You know, I think I must be dreaming. Windows Phone owners will know that app support on the platform is atrocious, but if you only were looking this week you wouldn't have thought it. For the first time in forever, I'm spoilt for choice throwing together the Windows apps. Enjoy it while it lasts, kids.
So what have you Windows fanatics got in store? Let's find out, but first iOS and Android.
Android: Xcerpt for Twitter (Free)
Some sing praises about Twitter's 140-character limit, since it stops people from posting essay-length statuses. But sometimes you need to say more than Twitter will allow. To avoid huge chains of updates, Xcerptlets you get around it my posting a text-filled image instead.
It's actually quite cool in how it works. You have two options: pasting in text, which automatically pulls whatever you have copied in the clipboard, and screenshots. The screenshots thing is particularly cool, since Xcerpt will process them in such a way that you're then able to highlight the text in the image a variety of different colours. It does require you to use a source URL so people can check out the original, though. That link is included in the final tweet, just in case anyone was wondering.
From there it's nice and simple. You get to preview the final result, and without having to leave the app you can post it to your Twitter timeline with a comment. Though, since adding pictures and links to tweets does use up some of your character limit you don't get to write the full 140 characters. But why would you need to, since you have the image to do all the extra talking for you.
You should also try:
This is a video chat app that makes it easier to have meetings without being in the same room as people. Built for Skype and Hangouts, it turns your phone into a video camera and lets you share documents and visuals with everyone involved. [Free]
DC All Access: An app showcasing the very best DC has to offer, including TV, films, and comics. It has news, exclusive comic previews, rewards, and even offers on DC content. [Free]
Tapete: Are you a fan of wallpaper, but not a fan of the usual designs? Good news! Tapete actually lets you create your own wallpaper designs in the app. [Free]
iPhone: Monogram (Free)
Apps have a great many ways for professionals to showcase their stuff, and Monogram is the latest offering. So what makes it different to the multitude of other, similar, apps out there? Simply because it lets you showcase pretty much everything you want. Links, text, media, social media profiles, you name it. As our good friends at Lifehacker put it, it's like a CV and portfolio combined.
It looks a bit confusing at first, but it's actually pretty easy to use. You create different tiles that each have a different piece of information (like your email address, or Twitter handle) and they get laid out into a grid format. Design of that grid is up to you, with a choice of laying it out horizontally or vertically (you know, in the typical grid shape). It's all pretty basic, and relies on you adding a single thing and deciding where each tile will go.
Once it's been created, obviously you get to share it with whoever you want. Send by email, text, to social media, or wherever. The recipient then gets to open up your grid in their web browser, and navigate through the grids to see what you have to offer. Nice and simple, really.
So if you're looking for something better to showcase yourself and/or your work, this is a great option.
You should also try:
Ulysses Mobile: A powerful word processing app for the Mac and iPad that's now available on the iPhone. It's simple, and has iCloud integration so you can use it on all of your devices. [£14.99]
Shorts: An app that lets you follow your friends, but rather than seeing a profile or statuses Shorts has you following their Camera Rolls. That means you can see what they snap, what they record, and so on. Better hope nobody's been sexting. Awkward... [Free]
Today: A habit tracker that lets you create custom dashboards for each tracker, integrating all sorts of information and data to help you along the way. [Free]
iPad: Confide (Free - with subscription)
Have you ever sent a message and then immediately regretted your decision? Confide has your back. Any email you sent can be deleted, as long as it remains unread by the recipient. So as long as someone isn't great at checking their notifications, you can bring back all those drunken messages.
That's not all, though. Each message you send has end-to-end encryption, and they self-destruct after someone reads them. That means nothing gets left lying around, and the recipient can't save them or pass them onto other people.
So how does it work? Pretty much like every other messaging app out there, you can invite friends, and you can send messages with images or files attached. Retraction is done by clicking the message before the other person has a chance to read it, though you need to subscribe to Confide Plus for the privilege. That's £1.49 per month, and doesn't appear to have any other features for the time being (apparently more are coming in future).
Reading messages isn't exactly simple, though, and it's clear that security is a big factor. You can't screenshot, but even if you could it would be useless. To read what you've been sent you have to drag down through the message and reveal a single line at a time. The same goes for images, and once you close the message it's gone for good.
A lot of what Confide has to offer is similar to other apps, but the fact that you can't see the entire message in one go gives it a bit of extra security - and is bound to appeal to people who really value that sort of thing.
You should also try:
Viki: Wikipedia is great, and this app simplifies the whole thing to make it much easier to use (and nicer to look at). It even has a feature that lets you see Wikipedia articles about nearby places. [£1.49]
Workflow (Update): Workflow is a fantastic app that lets you automate processes on your device in the form of an app icon. The latest update now includes image automation, text conversion, and more. [£2.29]
Wayfair: A shopping app that gives you instant access to furniture and home décor, with everything to match your style preferences and budget. [Free]
Windows Mobile: 2000AD (Free)
The granddaddy of the British comics finally has a place on Windows, giving you access to 2000AD's back catalogue (plus all the latest releases) ready for you to buy and read. So it's the perfect place to catch up on the exploits of the likes of Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, the ABC Warriors, and all the other classic comic series.
Just a note, if you want this to work correctly you will need a PDF reading app on your device. Luckily it warns you of that fact when you first load it up, and by accessing a downloaded comic from the app you get automatically redirected to the PDF app of your choice.
At first glance it does seem as though you don't have access to the entire back catalogues of 2000AD's archives, since individual issues of the magazine (and the Judge Dredd Megazine) only date back to 2002. That's not great, until you realise that you can buy any of the collected graphic novels that include that seemingly missing content. The only real downside there is that you have to buy whole volumes, so if you only wanted one or two specific issues you'll be forking out a fair bit of cash.
You also get to subscribe to 2000AD and Judge Dredd (£80 and £42.59 per year respectively), which gives you access to future releases and a number of back issues.
The major disadvantage is that the app doesn't have every single 2000AD franchise/series. Most of the big names are there, and it seems to include every single Judge Dredd story you could ask for (as you'd probably expect), but the smaller things aren't there. No Halo Jones, no Shaun of the Dead, no Ace Trucking Co, and so on. That's really weird, since most of the missing stuff is available to buy digitally from the 2000AD website. There's also no search, but since there isn't much content to have to sift through that's not such a huge issue.
Plus, like every digital comic and book Rebellion sells, all the stuff you download from the 2000AD app is completely free of DRM. So it's yours to do with as you please.
You should also try:
Instagram (Beta): Yep, Instagram finally makes it to Windows 10. Which is a good thing, and might explain why the Windows Phone 8 app has been ignored for so long. Let's hope this doesn't end up without updates for months at a time. [Free]
GAME Reward: The ever-lasting video games retailer's reward scheme is now easily accessible to Windows devices. Use it in place of a reward card in-store, shop online, and even find out more information about a game by scanning its barcode. It even has easy access to the Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo online stores. [Free]
Point4Pic: If you want to geotag your photos, and let everyone know where they were taken, you can with Point4Pic. Provided, of course, that the app you used doesn't do that already. [Free]