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Navigate Your Way Through the Apps' Mazes

Navigate Your Way Through the Apps’ Mazes

A timely update on the apps scene, as many of you will have acquired dozens more over the Christmas season. Some of you will have created your own niche apps and be looking at a fortune next year?

Oh Come All Ye Unfaithful

If you’re wondering how to pass the days after all the excitement of presents and you’re not one of the many people who found hours and hours of being cooped up with family too much to stop you fearing the worst, read on. Some Christmas rows made people in relationships think they were/are being cheated on. Citizens Advice Bureaux always report huge increases in such people seeking help straight after Christmas.

A recent invention which may help people in the future has been Neal Desai’s Cate (Call and Text Eraser), a handy app to create a secret log of all calls and text messages between the user and any given number(s). Secret, that is to say, not logged in the normal and visible way.

Only the buyer can retrieve data about communication between the secret numbers and there is no telltale icon on the screen. Even better for those minded to keep secret, if a partner appears while the system is in use, a quick shake and all screen evidence disappears.

Desai bought the app from a Miami police officer who developed it having seen one of his colleague’s marriage dissolve on the discovery of sexting messages. He borrowed money to market it and now it’s gaining ground.

While critics argue it could be used by criminals too, Desai responds that it has government, covert operations, business or legal implications and users too. The downside is that if a suspicious person downloads it secretly onto a partner’s phone, he/she can discover another’s infidelity if it exists, even after normal deletion.

Photography Still Popular

You may have got something to do with filming this year. iPhoto is still a top-rated app from Apple to manage snaps on iPhones or iPads. Snapseed is great for all photo and camera applications.

Photoshop Express is a quality photo-editing app and still free. Viddy is also gratis and is a way of quickly editing and sharing videos. Retro styles and filters can be applied to all photos by 8mm Vintage Camera and costs just £1.49.

Collaboration is the theme behind Vyclone allowing users to merge videos from others to create very complex outcomes, while Vizualizr is a location-based sharing app.

The Daily Telegraph 500 Best Apps (October and November 2012) is crammed full of photo and video helpful apps from entry level to experienced users.

No End to the Applications

As these lists show, there is now no area of life that is not covered by an app. Hotels, holidays, maps, streets, petrol prices, currencies, foreign languages, buses, what’s on and fashion are well covered.

Every sport you can dream of and your health enjoy a mass of apps between them. Relax Melodies is one that may be useful when surrounded by hyper-active sporty types in the post Christmas period as they rush to sign up at gyms. It uses white noise and ambient sounds to help you relax and sleep.

There are dozens under the heading ‘Stargazing, Sesame Street and Shakespeare’, including apps for children of all ages and learning and education. ‘Gamers on the go’ and ‘Games without frontiers’ are self explanatory and will be particularly useful in this holiday season when you want to duck down and either appear to be working or you just can’t face another anecdote from a relative.

Music and movies are a rich category of apps, including WhoSampled which links your entire library’s samples and tracks, the amusing StumbleUpon and Aweditorium (free) which allows you to take your favourite musician and all videos, songs and info and bung into ‘one beautiful iPad experience’.

There are culture apps, both high-brow and low-brow, depending on your definition of culture. Every way of accessing news is in an app somewhere. The Poke (£1.99) is a spoof news site well worth a look if you like a laugh about what is sometimes a heavy news story diet.

Reference apps that have danced on the graves of encyclopedias are many. At one end of the scale you can get Checkatrade to find work people for household repairs, and at the other you can reference all Agatha Christie’s novels and short stories with Poirot for iOS (free).

Finally ‘Eat, drink and develop a healthy app-etite’ is the Telegraph section which covers such essentials as Burgerapp (London burgers), GoodtoKnow, What’sforDinner and Barista, how to make your own coffee!

FOOTNOTE IF YOU’RE IN OUR EAST ANGLIAN REGION:

An app that promotes three local rail lines (Norwich-Lowestoft, Norwich-Great Yarmouth and Norwich-Sheringham, The Bittern Line) has won international recognition at community mobility sustainablilty awards held in Venice last month.

It gives real time information at all stations, accesses maps, journey planners, tourist attractions and accommodation, walking and cycling routes. Designed by Norfolk Community Rail Partnerships, it’s the product of a partnership between Greater Anglia rail, Norfolk County Council, district councils and the Association of Community Rail Partnerships.

Must see:

Daily Telegraph, 500 Must-Have Apps

If You’re Appy and You Know It … 16 April 2012

Image: Zirguezi