The Week's Top Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows Mobile Apps

By Tom Pritchard on at

Most of the time when people pack up their stuff to move, they realise they have an awful lot of crap they don't need. I'm find of finding the opposite: I don't have anywhere near as much crap as I thought I did. I still have plenty of it, mind, but a lot less than I realised. Or I just happened to have hoarded enough boxes to not notice.

But enough about that, let's take a look at the mobile apps that hit the interwebz over the past seven days.

Android: Public Speaking for Cardboard (Free)

Everyone could do with practising speaking in public, regardless of how confident you are in the situation. Sadly the opportunity doesn't present itself very often. Luckily you can get all the practice you need, thanks to the wonders of virtual reality. Public Speaking for Cardboard lets you talk through your speech/presentation/whatever in front of an interactive audience, so that you can improve your technique for the time when you'll be speaking in front of a real audience.

Right now you have the choice of two different audience sizes: a 300+ person audience with you standing on a stage, or an 11-person business meeting in a fairly typical conference room. Rooms with 50 and 25 people are coming, but aren't available for use just yet. The general idea here is that you have the opportunity to get to grips with public speaking in front of an appropriate audience size.

The audience isn't just sitting still, either. Some aren't paying attention, others are fiddling around, and there's background noise as well – all to simulate the kinds of things a real audience might do. Nothing so severe as someone jumping up and screaming at you for no reason (I'm sure that has happened to more than one person), just basic things that could easily happen to everyone.

All of that's well and good, but what really gives this app the edge is the option to load in your own slides, so you can practise your own presentations in front of the simulated audience (instructions available here). This is a great addition, since standing up and saying nothing isn't something any of us need to practise. There's also a timer, so you can be 100 per cent sure you're not going to go over your allocated time.

The only downside here is that the audience can't give you any feedback, but the developers say they're working on a feature that lets you record and playback your own voice for feedback. Obviously you also need a Cardboard headset to be able to use this to its full potential.

You should also try:

Image Gallery for Reddit: Reddit's a great place for sharing images, but Reddit itself doesn't have the best layout. This app lets you scroll through all imagery without dealing with the masses of text normally associated with it. Just be aware that it's still a beta app. [Free]

Talkey: Forget having to write out your text responses, Talkey will analyse the message and offer up responses for you. It's compatible with SMS, WhatsApp, Hangouts, and Facebook. [Free]

Guides by Lonely Planet: A travel companion app that lets you talk to your phone and get a proper understanding of the city that you're visiting. [Free]

iPhone: Sloth - Task Manager (Free)

There are hundreds upon hundreds of task management and to-do list apps out there, each offering their own special way of making you productive. Sloth, on the other hand, takes things straight back to the basics, using the motivation of a deadline to get you working.

The premise of it is simple: you add things to the app's list and tell it how long you have to get it done (in multiples of 5 minutes). After pressing the start button, a countdown begins for you to get things done. Once that timer runs out, a small alarm sounds telling you that you should be done and it's time to move onto something else. It's quite simple to use, and the minimalist design means there's nothing too distracting hidden within.

It might seem like a glorified alarm clock, and I suppose it is really. Then again, as any good procrastinator will tell you, working against a deadline is a great way to kick your arse into gear and get things done. It's also a handy little tool for limiting your time doing something, so you don't lose track of time and end up doing something mindless and arbitrary for longer than you intended.

You should also try:

Gett: (Update) The black cab app Gett is back with a brand new service to enjoy. Now, provided you live in London, you can send and receive parcels. Delivery is promised within an hour, and collection within 20 minutes – prices start at £6. [Free]

Playlist a Day: This one sends you a new Spotify playlist, specially curated for you, every single day. That way your music collection stays nice and fresh, and you don't get bored. [Free]

Airmail: The ever-popular customisable email client for Mac has just made it to iOS. [£3.99]

iPad: RBS 6 Nations Championship (Free)

The 6 Nations has officially begun, and those of you with even a passing interest in rugby will want to keep on top of things. For those of you with iPads (or indeed iPhones), there's no better way to do it than with the official app.

Inside is everything you need to keep track of things, the main brunt of it being devoted to fixtures and scores. That's what has kept on the homepage, and right now I can easily and quickly see that over the weekend France beat Italy, England beat Scotland, and Ireland drew with Wales. The next game if France vs Ireland, which is set to take place at 14:25 on Saturday afternoon.

That's not all, though. The app also has a portal dedicated to news, in-depth match data (once matches are over, obviously), information on the six teams, the league table, and even a competition to win yourself tickets to an upcoming game. Unfortunately the app doesn't have any way of letting you watch the games, or indeed information on where you can actually watch them.

It's all fairly standard of any sports app, but invaluable for any fans/gamblers who want to grab onto every small detail.

You should also try:

Day One 2 Journals + Notes: A journalling app built around putting logs together with text and images. Also comes with a mapping service and a built-in calendar. [£3.99]

7 Minute Workout: (Update) Everyone has seven minutes to spare for exercise right? Right. That's what makes the 7 minute workout so great. It's just been updated too, and now has 38 workouts and 200 exercises.

Windows Mobile: Cover - Comic Reader (Free)

If you're big on reading digital comics rather than mucking up the paper ones with fingerprints, you'll need some way of reading them – regardless of where and how you obtained them. Comics aren't like ebooks, so you can't just open them up in any old reader, generally you need something specific. If you're looking for that, Cover is a nice little option for you.

The great thing is that there are a couple of different ways to pull in your comics. The main one is, naturally, loading them onto your phone's storage and find the right folder. The other is linking the app to a Dropbox or OneDrive folder and download specific files as and when you want them.

Once stuff is in your library, you get to see what's there and how much progress you've made reading them. Like any good reading app, it saves your place, so you don't need to worry about remembering where you were. Remember when bookmarks were a serious thing? How far we've come since then...

It's nice and hassle free, so if you need something to read digital comics on a Windows 10 device you're good to go.

You should also try:

6tag: (Update) The unofficial Instagram app tends to get better update support than the official one, and this week it's just had a small boost that lets you log in with Facebook. [Free]

Truecaller: (Update) Well known for its crowdsourced CallerID system that lets you spot nuisance calls ahead of time, the latest update brings with it VoIP calling, number tagging, quick blocking, and the option to see blocked text messages. [Free]