It’s a new year and that means it’s time to freshen things up a little. For some of us freshening up may mean a new fitness regime, new partner or maybe a new job. For the Scotcampus team, back to work for the first time in a fortnight, it’ll mean trawling the iTunes and Android stores for shiny new smartphone apps.
Below is our 2012 hitlist of the best and most useful apps for your smartphone.
Fed up paying over the odds for the usually free 0800 numbers? Then look no further iPhone users! This nifty wee widget lets you make the free calls you deserve without your mobile contract provider pocketing a few extra pennies from you.
While the Kindle reading app isn’t a patch on the actual Amazon machine, it’s still the best reading device available for smartphone users. Finding and downloading the titles you want is easy and with classics often costing nothing, this can be a handy way of getting in a little reading during those quiet moments the day sometimes throws up. Actual Kindle users can easily access their downloaded titles too, meaning that they can carry on reading on their phone when they can’t take their e-reading device with them.
Abroad and fancy a drink, don’t know what to go for? Then check out Beer+. Tens of thousands of beer lovers rate and slate beers from all over the world on this awesome little app. It allows you to compare notes, see what friends are drinking and review the beers you’ve enjoyed (or not) so you know what to look for in future.
Byline RSS Reader
As great as the likes of BBC News is, even it has its limitations. Byline however allows you to get the types of news you want from various sources across the web. Brilliant for breaking stories, gossip or just good solid opinion pieces this app allows you to get the most from the web whenever you need it.
One of the smartest magazines on the market, the Economist delivers an excellent dose of opinion pieces and investigative articles on life, politics and economics both at home and abroad. This app gives readers the chance to get bitesize articles and free content whenever they want it.
Edinburgh Bus Tracker
Until the trams make their long awaited appearance, the best way of getting about the capital is easily the bus. Using this app lets you pinpoint exactly where you need to be to get your bus as well as giving you exact info on just how long you’ll have to wait for the next lift. It’s a helpful little tool that can save you more than just a few minutes.
Like a sort of living breathing personal organiser, Evernote helps you to keep track of all your various apps, programs and widgets with ease. Excellent for reminding yourself (and synced friends) about important notes, events and dates, this is the ultimate stress free way to compile and collate what’s important to you in your day-to-day life.
This is a really simple app for Android users which allows them to utilise their phone’s camera flash as a torch. Easy to use and much more powerful than you’d think, this is a great tool for winter powercuts, midnight toilet trips or those times after a night out where you can’t get the keys into the lock.
GuidePal have released a series of succinct and helpful city guides for some of the world’s finest destinations. Their Edinburgh edition might miss a few local favourites, but for someone new to the city (or only able to enjoy the basics) this is probably better than anything else you can get.
Keep on top of all the latest games news, reviews, previews and features from the leading industry experts. Easy to use and crammed with info, there’s a tonne of info here to keep both casual gamers and uber-geeks occupied.
Whether you like him or not, there’s no denying the fact Jamie Oliver has been good for food. It’s not easy to get the nation’s couch potatoes out of their armchair and into the kitchen, but this excellent recipe app gives even the most basic foodies the know how to go and rustle up something tasty and often healthy to eat. Just make sure you keep your phone away from the carnage of the cooking – splattering the screen in soup or sauce isn’t going to be a good move.
Save yourself the stramash of the multiplex reception with this cool cinema app. Browse Odeon’s film offerings, see times, watch trailers, book your seats and read reviews . . . what more could you want?
Quidco isn’t just about letting you know about the best offers and deals available to you, it also allows shoppers to earn cashback on certain purchases. Use this app to see what deals suit you and where to get them plus browse voucher codes and make purchases online. Well worth it for those who like to save some pennies.
Scottish Government News
Keep track of all the latest political initiatives, news and general goings on with this succinct app from the Scottish Government. You can check updates by department, or just head to the homepage for the breaking stories of the day.
The idea behind Shazam is so simple yet so awesome. Every time you hear a track which you don’t know, just turn it on and Shazam should identify both the song and the artist. Perfect for those annoying tunes you hear on adverts and films which you recognise but can’t bring to mind.
Sky Sports Live Scores
Stop fidgeting around for the football scores when you are out and about, download this amazing live app from the Sky Sports team. It delivers an instant fix of footballing goodness allowing you to figure out, not only your teams chances, but also the likely league table makeup as the afternoon unfolds.
Style Mile Glasgow
Glasgow is famous for its shopping and nowhere in the city is more exciting than Buchanan Street. This app allows shoppers to take a look at some of the great eateries, shops, bars and cinemas which are located slap bang in the city centre. You can also use it to find out about seasonal attractions and one off events taking place in the area throughout the year.
This is an unreal app choc full of crazy fashion pics from Tokyo. From the daily galleries of outlandish outfits to cool profiles of unique style brands exclusive to the city, this is a real eye opener. Engrossing and entertaining, you’ll find plenty of tips on what to wear (and what not too) every time you log on.
Live digital radio anywhere you fancy? Yes please! With over 50,000 radio stations from around the world to choose from this amazing radio service is one of the best value apps available to both Android and iTunes users. It also works well on 3G, meaning that you don’t even have to use your wi-fi to enjoy it.
Combining multiple Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter accounts is easy with TweetDeck. A powerful, functional tool it helps you keep up to date with all your social media accounts. See what people are saying about you, say hello to friends, enjoy keeping on top of breaking news and get involved in conversations across multiple platforms. You’ll never be bored with TweetDeck.