The Week's Top Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows Mobile Apps

By Tom Pritchard on at

It seems cliche to talk about the weather, but it is acting pretty strangely recently. Everything warmed up in March, but now it's magically colder again. Not to mention the constant rain and hail. At least that's what it likes where I am. It's truly bizarre, like nature is playing one long April Fool's joke on us.

Anyway,enough about weather because there aren't any related apps in this week's list. Here's your lot:

Android: Monospace (Free - with premium purchase)

Word processors have ended up getting more and more complex over the years. All those menus and features that nobody really knows how to use, which, frankly, just get in the way. Monospace is one of many word processors that scraps all the fluff, and sticks to a minimalist distraction-free design.

So what's it like? Well the minimalism does come with a degree of simplicity, and getting started takes no time at all. The same goes for getting started and typing away. But all word processors are like that – so far so good. Opening up a new document brings up a blank screen with a cursor (with an option of switching between a white and grey background).

Minimalism doesn't mean Monospace is a mere text editor, however, and it is possible to do some basic formatting within the documents: bolding text, italicising, bullet points, quotes, and bold italics. Doing that can be done either by highlighting areas of text and applying formats with the resulting pop-up menu, or with Ctrl+Key commands on a compatible keyboard.

The main thing to remember about Monospace is that there are no formal means of folder organisation. Instead you have to use a series of hashtags (inserted at the bottom of each document) that you use to find what you need. How you organise those hashtags is up to you, but it does mean you have to remember what's what. Each hashtag you use creates a brand new folder on the app's homescreen, meaning it should in theory be simple finding what you've written. Provided you aren't creating hundreds of documents every few days, that is.

The final point of note is that you can link Monospace to your Dropbox account, meaning everything gets synced to the cloud and across all your devices. Google Drive integration is there, but you have to pay £3.49 to upgrade to the pro version to be able to use it. The same goes for customising the formatting toolbar.

If you're looking for a decent place to type things up on a mobile device, this is a good option. It's free, it's simple, and it gets the job done.

You should also try:

SwifDicty: Have you ever been reading and come across a work you didn't understand? Rather than leaving the app to look it up, or finding a new device, SwiftDicty is a floating balloon that gives you quick and easy access to a dictionary any time you like. [Free]

Mailtime:  Nice and simple, this one turns your email conversations into one long feed – much like an instant messaging conversation. No more sifting through your inbox to find anything from a regular contact. [Free]

N Launcher: A launcher based on that found in the Android N developer preview, for those of you who can't install it. Enjoy a facsimile of all the new features Google's next OS will have to offer. [Free]

iPhone: Reddit (Free)

After many many years of having to rely on the mobile site or third-party apps, Reddit has finally launched a mobile app. After so long you may have become accustomed to the system you use, so why bother switching? Well for starters Reddit will give you three months of free Reddit Gold the first time you sign into the app. But that's not all. Let's take a look.

It's all nice and easy to use, and I personally feel that the layout is superior to the full version of Reddit you'll use on a desktop. The fact that you don't need to click something extra to see media is a huge plus. Everything is set up in a typical tabbed app format, with the main front page coming in first, followed by a search/subscription tab, your inbox, and account settings.

The front page view can be altered based on your own subscriptions, and the usual 'hot', 'new', 'top' 'controversial' filters from the main site apply here. You can also switch between a card and compact view. The card view generally means you see a single post on screen at a time, while the compact view shrinks them so you see about four. Obviously if you want to dig into the comments on each post, you'll need to click through. Mobile or not, the reality of Reddit remains the same.

Subscriptions work the same way as well. Your front page gets filled with the posts from the subreddits you subscribe to, and finding new ones is nice and easy in the search tab. There's also an expandable subscription folder if you want quick access to individual groups. There's also a SFW toggle in your account settings, and you can add multiple accounts into the app for quick-switching.

It's like Reddit, but slightly better. If you're new to the site, or you're sick of your existing app, this is a decent replacement.

You should also try:

Outlook (Update): Microsoft's email app updated this week, bringing with it integration with calendars from Facebook, Wunderlist, and Evernote. [Free]

Circle Pay: A way for you to get paid (or pay other people) using nothing more than an email address or a phone number. Nice and simple, with no ridiculous fees thrown in. [Free]

Billy: A tool for managing all your subscriptions without having to look in a million different places. It'll also let you know when your bills are due. [Free]

iPad: How Many Saturdays? (Free)

The saying is that life is short, which is a little odd since it is literally the longest thing anyone ever does. Still your time on Earth is finite, and it might be a little bit difficult to visualise that – especially if you're fairly young. How Many Saturdays? is an amusing morbid little app that puts your remaining time into perspective.

It's basically a bizarre little death clock that uses shows you how much of certain things you can enjoy before you die. It doesn't know exactly when you'll kick the bucket, but tell it your birthday and it'll make a rough guess.

So what exactly do I mean? Well apparently I have 283,650 farts left to enjoy before I die in the early 2070s. 2,894 Saturdays, 13 US presidential elections, 1 Halley's Comet and so on. You get what I mean, and I suppose the idea is to make us think differently about how we view time.

Each little thing also explains how it's measured each unit of time, explaining what things are in the process.

It's a bit silly, but since life is so short you might as well enjoy it in anyway you can.

You should also try:

hayu: An on-demand streaming platform for reality TV, launching brand new episodes the same day they launch in the US. [Subscription]

Collectarium: A handy little tool for organising all your collections digitally, no matter what they may be. [£3.99]

Wall of Music: A more visually appealing way of listening to your music, locally and through Apple Music. If you're sick of the default Apple Music layout, this is one for you. [Free]

Windows Mobile: Audiotica (Free)

Rather than having a billion different apps for your music needs, Audiotica wants to be your one stop shop for all your music – regardless of whether it's stored locally or needs to be streamed from the web.

It's got support for, Deezer, Soundcloud, and even the ever-popular Spotify, so provided you have an account with those services you'll be able to access the lot. So no need to download all of their Windows apps, and hope they stay up to date with Android and iOS. Plus, of course, you can import music from your collection to listen to as you please.

That's not all, though. Giving it an advantage over other services, Audiotica supports high quality FLAC files for the audiophiles of the world. It also promises to be 99 per cent faster than Spotify or Xbox Music, while using 70 per cent of the power. That sounds like a pretty sweet combination to me.

Once your music is imported (it walks you through the process), it works pretty much like any other music app. So no random or stupid layouts to confuse you.

You should also try:

SHAREit (Update): The file-transfer service had a nice update this week, bringing with it a brand new design on Windows 10. [Free]

Todoist: The popular task-list manager has finally launched on Windows 10, bringing with it a simple to-do list format to help you stay organised. [Free]

Madefire: A digital comic shop, with a twist. Rather than just selling you normal comics (which is does also do), it also has a large range of motion comics that are complete with sound, motion, and greater immersion. [Free]