The Week's Best Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows Phone Apps

By A Kennedy on at

It's getting colder, and winter has definitely arrived -- my toes can testify. Temperate climate, my arse. So I'm spending more and more time huddled at home under a blanket or at the back corner of a warm café playing with electronics -- it kind of makes me a pathetic anti-social individual, but gives me enough time (and finger mobility) to share some app favourites and new discoveries:


iPhone Apps

The National Fish & Chip Awards:  Who doesn't love to indulge in the occasional greasy platter of chips with a deep fried fish fillet of choice, slathered in tartar sauce with a dollop of ketchup? If you're only going to do it now and then, you should do it well. Enter The National Fish & Chip Awards app for iOS. Doing what you'd expect, the app recommends the best independent takeaway fish and chip shops to let us enjoy Britain’s favourite meal. Released to celebrate 26 years of the awards, it's dead simple to use -- just download, start it up and at your fingertips are the nearest award winning fish and chips, or you can do a search by region to find great restaurants and takeaways. [Free]

Telegram Messenger:  Governmental surveillance-slash-spying has been freaking people out for a while now, still hitting the headlines regularly and making people think twice about the security of their online and mobile communications, so it's hardly surprising to see an influx of new security-conscious communication apps hitting the App Store. Telegram is one of the better apps to pop up, featuring a one-to-one and group chat app that lets you utilise a "Secret Chats" mode with encryption at both ends of the conversation, and messages you can set to self-destruct after the recipient has read them. [Free]

HUDway: HUDway is a really neat augmented reality GPS on the windshield of your car. Ridiculously simple, verging on genius, HUD (Head-Up Display) is built to make those dark, low-visibility nights much safer for drivers. The app provides you with display and navigation by simply placing your iPhone on the dashboard and watching as the app is reflected onto the windshield. Just don't take any sharp turns, and pray for no phone calls. See the video above. [Free]

Bactrack: So, surely, none of Giz UK's readers drink and drive, but it’s always nice to know you’re okay. Following these drink-driving crackdowns that are happening every summer, and with the Aware! campaign about to be launched for the holidays, here's something to think about -- because we all have one too many on occasion. Accompanying the BacTrack breathalyser you can get on, you can connect the device to your iPhone through Bluetooth and will quickly and accurately estimate your blood alcohol level. Updated recently to include social network sharing, you can now share your “stats” on Facebook and Twitter, or call a pre-designated driver automatically. I'm sure that'll shame you into restraint for the following few nights out. [Free]


iPad Apps

Angry Spermies - From Egg To Baby: Here's a slightly more graphic and humourous Angry birds doppelgänger for iOS. In place of pigs -- unfertilised eggs. In place of devil birds with special powers -- sperm. The slingshot is the same. See where I'm going with this? Five *ahem* "shots" to fertilise all the eggs. So go wild and get fertilising. [Free]

Procreate: Not related to the app above, and also not a new app by any means, yet continuously rated by artists as one of the best on the platform -- Procreate is a quick, accurate drawing and painting app that's capable of striking artworks. There's a great range of customisable brushes and the user experience is a joy -- check out the user reviews if you're not convinced. Well worth a try. [£2.99]

WWF Together: If you want to become one with nature's most fantastic and exotic creatures but don't have the time (money) to travel around the globe to do so? The World Wildlife Fund is here to help. This app brings you stories of all manners of beasts, from elephants to pandas, whales to weasels, and everything in between. Primarily an educational app, WWF Together gives you a huge amount of interesting facts and striking pictures, all without having to get on a plane or visit animal jail. [Free]

Gneo: My never-ending quest to find the perfect to-do app continues. A solution is desperately needed to bring a semblance of order to my chaotic work and personal life. Gneo is not perfect, but has pulled ahead of other competition so far, and has potential in future updates: it's as much a calendar as a task manager, it does what is promised, and it aids you in organising what you have to do and when you need to do it by. [£2.99]

Snapguide: Snapguide is an app for creating and sharing ‘how to guides’. You can look through all of the created guides – from Arts and Crafts to Desserts -- or you can create your own straight from app. Of course your guides don’t have to fall into one of the suggested categories – there are endless possibilities of how-tos you could begin your own section on. [Free]


Android Apps

Subway Subcard UK: Subway has re-released its Subcard app in the last couple of weeks -- for those unfamiliar with Subcard, the free app allows users “to redeem points and claim free Subs, check your balance or transaction history and find SUBWAY stores nearby", its newest updates also allow you to give in-store feedback through the app and collect your Subcard rewards (free food) with ease. [Free]

Final Fantasy V: Ah, the Final Fantasy series. A good many hours of my childhood were spent leveling up, collecting items, and traversing the dungeons of many games in this series. After the re-release of FFI -- FFIV, it's no surprise that the fifth installment has hit the Android market. Widely seen as the dip in the series before FFVI, the game lacks a certain amount of nostalgic value with its smooth, non-pixelated animation, but still ranks as one of the -- if not the -- best RPGs available on mobile platforms. On sale at the moment, I can't recommend this minion-bashing wizard of a franchise enough. Plus moogles are dead cute.  [£10.99, normally £15.99]

Firefox Beta: Now that polished versions of Firefox 24 are released and forgotten about, Mozilla has released the beta version of Firefox 25 -- and it's a hefty upgrade for Android users. The newest version adds guest browsing, protecting your private bookmarks and history, and beta testers also get a mixed content blocker, support for add-ons with page actions and an option to set pictures as contact photos or wallpapers. Still in beta, but let me know what you think. [Free]

Ninja SMS: You see this everywhere now, interactive on-screen notifications. Despite its many flaws, the Chat Heads element of Facebook is exceedingly popular, and have inspired many other programmes to follow suit. One app that preceded this is Ninja SMS. It gives you in-view notifications and interactive windows for your SMS messages. To top this functionality off, it looks great, is highly customisable and works flawlessly. [Free]

Switchr - Task Switcher: Switchr is a well designed, well polished, feature-packed and simple, yet practical application that allows switching between running tasks with impeccable elegance and flawless perfection. [Free]


Windows Phone Apps

AE Angry Chef: AE Angry Chef for Windows Phone is a new racing game developed by AE Mobile. It offers a gameplay similar to Ninjump but in this case the protagonist engaged to run (vertically) will be a chef, a very angry chef. He runs up the two walls and jumps between them, in a familiar layout. Of course you have to avoid various obstacles and traps such as falling rocks. Addictive, frustrating fun. [Free]

Wikipedia: It's out on nearly every other platform so it's no surprise that Wikipedia for WP has been released, and I have to say, it's impressed me. I find it remarkably superior in layout and aesthetic to the iOS or android versions, and a lot of thought has obviously been put into usability this time round. It's a pleasure to use, and doubtlessly will get a tonne of usage when you download it onto your WP device. [Free]

6tag: Instagram is rumoured to be released in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, my filler has been 6tag, which frankly is nearly the same thing, without the following, snap, filter, share. Simple as. [Free]

Songza: Songza is not just for streaming music but prides itself on curated playlists custom tailored for your preferences e.g. songs with no lyrics, genres, playlists based on activities, or even eras like "90s One-Hit Wonders". It’s a wildly popular music service that already had a huge amount of support on iOS and Android. After being released on WP in June, it's been a hit on this platform as well. Try it out, you may switch from Spotify. [Free]

Daily workouts: Daily Workouts is exactly what it said it is, an app to assist you in achieving your personal health goals and looking gorgeous while doing it. The app comes loaded with lots and lots of training videos built-in for offline use, therefore the app is usable even when you don’t have an internet connection. Best start getting fit before the Christmas binge. [Free]