101 Recommended Apps (Part 12)

7/6/2013 3:26:07 PM

73.  Weather Bug

Price: Free

Nobody can properly predict the weather. Michael Fish proved this with his lack of hurricane-spotting skills. But download the Weather Bug and you will know more about the weather than, well, anyone who hasn’t got this app.

Using your phone’s GPS, the app tells you what the temperature is, where the wind is blowing (and how strong) and what the humidity is like.

Weather Bug

Weather Bug

Alongside a detailed day view, there is also a two-week guide to what the weather will be like and you can choose a location anywhere on Google Maps and see what the weather is like there.

There’s a reason why the Weather Bug app is one of the most accurate on Google Play - its data is taken from 8,000 weather stations and over 1,000 weather cameras. Its makers call it the largest and most technologically advanced weather network in the world. And who are we to argue?

74.  Wikitude World Browser

Price: Free

Wikitude World Browser

Wikitude World Browser

The world of augmented reality is not unlike a very bad mushroom trip. Point your phone at anything when you have an augmented reality app open, and you never know what will pop out.

With Wikitude, what mostly jumps out are Wikipedia pages referring to whatever famous building you are staring at, or what street you are in.

With a Ul that looks similar to Microsoft Bing, Wikitude is ideal for those who walk around oblivious to their surroundings.

It’s not only Wikipedia information that pops up; you can also look for tweets in your area, as well as the nearest restaurants and ATMs.

Yes, the whole thing is similar to Layar, but the addition of shopping coupons that appear when you are in a shopping center spices things up.

There’s a decent search service on the app and you can even create your own places in the crazy world of augmented reality.

75.  Wi-Fi Finder

Price: Free

Wi-Fi Finder

Wi-Fi Finder

If you are too stingy to purchase your own Wi-Fi, too lazy to find a Starbucks or just want to see the hilarious names people give their wireless connections, Wi-Fi Finder is for you.

With an easy-on-the-eye layout and a Ul that’s simple to master, the app does a decent job of seeking out free (and paid-for) Wi-Fi in your vicinity.

You can find a wireless connection in myriad ways. The home screen gives you the option of a Wi-Fi scanner, a map showing your wireless hotspots and a directory. We found the map the easiest to use. This helped us track down areas with free Wi-Fi in no time. The map used is Google Maps, so if you are familiar with this service you will have no problem. Once you find a Wi-Fi connection you are happy with, you can favorite forever.

The Wi-Fi scanner is also a decent way to track Wi-Fi because it gives you a color code of what Wi-Fi is on offer. Unsurprisingly, premium Wi-Fi is marked as red and free Wi-Fi as green.

76.  Vivi In Stile

Price: Free

Vivi In Stile

Vivi In Stile

The Vivi In Stile app is created by Peroni yet it isn’t centered round the beer itself but a culture that Peroni is part of - its name translates as Live In Style’. It’s a neat brand association tie-up, enabling you to browse the latest fashion, culture and food advice, and it all slips down nicely with an Italian twist.

The app is easy to use - but you must be 18 or older. This has nothing to do with it being of an adult nature but because this is the drinking age for alcohol, this isn’t an app for minors.

Once you have selected your nearest city, the app offers decent buying advice and enables you to share this content with your Facebook contingent.

What’s surprising about the app is the lack of Peroni in it - if you didn’t know it was created by the beer maker, you would think you’re just in an app that’s primed for the style crowd.

It’s great, too, that the content seems fresh. The majority of it is written for the app and there’s the promise of bi-monthly updates too.

The two main sections of the app are Stile - where you can create your own fashion wishlist - and Esplorare, which acts like your own city guide.

Easy to use and dripping with cool, Vivi In Stile definitely isn’t for the stuffy ale drinker looking for a bargain boozer. But if you are fashion focused, you’ll find the app fizzes with content and is not just there to entice you to buy lager.

77.  Winamp

Price: Free



There was a time when Winamp was the king of the media players for your Windows-based computer. This was in 1997, when Titanic was the biggest thing at the box office, OK Computer was heralded as the successor to Dark Side of the Moon and Tony Blair was Prime Minister.

A lot has changed since then (Blair’s name has changed to Bliar for a start) and Winamp’s name has gathered a lot of dust.

But its new app for Android looks set to change this, as it is one of the best media players around for the platform.

Although it is in beta, there is not a lot wrong with the app. The service works for 2.1 and above, and enables you to sync your music from your desktop to your phone, making it a decent PMP. This can be done over USB or Wi-Fi, and works like a charm.

It also enables you to do things such as shuffle songs and queue up tracks, and there is even a choice of widgets to easily access the app on your phone.

Android handsets have never been blessed with a decent media player, so it is good to see such a veteran of the market provide such a decent player for the platform.

78.  Vintage Comics Droid

Price: Free

Vintage Comics Droid

Vintage Comics Droid

You can’t beat a bit of comic book action on your smartphone to pass the time. Vintage Comics Droid offers a library of over 3,000 independent, publicly available graphic novels, downloadable to your handset to read in full. There’s nothing from the major stables such as DC and Marvel, so don’t expect Spider-Man or Batman...

The comics are all beautifully reproduced in their native form, which means you have to scan around the page or zoom in and out to follow the action. It’s easier to read in landscape mode rather than portrait. The page turning icon is sticky sometimes, but that’s a minor problem

The app is just 2M B, but you’re prompted to download a couple of extra graphics files to your SD card. Comic files are pretty sizeable, at about 20-25MB, so make sure you use Wi-Fi or you’re on an unlimited plan before splurging your allowance on the first 50 issues of Joe Palooka.

A fantastic free app that allows novices and comic aficionados alike the chance to discover new material.

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