February's Essential Apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone

By Tom Pritchard on at

February has been a relatively quiet month in the world of tech, situated right in the middle of January's CES and March's MWC. That doesn't mean nothing happened, though.

Someone figured out how to delete every photo from Facebook, we found out Lenovo decided it would be a good idea to ship laptops with crazily insecure adware, it turns out everyone who immediately dismissed Will.i.am's smartcuff were right to do so, and more recently we got to see the colour-screen Pebble Time raise a ridiculous amount of money on Kickstarter.

iOS Apps

Astropad: Graphics tablets are fairly expensive, but if you're the owner of an iPad and a Mac, Astropad will turn your iPad into a graphics tablet of its own. Use your favourite desktop graphics programme, draw on your iPad, and watch it appear on your monitor in real time. [Free -- with £34.08 licence]

TransferWise Money Transfer: Transferring money abroad can be a huge hassle since the banks just love to throw in as many extra charges as they can. TransferWise promises to make that process as cheap as possible, and it claims to be 90 per cent cheaper than using the bank. So whether you're paying off bills, or sending money to your travelling relative who didn't budget as well as they should, it's something to get into the habit of using. [Free]

Drops: Want an effort-free way to teach yourself a new language? Drops will teach you a language's core vocabulary in bite-sized five-minute increments, meaning you don't have to remember a memorise a ridiculous amount each day. Plus it helps you out by taking advantage of word association, user engagement, and gives you precise feedback to help you improve. Right now it includes French, German, Italian, Spanish, and English. [Free -- with in-app purchase]

Letterspace: Letterspace is all about making things easy, simple and organised. That means you have features like a swipe-based cursor (more refined than the iOS default), toggled to-do lists, hashtag and '@' mention-based organisation, a full search feature, and iCloud back-ups. Better yet it's totally free, the only in-app purchases are to change the colour scheme. [Free]

Read our updated list of essential iOS apps here.

Android Apps

Gallery Doctor: Sick of having to sift through your phone's picture album to decide what to delete? Gallery Doctor will do that for you, by deleting any duplicate photos, or photos that it deems 'bad'. That's incredibly handy, and should save you quite a lot of time. But if don't trust it, there is a tool to sort through the photos Gallery Doctor deleted, so you can save them before it's too late. [Free]

Pushbullet: Whatever did we do without Pushbullet? I know I spent a lot of time hunting for a USB cable or emailing files from my phone. It's an invaluable asset, and it's just got even better.The Pushbullet team has updated it to let us sync messages from messaging apps to our computers as well. That includes Hangouts, WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook, and Line. [Free]

atHandTuner Wearable Tuner: Musicians everywhere have to deal with tuning their instruments on a semi-regular basis, so why fret about remembering extra kit when you can just use your phone or smartwatch? That's what atHand Tuner is, a tuner for a variety of musical instruments that's safely kept on your phone and watch. [£0.96]

JotterPad (Writer): A plain-text word processor designed specifically for creative writing whether it's poetry, novels, or whatever you like. The new updated has a new flat Material Design-style look, typewriter mode, and new typefaces. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Read our updated list of essential Android apps here.

Windows Phone Apps

Realarm: This one is an alarm clock that cycles through various ringtones each day so that you're not listening to the same thing everyday. It's just been updated, and now has a new design, voice commands, and various alarm features in the top bar of your phone. [Free]

Whatsapp Video Optimizer: Sharing videos via Whatsapp certainly is handy, but if your video is over 16MB it will indiscriminately cut it to save space. With Whatsapp Video Optimizer, you can convert the video to a different filetype so that its small enough to send. [Free]

Teamviewer: There are a number of apps available for accessing your computer remotely, but most of them are restricted to one operating system. Teamviewer lets you control any Windows, Mac, or Linux computer from your phone without any set-up hassle. [Free]

Cycloramic: The easiest way to take a panoramic photo quickly, all you have to do is follow the onscreen guide and you'll have the perfect picture. No more blurry half-done panoramas for you. [£1.49]

Read our updated list of essential Windows Phone apps here.

[Top-image credit: edited from Shutterstock/Ellagrin]