Well would you look at that, it's June. The month of summer, E3, festivals, and impossibly hot weather. Oh god the weather. The problem with hot weather isn't that it makes it much harder to work (thanks, lack of air conditioning), it's that you have to open the windows. As we all know, open windows lets all sorts of unsavoury things into your house. Old cigarette smoke, burglars, or worse - spiders. I've had it with the motherf***ing spiders getting into my mother f***ing house. They're a pain to catch, and a pain to get rid of without making a mess.
Why isn't there an app for that? Someone make an app for that. In the meantime, here are some other apps that do not keep creepy-crawly things out of your house.
Android: Sleepcast (Free)
So when you're setting your alarm you're usually restricted to a single alarm or tone that comes through your phone's speakers (unless they're physically connected). What if there was another way, a better way? That's what Sleepcast hopes to accomplish, letting you create playlists for your alarms and have them beamed to whatever speaker you own wirelessly.
On the surface it looks just like any other alarm clock app. You add new alarms by pressing the big '+' button, and then the time and days you want it to go off. The difference is that rather than choosing a single tone that you're going to learn to loathe, Sleepcast lets you create your own custom playlists using the music locally stored on your device. You just flick through a list, and tell it which tracks you want to include. The only downside here is that it only sorts the music by artist, rather than having the option of having all the songs in a single list. Small gripe, though.
Once your playlist is saved, and you've selected it, it's time to choose the sound system. Simple stuff here, anything in the immediate area that your device can connect to wirelessly shows up in a list – be it Bluetooth, or whatever other wireless standard your system uses. Just pick it (or opt to play through the phone's speakers) and you're nearly good to go. All you have to do after that is fiddle with the playback settings. Things like fading in, toggling shuffle on and off, and so on.
It's a great little app, and it's surprising that there aren't more alarm clocks that let you use playlists instead of individual songs or alarms. It's a nice touch, and mixes things up when you wake up each day. Plus, it's free, so there's that.
You should also try:
Noisli: The background noise app that's been so popular with iOS users has made the jump to Android. It generates all sorts of soothing noises to help you keep your mind on work and stay productive, or fall asleep more easily. [£1.49]
Vapor for Twitter: A Twitter app that is also 100% compatible with Instagram, Vine, and SnappyTV. That means you can play content from those three services that's been posted on Twitter without having to head into a separate app. [Free]
NordVPN: A VPN specifically designed to unlock content from all over the world. It's got more than 550 servers in 50 countries, so you should get round those pesky geo-blocks in no time. [Free - with in-app purchases]
iPhone: Morning Mail (Free)
Sorting through your inbox is a bitch, especially if you're just logging in after some time away. Morning Mail aims to make it much easier using swiping gestures that every app seems to be using these days.
It's really very simple, you load up the app and it'll bring up all your unread emails. From there you have three options: swipe left to delete, swipe right to archive, and tap it to read it. Easy, right? That's the point. It means you don't need to spend hours every day sorting through your emails and deciding what you need to do with them.
It's not all Morning Mail has to offer, though. Obviously you can head back to your archived emails, and check out anything in your inbox that you haven't deleted yet. You can also add multiple mailboxes (if you pay extra) so you can sift through everything at the same time.
That's pretty much it. It's a basic offering, but if you're looking for a better way to deal with your emails this is certainly one to check out.
You should also try:
Freeletics Nutrition: A digital coach that creates an eating plan according to your own personal needs and goals. [Free - with subscription]
Sherbit: An app that visualises all the data different apps and services use about your daily activities - all so you can better understand what your data means and how you can put it to good use. [Free]
Glastonbury Festival 2016: EE's official app for this year's Glastonbury Festival, complete with the full line-up, an interactive map of the festival grounds, and the ability to listen to sample clips through Deezer. [Free]
iPad: Festvl (Free)
Festival season is upon us once again, and so it's about time you had the tools to keep track of all the big ones happening in the UK over the next few months. Reading/Leeds, Download, Glastonbury, V, etc, they're all in there. If yours is not, however, you can suggest it to the devs.
Festvl is designed to be a complete guide to the festivals in question, so tapping them takes you a summary focusing on the headline acts, popular bands, attending, news, a map of the grounds (if it's available), and local weather. Obviously there's also a full schedule, which you can filter by day and stage, so you can see what's going on and when.
Since we're talking prep there's also a checklist (default, and custom) so you remember to pack everything, and the option to add different bands and artists that are performing to your schedule. Speaking of which, each band has their own page complete with links to their music on iTunes and Spotify – along with other schedules they're performing at and bands that produce similar music.
It's not all about pre-festival prep either. Festvl lets you mark specific spots on-site so you can get back to important points. Finding your tent, a toilet that isn't totally full by the end of day one, and so on.
Finally, since you're going to be off in a collection of fields somewhere with limited access to phone signal, you can download the content for entire festivals so that you can still access everything offline.
So, if you're heading off to one or more festivals this summer, this is one app you shouldn't be without.
You should also try:
Charm: A tool for organising your Twitter feed, more than mere favourites and lists can offer. Set up articles to be read later, playlists of music you find, collections of saved tweets, and more. [Free]
Pennies: The ever-popular app for managing your finances has now made it onto the iPad, all to make sure you know how to budget well without it being a massive pain [£3.99]
App in the Air (Update): The personal flying assistant recently got an update, and with it comes automatic check-in, loyalty programme tracking, and more. [Free]
Windows Mobile: Hacked? (Free)
It's terrifying how often things get hacked these days, so if you want to keep an eye on all your accounts a bit more closely this is the app for you. Available on all Windows 10 devices, it will detect when your email addresses are involved in a breach and make sure you know.
Sounds complicated, right? Hardly. All you need to do is enter your email address (or addresses), and Hacked? will do all the leg work for you. If there has been a breach, then it'll pop up on the main screen and tell you which information has been affected. For instance, my email address was involved in an Adobe breach in 2013, a MySpace breach in 2008 (back when anyone cared about MySpace), and an Avast(!) breach in 2014. That's right, an internet security/anti-virus company got hacked. That either shows how bad Avast is, or how good the hackers are, but I digress.
The only other feature Hacked? has is account monitoring, and when that's enabled it'll check your email hasn't been involved in any new breaches every 12 hours. If it has, you'll get a notification. So it's a nice simple way to keep your accounts free from the prying hands of hackers everywhere.
You should also try:
Viber: The popular VoIP service is now available on all Windows 10 devices, which is handy since people can't ring you over the net if you don't have the app. All the important bits – messaging, voice calls, and video calls – are all here too. [Free]
CCPlayer Pro: A universal app for video playback, one that doesn't need any sort of video encoding. So it can pretty much play anything. [£1.49]
PicsArt (Update): One for full-scale photo editing, so you're not just slapping a filter onto it and claiming that it's a great piece of art. PicsArt has just had a hefty deign update, so now's the time to get it downloaded. [Free]