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

By Tom Pritchard on at

Remember back at school when the maths teacher used to tell you that you needed to learn mental arithmetic because you wouldn't carry a calculator everywhere? Jokes on them: that's the glory of phones, especially the apps we can download on smartphones.

Go back ten years and who would've guessed the kind of things we'd be doing? Converting units at the push of a button, having our exercise and food consumption automatically analysed. Heck, I could pay my rent while walking down the street if I wanted to.

Let's be thankful for all that, and take a look at the latest and best.

iPhone Apps

Shifts: Calendar apps aren't that fantastic if you have a job that requires you to work in shifts. With this offering though, you can create your own custom shifts and add them to the calendar with a single tap. Add up to two shifts per day, and set up a rotation meaning you can add a year's worth of shifts at once. [£1.49]

Alfred Remote: If you want to control your Mac from your phone, then Alfred Remote is essential for you. But rather than just controlling the mouse of keyboard, Alfred lets you launch apps, files, system preferences, and even websites or bookmarks. [£3.99]

Hydra -- Amazing Photography: Taking photos on your phone in low light is tricky, but Hydra help. It shoots images at 60 frames per second, merges them together into a single photo, which helps you go beyond the 8MP limit and up to 32MP. [£2.29]

Delectable Wines: If you have no idea what kind of wine is good then you need an app that tells you instantly. That's what Delectable Wines does, and all you need to do is snap a photo of the label. A new update bring new features, and now you can search with hashtags, and recommend wine to friends. [Free]

Snapchat: The photo sharing app has been updated, bringing with it the new 'Discover' menu where you can find a selection of video content and editorial features from a variety of third-party organisations and Snapchat itself. [Free]

iPad Apps

Microsoft Outlook: It's taken many years, but Microsoft has finally released an official Outlook app on iOS. No longer will you have to use any unofficial apps to access your Microsoft email anytime you like. [Free]

Midnight Rises: An interactive graphic novel kicking off the Midnight Star story, set 120 years in the future. The story follows 2nd Lt. Charlie Campbell as he prepares for a mission to determine the origin of a mysterious signal within the solar system. You are in control of the story, and at key moments you make decisions that significantly affect the plot. Plus, if there's one thing tablets are good for it's reading comics. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Pushbullet: Pushbullet is the app that makes transferring things between devices easier than ever, be they pictures, files, links, or notifications. Now it's available on the iPad (and OS X), so you can be more connected than ever before. [Free]

Soundcloud: We all know Soundcloud, the number one site for sharing your own music with the world. Well the app has had an update with a new interface designed specially for the iPad, which is more visual, intuitive, and simpler than ever before. [Free]

Tayasui Sketches: Tayasui may not be the most well-known or extensively tooled drawing app out there, but it does offer some of the most realistic digital art tools of any other app -- combining simplicity and power to help you create amazing art. [£2.99 -- with in-app purchases]

Android Apps

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 Material Design-style look, typewriter mode, and new typefaces. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Seene: An app for creating 3D photos, videos, and GIFs using a combination of imagery, depth, and movement. Other than that it's like pretty much every other photography app out there, with filters, and minor re-editing. Seene is compatible with Google Cardboard as well, meaning you can view your creations in virtual reality. [Free]

MakerBot: 3D printing is getting more and more affordable, so if you have one of your own then check out the MakerBot app. MakerBot gives you access to MakerBot's Thingiverse design library, optimise and scale the would-be model, before sending it to your 3D-printer via Wi-Fi. [Free]

KineMaster -- Pro Video Editor: Video editing has been available on phones for a while now, but the offerings have never really comparable to what you can find on a PC or Mac. Kinemaster is aiming to end that, with what it calls the first professional-grade video editor on Android phones. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Windows Phone Apps

HTC Camera: If you have a Windows Phone HTC One M8 you'll be happy to hear that the HTC Camera app has just been updated. It now has Pan 360 mode, replacing the existing panorama mode. It's similar to other panorama modes, except it'll let you shot horizontally and vertically. [Free]

Sharit: If you have multiple social media accounts that you update frequently, you might want to try out Sharit. It'll let you post to multiple accounts at the same time, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook, and more. [Free]

Plex: Plex is the service that lets you convert your computer into a web-accessible media server, and the app lets you control it wherever you are. It's just been updated, and now the Windows Phone version includes playlist support and video queues so you can set everything up and not worry about what's coming next. [£3.49]

Facebook: The Windows Phone Facebook app has been updated, bringing it in line with the iOS and Android versions. Now Top Stories is included in the News Feed, improved News Feed content, and improvements to the Timeline. [Free]