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

By Tom Pritchard on at

In this day and age there's something very disconcerting about having an unstable internet connection. Even worse is when it's out of your control and nobody feels it has to be fixed.

A lot of people and companies are focused on bringing internet connectivity to less developed countries, and I have to suffer with a connection that goes through spells where it drops every few minutes. I can't help but feel a little bit jealous. First world problems, right? Onto the apps!

iPhone Apps

Hanx Writer: It was an app designed to turn your iPad into a typewriter, and now it's available on the iPhone. Experience the thrill/pretentiousness of using a typewriter, but with the convenience and speed of using your phone. Who else hasn't wanted a mini typewriter in their pocket? [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Doddle: The internet is fantastic for getting stuff delivered straight to your door, the problem is you're not always home and it's a pain to have to trek out to the collection centre to get them. With Doddle you get them delivered to shops that are in, or close to, major train stations so you can pick it up to or from work. The app means you can track your parcel, and get notified when its ready to pick up, wherever you are. [Free]

Facebook Groups: Another stand-alone Facebook app, probably one you didn't think you even needed. Groups provides you with a dedicated space to manage and interact with your groups on Facebook, whether that's family members, a project collaboration, or even sports teams. No distractions, no excess filler, just everything you need and nothing that you don't. [Free]

PeakFinder Earth: Going off to the mountains for a winter getaway? Interested in the mountains in the local area? This might be the one for you. PeakFinder Earth has panoramic views of over 250,000 moutain tops worldwide, and can show which ones are which at the click of a button. Whether it uses GPS to show you the peaks near you, or you go searching manually, your curiosity will never have to suffer ever again. [£0.69]

AirPano Travel Book: Another virtual globe-trotting app, AirPano is similar to PeakFinder in that you can see 360 degree panoramas of the world, but it's more about amazing places rather than simple mountain peaks. It's displayed in the form of a book, and you can see famous cities, historical locations, beaches, and so on. This has been on iPad for a while, but now iPhone users can enjoy it in full. [£2.49]

iPad Apps

Dumb Ways to Die 2: The Games: You may remember the original game based on the viral video that had you prevent these stupid cartoon characters from committing accidental suicide. Now there are 28 new mini games that aim to teach you not to be a complete moron around trains. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Sago Mini Road Trip: A little game for kids aged 2-5. You take control of Jinja the cat who is heading on a road trip. Pick a car, pick a destination, and off you go. Once you're on the road you can stop you refuel and wash your car. Explore at your own pace and most of all enjoy it. [£1.99]

Qello Concerts: An app with one of the world's largest catalogues of music concerts that you can watch any time you like, on any screen. It's now fully optimised for iOS 8, which allows you to open albums in the iTunes store, alongside predictive searching and faster loading times. [Free -- with optional subscription]

The Photo Cookbook - Christmas: Christmas is coming, which means you'll be wanting to get your plans for the food all sorted. The Photo Cookbook has 60 recipes illustrated with step-by-step instructions that will show you how to make desserts, mains, and starters for you, and your hungry Christmas guests. [£2.49]

Post-it Plus: You may remember this from a couple of weeks ago, the app that scans your Post-it notes and sticks them onto a digital corkboard. It has been updated, and now that update includes Handoff support so you can continue across your devices, along with the option to add your own digital notes to the ones you've scanned in. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Android Apps

WeMail: This one is a little bit similar to Google's new Inbox app in that it aims to organise your inbox without any effort on your behalf. The difference is that it's widely available right now, doesn't place all your emails within Google's grasp, and organises your messages by sender rather than by topic. Essentially what it does is turn each email exchange into a conversation and gives you one-tap access to any documents and photos you've exchanged. All major email services are compatible. [Free]

Nokia Z Launcher Beta: A different way to use your Android device with the new launcher that's set to appear in Nokia's N1 tablet. The launcher learns how you use your phone so it can get you to your apps faster, while also letting you scribble letters on screen as a searching mechanism. [Free]

Next Glass: It can be intimidating going down the booze aisle of the supermarket, especially if you don't know what's good. Next Glass will take all the guesswork out of it provided you're only looking at wine or beer. It gives you a personalised recommendations on whether or not it's good – all you have to do is scan the bottle. Even better is the social aspect, if your friends also use the app you can see if they'll like it -- making finding the right poison even easier. [Free]

Androidify: Android has moved beyond the little green robot as a mascot, and onto robot-esque mini people. The app means you can create your own personalised Android avatars. There are 25 different animations they can use, and you can even send them as emoticons in text messages and chats. [Free]

Zeek Gift Vouchers Marketplace: We all have that one relative who thinks that gift vouchers are an adequate substitute for real money, and always buys you one for some for a shop you have no interest in (who even shops at BHS anyway?). Zeek lets you sell any unwanted credit notes, gift vouchers, and store credit for hard cash. You won't get exactly how much they're worth, but it's better than nothing right? Plus if you're looking for a bargain you can head in and get yourself some vouchers on the cheap. [Free]

Windows Phone Apps

Foursquare: The app primarily known for checking in has had a big update on Windows Phone. Now it's more about the discovering aspect, and finding new places for you to enjoy when you're out of the house, so a bit like Yelp but with a cooler-sounding name. That also includes a brand new UI and a button that launches Swarm, the newish social focused app. [FRee]

Wolfram Alpha: Wolfram Alpha is a service designed to let you find expert level knowledge easily and quickly. Using algorithms Wolfram Alpha scours the web for information that you need on subjects like maths, physics, data analysis, chemistry, units and measurements, and even the weather. Whereas Google will tell you how to figure something out, or will take you somewhere that lets you do it, Wolfram Alpha will actually work it out without you having to do anything more. [£1.99]

Photosynth: If you've always wanted to take panorama photos, but your phone doesn't have the setting to make it happen you you should check this out. There isn't much to it, you create your panorama both horizontally and vertically, to create a photo sphere. Then you save, you share, and all those other things you do with photos. [Free]

DuoLingo: Fancy teaching yourself a new language? It can cost a lot of money if you buy hefty software packages, but DuoLingo is totally free. You learn in bite-sized lessons, track your progress with achievements, and if you answer incorrectly you lose hearts. It's a bit like a game, except you get something useful to show for your success. [Free]

Viber: Don't want to waste your contracted minutes, or have Wi-Fi but no phone signal? VoIP apps are what you need. Viber has been around for quite some time, but it's just had a big overhaul with a new and improved design as well as improved photo display in chats. [Free]