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

By Tom Pritchard on at

So, those new Apple products. Exciting right? Eh, not really. There's nothing interesting about any of Apple's launches, even the stuff that's not actually been done on mainstream phones (and by stuff I mean one thing). To be honest that seems fairly standard for the devices being announced right now. Call me cynical, but I'm not seeing all that much to be excited about. Is there even much that phones can improve upon? The iPhone certainly can, but we'll have to see.

In any case, that's not why you're here. Let's get down to this week's dose of mobile apps.

iPhone Apps

Dazzle It: This one is an augmented reality app that adds some design and 'dazzle' to 3D models and then lays it onto the world around you. You just get your model ready in the app, transform it with 'dazzle art' (a form of camouflage developed for ships during WWI) and then you can see it brought to life. [Free]

AdBlock Browser: We all hate adverts, and while it's not always easy to block all adverts from your device you can at least be happy knowing that there won't be any in your browser. Or at least their won't be with AdBlock Browser, from AdBlock Plus. It's just arrived on iOS, so those pesky full-screen video adverts should be a thing of the past for you! [Free]

Paper: This one is a handwriting and drawing app that's become incredibly popular on the iPad, and this week it hits the smaller devices. Think of Paper as an advanced note-taking app. It's a place where you can bring together drawings, doodles, notes, and photos. [Free]

Camera+ Free: Camera+ is a fairly powerful alternative to the iPhone's default camera app, and now there's a free version with a lot of the same features as the old paid-for app. It's got a clarity filter to add crispness to your photos, lets you set exposure and focus separately, a front flash system, 6x digital zoom, and much more. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

eBay: We all know eBay, and I know from personal experience that having push notifications on your mobile makes bidding on something a heck of a lot easier. The iOS app has just had a major overhaul, designed to make buying and selling on your phone easier and quicker than ever. Navigation, bidding, and search have been overhauled, and there are also three new recommendation channels to flick through. [Free]

iPad Apps

iA Writer: This one is designed to offer an optimum, distraction free word processing experience on a mobile device. It's just been overhauled design-wise, ditching some of the more pointless menus, and a customisable keyboard that lets you arrange and add different functions. [£7.99]

iPhone Screenshot 1

Star Wars: Uprising: We're in the run-up to Star Wars Episode VII, and the die-hard fans will want to know what's happened since the end of Return of the Jedi. Uprising is a game set a few months after the death of the Emperor, in a sector of space blockaded to prevent word of the rebel victory reaching the general public. You play as a smuggler, in a typical mobile point-and-shoot game. Simple, but still fairly fun to waste a bit of time. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Tripomatic: The summer price-hike season is over, so it's definitely not a bad time to take a trip. Even if some countries might not be experiencing beach weather. Tripomatic helps you sort out your trip, and ensures you don't miss any of the important sights and events when you're away. It helps you find a hotel, see the weather when your trip is going to happen, a built-in itinerary planner, maps to everywhere you need to go (all available offline!) and more. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Trello: Trello is an organisation tool that's designed with a board and cards. It's effectively like a 21st century whiteboard. It can be used for checklists, comments and communication, as well as exchanging files and photos with minimum fuss. It's just had an update, and that's brought a new home screen and tab navigation, the option to search through all your boards, and some improvements to accessibility. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Javvy: Learning to code Java is one of the recommended ways to learn to code, and if you want a way to get into that try Javvy. It's got over 150 interactive tutorials spread over 12 chapters, and working your way through them will help you learn everything you need to know to get coding. The first three chapters are free, but the other nine have to be paid for. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Android Apps

Google Street View: It seems Google is going the way of Facebook, and pulling out bits of its apps instead of budging them all together. That is the case with Street View anyway, which has left the confines of Google's mapping app into a dedicated app of its own. It's not just the Street View you'd find in Google Maps, this app also lets you create your own 'Photo Spheres' which lets you add your own Street View content and share it with the world. [Free]

Swivel: Screen rotation can be an annoyace, especially since Android only allows a single static position or automatic rotation. This is a bit of a pain if you have different apps you like to view in different orientations, which is where Swivel comes in. It lets you set the rotation of specific apps for the one you like best, but without messing up the rotation of all your other apps. [£0.77]

Mastery: Mastering a skill takes time, a lot of time. Common thinking is its 10,000 hours of practice. Who's got the willpower for that? Well some people do, but for other it's a pain. If you're the latter, give Mastery a try. It tracks how long you've spent working on a skill, and turns the process into a game to help you progress along at a reasonable, productive pace. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Instadict: Don't know the meaning of words you come across, but don't want to deal with stopping whatever you're doing and googling it? Instadict there to help you out, delivering words' meanings quickly and easily. All you have to do is copy the word, shake your phone, and it'll deliver the meaning to you. The best part? It works offline as well. [Free]

Periscope: Periscope is Twitter's answer to the ongoing trend of people live streaming everything they do, and it's just had a nice update to make it a bit better. The main one is that the streams now support landscape video, so if someone is streaming with their device horizontally (i.e. the correct way) then that's how it shows up on the viewers' devices. Obviously that means they have to orientate their phones correctly to maintain the full-screen mode. For streamers it also now lets you set up private broadcasts so that they are available for followers who you happened to have followed back. [Free]

Windows Phone Apps

Our Favorite Android, iOS, and Windows Phone Apps of the Week

Google Translate: Windows Phone already has its fair share of translation apps, but now you can get your hands on a version of Google's translation software. It's got support for 90 languages, and you can translate text, speech, and your phone's camera. It even has the option to download language packs for when you're abroad and won't have internet access. [Free]

Our Favorite Android, iOS, and Windows Phone Apps of the Week

Receipt Tracker: This is one is one of Microsoft's Garage projects, and used OCR (optical character recognition) to extract information from your receipts so that you're not just saving pictures of receipts. This means you can categorise and visualise your receipts for easy tracking. [Free]

Realarm: If standard alarm clock on your phone isn't doing the trick anymore, give Realarm a try. It's a powerful option that trumps what comes preinstalled with your phone. It's got a whole bunch of options for reoccurring alarms, a live tile, a calendar preview of when your alarm will sound, and customisable voice commands. Plus, if you're sick of the same alarm tone Realarm has you sorted. Just add a bunch of sounds into the app, and Realarm will randomly alternate them for you. [Free]

Lumia Storyteller: This is one for organising your media. Lumia Storyteller sorts through your photos, videos, and cinemagraphs and organises them into 'stories'.They then get put into a timeline for you to find and view easily. It's just has an update, and that actually expands the stories in your timeline and change the order of your content. [Free]