iOS app reviews, tips and features - iPhone and iPad

Snapseed

There are so many photo editing and enhancement apps in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store it can be hard to decide which one(s) to get. With dozens to choose from and, it has to be said, all very similar, which one is best? Google Snapseed is an excellent tool that can be used to apply special effects to your snapshots and bring out the colour and detail.

I have been running several activity trackers on my iPhone 6 with iOS 8 including Argus, Nike+ Move and Human. They are all great apps and a lot of fun, but they do require quite a lot of battery power because they run in the background and three is just too much. One is all you need and all you can afford unless you want to charge your phone twice a day.

There are many new features in iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 and one interesting one is the Today screen widget. Pull down from the top of the screen and there are two tabs – Today and Notifications. On the Today tab is calendar appointments, reminders, stock market information and so on. Apps are now able to insert widgets into this Today view to add extra features and a couple I have been trying lately add the weather forecast.

Argus

Sitting at a desk all day is not good for you and too many people spend too much time sitting down. To keep yourself fit and to fight the flab you need to be more active. Even if your weight is OK, your muscles will weaken if you spend too much of the day sitting. Argus is an app for the iPhone that will help you to track your activities and get fit and healthy.

The iPhone Stocks app is one of Apple’s favourite apps and it has been on the home screen for many years. It even comes preconfigured to show Apple’s share price when the app is started. Is anyone else bothered though? Not only is Stocks on the home screen and cannot be deleted, it also appears in the Today screen in the newly released iOS 8. Fortunately, it can be deleted from there even though you cannot entirely remove the app.

Whether you have the latest recently released iPhone 6 from Apple or an older iPhone model, there are things you can do to reduce the storage requirements. Many people buy iPhones with only 16GB of memory because they are cheaper than models with more storage, and with no way to expand this, you have to figure out ways to save on storage in order to get everything into the phone that you want to use, such as photos, music, videos and apps. Here is one way to reduce storage requirements.

The platform game dates back to the early 1980s home computers, but it can be just as much fun now as it was way back then. Atom Run is classic gaming with a new twist, it is fast, has great graphics and puzzles to challenge your skills.

Your iPhone is about to become a lot slower as Apple flips the switch to dim the performance of its older phones to make you buy the new model that is just about to be released. At least that is what the conspiracy theorists would have you believe. Is there any truth in this? Does Apple make your iPhone slower when new ones are released? Yes, but not by flipping a switch.

There are numerous clean up and optimisation apps for Android, and a seemingly never-ending list of battery managers for extending the life of the phone, but where are they for iOS? Why are there so few turn-up apps and battery managers for the iPhone. Does it not need them? Maybe it does.

Flipagram

What do you do with all the photos you take on your mobile phone? You could post them to Facebook or Instagram, or share them via email, instant message and other ways, but single photos or even a collection of photos is a bit dull and lifeless. Flipagram for the iPhone and iPad enables you to turn them into great slide shows that can be shared with family and friends.

iPad

An odd situation occurred today and all it started with an update to iOS that could not be installed because there was insufficient storage on my iPad. It resulted in a search to discover where the storage had disappeared to and the answer was surprising and if you think you know how to solve this, you are probably wrong. I don’t know whether it was a bug or feature, but it was weird.

Filing cabinetes

You may not have realised it, but your iPhone is probably automatically backing everything up online using iCloud. Apple provides 5GB for free, but how much are you using? Are you near your limit? How can you reduce your usage? Let’s take a look.

Subway Surfers

Brazil is on everyone’s minds this summer because of the football World Cup and this update to Subway Surfers takes you to Sao Paulo. There have been lots of updates to this app and if you are a fan, you’ll want to install this one on your iPhone. It is more of the same, but when the gameplay is pretty near perfect anyway, why change a winning formula?

Sleepy dog

You know you are addicted to technology and the latest gadgets when you can’t bear to be parted from them, even when you are sleeping. Do you keep your phone or tablet by the bed? Are pesky notifications waking you up in the night? Here is how to get a good night’s sleep.

Newsstand is an app that comes with iOS 7 on the Apple iPhone and iPad, and it enables you to subscribe to magazines and newspapers. Sometimes these are digital versions of print magazines, but they could be web-based too. Subscribing is easy, but have you ever tried to cancel a subscription? The iPhone does not appear to let you and you are trapped in a never-ending subscription that is costing you money. Here's how to get out of it.

Mobile phone

Apple bundles a useful collection of apps with the iPhone and the home screen is filled with icons. This is fine if all you ever use are the built in apps, but if you use alternative ones, wouldn’t it be better if you could replace Apple’s with your own on the home screen? You can.

If you have a website for your company, blog or hobby, how do you know that it is working? One way to test it is to log on and check it with a browser, of course, but you cannot constantly monitor it. It might be working when you test it, but what about in between visits? Here are four apps for the iPhone that monitor your websites.

Elterwater in the Lake District

 

Many top end mobile phones have cameras of 8 megapixels or more and in theory they should take fantastically detailed high resolution images that are superb. The reality is that taking good photos with a mobile phone isn't easy. The fact that you can hardly see the screen on a sunny day doesn't help when you are trying to frame the subject. There are bigger problems and if your snapshots are fuzzy, here is what you can do to improve them.

Let’s face it, the Camera app bundled with the iPhone is basic to say the least. It is designed to be super simple, quick and easy to use. You can fire it up in a flash and take a quick snapshot in no time. If you are serious about photography and want to take better shots, but don’t want the hassle of carrying a bulky digital SLR, ProCam is the answer.

There are countless camera apps in Apple’s App Store for the iPhone, so which ones should you install? There is so much choice it is difficult to know where to start. One app that is worth considering is VSCO Cam. This is a free app that has some useful features.