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

By Tom Pritchard on at

Today is the last day of the 2017 Mobile World Congress, which has brought with it... erm... not a lot actually. I know I'm not the only one who's not been that impressed with what was on show, because there wasn't really anything new. Empty promises about 5G and the internet of things were everywhere, while the only big big news involved a feature phone with no actual features.

No apps, either, which isn't actually surprising. So let's take a look at the new stuff this week, none of which had anything to do with Barcelona.

AnyDesk

Free: Android | iOS

Remote access software that lets you access your desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux) using your phone. It promises to be faster than competing software, letting you do more serious work that wouldn't normally be possible when working remotely. The app connects to a desktop client with banking-level encryption, with low latency, using a minimum of 100kb/s bandwidth, and 60 FPS framerate.

Cipher Chat

Free: Android

A privacy-centric messaging app that lets you sign up and message people without having to hand over any of your personal information. Just pick a username and password, and you'll be good to go. It also disguises notifications from any prying eyes, offers multiple levels of password (or fingerprint) protected security, has the option to completely hide the app in your phone, and doesn't store any of your messages on external servers. The only thing it doesn't seem to offer is encryption, which is a huge pain. Get that sorted and it'll be perfect.

Hopper (Update)

Free: Android | iOS

Hopper's been around for a while, helping people find the cheapest plane tickets. The problem is that it didn't take extra fees into account, so you could turn up to the airport and find you have to cough up some more money to check luggage and such like. Now Hooper takes all that into account, so the prices you see in app won't come with any unexpected surprises.

iXplain Business

£4.59: Windows

An interesting app for anyone who ever has to teach or train someone, since it records your actions to help you create your own lessons and presentations. Essentially it's fancy screen recorder, since it records what you do on screen, any penstrokes you make (if you have a stylus), along with everything you say in the process. You can then add images and slides to the final thing, before exporting it as an MP4 file.

Overcast (Update)

Free: iOS

The ever-popular podcasting app got a hefty update this week, bringing with it lots of new features. First up is a card-based design that replaces the old layered menu system, simplifying how you do things. There's also a new lock-screen widget for playback control, 3D Touch support, and improvements to the queuing system.

Steps: Overcome Social Anxiety

Free: iOS

This one, as the name suggests, is designed to help people overcome their social anxiety, by slowly exposing them to things and situations that they're afraid of. The app is filled with collections of small challenges, with actions like making friends and dealing with rejection. You can pick and save the challenges you like, and the app will remind you to get them done. The first challenge? Downloading the app for yourself.

SkyVR

Free: Android

Sky's had a virtual reality app for Cardboard for a while, and now it's released a brand new version for Google Daydream. It's filled with virtual reality experiences, covering the world of sport, film, and more, presumably to try and encourage people to subscribe to Sky's TV packages. It doesn't look like you'll need a Sky subscription, so if you have a Daydream device you can go off to experience some cool new things with this right now.

Popcorn

Free: iOS

There's always plenty of content out there, but it can still be a right pain to try and figure out what you want to watch. Popcorn is an app filled with handpicked film choices, with selections that change on a daily basis. There's no personalisation involved, just lists of great films that relate to a specific category of genre of the industry. All you have to do is browse, and hope something takes your fancy. Once you've found something, Popcorn will then take you to iTunes, where you can buy or rent it to watch on any of your iDevices.

Touch Lock

Free: Android

This one is mainly designed for people who let their kids watch TV on a phone or tablet, but it has a lot of other uses as well. It locks up your phone's touchscreen, and won't let anyone use it until they double-tap a barely-visible unlock button on the screen. This is a great tool to stop your kids from straying away from whatever streaming app they're watching, stopping your phone from going off in your pocket, and (maybe) as a very loose security measure to baffle anyone who tries to use your phone when you're not looking.

YouDownload

Free: Windows

An ad-supported client that lets you browse, search, and download YouTube videos. While we don't condone downloading copyrighted material, sometimes you find something on Google's video site that you want to keep a local copy of. It's not like there aren't plenty of things like it out there, this one just streamlines the whole process by keeping everything you need in one place.