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

By Tom Pritchard on at

Sometimes it feels like there's nothing more frustrating than a shoddy internet connection, especially when it's always that same ISP. Ok, maybe it's worse when you can't do anything about it due to everything being bundled into monthly rent payments. It's 2015 now, and we can't really live without the internet. I just can't wait for the day I can ditch the landline and use 4G/5G as my standard connection.

But enough about my problems, nobody cares about those. It's time for your weekly dose of mobile appery.

iPhone Apps

Office Lens: Shockingly not everything is digital these days, and you need to make some sort of record of physical objects -- be they whiteboards, documents, and whatnot. Office Lens does that for you, and uses the camera to convert them into editable Word and PDF documents. It used to be a Windows Phone exclusive, and now you can find it on other platforms. [Free]

Moleskin Timepage: Calendars are all samey and generally quite boring, so if you want something with a bit of style you should try Moleskin Timepage. Timepage brings all your calendars into one place, and syncs them with weather forecasts, maps, and contacts for your convenience. Plus it looks great! And it works on your Apple Watch, if you have one, you big show off. [£3.99]

Pext: Sometimes words aren't enough, and sometimes reaction GIFs and images need a bit more context. That's where Pext comes in, a tool for combining the two and sending them off to your contacts. It's basically meme generation, but designed for sharing with other people directly. Plus hashtags. Everything needs hashtags these days. [Free]

Pixelmator: Since it launched on the iPad last year, Pixelmator has proven to be one of the most popular and versatile image editing apps available on iOS. The iPad-less people out there will be happy to know that it's now available on the iPhone, meaning you can enjoy all the tools and functions Pixelmator has to offer on a slightly smaller screen. [£3.99]

Twicer: So you've made a video, but you want to add a bit of context to it. Some explanation of what's going on, or just some thoughts and musings. Rather than recording it separately and editing it in later, why not use Twicer? Once you have your video recorded/imported, Twicer lets you record a commentary that will play alongside it. You can even add commentary to other Twicer users' videos, and share everything you make with your friends. [Free]

iPad Apps

Korg iM1: It's not the first time Korg has brought some of its iconic music generation tools to the iPad, but it's certainly one of the most in depth. This app can be used as a MIDI module, and comes bundled with 33,000 different sounds. It's not cheap, but if you're serious about making music on a tablet then it's one of your best options. [£14.99]

Juilliard Open Studios: The Juilliard School in New York is a prestigious academy offering schooling in the performing arts. This app takes you on an inside tour of the school, giving an insight into the process of training performers of the future through monthly videos. [Free -- with subscription]

Tempo Video Editor: One of the things about having an iPad is that you can get some work done on the go. Obviously if you're into video editing then you need something to accomplish that. Tempo isn't a fully fledged video editor, but it does let you create your own slow-motion and time-lapse videos on the go. [Free -- with premium purchase]

Keeper Password Manager & Digital Vault: We can't remember all of our passwords all of the time, and we need all the security we can get these days. Keeper does both of those things, as well as offering a safe place for you to keep your precious files. It's just had a big update which includes something called Keeper DNA. That means you can use your other devices to help bolster your security verification. [Free -- with subscription]

Teach Yourself Photoshop Elements: Photoshop Elements is a slightly cut down version of Photoshop, but that doesn't mean it's that much easier to use if you're a total rookie.  Teach Yourself Photoshop Elements has a set of 50 videos that will enable you to learn the fundamentals of Photoshop Elements at your own pace, and edit your photos in style. [£7.99]

Android Apps

Inbox by Gmail: Inbox is Google's second major email-centric app, designed to keep everything organised for you without you having to put any serious effort into it. It's also got a blue colour scheme, in case you weren't fond of Gmail's red skin. There's great news if you were never able to get an invite, as following Google I/O Inbox is now open to everyone. [Free]

Shazam: We all know Shazam by now, the music identification app that makes cheating on the pub quiz music round as easy as tapping the screen. It's had a very big update, meaning you can now use the app to identify imagery and unlock QR codes to access a whole new world of interactive content. It's also available on Android Wear, integrates with Google Now voice commands, and has been optimised for Lollipop. [Free]

Opera Max -- Data Manager: If you want to make your data allowance last as long as possible, this is definitely one for you to try. Opera Max is more than just an app for monitoring your data usage carefully, it also offers you the option of compressing media in all your apps and across the web. It promises to help you get 50 per cent more out of your data allowance, even going so far as to stating that a 10MB video can be compressed down to 3MB. That means everything should load more quickly, which is pretty useful for everyone -- even if you have unlimited data. [Free]

Periscope: On-the-go live streaming is now officially "a thing", and streaming from your phone even more so. Plenty of options have been available on iOS for a little while, but now they're popping up on Android too. Periscope is Twitter's offering, letting you stream events from your device's camera publicly or privately, as well as letting you save clips for later viewing. [Free]

SMS+: All phones comes with SMS built in as standard (what would be the point otherwise?), but standard offerings are always very basic. SMS+ is something to try if you want to add some extra functionality to your texting experience. There's a quick reply system in the notifications box, the option to schedule tweets ahead of time, a 'secret box' where you can encrypt certain texts for optimal privacy, and the option to block people from texting you. [Free]

Windows Phone Apps

Microsoft How-Old: A little while ago Microsoft launched its 'How-Old' web app, which attempts to guess how old someone is from a picture. It wasn't very good, and thought I was 47, 32, and 26ish. In any case Microsoft has decided that it's the perfect thing to turn into an app, so it did. Just load in a picture and it'll tell you the age it thinks the person in it is. [Free]

Gloomlogue: A lot of apps are focussed on filtering your photos these days, just changing the shade to make them seem 'artistic'. Gloomlogue does something similar, but it turns your photos into 'gloom paints' in the process. Well I say similar; there are a bunch of extra customisation options thrown in, but the fundamentals are the same, turning your photos into something more akin to a painting quickly and easily. [Free]

OneDrive: Microsoft's cloud service has just had a small update which comes with a nice big feature: Cortana integration. Now you can use Microsoft's virtual assistant to search through your saved files. No more flicking through menus like some sort of iOS/Android toting peasant for you. [Free]

Tesco Calling: If you're planning on communicating internationally, there are a lot of options available to you. If you're sticking with calls and texts, then you might want to give Tesco Calling a try. It promises free international calls and texts directly from your mobile, with £1 free credit when you sign up. [Free]