We are now officially in autumn, with the weather getting colder, the leaves falling from trees, and more rain. Oh god, the bloody rain. If only someone could create a way of using an umbrella while still retaining the use of both hands. And before anyone starts, don't tell me that's called a coat. You know what I mean. I want something that will cover me, plus my legs, feet, and anything I may be holding. Someone kickstart that, pronto.
But back to business, here is your weekly dose of mobile apps.
Android: Bohemian Rhapsody Experience (Free)
Bohemian Rhapsody is one of music's all-time greats, even though it's a very weird song when you sit down and think about it. This app is a celebration of that, thrusting you into the mind of Freddie Mercury for a very trippy way to experience it.
It's a VR experience, but if you don't have a headset you can watch (and listen to) it in ordinary 360-degree video. But with the price of VR-adoption as low as the cheapest Cardboard headset you can find, there's no reason why you can'd enjoy it in virtual reality. It's much better that way, as you'd expect. You don't get the same level of immersion when it's not being watched through a headset.
Think of this as an alternative music video, since the original set-up with four black-and-white faces (revolutionary as it might have been) wasn't actually that interesting. This one is a little bit different, taking you through various sequences that correspond to the different parts of the song. Bohemian Rhapsody is basically five songs in one, so it makes sense that the experience would mix things up in the same way.
Just make sure to take advantage of the 360-degree video, otherwise you're going to miss out on some incredible visuals.
You should also try:
Google Trips: There are plenty of travel organisation apps out there, and now Google has joined the fray. Why use this one then? Because it's able to pull in travel information from your Gmail account, and organise things automatically. [Free]
AutoShare: Tasker is an incredibly handy automation tool, but some of its sharing features aren't universally available. Or rather, weren't. AutoShare brings that very option to all of your apps, and lets you get the most out of what Tasker has to offer. [Free]
Google Play Books (Update): Play Books has a brand new system that analyses your reading habits, and uses that information to recommend books for you to read. [Free]
iPhone: Stoptober (Free)
October is almost here again, and with it comes the annual campaign to get people to stop smoking. So it's time for the latest version of the app to help quitters through the process, and manage to go four weeks smoke free. Whether you're starting today, tomorrow, or last week, the idea behind the app is to make sure you have the resources to get through the month without taking a drag – regardless of how you actually plan to quit the filthy habit.
The app kicks things off by asking how many cigarettes you smoke in a day, and how long it takes you to light up after you get up in the morning. The main interface shows you how many days you've gone without smoking, how much money that has saved you, along with your progress badges that you earn as you hit major milestones.
The main thing for quitters is the app comes with a number of different pieces of advice on how to beat your cravings and make sure you get through the month. First up is the option to create your own motivations, which lets you record the reason why you're giving up in the first place. There's also a bunch of information on how you can take utilise to help you out when the cravings hit, which is key to your success.
So if you want to quit, this is a great tool to have on hand.
You should also try:
Manual (Update): The Raw photo capture app has an update that lets you capture RAW photos in DNG format on iOS 10, as well as improvements to the photo gallery. [£2.99]
Keelo (Update): A high intensity workout programme to help you get fit, whether you're at home or the gym. It's just had a new update, and with it comes a revamped design, as well as integrated warm-up and cool-downs for each session. [Free - with subscription]
Shazam (Update): Updated for iOS 10, Shazam now comes with a lockscreen widget for easy music recognition, and takes advanatage of Apple's new rich notifications by letting you listen, buy, share, and add to playlists from the notification bar. [Free]
iPad: Speedify (Free - with subscription)
This one is going out to a fairly niche audience, primarily those of you with unlimited (or fairly sizeable) data limits. The idea behind Speedify is to use Wi-Fi and mobile data in tandem, always ensuring you get the best speeds regardless of where you are. Everything is done in the background as well, so that you never notice the transition is happening at all.
Speedify functions much like a VPN, diverting internet traffic through servers that are optimised for speed. This also means you can choose which location your traffic goes through, much like the privacy and content unlocking VPNs that are all the rage these days. It's not just countries either, you can actually pick which city you data travels through – just in case that's something you care deeply about.
Now obviously dipping into your mobile data without consciously knowing it is not a good idea, and is likely to see you burn through it very quickly. Thankfully Speedify does let you customise limits (default is 200mb per day and 2GB a month), but the more data you have the more use you're going to get out of it. The free account limits you to 4GB of data every 30 days, and going unlimited costs £23.90 a year, or £3.97 a month.
Speedify also has statistics that show you what's going on under the hood. That means showing how much how much mobile and Wi-Fi data you've use on both a monthly and daily basis, connection speed over time, and more.
So if that unlimited data contract from Three is going to waste, this might be a way to get the most of it.
You should also try:
Privacy Pro (Update): One from the creators of privacy app Disconnect, Privacy Pro disables trackers on your device, in whichever apps and browsers you choose. This is also available on Samsung devices. [Free]
Airmail (Update): This popular email app is being updated for iOs 10, bringing better Siri support, richer notifications, and the option of opening emails directly from iMessage. [£3.99]
Windows: Truecaller (Update, Free)
Tired of all those infuriating spam callers trying to flog web design, or calling out of the blue claiming you've been in a car accident? While it's hilarious to mess with them, it's always better to anticipate who's on the line and just not answer. Truecaller lets you do that, with a crowdsourced contact database that shows you who's calling and whether they're notorious for making nuisance calls.
It's just had a nice update, with a bunch of very helpful new features that'll make the app far more useful. The main one is the caller ID features are available offline, so even if you're stuck in an area that has terrible data, or you've run out of your monthly allowance, you won't be plagued by spam callers.
The new version also has universal notifications (so you can get them on your PC via Cortana), tags that add extra context to your calls, and the option to suggest better names for anyone who rings you.
This is the kind of app that everyone should have, and the new features make it better than ever. Make sure to have it now, and not wait for the big tech companies to copy the idea and implement for themselves.
You should also try:
City Art Search (Update): An app for searching famous works of art around the world, now with 4K image support on devices that have a 1080p display. [Free]
Tweeten: The popular Twitter app is now available from the Windows Store, ready for you to download it onto your desktop/tablet. [Free]
Office Delve: Microsoft's answer to apps like Slack is available on Windows 10 devices, letting Office 365 users keep in touch with their colleagues and keep tabs on the work going on around them. [Free - with subscription]