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

By Tom Pritchard on at

Despite what the weather around the world may have you believe, winter doesn't officially start until Saturday. So, Winter is Coming. Does anyone really like winter -- Christmas is the only reason people look forward to it, surely? Speaking of which, as I threatened last week, a smidge of Christmas has infiltrated our holy apps round ups, so all you scrooges beware...


iPhone Apps

Grand Theft Auto -- San Andreas: GTA V has been out for a while now, along with its heavily updated version of Los Santos. Maybe, just maybe, you want to go back and enjoy the less-visually-impressive version. Or maybe you just want some good old GTA nostalgic craziness. Either way, think about the size of the case that San Andreas first came in. Well now you can play it on a device 1/3 of the size. [£4.99]

Codeacademy -- Hour of Code: A handy little app, designed to let you learn to code away from your computer. The idea is you can learn the basics of coding a new programming language in around 60 minutes. In a world where computing is becoming more and more necessary, it's a useful skill to have. The app and its online counterpart can help you learn HTML, Javascript, CSS, Python and more. [Free]

12 Days of Gifts: One of the App Store's yearly traditions, giving you 12 free downloads, one each day, between the 26th December and 6th January. Perfect for that post Christmas period. It may be another week and a half until you actually gain anything, but it's worth downloading now in case you forget. [Free]


Coursera: If there's anything the internet is good for, aside from the abundance of porn and cat photos, it's learning. Coursera is a collection of hundreds of online courses from over 100 universities across the globe. With 20 different subjects to study available anytime and anywhere, there is no excuse for not swotting up. [Free]

Coub: A Vine-type app, that allows you to create your own looping videos, complete with a soundtrack of your choice, and share them with the wider community. There's no limit on how much you can upload, and the soundtrack can be imported directly from your iTunes library. There's even a share to Facebook/Twitter option for those of you who want to expose your videos to the wider world. [Free]


iPad Apps

Stephen Hawking's Snapshots of the Universe: Based on the work and writings of the titular physicist, Snapshots of the Universe is aimed at teaching adults and kids alike how the universe works. With fun tasks and experiments to accomplish, it's a simple way to get a better understanding of the universe we live in. [£2.99]

Mind Meld -- Voice Assistant: One thing smartphones and tablets have made easier over the past few years is finding information easily and quickly. You may be in a conversation and wonder who invented the spoon for instance. Mind Meld is designed for conference calls, where it listens in on and understands the conversation, automatically finding information that might be relevant. [£2.99]

Spell with Pip: An education app from the people behind the Oxford English Dictionary, aimed at teaching children to spell. The game promises to help kids learn without them even realising it, thanks to the arcade-like interface. Not a bad thing if you have kids; one trip to Twitter and you'll realise that kids these days probably need it. [£2.99]

Lego Star Wars - The Complete Saga: If you haven't played a Lego video game, then you haven't lived. Lego Star Wars has come to iOS, so you can play through the blocky galaxy from a long time ago, but somehow in the future. Sadly, only Episode I is free, but can you really put a price on hours of entertainment? Well, yes you can. £7 in fact. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

BBC Sport: Now iPad-compatible, you can enjoy the latest sports news, results, and highlights from the BBC on a big screen. Especially ideal if you're watching the games through your tablet. Best of all you can customise the interface to provide quick links to your favourite sports and teams. [Free]


Android Apps

Hakitzu Elite -- Robot Hackers: Another learn-to-code app, Hakitzu Elite is aimed at teaching you to code Javascript while you have fun. The game involves using the code to create, customise, and fight your own robot in single player and multiplayer campaigns, with a variety of difficulties. Great app for would-be programmers. [Free]

Shutterstock: Everybody's favourite source of stock photos has come to Android devices, letting you browse and download whatever photos will suit your needs. Provided you have a paid account, which is a bit of a pain. But if you need lots of generic images then it may well be worth it. [Free -- with subscription]

Keepy: Keepy is an art portfolio of types, primarily for keeping a collection of your child's artwork when there isn't any more room on the fridge. But it's more than that, you can add tags, the date, and your child's name (handy if you have more than one) so you'll never forget where and when it came from. Handily, it also features the option to share to a variety of social media sites to send to your relatives or friends. [Free]

Google Santa Tracker: Very similar to NORAD's Santa Tracker from last week, the app is focussing on Santa's trip round the world on Christmas Eve for your viewing/drinking pleasure. But rather than just having a countdown until then, the app features a new Christmasy mini-game each day for kids to have fun with, or yourself if you're a kid at heart. Just remember (unlike one person who left a review) you can't actually track Santa until the 24th of December. [Free]

Noom Weight Loss Coach: Noom is designed to help you track your progress in losing weight, with various functions to monitor your food intake, and the amount of exercise you do. In previous versions there was a database of various foods that were sadly only specific to the US. The latest update, however, is more beneficial to us Brits as it includes a database food and drink available in UK supermarkets. Meaning that you can accurately track your calories based on what you have bought. [Free]


Windows Phone Apps

Angry Birds Go: I was just sitting around a while back and thinking, you know what the Angry Birds franchise needs? A go-karting game. Because that's never been done before. Lo and behold, an Angry Birds go-karting game! It's got everything you'd expect from a cartoony go-kart game, so go nuts. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Socl: Socl (pronounced 'social') is a social platform that revolves around creating -- collages, gifs, memes, you name it. You can post your creations to Socl's wider network, or to your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest profiles. [Free]

Christmas Cook: On the off-chance that you still haven't decided what you're cooking on Christmas, or how you're going to cook it, then this is the app for you. Christmas Cook is a selection of Christmas recipes that aren't all that bad for you, which is great since it means you could eat as much as you like without feeling guilty. [Free]

Minion Rush: A game that has been out on iOS and Android for quite some time is now available on Windows Phone. Take control of one of the Minions and aim to run as far as you possibly can, collecting bananas and knocking off competing minions along the way. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

 Dr. Panda's Supermarket: A fun game app, designed to let children run and manage their own shop. Because there isn't any text, this is ideal for even the youngest of children, provided you trust them with your phone/tablet that is. Full of shopping themed minigames, this should keep them quiet for a while over the school holiday. [£1.49]