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

By Tom Pritchard on at

It's a bit shocking how much crap people can accumulate over the years. Not in hoarding way, just things that get picked up and eventually put into boxes for various reasons. Stuff you have no idea how you even acquired. Why did I have a copy of 2012's Guinness Book of Records in my parents attic? Hell if I know.

But sadly there are no stuff-cataloguing apps in this week's list. There are still plenty of other things for you to enjoy instead.

Android: Conscient (Free)

Automation is a fairly big thing on phones these days, and now Conscient is trying to make a name for itself in a market that's already pretty crowded. It's doing that by mixing things up a big, and ensuring you can automate certain actions automatically based on what you're doing at any given point.

The first port of call is setting the context of what's going to set things off. These involve combinations of walking, running, cycling, getting into your car, and plugging/unplugging your headphones. That's easy enough, and once that's ready you have to pick an action, which comes in two different options. The first is launching an app, and the second is a much smaller list of shortcuts. Presumably the shortcuts are going to be the most useful, since that activates specific functions on your phone.

For instance, you can set it up so that when you get into your car Google Maps opens in Driving Mode without you having to do anything. Obviously the options available to you are different based on the apps on your device, but it means you can automatically play your favourite playlist when you're out for a run, get directions, and so on.

It's nice and easy to set up, and the things I was able to test worked without a hitch. Sadly I don't have a car to test how it's able to work out when you get in, but if you're looking for a different way to automate your phone's functions then this is the app to do it.

You should also try:

GeekBench 4: One for checking the benchmark specs of different phones, and comparing them to others available. An essential tool for anyone hoping to upgrade. [Free]

Taskbar: One for Nougat devices, creating a start menu of sorts, with a list of all your recent apps that you can access from whatever screen you're currently on. [Free]

DeskDock: Let's you use your computer's mouse with Android, as if Android was a separate monitor. The Pro version also lets you share a keyboard, and features a drag-and-drop file compatibility system. [Free]

iPhone: ReachOut (Free)

This one is a little bit different. Rather than adding some extra feature to your phone, ReachOut is a support network for people who need help. Specifically people struggling with death/grief, substance abuse, or those who are (or know people that are) suffering from any chronic and mental illnesses. Or you can sign up and offer some help to people, even if you're not currently having any similar issues.

The idea is that you can connect with people who understand what you're going through, and can help you through it, and it functions the same way as many message boards. People leave posts explaining their situation and what they need help with, and the community has the chance to respond and offer them advice on how they should proceed. You also have the option to bookmark any conversations or people that you want to keep tabs on.

There's not much else to it than that, but I'd argue that this is a pretty important app to have around. Especially if you need help now, or sometime in the future.

You should also try:

AUTOsist: One to keep track of all things relevant to your car, including maintenance logs, insurance paperwork, fuel economy data, and so on. [Free]

Pooch: Training resources for dog owners, helping them keep their pet's behaviour in check, teaching them new tricks, and generally strengthening the bond between animal and human alike. [Free]

Airmail (Update): The iPhone version of the popular email client adds an undo send feature, smarter notifications, and countless other little tweaks and improvements. [£3.99]

iPad: Utelly Anytime (Free)

In my circles, streaming is more popular than television. That might also be the case with you. The problem with streaming is that everything is collected in different places, whether that's Netflix, Amazon, iPlayer, or whatever. Utelly's Anytime is an app that lets you stream from all sorts of different services (subscription and pay as you go), in one convenient hub.

It's like any other video-like service, really. There are search features, pre-set categories, personalised recommendations, stuff that's currently popular, and so on. If you've ever used a streaming service before, the way it's set out should be fairly familiar.

If something is available on multiple services (which is usually is), you can choose which one you want to use. For example, if you want to watch Arrested Development you have the option of watching it in Netflix, or paying £15 to access it via Google Play, iTunes, and TalkTalk's TV store. A streaming service opens up the app (provided you have installed, otherwise you get a prompt), and selecting a non-iTunes digital store takes you to a webpage.

The downside is that Anytime doesn't actually tell you what's where before you try and watch it. That means you could find something you want to watch, and find that you don't have an active subscription that lets you watch it. Or that you have to pay to watch it. Thankfully there are filters in the settings menu that let you toggle which services you're interested in.

It's not a perfect system that plays all content in a single place, but if you need something to watch and don't want to have to search through multiple apps, this is a great little addition to your iPad.

You should also try:

MuscleWiki: An app based on the principle that exercise should be simple, letting you hone in on specific parts of the body and delivering exercises that help you work them. [Free]

WoW Legion Companion: A companion app for the latest WoW expansion, letting you use your phone as a 'mission control' of sorts to aid you in your quests. [Free]

Mothershp (Update): One for parents, letting them keep tabs on the household jobs they assign their children, and rewarding them when they're complete. Now with multiple improvements fixes to make life easier. [Free]

Windows Mobile

It's not the first time this has happened, but annoyingly the selection of Windows Mobile apps has been a lot worse than usual. Unfortunately I'm unable to properly use anything that I feel is worth testing, so I'll have to skip that bit. In any case, you might find these three apps of interest:

Matissa: One for altering up your photos in various different artistic styles, and make them look a bit more interesting that they already are. [Free]

VMware Horizon Client: One for accessing and controlling your VMware Horizon 7 virtual desktop and using any of hosted apps therein. [Free]