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

By Tom Pritchard on at

Christmas has been and gone, bringing with it a selection of glorious tech that was priced reasonably enough to be considered as a gift. Or it should have done, otherwise you're very bad technophiles. Some of you may have had phones, or tablets, or iPods to enjoy, so here is a selection of new apps for you to try out on your new devices.

iPhone Apps

Simmer by Panna: Most cooking apps just show you you recipes and that's it. Maybe a couple will let you share interesting ones with your friends. Simmer, on the other hand, actually lets you create your own step-by-step video recipes that the wider community can watch and learn from. So whether you want other people to learn to cook, or you just want to store your recipes without writing them down, this is one for you to try. [Free]

Sleep Time+: A dual purpose app here, functioning as a sleep analysis tool and an alarm clock rolled into one. It's also the first app of its kind to integrate with iOS 8 and Healthkit. Just follow the instructions in the app and it will analyse your sleeping pattern for you, and present it to you in a way that's visually appealing and easy to understand. There's even a white noise generator to block out those annoying nightly sounds. [Free -- with optional subscription]

Top 10 - The Best Hotels: An app designed to make finding the right hotel easier than ever before. Top 10 will find you the ten best hotels in any given area based on popularity, price, and review scores, with over 500,000 hotels worldwide. Just a few taps from in the app and you can book the hotel that's right for you! [Free]

Clip Video: This is a video creation/sharing app with an emphasis on creating your own looping music videos, complete with a soundtrack and lyrics. There's a social aspect too, so you can follow various regular video creators and enjoy their work. It's simple, but it's pretty handy to have. [Free]

SUPER!: Describing SUPER! is a bit tricky, since even the people behind it aren't super-helpful with their description of what it is. It's more of a fun take on social networks, with an emphasis on creating captioned images. Mostly quote-type things. If you're sick of Facebook then you might want to give it a try. [Free]

iPad Apps

Pacemaker DJ: There are plenty of DJing apps for the iPad, but not that many of them let you pull and mix music from Spotify as well as iTunes. It's not the most complex one out there, but if you're looking for something that's simple and fun to use you're onto a winner here. Plus if you're feeling lazy the app can automatically mix for you. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Post-it Plus: Everyone's favourite digital noticeboard has had an update. Now editing your notes is easier and quicker than ever before, send them to your Mac via Handoff, and purchase the 'Editors Pack' to get a selection of new note-taking tools. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light: A port of the 2010 console games, Guardian of Light sees you take control of Lara or a 2,000 year old Mayan warrior battling against Xolotl, the god of darkness, who has taken control of the Mirror of Smoke in order to plunge the world into an age of darkness. It's also got co-op play so you can play with a friend if you wish. [£2.99]

Procreate: A digital art-making app, Procreate has been updated to optimise its use with the brand new iPad Air 2. You can use your finger, or a stylus to create, and you don't need to worry about mucking things up if you rest your hand on the tablet. There are a massive number of features I don't have room to list here, but it is pretty damn extensive. If you are a creative type then you shouldn't let this one slip by unnoticed. [£3.99]

Android Apps

GTA Chinatown Wars: Now you don't need a portable console to enjoy this offering from the folks at Rockstar. It's your typical Grand Theft Auto affair, but from a top-down perspective like the older titles in the series. Can you survive the quest for revenge through Liberty City? [£1.99]

Qello Concerts: An app I covered for iOS a little while ago, this is the Android version for you all to enjoy. Qello itself is an on-demand service for concerts and music documentaries that you can watch in full for a small fee. While you can pay for them individually, you can also subscribe and pay $5 (£3) a month for unlimited access to everything. [Free -- with in-app purchases/optional subscription]

The Hunt - Shopping Q&A: A crowd-sourced network of fashion aficionados designed to help you find the right clothes, even if you only supply minimal information. Whether it's clothes you see someone wearing, or if you're just looking through a broad set of criteria, the community can find it. They can't perform miracles, though, so make sure you include something useful -- a picture goes a long way. [Free]

Ribbon: Think of this is as a sort of social network for events, Ribbon is a place for you to find and keep track of various events that are going on while keeping track of what your friends are doing. That doesn't just mean things like house parties, it also includes the likes of music, sports, and so on. [Free]

Action Launcher 3: If you're tired of the basic app launcher that comes rolled into Android, you might want to give this one a try. Not only does it combine the best elements of Action Launcher 3 and Google Now Launcher, it throws in some Material Design-inspired interfaces to keep it looking pretty.There are a bunch of new features here (not all of them included in the free version), and I encourage you to check them all out. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Windows Phone Apps

frost: A nice weather forecast app with a clean, fairly minimalist display. Not only does it have live tile functionality, it also lets you create multiple live tiles to show off the weather from multiple locations of your choosing. [Free]

Calculus Course Assistant: A handy tool from the folks at Wolfram Alpha, Calculus Course Assistant is designed to help you with calculus problems that you may be working your way through. But rather than just letting you cheat, it also helps you to learn basic calculus concepts. You know, for those times you won't have your phones -- like in an exam. [£1.99]

Tubecast: Tubecast isn't you're ordinary YouTube client, the reason being that you can use it to stream YouTube content to the likes of Chromecast, and Smart TVs. It's just been updated and now you can view and cast QHD (2K) videos, and videos running at 60FPS. [Free]

Photo Marker: An app designed to let you add notes and annotations to your photos and make them a heck of a lot more useful. Make markings to highlight things you want to see, or add some textual context. It pulls photos from your phones photo hub, and lets you share them to many different messaging apps like Facebook, email, and Twitter. [Free]

Translator: Microsoft's own translation app has just updated its voice translation to include a number of different languages. Those include various versions of English (Australian and Canadian), Russian, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese. I'm sure you can find a use for that when you go away right? [Free]