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

By Tom Pritchard on at

Considering how many apps I have to download, I'm always amazed that I can do my research on my laptop and click a single button to have them download on my devices. Android has it, iOS has it, and Windows Phone had it. I say had, because it looks like Microsoft has ditched that with its new unified store. Windows apps have that feature, but not Windows Phone.

So sorry Windows Phone users, you're going to have to to a little bit of extra work if you want to download any of this week's apps. Everyone with Android and iOS carry on as normal.

iPhone Apps


mapstr: Mapstr helps you keep tabs on your favourite locations. It's your own personal map where you can tag places you like, and keep track of everything. It could be a restaurant, a shop, or your friend's house. You can even share them with your friends if you feel like it. [Free]


Pocket: Pocket is a handy little app for saving articles, videos, and other web content for later offline viewing. It's had a nice update that brings it in line with the Android version, and now has text-to-speech. Now you can also set it to read all your saved articles for you when your eyes are otherwise engaged, like when you're walking or driving. [Free]


Bee: If you're in an app and you want to send an email, you generally have to scroll through a big list of names before you can. Bee gets around that, and lets you find your email contacts from a designated favourites list or by starting to type their address. [Free]


HotUKDeals: If you're looking for deals, there aren't many places better to check out than HotUKDeals. The official app has just been updated, bringing with it a brand new design, iPhone 6/6 Plus optimisation, offline support, private messaging, and better alerts so you know what bargains are happening straight away. [Free]


Failpop: If you're off travelling round the world it's worth brushing up on the customs of your host countries. Failpop is a comprehensive guide to local customs around the world so you know how to meet people, what to eat, what to wear, and how not to epically fail. [Free]

iPad: 


Coda for iOS: This one is a portable text editor, and it's just had a huge design and function overhaul. In addition to offering a fully comprehensive text editor, which is also suitable for coding, it's had a slew of new features. There's a brand new UI, cloud syncing, an javascript playground for experimentation, new protocols, dual file browsers, and more. [£7.99]


Feeday: If you're an Instagram user you don't always have the time to keep checking your feed for updates, so why not stick Instagram into your notification centre? Feeday is a today widget that does exactly that, saving you the hassle of opening the app yourself and ploughing through the mediocrity. [Free -- with in-app purchases]


Camden Market: I thought I'd been to some weird places, then I went to Camden and realised I didn't know the real definition of the word. But Camden does happen to be the home of the much-loved Camden Market, and this app will help you find your way around. Whether you're there for food, fashion, or music. [Free]


Steve Reich's Clapping Music: Steve Reich is a man best known for creating songs entirely out of claps. That was in the '70s. Now in 2015 he's back with an app that uses that music to challenge you to play along. There are three levels of difficulty, and you clap along to help improve your own personal rhythm. [Free]


BBC iPlayer Radio: The BBC's radio app has had a nice hefty update, and now you can download entire programmes for offline listening. That basically means that the entirety of the BBC's radio services have become your own personal podcast network. [Free]

Android Apps


Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile: Microsoft's Hyperlapse app has been available in beta for some time, but now it's finally got a stable release that anyone can download without joining a G+ group first. It's a very simple tool: you film your video and then use the app to condense it down into an ultra-fast hyperlapse video. Nobody wants to see the video of your 12-mile hike in its entirety, but a hyperlapse is something else. [Free]


Pushbullet: Pushbullet is an incredibly useful tool, and now it's just ad an update that turns it into a fully functional desktop texting service. Texting has existed with Pushbullet for a while, but now it gives you full access to your contacts and text history as you'd see them on your phone, rather than just the stuff you've sent and received since you hooked your phone up to it. You don't even have to worry about linking them either, it's all done automatically. [Free]


Plex: Everybody's favourite media server app has just had an Android-based update, and that comes with a few changes. It now has a Material-inspired design, updates for selecting playback quality, better MP4 playback, and much more.  [Free -- offers in-app purchases]


Trring: Your lock screen is generally sitting around doing nothing most of the time, so why not put it to good use with quick-access to your favourite apps? Trring is basically speed dial for your apps shaped like a rotary phone, and you get to customise it to send you straight to whichever apps you want easy access too. No longer will the quick launch icons be exclusive to the phone and camera. Be warned, it does mess things up if you keep your screen locked. [Free -- with premium purchase]


WifiMapper: Unfortunately most networks won't give us unlimited data anymore (bastards!), so the public Wi-Fi hotspot is ever so important. WifiMapper maps out the free Wi-Fi hotspots in your vicinity, and uses Foursquare to let you know what's in the general vicinity. It also has the Android exclusive feature of viewing your connection history, and how well those hotspots performed. [Free]

Windows Phone Apps


Hotspot Shield Free VPN: VPNs are all the rage these days, despite the fact that David Cameron doesn't seem to like them very much. Hotspot Shield has just launched on Windows Phone, and should sort you out for all your mobile VPN needs. Whether you're trying to avoid being snooped on or just want to 'geo-pirate' the US Netflix catalogue. It takes one button to turn on and off, and promises banking level encryption and IP hiding to keep you all safe and secure. [Free]


Pocket Physics: Physics was always my downfall at school, it's basically just maths and I was never very good at that either. We didn't have smartphones when I was doing my GCSEs, but apps like Pocket Physics would have made revision so much easier. It covers most physics formulae, and comes with descriptions and images to make it easier for you get your head round things. Perfect for figuring out the laws of motion, regardless of your education level. [Free]


Twins or Not: They say that everybody has a double, and if you're always being told that you look like someone then you might want to get some machinery to check it out. That's where Twins or Not comes in, and all you need to do is upload a picture of yourself and your would-be lookalike. So now you can use science to back up your claims of looking like a young Tom Cruise. [Free]


Lockie: A lockscreen customisation tool, Lockie is a way for you to add a few useful bits and pieces to your lockscreen so that you don't have to go through the process of opening up your phone and finding certain apps. Add notes, RSS feeds, weather forecasts, your calendar, and more. [Free]


4castr: Recently the weather has been a bit...inconsistent, to say the very least. Will my umbrella fly away? Are the Routemasters safe to use? Is the golf going to get called off? Enter 4castr with its dynamic live tiles, weather alerts, and custom icons. It's been updated, so now it has rain alerts, customisable 'quiet' periods, moon phase data (for all the werewolves out there), and long with a bunch more weather-relevant information. [Free -- with in-app purchases]