We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Cover for Android/YouTube
Pick Me

5 apps worth downloading this week

Featuring a new and intuitive lock screen for Android users, a native Gmail client for Windows Phone users and a classic PS2 game arriving on the small screen.

EACH WEEK, WE highlight five apps that are worth downloading for your smartphone and tablet. There are a lot of apps released on a daily basis, but not all of them are worth paying attention to.

We’re going to assume that you already have a lot of the most popular apps, so let us do the hard work for you and pick out the latest apps that are deserving of your time.

This week features a new and intuitive lock screen for Android users, a native Gmail client for Windows Phone users and a classic PS2 game arriving on the small screen.

Cover (beta)
For: Android
Cost: Free

Why should I care?

- One of Android’s strengths is that you can customise both the lock screen and extra screens, but most of the time, you will want to access the app proper.
- Cover is currently in beta mode, but is a very intuitive app allowing you to switch between apps without unlocking your phone.
- Replacing your current lock screen, it learns what apps you use the most and sets it up so that they’re only a swipe away.
- Switching to and from apps is also handy.  All you have to do is swipe down from the top-right hand corner when you’re in an app.
- If you use your smartphone or tablet for work, it can present you with relevant apps suitable for each place.

(Video: Cover for Android/YouTube)

12 Days of Gifts
For: iOS
Cost: Free

Why should I care?

- If you’re an iPhone user and you haven’t been availing of Apple’s Christmas app, get on it now.
- 12 Days of Gifts offers you paid apps to download for free between 26th December to January 6th.
- The apps offered are only free on the day so having notifications switched on so you don’t miss them is a good idea.
- Quality of apps can be hit and miss, some days you get something like Broken Sword or Toy Story short movies, other days you’ll get songs from Maroon 5.
- Still, you’re getting paid apps for free so there’s very little to complain about.

image(Image: 12 Days of Gifts/iTunes)

For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Cost: €0.99 for iOS, €0.75 for Android, Free for Windows Phone

Why should I care?

- If you’re the kind of person who loves creating collages, there are many good apps out there but Diptic is probably one of the more consistent examples out there.
- Diptic provides both a large number of layouts, and a vast number of adjustments so that your collages look perfect before they’re published.
- Using it is a breeze and it manages to cram a lot of features in without overwhelming users, which is impressive in itself.
- You can purchase additional layouts, but unless you’re very particular about how your photos are placed, the basic ones are more than enough.
- It just arrived on Windows Phone, where users get it for free. iOS and Android users aren’t so lucky.

image(Image: Diptic/Windows Phone)

GTA: San Andreas
For: iOS (Android & Windows Phone out next week)
Cost: €5.99

Why should I care?

- Vice City is usually the favourite GTA game, but San Andreas is wacky and never takes itself too seriously which makes it fun.
- It was released in 2004 meaning it’s almost ten years old. Let that sink in for a moment.
- On the game itself, it’s been modified for touchscreen players, meaning there’s two separate control systems for driving and moving as well as a more forgiving checkpoint system.
- Probably the exciting part is that for iPhone users, it’s compatible with iOS controllers. We’re going to assume/hope that the Android and Windows Phone version will get similar treatment.
- Only iOS version is out now, Android and Windows Phone will be out next week.

(Video: PlayscopeTimeline/YouTube)

For: Windows Phone
Cost: €1.49

Why should I care?

- If you’re heavily reliant upon Gmail, either for work or personal reasons, MetroMail brings the experience to Windows Phone.
- A lot of work has been put into the app, It’s been built from the ground up, meaning it integrates with WP perfectly.
- Pretty much every major feature associated with Gmail can be found here.
- It’s only the first version, with the developer hoping to add extra features like drafts and attachments support.
- The native mail app is still good, but if you use Gmail for work or personal use, you should give it a go.

image(Image: MetroMail/Windows Phone)

Read: 5 apps worth downloading this week – 7th Dec >

Read: Smartphone users are 33% more likely to fall victim to identity fraud >

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.