This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 2 °C Sunday 15 December, 2019
Advertisement

These are the best smartphone apps of 2015

A wide variety of apps for any taste.

Image: GiphyCam/App Store

OVER THE YEAR, we reviewed a lot of apps. Some are great, others not so much, but overall there are many quality apps out there that are worth considering.

Your phone can only save so many apps, but if you’re looking for some good ones, you can’t go wrong with any of the ones below. Here are our highlights for 2015.

Google Photos
For:
iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Yes, there are tradeoffs for using this but if you’re looking for convenience and a powerful way to store and organise your photos, there are few that can match Google’s offering.

Incredibly convenient, it manages to ensure that all photos are discoverable, backs them up online – providing unlimited space if they’re less than 12MP – and even throws up some suggested edits. A handy photo assistant to have with you.

Source: Google/YouTube

Darkroom
For: iOS
Cost: Free (€2.99 for curves)

If you want access to raw RGB editing features, then you should consider DarkRoom. Not only does it provide you with exact control, but you can save your settings as a filter and refer to it at a later stage.

Source: Bergen Co./YouTube

Fresh Air
For: iOS
Cost: Free

Fresh Air presents a minute-by-minute breakdown of how the weather is going to turn out. Minimalist and easy to understand, it also syncs with your calendar, so you know what weather to expect when you have to go to a meeting.

Source: Ben Lisbakken/YouTube

Keeply
For: iOS
Cost: Free

A lightweight password manager that can be used for 75 different services. Easy to navigate, and some handy features like fake PIN and intruder photo (taking a photo of someone if they’re trying to break in).

img2.thejournal Source: Keeply/App Store

Flynx
For: Android
Cost: Free

If you regularly come across articles on Twitter and Facebook but don’t like being taken away from the app, this replaces your browser with a pop-up bubble, similar to Facebook ChatHeads or LinkBubble.

Source: Flynx/YouTube

Earth Primer
For: iOS
Cost: €9.99

A beautiful and comprehensive app that will teach you everything about the physical world. Engaging, interactive and accessible to anyone with an interest in how the world works.


Source: Chaim Gingold/Vimeo

Gallery Doctor
For: Android
Cost: Free

Picking out good photos, getting rid of duplicate photos and a Tinder-style keep or delete feature are enough reasons to recommend Gallery Doctor. Useful for those phones with limited space.

img2.thejournal Source: Screen Doctor/Google Play

Smart Notifications
For: Android
Cost: Free

Effectively Do Not Disturb taken up a notch. It allows you to choose which notifications are useful and which aren’t, and allows you set times you don’t any to come through.

img2.thejournal Source: Smart Notifications/Google Play

GlassPlanner
For: iOS
Cost: Free

Split up into a traditional calendar and a to-do list, GlassPlanner is one of the more accessible to-do apps on the platform. It starts off with minimum features but as you get used to it, more features are added.

img2.thejournal Source: Glass Planner/App Store

Touch Pianist
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Ever wanted to learn how to play the piano but never had the time? This takes away the effort of learning, by turning taps into music. While it’s silly, there is something nice about being able to play a classic symphony without any effort.

Source: TouchPianist/YouTube

Summarise
For: iOS
Cost: Free

This app tells you events and things you need to know when you wake up every day. Think of it as a personalised newscast designed just for you.

img2.thejournal Source: Summarise/App Store

Hooks
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Want to create your own custom alerts and notifications? That’s the concept of Hooks where notifications can be as straightforward as alerts for when it’s going to rain or more advanced like alerts for games with high metacritic ratings.

img2.thejournal Source: Hooks/Google Play

Moleskine Timepage
For: iOS
Cost: €4.99

A calendar app that prioritises what you have coming up over the next few days instead of a broad view, Moleskine Timepage can also combine your schedule with other factors like weather, maps and contacts to create a comprehensive scheduler.

img2.thejournal Source: Moleskine Timepage/App Store

TapTapSee
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Designed for those who are visually impaired, TapTapSee can identify objects for you and is great at doing so. You will have to pay after the first 100 uses, but you’ll know by then whether it’s worth it or not (which it is).

img2.thejournal Source: TapTapSee/App Store

Scanner Pro 6
For: iOS
Cost: €2.99

Does exactly what you expect it to do. Scans documents, is easy to use and the image capturing is great. Essential if you regularly handle files and other important materials.

img2.thejournal Source: Scanner Pro 6/App Store

Lrn
For: iOS
Cost: Free

Programming is a handy skill to know, but getting a moment to sit down and learn the basics isn’t easy. Lrn allows you to grasp the basics of Javascript by offering short courses that you can dip in and out of.

img2.thejournal Source: Lrn/App Store

Giphy Cam
For: iOS
Cost: Free

Create your own personal GIFs and add some effects to it. What’s not to like?

2Q== Source: GiphyCam/App Store

FastCap
For: iOS
Cost: Free

If you’re the kind of person who isn’t fast enough to start up your camera, FastCap helps you record immediately. It’s basic but until the startup times of cameras improve, it’s a handy one to have.

img2.thejournal Source: FastCap/App Store

ReBoard
For: iOS
Cost: €1.99

ReBoard isn’t a keyboard designed to make typing faster. Instead, it allows you to multitask without switching apps. So you can schedule events while on Twitter or search for something through Wikipedia while you’re sending a message.

img2.thejournal Source: ReBoard/App Store

ADV Screen Recorder
For: Android
Cost: Free

Capturing footage on your phone is easier than ever and ADV makes the process rather straightforward. The button to start it might be a little awkward at the start, but it’s great if you want to capture action on your phone.

img2.thejournal Source: ADV Screen Recorder/Google Play

Pause
For: iOS, Android
Cost: €1.99

From the makers of Monument Valley, Pause is less a game and more a way to relax you by providing a simple task. By following the instructions, it does help you take your thoughts off whatever is on your mind and is more effective than you would think.

Source: millsustwo/YouTube

Overcast
For: iOS
Cost: Free

An improvement over the standard Podcast app provided with iPhone, Overcast adds a number of features like speed-up during non-speaking moments, and expanded headphone controls, to make listening that bit easier.

Z Source: Overcast/App Store

The List App
For: iOS
Cost: Free

One of the better social apps to come out this year, The List App is exactly what it sounds like. When you start following people and see what they create, you’ll begin to realise why it’s become so addictive.

2Q== Source: The List App/App Store

KWGT Kustom Widget Maker
For: Android
Cost: Free

The ultimate widget creator, KWGT allows you to create widgets featuring almost anything you can think of. The level of customisation that’s on offer ensures that you can get the look exactly right, although it does take a bit of time to learn.

Source: Frank Monza/YouTube

Read: How much do you really know about these classic Christmas toys? >

Read: Bored over the holidays? Here are some free games to play >

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

Read next:

COMMENTS (18)