Well it certainly doesn't feel like summer right now, seeing as I have to keep leaving the house with an umbrella, but I still wouldn't want it some other way. Rain is rubbish, but it's a hell of a lot better than baking in my own bed while I sleep.
While I drone on about the weather, again, you lot can go right ahead and check out this week's batch of apps.
The Home Secretary might think that regular people don't need access to encrypted messaging services, but we know that's not the case. If you're in the market for a new one, Briar, which is currently in beta, is one to try. It's based on the Tor network, and there are no central servers where messages could be stored or intercepted - everything is direct. It even works offline, provided the devices communicating are within Bluetooth or Wi-Fi range.
If you need to converse with someone in another language, translation apps are a valuable, but imperfect, tool. iTranslate Converse takes things one step further, by translating entire conversations in near real time and helping you all communicate more easily - despite not sharing a common tongue. It supports 38 major world languages, includes automatic language detection, and full transcripts of your conversations.
Meerkat Movies is the service that sort of replaced Orange Wednesdays, but obviously isn't as easy to access. The app is one of the places you can get your 2-for-1 cinema tickets (valid on Tuesdays and Wednesdays), but until now it was only available to Compare the Market customers. While you still need to be a customer to be eligible for the deal, but the app itself is available to everyone. That means you can use all the other features, like seeing local cinema listings, the ability to book tickets, and find general film information.
Mega Privacy (Beta)
The official Windows 10 version of Mega's privacy-focused cloud storage service is still in beta, but now that beta is open to everyone. So if you don't trust Google, iCloud, Dropbox, or whathaveyou, this is well worth a try. All encrypting and decrypting is done on your machine, and you get 50GB of free storage. Everything after that has to be paid for.
A companion app for Spotify, letting you blacklist certain songs and ensure that they don't end up being pumped into your earholes. If it detects a song that is on your blacklist, it'll automatically tell Spotify to skip it, so you don't have to worry about a thing. Apparently, though, people who don't pay for Spotify Premium only get a limited number of skips (which is lame), that Skipify can't do anything about. So bear it in mind.
Nice simple update for anyone who still uses Skype following the Microsoft buy-out. You can send money to people with PayPal, all via the app.
The secure messaging app will now let you send destructing photos and videos to contacts, faster downloads from public channels (thanks to encrypted CDNs), improvements to the photo editor, and the option to add a bio to your own personal profile.
Meanwhile the Windows version of Telegram, which is typically behind Android and iOS, just got updated with more minor things like bold and italic formatting in messages, the ability to share links in supergroups, faster sharing options with bot messages, and more.
Trusted Contacts (Update)
A personal safety app that lets you share your location with friends and family, should you ever feel unsafe. This latest version lets you customise the timeout of location requests, integration with Google Maps so you can permanently share your location with set people, and the option to add contacts with their phone number.
Zombies, Run! 5K Training (Update)
The coach-to-5k method is a pretty effective way for improving your fitness, but did you know the people who made Zombies, Run! have their own version? It's an eight week programme for developing confidence and fitness, mixed with the classic Zombies, Run! story mode. This new version adds logs to the app, integration with various external music sources, social media sharing, and more. The app is free, but if you want to unlock all 25 missions you have to pay £4.