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

By Tom Pritchard on at

The deal with mobile signal is pretty strange. Somehow, my grandparents who live in rural Wales manage to get better 4G signal than I did in my old house - which was in the middle of a reasonably well populated area. They also get quite fast broadband, despite the fact that the nearest supermarket (including mini things like Tesco Express) is over half an hour away by car and most of the local train stations are request only. There are probably encyclopaedia-sized reports about why, though, which would take more time than I have to read and understand.

But while I ponder the mysteries of why Internet generally sucks, you can dig into this week's batch of apps.

APK Updater

Free: Android

If you're installing apps from anywhere other than Amazon and Google Play, updating can be a bit of a pain. Thankfully APK Updater is here to help, scanning sites like APK Mirror to find the latest versions of everything you have. It can scan Google Play if you want it to, but if you'd rather skip Google's offering for whatever reason, this is one to try. There aren't any automatic updates, though.

Contextual App Folder

Free (with in-app purchases): Android

Android has a lot of customisation options, making it simple putting your favourite apps somewhere easy-to-access. But you can't do that for all your apps, unless you have Contextual App Folder. It lets you set up a number of different riggers for your folder, changing in accordance with what you're doing or where you are. So if you get to the gym, it'll have your sports apps. Plus in your headphones, and music will be there. And so on. You can combine triggers as well, but that's going to cost you.

Inquire by Tamper (Update)

Free: iOS

Have you ever wondered what's going on in the world around you? Inquire uses your location, current trending topics, and other factors to show you Wikipedia articles about everything in the local area. The latest update makes it easier to find things, with a Today extension that shows you the nearest article without having to load up the app itself.

Ping by Wurqs

Free: iOS

Handing over business cards can be a pain, and even more of a pain if you keep collecting them. Ping takes the process of networking and makes it more accessible in the digital age. Just enter someone's email address, and it'll share all your information. It also learns more information about the people you connect with, and tracks where and when you first met them.

Social Client

Free: Windows

These days there are more social networks than stars in the sky, each slightly more different than the last. If keeping tabs on them all is a chore, Social Client is the app to simplify the entire process. It's a central hub that lets you swap between them easily and quickly. At the moment it has support for Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Tumblr, and Reddit, with more planned for the future.

Steam Cleaner

Free: Windows

When games are involved, regardless of which service you get them from, chances are you're going to get some clutter along the way. Duplicate files, leftovers from uninstalled games, stuff like that. Steam Cleaner is a client that can remove all the fluff, and free up some of that important hard drive space. Just make sure it doesn't wipe the save files that aren't backed up to the cloud.

SwiftGift

Free: Android | iOS

Valentine's Day was yesterday, and if you fucked up and forgot to buy a gift for that special someone (or a birthday is coming up soon), SwiftGift has your back. It's perfect for last minute gifts, working in tandem with 1,400 brands and retailers it sends a 'virtual gift' to the recipient's phone. They just have to provide a delivery address, and you are off the hook.

Vantage Calendar

£3.99: iOS

There are lots of customisable calendars out there, but they all generally look the same: a boring flat row of boxes. Not Vantage, though. It's a calendar app that lets you customise the interface to give you the best view of everything you've got going on. It even has stickers.

VeeR VR

Free: Android | iOS

Got a VR headset going unused? Or just need some more chances to use it? This app is basically a community-based app for VR-compatible videos. It's got handpicked content from creators across the world, compatible across platforms (Android, iOS, Web, and Gear VR), and has plenty of exciting content to choose from. Rollercoasters, skydiving, and all the other exciting things you'd normally have to leave the house for.

WhatsApp (Update)

Free: Android | iOS

The ever-popular messaging app (that hands over your data to Facebook) has been lacking one very important security feature: two factor authentication. That means that someone could hack into your account more easily and read your messages - making that encryption useless. Thankfully that's changed, and now you can set things up so you need a second temporary code to access your account.