's got a nice hefty update already. With it comes a selection of new features including a refreshed interface, improved search, Last.fm scrobbling, browsing media from the phone's folders, a back button, and a colour scheme that is more in line with Android and iOS. [Free]
Ticket Wallet: If you're going to be travelling with Virgin Trains East Coast, you can now access your tickets on your phone via this app. All you have to do is sign into your account and you'll be able to access them. It's limited for now, but more updates are planned, including the ability to buy tickets, check train information, and more. [Free]
Video Upload to Instagram: The official Instagram app doesn't let Windows Phone users upload video yet, which I imagine is rather annoying for all the intrepid snappers out there. The solution lies here, with the app that will actually let you do that. It's annoying that you need a separate app, but you can browse your videos and trim them down to share with your followers. [£1.49]
Contacts + Message Backup: You don't want to have your phone die on you one day and find that all your contacts and messages are gone do you? Of course not, we all know what happens when people don't keep backups. This app will augment the existing backup features in your phone, allowing you to save your contacts and messages as a VCF file and store them on your SD card, ready to be restored on another phone in the event of a problem or an upgrade. [Free]
Moneygraph: For some people, it's difficult to keep track of money. Moneygraph is a nice simple way to do so, whether you're a freelancer, a small business owner, or you just need help managing your daily expenses. You can log transactions, manage your different accounts, and create reports to see things in a more analytical light. [Free]