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

By Tom Pritchard on at

Science fiction is interesting to consider, in particular how technology advances in the individual timelines of different shows. Think about something like Star Trek, which is set two- or three-hundred years in the future but has some really fantastical visions of where our tech is headed. Then there are others where not much has changed, aside from one or two major advances.

Now you know what I spend some of my free time thinking about. Let's move onto the other thing: the apps.

iPhone Apps

HERE Maps: Looking for directions on your phone no longer means you have to settle for the services offered up by Google or (hah) Apple. Nokia's HERE maps is now available on the iPhone, bringing with it offline turn-by-turn directions, public transport routes, real-time traffic information and more. [Free]

Theory Test by miDrive: Anyone who's had to learn to drive in recent years will know the pains of the theory test. You could just continually answer questions and hope for the best, but why not challenge other people and see who knows their stuff? miDrive's theory test app does just that, with an additional solo mode for when you're not feeling quite so competitive. [Free]

Google Calendar: Clearly not content with having the power over Android, Google has released yet another of its many apps on iOS. Not only will it sync with various other calendars, like iCloud and Exchange, it also pulls in events from your Gmail account and has a schedule view that shows you what's going on in your week. [Free]

Tether: You don't want to have to keep locking and unlocking your Mac whenever you have to leave it alone, so why not put your phone to good use? Tether will literally tether your phone to your Mac via Bluetooth, and when they leave proximity your computer will lock up. Return, and it'll unlock automatically. Simple, painless, and effective. [Free]

Double: Recently Tinder was turned into the dating equivalent of a freemium game (pay up or face limited use), so you may be searching for a replacement. Double has a similar system, but it's designed around double-dating to make things less awkward. All you have to do is buddy up with a friend, and you can swipe through other pairs anonymously. [Free]

iPad Apps

Star Wars: Card Reader: Card collecting is a time-honoured tradition, and it's starting to make its way into the digital world. If you want to pick the hobby back up, what better way to do it than with Star Wars? The app has more than 1,000 Topps cards released throughout the years for you to collect, including the first cards from upcoming Episode VII. You get a free pack every day, or you can buy extra ones. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Official F1 App: If you want to keep up with all things Formula 1, then the app is the ideal way to do so. The official iPad app has had a bit of a boost, and with it comes a new design aimed to integrate with and Premium F1 access. [Free]

Ulysses for iPad: Word processors can become cluttered and filled with unnecessary tools and features, and on a tablet screen that's not ideal. Ulysses is a minimalist word processor designed to provide a streamlined no-nonsense writing and editing experience. It's expensive, but it's certainly useful for iPad owners out there – especially since it syncs with iCloud and the Mac version of the app. [£14.99]

Lifesum: If you're wanting to lose weight, exercise more, or just watch what you eat a little bit closer, you'll need an app to help out. Lifesum is such an app, and comes with an extensive food database to help you log exactly what you are eating. The latest version helps a little bit more by allowing you to track water consumption as well. [Free -- with optional subscription]

Sid Meier's Starships: A strategy game set in space, where you take control of a fleet of starships exploring the galaxy and defending civilians from space pirates. This is set within the world of Civilization: Beyond Earth, and if it's like any of the other games in the series then you'll struggle to pull yourself away from the screen. [£10.99]

Android Apps

Corgi for Feedly: If you use Feedly to get your news in the morning, then you might want to look into this one. Corgi will bring you the news from your Feedly RSS feed over to your lockscreen, so you can see the news as soon as you wake up in the morning. Sadly it has nothing to do with actual corgis, so if you want to see them you'll have to go elsewhere. [Free]

Evernote: That ever-popular note-taking service has had an upgrade on Android devices, and now has a Material Design-influenced interface. That's not all though, it's also received features like customisable quicknotes, simpler navigation, editable tags, a cleaner layout, and more. [Free]

Ampere: If you've ever wondered if certain chargers and cables charge your phone up faster than others, you finally have a way to check. Ampere will measure how fast your phone is charging, and consequently how quick your battery depletes. It's not universally compatible (it depends if your phone has a specific chip to measure the battery), but it's invaluable if it is.[Free]

What's Up?: This one is an app that utilises cognitive behaviour therapy and acceptance commitment therapy to help people cope with depression, anger, anxiety, and other issues. It's designed to help you overcome negative feelings using a built-in diary, a positive and negative habit-tracker, relaxing breathing techniques, and more. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

OneSet (Beta): There are plenty of places to find fitness videos online, but you don't want to sit through filler material to get to the actual technique and that's why OneSet is so useful. Think of it like Vine, but for fitness. Everything uploaded is limited to 15 seconds in length, meaning you're only getting the necessary information you need. No more listening to that gym-addict go on about his questionable weightlifting experience. [Free]

Windows Phone Apps

Telegram Beta: Telegram has already had privacy at its core, but keeping all your messages encrypted is rather pointless if anyone can pick up your phone and flick through them. That's why the latest version takes one extra precaution, and lets you lock the app with a passcode so that only you should be able to get in. [Free]

myTube: myTube is designed to help keep YouTube videos running, regardless of whatever you're doing on your phone. The new version lets you choose to have all your videos play automatically when you open them up, no need to hit the play button. [£0.79]

Sonic Dash: Fans of Sega's speedy blue mascot will be pleased to know that the this mobile game has had a hefty update, bringing with it a bunch of new content. That content includes new missions and characters, as well as additional upgrades to aid your playthrough. [Free]

SleepWin: This isn't your standard run-of-the-mill alarm clock app, this one also tracks your sleep and analyses it all so you know how you're doing. While you're sleeping it will record your sleep and any ambient noise, and the alarm will endeavour to wake you when it's least disruptive to your sleep cycle. [Free]

Secret Videos: Sometimes you want to keep your stuff safe from prying eyes, and if some of that stuff is video content then this is the app for you. Just set a password and it will keep select videos safe in a place that nobody else can access. Pull them in from anywhere, such as the SD card and OneDrive, and keep them locked away. [Free]