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

By Tom Pritchard on at

Good news everyone, 2016 is nearly over. And Rogue One is nearly here, so hopefully we'll be able to end this shitty high on something of a high note. Then again George Lucas said he liked the film, which isn't necessarily a good thing. This is the same man who gave us the nuclear fridge, Indiana Jones Meets Aliens, blinking ewoks, and Jar Jar Binks. It's about a week off, so I really hope it doesn't suck.

But thing will always trundle on as they always do, and the apps keep a'coming. Here's this week's list.

BBC Earth Colouring

Free: Android | iOS

With Planet Earth II currently dominating the BBC's Sunday night schedule, the Beeb has gone and released another app to tie into things. It's a colouring app, with 36 different line-drawing shots originally featured in the documentary. You can choose between free-form colouring, or opting to cheat with a block-fill tool. There are hundreds of colours and shades for you to choose from, so all you need to do is remember to stay inside the lines.

Castro (Update)

£2.99: iOS

This one is a podcast manager that focuses on individual episodes, rather than dealing with the hassle of regular subscriptions. It uses a queue-based system that lets you line up episodes you want to listen to, simplifying what can often be a very messy process. Now the app has updated with a widget that lets you see the first nine episodes in your queue, letting you actually access them much quicker than you normally would. The update also brings in CarPlay support, in case you have a fancy new Apple-enabled car.

Clip Layer

Free: Android

This app from Microsoft aims to make copying text on your phone that much easier because, let's be honest, it can be a bit of a pain at times. If you're willing to sacrifice whatever function you have mapped to a long-press of the home button (likely Google Now), Clip Layer can be activated to scan the screen for text and box each section. From there you can tap a box to copy its contents to your clipboard, or share it in a variety of different ways.

Diarium

£3.89: Windows

A cross-device diary app, designed to make it easy for you to actually bother filling in what happened to you each day. Not only does it have daily notifications to ensure that you write something down each day, it also integrates with your calendar and tweets. That way it can see what you've been up to on any given day. Like any good diary app it offers password protection, as well as letting you attach images, video, audio, locations, tags, and all those sorts of things to add some extra context to each entry.

Drivetribe

Free: Android | iOS

A brand new social network from Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. It's a system built around tribes, which are groups focused on very specific topics. Members join  tribes based on their interests, and get fed a personalised feed of motoring news and content.

File Manager

£0.79: iOS

This one is a file browser similar to the ones that come installed on Android devices by default, actually letting you download and open up apps on iOS devices with minimal fuss and hassle. It also lets you easily share those files to your desktop computer, has a download manager that can function in the background, offers Dropbox integration, passcode security, and more. It's a darn sight better than accessing your files using Spotlight.

Google Santa Tracker (Update)

Free: Android

Christmas is coming, and that means Google has rolled out the annual update to its Santa tracker. All so you (or more likely your kids) can see St Nick's progress as he travels the globe on Christmas Eve. Naturally you can't do much until the night itself, so the app also includes Christmas-themed mini games for you/your kids to enjoy. This year's update features new games, and Android TV integration so you can watch Santa's progress on the big screen.

Join (Update)

Free (With subscription): Android

Join is a Pushbullet-like app that lets your phone and the Chrome browser interact with each other, and share notifications, files, and the like. The latest update lets you control your phone with voice commands, so you don't have to bother picking it up to get stuff done. The app is free to download, but you will need to pay $5 (£4) a month for all the great features.

Netflix

Free (With subscription): Android | iOS

Big news from Netflix this week, since the streaming service is finally letting users download videos to watch when you don't have an internet connection. The emphasis is on Netflix Originals, rather than the entire catalogue, but it means you can watch stuff on the tube, train, or anywhere else where you might not have a consistent, unlimited internet connection.