The smartphone generation has brought with it the development of Apps, which now cover every facet of life – either making things a lot easier or providing a huge distraction, depending on your mood. Here we consider some of the Apps on web that may have passed you by, but are worth a revisit.
Movie files stored on a smartphone can be difficult to play – with many apps limiting themselves to one or two types of file. Popcorn player gets past this frustration. Once launched, the free player floats on the smartphone screen – allowing the picture size to be adapted through the intuitive ‘pinch and stretch’ gestures – meaning the user can watch film, videos or YouTube content whilst keeping an eye on emails, facebook or the score in the match.
The difficult to label Waviary mixes music creation with visual art and relaxation. Through gestures made on the touch screen, Waviary creates ambient sounds, building each gesture up into a broad, chilled soundscape as the sound builds, the visuals follow – providing a peaceful, immersive distraction.
Ideal for those looking for an alternative to Instagram – and one with more options and editing facilities – Snapseed is one of the most function-packed photography Apps available. Photos taken on a smartphone can be rotated and cropped to give the perfect image. The image can then be adjusted for colour and brightness or, for extra entertainment, can be put through any number of filters, each providing a different style. The results can be shared by email, or uploaded to one or many social media sites.
Probably the most straightforward radio App, Radioplayer provides access via 3G or Wi-Fi to over 300 UK radio stations. The layout is clear and easy to use – with the ability to flick through stations and see what is playing before returning.
The App also provides access to any available catch-up services or podcast, covering all of the BBC stations in the UK. And if the station is to the listener’s tastes, the App has a ‘Recommend’ tab to help discover similar style stations
Of use to Sky+ subscribers, this App puts makes the Sky Planner available anywhere at any time. The user can check when programmes are on and remotely schedule recordings – and also can create a playlist of TV shows and movies queued ready and waiting.
The App also includes listings of ‘on demand’ programming that can be added to the queue or moved into the planner for future viewing. This programming includes catch up TV, highlights and themed box sets.
For those who know what news they want to catch up on – but do not want to switch repeatedly switch websites to gather all of the information – Google Reader takes the RSS feed from any appropriate website, and put all the updates in a single place.
The App can be personalised to group themes or to keep the various sources separate. The layout is straightforward, and has the option to recommend similarly themed streams.