The Week's Top Android, iOS, and Windows Apps

By Tom Pritchard on at

It's less than a month until Christmas, and with that comes an awful lot of annoying stuff to deal with. Present shopping, wrapping paper, Christmas music, and train prices that have been hiked up beyond belief because everyone is trying to fight for the table seats.

At least we have the Cyber Monday deals to make things a bit cheaper, in case you missed the ridiculous number of Black Friday deals. Oh, and we have the apps. Got to love the apps.

Attenborough's Story of Life

Free: Android | iOS

Attenborough is probably the best thing the BBC has going for it at the moment, and it's just released an app featuring the man himself. Story of Life includes over 1,000 clips of wildlife moments, filmed over six decades as part of Attenborough's many nature documentaries. You can find and create your own libraries of clips, some of which were also filmed exclusively for the app.

Bookscanner Pro

£7.99: iOS

This one is quite good, especially if you haven't done a 100% ebook transition just yet. It's a digital scanning app specially designed to for working with books, digitising the text (through the device's camera, naturally) and automatically converting what it sees into ebook format (PDF and JPEG, EPUB, or FB2). It also has built-in OCR that recognises the text for editing and sharing, rather than forcing you to deal with static pictures of words. This is perfect for making backup copies of your real books, or for students to keep hold of important text from those library visits.

Codemurai

Free: Android | iOS

Another app for leaning to code with, with an emphasis on those who are complete beginners, letting you learn multiple programming languages on the go. Codemurai is designed to help you create websites, apps, and games, with gamified features that reward your progress and give you an incentive to keep going. If you want to learn to code, but so far haven't, this might be worth looking into.

Contextual App Folder

Free: Android

Customising how you access your apps is part of what makes Android great, but sometimes you need to get hold of specific apps at certain places or times. Normally you'd have to organise your home screen and folders in a single, set way, but not with Contextual App Folder. The folder brings up certain apps when specific conditions have been met. So when you plug in headphones, music apps will be there. If you're outside the gym, fitness apps will be there, and so on. There are nine specific triggers, and it's all customisable. Finding the right apps has never been easier.

iVideo Greeting

Free (With in-App Purchases): iOS

With Christmas coming, you're going to want to start sending out some sort of card to friends and family. But why go through all the hassle of doing physical things? You have to buy the cards (and hope you don't end up with a surplus), write them out, envelope them, buy the stamps, then take them out to the nearest postbox. iVideo Greeting lets you send professional, personal video greetings cards without all the effort of making everything yourself. Each one costs money ($1.99 converted into English currency), but that's still cheaper than doing a real card.

Network File Manager 10

Free: Windows

One for making it easy to setup and access folders on your home network, regardless of the device you're using. It really is that simple, and if you're sick of not being able to access files and folders from one device to the next, this is the app for you.

Next Up Comedy

Free (With Subscription): iOS

This one is a streaming service for fans of stand-up comedy, offering a curated selection of full-length comedy shows. Included are many household names, alongside a bunch of new talent. It's got offline playback, support for wireless streaming protocols like Chromecast and Airplay, as well as a 30-day free trial. And yes, because there's a free trial, you will need a subscription to keep watching after the first month.

Nexar

Free: Android

These days it's good idea to have a dash cam in your cam, primarily to add some extra security in the event of a car accident. It also might record some hilarious footage that'll get you some YouTube clicks. Rather than buying a separate dash cam, Nexar lets you use your phone as a dash cam. It uses machine learning to work out what's going on on the road in front of you, and takes advantage of your phone's built-in sensors to work out what your car is doing. It even has the option to share the footage via social media, or send it directly to your insurance agent in the event of an accident.