As September draws to a close, we thought we’d take a retrospective look at some of the more notable mobile apps to hit our radar over the past month.
Without further ado, here’s a quick snapshot of some of the best.
New on Android
“This event was off the charts”
Gary Vaynerchuk was so impressed with TNW Conference 2016 he paused mid-talk to applaud us.
Communication encryption company Silent Circle released a version of its text message privacy app Silent Text for Android.
The app allows subscribers to Silent Circle, a service that costs around $10 per month, to route encrypted calls, messages and attachments through their Android handset without logging the usual metadata associated with those communications. Attachments can be up to 100MB and of any file type.
Like the iOS version, the Android app is free, but those who download it can get started from the get-go, without the need to create a Simplenote account. Users who do go to the trouble of signing up or logging in, will see their notes synced and maintained across the iOS, Kindle and Web versions of the service.
Music Maker Jam
The app takes a more playful approach than the professional suite available for PCs, and it’s clearly aimed at novices looking to mess around with different sounds and mixes, rather than those wishing to create a smash hit. But it is fun nevertheless, and could get very addictive.
You get access to around a thousand loops from four different genres: Hip Hop, Dance, Electric Jazz, and Rock Ballads. If Dubstep, Techno, Rock Pop or other genres take your fancy, you can buy more for around $1.99 each.
Hotspotio for Android allows users to share their own, or use others’, Internet connection in exchange for public gratitude.
Once installed, you simply select which network you’d like to connect to from ones that are available, or can choose to share your own via your mobile device by using it as a WiFi hotspot.
Chirp, the app that lets you share links and photos using short bursts of ‘digital birdsong’, finally landed on Android this month.
Rather than sending pictures via messages, emails, social networks or storage services like Dropbox, Chirp lets you send links to webpages, pictures and other content to multiple people at once, provided they also have the Chirp app installed and active.
Social photo app Foap landed on Android this month, letting users monetize their mobile photos.
Following its launch on iOS last year, and maintaining the same core experience, the Foap Android app lets users list their snaps for $10 each (split 50/50 between Foap and the user), providing they garner an approval rating of 2.5 or higher from other Foap users.
Moves, the highly-acclaimed activity and location-tracking app , finally launched on Android this month.
As with the iPhone version, Moves for Android keeps a log of where you go and how far you walk, run and cycle, presenting the data in a simple, useful way. In terms of features, the Android version is a little behind the iPhone incarnation, which recently gained support for connecting third-party apps, and last week added user accounts, meaning that users can change device and keep their data. These will come to Android soon though.
New on iOS
Konvert for iPhone is a beautifully-designed app that includes most of the units you’d ever need, covering angle, area, base, length, distance, mass, pressure and more.
It’s all about flips, taps and swipes and it’s easy to switch between centimeters and miles, or inches and yards. It’s a gem.
Oyster [US only]
Oyster launched a limited preview of its Netflix-style service for ebooks earlier this month, offering unlimited reading of more than 100,000 titles for $9.95 a month.
Quantified-self service Human launched its iPhone app this month, with a view towards helping users track their outdoor activities. The ultimate goal is to help make people “healthier and happier”, by ensuring you’re moving at least 30 minutes each day.
Back in Touch
Back in Touch for iPhone is aimed at those looking to stay in touch with friends, relatives or business acquaintances, by setting reminders to call, text or email at set intervals.
Readdle relaunched a fully re-imagined Calendars app this month going by the name of Calendars 5, an iOS smart calendar app that packs a punch.
Unlike most of its smart calendar peers, Readdle’s effort also comes optimized for iPads, which is a big selling point, while the ability to set customized recurring calendar events will appeal to some too.
Google Wallet [US only]
Google Wallet finally arrived for iPhone this month, exactly 2 years after it launched on Android.
You can scan your debit and credit cards into the app, and use them to send money to anyone in the US who has an email address, and you can store credit and debit cards, loyalty programs, and more. It can also be used to pay for things on Google Play, and shop on some mobile websites.
If your favorite shows or sports are being ruined by Twitter and Facebook spoilers, try Spoiler Shield for iPhone.
You can choose from more than 30 pre-selected TV series including things like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, to make sure you don’t read anything you’d rather not.
New on iOS AND Android
Ahead of the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil, EA launched FIFA 14 as a free download for iOS and Android.
Though this year’s version is free – last year FIFA 13 cost $6.99 — it’s targeting revenue from in-app purchases such as unlocking game modes and buying points to form your fantasy team.
New on Windows Phone
As with similar fitness apps, miCoach lets users create a workout schedule, track their progress and review personalized feedback. It also supports Bluetooth devices such as wearable heart monitors and has GPS-enabled route tracking using HERE Maps.
The clever folk at TNW Labs think a lot about how to help you receive new information fast, and share it fast too. That thinking resulted in a new app called Push.co.
This iPhone app (Android’s a-comin’) offers a way to receive news and other notifications via push notifications, browse them all within one app, and quickly share the ones you find interesting via Twitter or Facebook.
What’s more, anyone can create their own ‘app’ for others to subscribe to, right from the Push.co website. Say you want to offer a company news feed, people can get that pushed to their phone for free. You could create a private feed that alerts you with a push notification every time you sell an item in your online shop or sell a ticket for an event that you’re organising.