Here is the place where I usually write some sort of introduction - often based on something that's happening out in the big bad world. Today, however, nothing is really coming to mind so I'll skip the pleasantries and jump right to it. Here are all your lovely apps for this week.
We're starting off with a bit of an odd one here. 1Shot is Microsoft's fancy camera app that's been available on Windows phones for what seems like forever. It's got all those fancy manual controls used by serious photographers to get the perfect shot, and now it's a universal windows app. That's right, it means you can get 1Shot on your laptop and/or tablet! Also Hololens, but since it doesn't have a camera that would be extra pointless. While this new update isn't an excuse to go out and take pictures with your laptops shitty built-in webcam, at least your selfies will look extra special.
This one is a universal app, offering a basic minimalist text editor not that different from Notepad. But obviously it's better because it's available on all your Windows devices, and it's a more modern piece of software that emphasises speed. The basic version is free to use, but if you want some extra features then coughing up $0.99/£0.77 unlocks tabs, auto-saving, markdown file support, and a dark theme for all the goths and emos in the world.
Leaving the Windows app store because, well, you know why, and we fine Collate. If you've been a big Evernote fan and got turned off by the updates that destroy any sense or privacy you might have, Collate is well worth checking out. It's a cross-platform note-taking app that emphasises privacy, but sticks with the Evernote rich-notes-style. It's all saved in ways your devices can understand it, without locking itself inside a specific app-based environment, or hidden away in a cloud database. Everything is stored locally as well, which is great for the privacy-concerned, through it does come at the expense of multi-device synchronisation. It's not cheap, but it's a small price to pay if this is the kind of thing you're going to rely on.
Photoscan by Google Photos (Update)
This one has been around for a while, letting you scan your physical photos quickly and easily - before storing them safely on Google Photos. The latest update gives you the option to speed up the process, with an aptly-named 'quick scan' mode. It turns off glare removal, letting you capture the image in a single scan. It's probably not ideal for glossy photos in bright shiny environments, but if you're scanning documents or something like that then this should help save some time.
This is quite a simple solution to the risk of being pickpocketed, though I can imagine it'll get annoying after a while. Activating this app means that whenever someone (including you) takes your phone out your pocket, an alarm will go off. The only way to turn it off is to unlock the phone. It also has a 'charge sense' mode, which lets you charge up in a public place with relative peace. If someone unplugs the phone, an alarm will go off.
Privacy Screen Guard and Filter
A few weeks ago I included a Blackberry-exclusive privacy mode, that lets users black out certain sections of the screen. Because BlackBerry refused to make the app available for all Android handsets (maybe it's a misguided attempt to stay relevant), someone else has beat them to the punch. Privacy Screen Guard and Filter might be a mouthful, but it keeps people from snooping on your device in public - just in case you're working on top-secret military weapons plans, the next Tomb Raider game, or sexting. It adds a tint to the bits of the screen you're not looking at, meaning those nosey fuckers can't look at what you're doing just because they played too much Pokémon Go and ran out of ways to entertain themselves
Sky Go (Update)
Sky's on-demand service for Sky TV customers, not to be confused with Now TV or the On-Demand services on your actual Sky Box. Basically you get to download some Sky programming to your device, or watch live TV if you have enough data. Though what you have access to depends on your subscription. The app just had an update that brings with it a brand new design and navigation system, a full seven day TV guide, and, perhaps most importantly, the option to remotely record and download content.
This one is designed to help you work out which restaurant you want to go to, but promises to do so in a relatable way. So identifying restaurants that are ideal for dates, dinner with relatives, and things like that. Each place has a review, which the app's editorial team claim to have written without the restaurant staff knowing their true motives for being there. As well as sneaky, they promise to be unbiased so you know exactly what you're getting yourself in for. The app is only available in a few cities right now (London is the only one in the UK), but it's certainly worth looking into if you're heading to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC, Austin, Denver, Paris, Mexico City, Melbourne, Rome, or Tokyo anytime soon.
The Learning Lock
You never can be too careful with your phone these days, and if you still use a pattern over a fingerprint or passcode, this might be one to check out. The Learning Lock uses machine learning to identify how you unlock your phone, and if it detects any anomalies or suspicious activity it'll ask for a separate passcode to prove your identity. Pretty basic, and only a mild inconvenience if it really is you trying to unlock your phone.
The replacement for the Microsoft-owned Wunderlist, offering an intelligent to-do list that makes it easier to manage your day. It's still only a preview app, with a lot of work being done behind the scenes, but it's still got some of the features that drew people to Wunderlist in the first place - specifically that of suggesting things for you to get done throughout the day. Wunderlist is still around the the time being, but Microsoft will be sending it the way of the dodo eventually, so this is one replacement you should start checking out.