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So many apps, so little time

So many apps, so little time

We start a new occasional blog series with a few comments and recommendations trawled from the web about some of the latest apps now available which may be just what you’re looking for. Or not.

For Androids

Sketchbook Ink (£3.32) is now available for Android having been around for iPad for a bit less for some time. The BBC Sport app has also been around for iOS but is now on Android too. Sidebar comes in a free version or £1.28 for the pro and accesses your recent apps and customises the Android menu.

For pay monthly customers, O2 have come up with Tu Go to make calls and send texts using your existing mobile number in response to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. But there is a warning – usage comes off your O2 minutes allowance.

The review that MSN gave to Sidewalk Buddy is worth quoting in full: ‘translated into British English, ‘Pavement Mate‘ overlays a video feed from your Android device’s back-facing camera to lessen the likelihood of you walking into a tree or stepping into something unwholesome while you’re texting or catching up on the news. If you like giving your mobile phone screen more attention than the real world while walking from place to place, then Sidewalk Buddy is the ideal solution.’

MSN said that ‘Opera’s innovative and speedy desktop browser doesn’t get the attention it deserves’ but is now on Android. Battery Widget Reborn keeps you in touch with your battery usage and performance.

Vyclone is in beta form, enabling you to ‘film an event from multiple angles with your friends, then works its magic to stitch all of your clips together into one coherent whole. It’s fast and fun to use, and community features are built right into the app.’

Google Keep provides a ‘colourful, sticky note-style way of tracking thoughts, shopping lists, future plans, dreams….’ Setup ‘customises the number of emails synced, and sets your own notification preferences.’

For sports fans, Red Bull F1 Spy is a must, tapping into all kinds of background data and news and for music lovers Shifty Jelly’s revamped Pocket Casts is ’a slick and well-produced app’ to create smart playlists, has a video-to-audio tool and cross-device syncing.

According to MSN, ‘Handcent SMS is a bright, customisable alternative to the stock messaging application packed with features, fonts, colours and icons.’

For iPhone Loyalists

T3 reviews lots of newish iPhone and iPad apps, including The Package, ‘part Incredible Machine, part Lemmings, part Royal Mail sorting office, this puzzler draws its inspiration from a number of sources yet retains a personality all its own.’ It doesn’t start easy, it goes straight to ‘tricky’ as you move a box via gadgets, conveyors and explosive charges. At 69p it’s worth a punt.

At the same price Cinefy – Special FX Studio is a pocket facility enabling you to take a clip of a family video, say, and make it like The Terminator! There is a ‘fair selection of effects for the money’ from helicopter attacks, alien invasions, lightning and sea monsters with camera angle variations. However, T3 concludes they are not realistic enough so it’s all ‘low-rent fun.’

More highly rated, T3 liked Football Manager Handheld 2013 is a realistic taste of how a manager actually puts together a team and rates players and is available in both the iPhone and Android families. Golf Putt Pro is ‘such a flimsy bit of fluff that it barely qualifies as a game’ but is a ‘casual widget.’ And it’s free.

For the time-pressed, Eisenhower is designed to get things done. Your tasks are divided into four quadrants. The urgent ones get a countdown timer, the more distant ones a calendar. For things you can’t do, it creates an email to someone else to do it! The final segment is for ‘things you’re not supposed to do.’ An old fashioned diary and a daily must-do sheet would probably save you the £1.99.

For photo image lovers, Finger Focus fakes depth of field with free for finger swipes and utilises a ‘clever algorithm to make it look artistic.’ Magic Shutter alters time of open shutter from one second to infinity to create those night time shots of lights artistically streaked across cityscapes.

Accessing Info About Apps

With so many apps now around, it follows that there are sites after sites of reviews, ads and data about the latest, the best and the allegedly must-have.

New Best Apps is a comprehensive summary, using categories such as 10 Best THD Games for Your Tegra-Powered Android Devices; Games Like Pokeman for iPhone and iPad; Best 10+ Android and iPhone Fitness Apps; Games Like Plants vs Zombies for Android and iPhone; List of Good Strategy and Tower Defense Games on Android and iOS; Apps to Emulate Instruments on iPhone; Best Medical Apps for iPhone and iPad; Top iPhone Fitness Apps; Best of Playstation Vita’s RPG Games and Strategy Games and 5 iPhone Apps That Change Your Face, Change Your Voice.

Longer reviews are at MSN’s 50 best Android apps to download and iPhone Latest Apps.

A few previous relevant MBF blogs are  GTA5 Is More Than a Game, It’s a Financial and Cultural Phenomenon, 10 October 2013

Is the Fantasy of the Smartphone Getting Silly Now? 12 June 2013

Compulsive, Addictive Behaviour Is the Price of the Device, 23 April 2013

How the Appy New Year Fills the Void Left by Christmas Now Past, 30 December 2012
If You’re Appy and You Know It … 16 April 2012

Image: Biswarup Ganguly