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

By Tom Pritchard on at

Do you ever get that feeling where it seems organising things is a futile endeavour? You know the one, where you clean up or tidy away and then half an hour later the place is a mess again. It can't just be me, and it is equal parts baffling and infuriating.

It almost makes me want to dive into work to escape the feeling. Speaking of which, some of my work involves apps so let's have a look at this week's app offerings.

iPhone Apps

Hotel My Phone: There are times when your phone runs out of battery before you're done using it. Hotel My Phone is a remarkable help in these situations because it lets you turn someone else's phone into your own, in a manner of speaking. Just make sure they have the app, and you can log into your account to use their phone to call and text as if it was your own. [Free]

Activity and Mood Diary: Activity tracking is nothing new, but if you really want to keep a full record of your life then you're going to want to track your mood as well. Activity and Mood Diary keeps an eye on the lot, letting you to record how you're feeling, how much sleep you're getting, as well as the usual things like food consumption and exercise. With it all in one place you'll be able to spot patterns and triggers to make sure valid changes to your lifestyle. [Free]

HUG!: People are always looking for ways to show intimacy and affection via technology, but often it feels impersonal. HUG! is designed to try and get around that by letting you send virtual hugs to people by hugging your phone. It'll detect how long the hug is, and send it on its way. [Free] A streaming service that comes directly from your iPhone and broadcasts it live on the web for the world to see. Think of it as a service similar to Meerkat or Twitch, but more generalised in what you can do and say with your broadcast. You can also chat on your phone while streaming, as well as saving the video stream to your camera roll as it broadcasts. [Free]

babylon: This one is a medical subscription service that lets you book appointments and video chat with doctors and medical professionals at a moment's notice. It's been updated, and that means a bunch of new functionality. That includes integrating with third-party apps and wearables, understanding blood and urine test results, and the ability to track your diet and exercise. [Free -- with subscription]

iPad Apps

Medium: The official app for the Medium blog platform is not exactly new, but it has had an update that brings along a number of important features. Now you can read short posts directly from your home screen, quickly access your profile and writing stats. Also included is a search function, which is pretty damn important if you ask me. [Free]

Pixelmator: A very competent alternative to Adobe's Photoshop, the Pixelmator image editing app has had an update on the iPad -- bringing with it a selection of new features. There is a brand-new watercolour technology, along with various new watercolour brushes, the ability to edit RAW images, enhanced stylus sensitivity, and more. [£7.99]

Speak & Translate: If you want to converse with someone who doesn't speak the same language as you can be tricky, so something that translates in real time would be handy. Speak & Translate translates text and voice in real time, allowing you to understand dozens of languages from all over the world. Handoff and iCloud integration also means that your conversations can seamlessly sync across your other Apple devices. [£7.99]

IMDB: The ever popular database of film and television has had an update on the iPad, bringing with it a brand new dark theme, extra information of TV premiers and finales, higher quality images in the photo gallery, and updates to the video player that allow you to view them in portrait and landscape. [Free]

CARROT Weather: You may already be familiar with CARROT, a selection of apps that use snarky comments to add some humour to an existing topic. Well the people behind it have just released a weather app, combining forecasts with the signature sarcasm that CARROT is known for. Weather is generally rather boring, so this should liven it up a bit. [£2.29]

Android Apps

Flipboard: Flipboard is a personal digital magazine that keeps you up to date with the latest news and goings on in the world. It's been updated now, and the new version will let you create a private magazine to share with friends and family, as well as Twitter integration for logging in and tagging. [Free]

HTC Dot View: Anyone with an HTC One M8 will know that the Dot View Case is available to add a bit of functionality to your phone without having to turn on the entire screen. If you have one, you'll be glad of this improvement. You can now play games, display scrolling messages, control the phone's torch, snooze your alarms, and more. [Free -- HTC One M8/M9 Exclusive]

Chromatik: If you're looking for ways to play along with your favourite music without having to play by ear, then this is right up your street. Chromatik has an ever-growing catalogue of sheet music and tabs for every major instrument and genre, meaning you have the perfect tool to play your favourite songs on an instrument you know. [Free]

Swipes: If you use a to-do list to help organise your day, the last thing you want is something complicated and fussy that requires a lot of time and attention to sort out. You want something simple. Swipes offers everything you'd expect from a to-do list app, but the key is simplicity and all you need to do to fix everything is a few swipes of the screen. [Free]

Fun Fit: HTC's own fitness tracking app is designed to make exercising a fun experience, not something that should be dreaded. It does this by letting you create an avatar and connecting with Facebook so that you can compete with your friends. It's that interaction and competition that's designed to motivate you and make your workouts a more rewarding experience. [Free]

Windows Phone Apps

Diorama: Tilt-shift is a great effect for taking photographs that make real-life imagery look incredibly similar to a model. Diorama is a handy app that lets you create such imagery on your phone with minimal fuss. No need to mess around with settings or image editing software. [Free]

mSecure: The password manager service has finally made it to Windows Phone, and will help secure all your accounts. Imagine losing your phone, or having it stolen. All the personal info on your phone could be at risk, but with a password manager it helps to keep your data secure. The app doesn't come cheap, but for the launch period it is half price. That means if you use mSecure on your other machines you should grab it immediately. [£3.49]

Long Tweet: Sometimes 140 characters is not enough, and Long Tweet is there to make sure you can post your thoughts in their entirety. Just type out your long message and it'll be split up into multiple tweets, or it will tweet it as an image. [Free]

Tinkerplay: If you want to get your hands on some toys, you don't want to be restricted by the products released by the toy companies. With Tinkerplay you can design your own toys with snap-together pieces and 3D print them for yourself. [Free]