It's interesting when the weather gets cold like this, because I always expect it to start snowing pretty heavily. Some places got a sprinkling here and there over the past few weeks, but nothing really that major. Well, unless you're responsible for cancellations at major rail companies.
I hate the damn stuff, so I'm pretty happy it's been notoriously absent. Not that I need a reason to stay indoors at this time of year. I have work to do, and that work involves pulling together this latest list of apps for you.
If you're into making things with Raspberry Pi and Arduino, controlling the gadgets from your phone tends to require some programming knowledge. Blynk makes the process a lot easier, using drag and drop widgets to help you control the different individual components you've out together. It's free, but if you'll have to cough up some cash if you plan on making your in-app creations public or compatible with multiple devices.
Don't Leave it!
If you're always forgetting things before you leave the house, this app is definitely the one for you. Once you've set up a list of everything you need when you leave a particular location (home, work, SO's house, etc), it uses a geofence to lock in the location. Should you cross that fence, it'll remind you of the things you need after a few feet so that you don't end up leaving without all your important gear.
This is quite a clever little app, since it lets you 'hand off' your work to another Windows 10 device, letting you complete it there. So whether it's a phone, a tablet, a PC, or even an Xbox One, you can shift your work around with minimal time, effort, and fuss. So if you need to leave your desk, you can just throw your work over to your phone and be done with it. Provided you're one of the five people who actually has a Windows 10 phone that is.
JustOpen & Type
Down below is Zoho Notebook, a note-taking app with all sorts of bells and whistles to satiate your needs. If that's not for you, and you crave simplicity, give JustOpen & Type. As the name suggests, you literally just open up the app and start typing. Typing whatever you need to type, be it a shopping list, random thoughts coming through your head, and so on. Every time you open the app you're met with a blank screen and keyboard, though naturally all your old notes are easily accessible.
This one barely qualifies as an app, because it's not available through a dedicated 'app store' (not that app actually means anything special anyway). But it's important. Ransomware is getting to be a much bigger problem than it used to be, and this is designed to stop you getting affected. Rather than looking for specific identifying marks of known ransomware, it keeps track of the behaviour of your computer's processes and lets you know when something's up. That way it's not a constant battle to find ways to decrypt the ransomware after it's struck, and should have a level of security against future and niche strains.
Vine might be dead, but Twitter isn't letting the whole system go to waste. While the main site has become an archive, the new camera app continues to let you create your own looping six-second videos and share them on Twitter. It also comes with the standard Vine creation and editing tools. So Vine isn't really gone, it's just had a bit of a lifestyle change.
Waze is that app that collects data from other drivers to work out where there's congestion, so your route can be altered in real time to compensate. The latest update on Android comes with a search by category function, for when you're looking for a particular service or locale, along with an auto complete distance and updates to voice search. Voice search is now improved when you're driving abroad, letting you say street names in a foreign language - even if Waze is still in English mode. iOS has most of the same, but without the updated voice search.
Evernote has taken a huge dive recently where privacy is concerned, so if you're looking for a notes app you'll probably want to avoid it. Zoho takes a similar approach to your notes as the big-wigs like Evernote and OneNote, but with a slightly different design. It's filled with different notebooks that you can then fill up with cards. Those cards can be full of whatever types of notes that you like, be they voice, text, images, drawings, and so on, with grouping options that let you keep on top of the organisation side of things.