Oof. Things are not looking good for Samsung are they? First the Note 7s were exploding left, right and centre, then the replacements followed suit, now production of the phone has been halted altogether. I have wondered whether fast charging has anything to do with it, since that is a sure-fire way to overheat your battery. Then again most of the phones we hear about were not plugged in when they went kasplam.
So if you have a Note 7, go and swap it for something else. The Galaxy S7 doesn't blow up does it? Anyway. Let's take a look at all the new apps you can download on your phone that isn't likely to blow at a moment's notice.
Android: Surfy Browser (Free)
The web browser is where most of our online activity comes from, whether that's on mobiles or desktops. There are times when you'd want to keep your browsing habits secure, in case, erm, you want to buy someone a present. Yeah let's go with that. You could always use incognito modes, but there's another option.
Surfy Browser is your typical run-of-the-mill web browser, with a key difference: it has a security passcode to keep snooping eyes away from your internet history. It's nice and simple really, you open up the browser's settings menu and set up a passcode just like you would with any mobile device. Unfortunately you're only allowed a numerical passcode, so don't expect patterns of fingerprint recognition
From there, any time you open up the app you'll need to enter the passcode to get in. If you forget it, well tough. You'll need to uninstall and reinstall the app from scratch.
Surfy also has a private browsing mode in case you're extra paranoid (it can also be turned on by default), a feature that reads webpages aloud, a desktop mode, a night-time dimmer, a speed mode that optimises webpages (and saves data), and all the other things any good browser needs.
You should also try:
Autobud: Think of a fitness tracker for your car journeys, and you have AutoBud. It helps your perception of time by tracking all sorts of data and visualising it for you. It seems silly, but it's a good way to make sure you're driving your car in the most efficient way possible. [Free]
Anchor: It's like a mini-radio station, letting users send out short audio clips to a global audience in just a few seconds. [Free]
Lyreka: A community based around song lyrics, with full lyrics for a multitude of songs and discussion about what they actually mean. [Free]
iPhone: ScreenMeet (Free)
There are a lot of ways to get your iPhone's screen mirrored to other devices, but ScreenMeet makes it incredibly simple. There's no need for any extra hardware or software, just a web browser. The app generates a link that you give out, and anyone who uses it gets to see what's going on on your phone.
Unfortunately it's not full mirroring, so you can't broadcast, say, Netflix over to another machine. Instead ScreenMeet has its own built-in applications that are compatible. These include a web browser, a document browser (which only seems to work with iCloud), a photo gallery, and the phone's camera. It might not seem like a lot, but there's a lot of versatility here. Browsing files means you should show off presentations without a projector, showcase videos, and so on.
You can even livestream video, in a way, using the camera mode, though doing this is rather laggy and reduced quality to the rest of the app. As you might expect there is a discernible lag between actions on the phone and what shows up on screen. It's not particularly bad, but it's definitely noticeable. The quality is good, however, and the whole thing is free and so simple a child could use it.
You should also try:
LinkedIn Learning: A tool from LinkedIn, making sure people can learn all the essential skills they'll need to get themselves employed. It's got courses in business, tech, and creative skills. [Free - with subscription]
GoGoBot: One if you're going travelling, sorting out a list of things you can do (and places you can see) using your interests, time of day, local weather, and location. Not being bored has never been so easy. [Free]
Prisma (Update): Prisma is known for all the filters it can slap on your photos, and now it's brought that feature to video. Just in case a realistic shot is too disappointing for you. [Free]
iPad Duolingo (Update - Free)
The thing about learning a new language is that you have to practise it if you want to get anywhere. A lot of apps let you converse with real people, but Duolingo is taking advantage of the current chatbot craze to give you the option of practising your conversational skills without any possibility of embarrassing yourself in front of a real person.
The chatbots have their own dedicated tab in the Duolingo UI, which unlock after you've completed three skills in a particular field. That means until you finish at least three of Duolingo's quiz-style tests, you won't be able to speak to anything. Which makes sense, since your understanding of the new language will need to be more than rudimentary for it to be of any use.
But once you unlock the bots, you've just opened up some real-life conversation with a bot that responds and behaves like a human being, letting you practise as much as you like.
You should also try:
WiFox: Tired of rubbish, slow, insecure airport Wi-Fi? You're in luck, because WiFox has security keys for Wi-Fi networks in airports across the world. [Free]
Google Maps (Update): Google's mapping app rolled out a bunch of improvements this week, making changes to the widget and improving location information across the board. [Free]
Life Calendar: A journaling app with a slight difference. Rather than encouraging daily entries, it focuses on making a memorial of your whole week with a single entry. [Free - with in-app purchases]
Windows: Singuler: Duplicate Removal Tool (Free)
It's important to keep space free on your machines, and one way you can do that is ditch all the duplicate files you might have knocking around. But instead of forcing you to go through every single folder manually, Singuler takes all the hard work out of it.
It's all very simple. You set up the folders that you want scanning, and then which files you specifically want it to look for. It has a few defaults (music, videos, and pictures), but for the most part you need to tell it which folders to scan through. That's easy enough, and is functionally no different to finding a folder you want to save files to.
That's pretty much all there is to it. Once your parameters are set, you tell Singuler to scan everything and if it finds any duplicates it'll make sure you know about them. From there you can delete the files without leaving the app, open the file location, play the files in the software of your choice, and so on. All easy to use, and infinitely useful.
The only downside is that you can't toggle the folder criteria each time. Instead you have to manually add each folder every time you use it.
You should also try:
One Tap Reminders: A quick and easy way to make sure you have all the reminders you need, without having to spend three days sorting them out. As the name suggests, all it takes is a tap. [Free]
SpeedTest.net: The official Windows 10 app from Ookla, letting you keep tabs on your internet speeds without having to use a browser, or a rubbish mobile site. [Free]