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

By Tom Pritchard on at

Yesterday was tax return deadline day, so you lot better have got all your returns sorted and your taxes paid. Provided you actually have to fill in a tax return. You lot get to waltz around having paid it off every month, with extra joy if you accidentally paid too much.

But those are serious adult matters. Let's look at something a little more interesting: like apps.

Gif Recipes

Free: Android

Everything in life can be improved with GIFs. They're the bacon of the programming world. Gif Recipes does exactly what the name suggests: shows you how to cook delicious meals with GIF-based recipes (they're also available in word form, but what's the fun in that?). There are over 1,200 recipes to choose from, and they're all conveniently tagged to help you find something you're in the mood for.

Quidjets

Free: Android (Nougat only)

The widgets are part of what makes Android so special, but sometimes they can't half get in the way. Qidjets lets you hide them away in the quick settings menu, easily accessible but not in the way. While it can easily sound a bit too much like the iOS system of widgets, it's important to note that these widgets aren't in a big long list - they're turned into on-off toggles. So, naturally, you won't want to hide anything that relies on visuals (like weather). But anything that can be toggled, like Shazam, the torch, or whatever, is good to go.

Pixabay

Free: Android iOS

Unless you have a very pricey subscription to something like Shutterstock, finding professional-looking stock images can be a challenge. Pixabay has been around for a while to make things easier, and now it's available as a mobile app. It's nice and simple, all the images in here are free for anyone to use without credit - even if you're using them for commercial reasons. It's very nice of them, isn't it?

Netflix (Update)

Free (requires subscription): Android

Netflix on Android made a much-needed change to offline downloads this week, actually giving Android users the chance to choose where the videos save. It requires extra SD card permissions, but you should be able to download all those episodes of Luke Cage without using up all the piddly amount of space that's permanently attached to your phone. Since iOS devices don't have expandable storage, this option is obviously not being made available for you.

Self Control

£2: iOS

This one is to make sure you don't get distracted by the irresistible wiles of the internet. Simple add a URL into the app's block list and it'll prevent Safari from loading that page until you say otherwise. It can't block distracting apps, nor does it stop you from disabling it whenever you want, but it's an extra step towards taking back your time and getting the important shit done.

Tesco PayQwiq

Free: Android | iOS

"PayQwiq, like pay quick, hahah, get it?" - someone in Tesco's marketing division, probably.

Aside from the fact the name feels like it wouldn't have been out of place in a mid '90s attempt to be 'down with the kids', PayQwiq is a now-nationwide mobile payment app you might want if you only ever shop at Tesco. It functions on having the tills scan an on-screen QR code, rather than typical NFC payments, which lets it get around the fact Apple is refusing to let the iPhone's NFC be used for anything other than Apple Pay.

Other perks include the fact that it has a whopping £250 spending limit, compatability with all major credit cards, and is linked to your clubcard so you don't need to scan something else in order to let Tesco track your buying habits. The downside, naturally, is that it only works at Tesco.

Text Tool 2

£5: iOS

Formatting text in a mobile word processor can be a chore, especially since iOS doesn't allow native mouse support. Text Tool 2 is designed to make the whole process an awful lot easier, letting you format, transform, or generally clean up your text. It's doubly useful since it also functions as a word processor in itself, which should make writing on the go that bit easier.

TV Player

Free (with optional subscription): Windows

This one has been around on Android and iOS for quite some time, and is useful because it lets you watch television without needing an aerial or a million different apps. Now it's available on Windows 10, meaning you can watch all the television you want on all your devices - with all the channels contained in one easy-to-use hub. All the channels will play over Wi-Fi, but only a few will work if you're on mobile data.

The free version comes with access to over 60 different TV channels, with most of Freeview on offer (no Channel 4 though, which is an oddity!). The premium version costs £6 a month, and opens up another 30 channels, over 100 hours of catchup programming each week, and does away with the adverts.

Wi-Fi Widget

£0.99: iOS

If you want some information about the Wi-Fi network you're currently connected to, it can be tedious. But rather than having to head into the settings, Wi-Fi Widget puts all that information into your device's notification bar. It shows you which network you're connected to, what the latency is, as well as an option that lets you share the password with another person. It's simple and fairly niche, but it could make life much easier for you if you tend to hop between networks.

Working Hours

Free: Windows

This one's function is pretty obvious from the name. It's a tool for tracking and analysing your working hours, so you get a better idea of what's going on in your professional life. If you have pre-set contracted hours, this probably isn't going to be any use to use. But if you work as a freelancer, have flexible hours, or are unfortunate enough to be on a zero hour contract, it's a good way to keep on top of things and make sure you're not over-exerting yourself or getting shafted on payday. OneDrive backups are also available, as is cross-device syncing, so you won't ever lose all your data.