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

By Tom Pritchard on at

July is over, and it's been one hell of a month. The biggest news, of course, came from the launch of Windows 10, which happened earlier this week. San Diego Comic Con came around with it came all the grainy leaked footage that film studios refuse to release officially for some reason, the OnePlus Two officially saw the light of day, Apple released a new budget handset iPod Touch, and Reddit had a massive hissy fit.

As always, we've seen some great apps released in the past month. Here are the best apps that you should install on your devices as we head into August.

iOS Apps

YoVivo: We all store our photos and videos in a multitude of places, but wouldn't you prefer to keep an eye on it all from one central hub? That's what YoVivo is for. It brings together all of your online cloud and social media accounts so you can access and share all your videos and images from one place. It's very simple, and you can protect it all with a password or TouchID. [Free]

Pocket: Pocket is a handy little app for saving articles, videos, and other web content for later offline viewing. It's had a nice update that brings it in line with the Android version, and now has text-to-speech. You can also set it to read all your saved articles for you when your eyes are otherwise engaged, like when you're walking or driving. [Free]

Liner: If you're surfing the web and you find a small piece of text you want to keep an eye on, it's a bit of a pain to have to keep going back. Liner makes it a bit easier by highlighting text on the web, and keeping everything safely stored away for later reference. There's even an option to share and export highlights, which is especially handy if you're researching something. [Free]

Spark: Getting through your emails can be time consuming and boring as hell. Spark aims to make it a lot quicker to clear your message backlog. It automatically sorts your email based on content and context, lets you send quick replies, and has a swipe-to-archive/delete gesture. The latest version also has tools to delete emails en masse. [Free]

Android Apps

Easy Uninstaller: If you browse these lists every week, you may find that your device very quickly fills up with apps that you never use. Uninstalling isn't always easy on Android, and Easy Uninstaller gives you an option for getting rid of them in chunks. All it takes is a few taps of the screen and all those space-wasting programs will be gone.[Free]

Trring: Your lock screen is generally sitting around doing nothing most of the time, so why not put it to good use with quick-access to your favourite apps? Trring is basically speed dial for your apps shaped like a rotary phone, and you get to customise it to send you straight to whichever apps you want easy access too. No longer will the quick launch icons be exclusive to the phone and camera. Be warned, it does mess things up if you keep your screen locked. [Free -- with premium purchase]

WifiMapper: Unfortunately most networks won't give us unlimited data anymore (bastards!), so the public Wi-Fi hotspot is ever so important. WifiMapper maps out the free Wi-Fi hotspots in your vicinity, and uses Foursquare to let you know what's in the general vicinity. It also has the Android exclusive feature of viewing your connection history, and how well those hotspots performed. [Free]

addappt: If the contacts on your phone are an absolute mess, addappt might be able to help. It automatically updates whenever your contacts change their details, to easily keep you up to date with what's going on. It's now got a new user interface, promising faster navigation, a 'favourites' bar that remembers who you last communicated with people, and groups. [Free]

Windows Phone Apps

Feed Lab: Windows Phone is very well known for the whole lack of first-party apps shabang, but thankfully there are plenty of third party devs who work tirelessly to give everyone the services they need. Feed Lab is the latest example, functioning as a third-party Feedly client for you to store all your RSS feeds for easy viewing. [Free]

Hotspot Shield Free VPN: VPNs are all the rage these days, despite the fact that David Cameron doesn't seem to like them very much. Hotspot Shield has just launched on Windows Phone, and should sort you out for all your mobile VPN needs. Whether you're trying to avoid being snooped on or just want to 'geo-pirate' the US Netflix catalogue. It takes one button to turn on and off, and promises banking level encryption and IP hiding to keep you all safe and secure. [Free]

Video 360: Virtual reality is becoming a big thing, and part of that involves the 360 degree videos we've seen getting uploaded to YouTube. Video 360 coming out now means that Windows Phone users can enjoy it as well. Just move your phone around to see the video from a completely different viewpoint. [£1.49]

InstaNote: Taking notes in meetings is a real chore, especially if you're so busy jotting things down that you end up missing something. InstaNote takes all the hassle out of it, letting you record the last 30 seconds of audio at the touch of a button. So if you heard something important, you won't be missing out. It'll even transcribe it where possible, removing the most awkward thing about audio notes. [Free]