As this year's must have gadget lists all include some form of mobile device (surprise!), it would be rather remiss of us if we didn't offer some suggestions for essential apps to download. Here are some favourites from Team Blueleaf...
For me it would be Camera+ (and Camera+ for iPad), both are 69p. An awesome little camera app for taking snaps and post production work. It comes with loads of filters, and tools to make those photos even better.
My choice would be Gmail for iphone as it's the best email app if you have a Gmail account. I'd also suggest Google maps new app for the iPhone - finally maps comes back after the update to Apple maps!
I love Twitter as it's perfect for relieving boredom on trains. I'd also recommend Navfree as an ace free sat nav. It can be upgraded to remove adverts and add speed cameras. It did take me on a 20 minute detour this weekend but other than that little blip it's been spot on! If you bank with Barclays, their mobile banking app is really handy, easy to use and has great UX. Finally IMBD on the ipad is a brilliant second screen essential for answering questions like, what else have they been in? Was she in "Home and Away"? That chap that looks like Hayden, was he in Lost or The Lord of the Rings? - Oh both!
For me it has to be Kindle for iPad as I love to read! I've also found iTorch really handy for walking home in the dark and, of course I live on Facebook and Twitter! If you like to shop online, Ocado has the most amazing app too, fantastic UX.
I can't live without the iHandy Alarm Clock which not only displays the time but the alarm uses music from your library on your phone. You can also set multiple alarms for different days, for example you may want to wake up later at weekends than weekdays! The Met Office app gives reliable weather information that is updated constantly and MobilityWare Solitaire provides free cell for your phone which is totally addictive!
Flipboard and Summly are both apps that gather together news feeds and are both very pretty from a design perspective. The new Gmail app is also rather good.
Strava is a great app for cycling and running as you can see how you have performed against other people on certain sections of your run. Amazing! I also love Nike Fuelband which links to Facebook so pits you against your friends and helps you keep motivated by showing the number of steps you have done, or calories burnt in a day. My Fitness Pal tracks everything you eat (if you log it of course) and gives you the grim facts. My pancakes WITHOUT maple syrup are not as nice, but healthier. Finally, the Phone is amazing as you just press some numbers and you get to speak with people
MyFitnessPal really helps with health and fitness as it records calorie intake and exercise so you can keep track of what you’re eating and how much exercise you’re doing. It lists most foods and you can even scan barcodes to easily find stuff. I love it as it really makes you aware of what you’re eating and helps you make healthier decisions. I think I might give it a bit of a break over the Christmas season though as I'm not sure I want to know how many calories are in a Christmas dinner!
I would suggest AwesomeNote as it's great for capturing thoughts and notes on the go and for general organisation. It also syncs very nicely with Gmail and Google Drive.
When you hear a song on the radio but you you just can't think who it is or the DJ didn't tell you who the artist was, click on Shazam. It listens to the song and gives you all the details (normally in about 30 seconds) you can also go straight to iTunes to buy the song too. I also love Instagram because no one likes a normal picture anymore - add lots of effects to your pictures to make you look oh so creative! Skyscanner is a very user friendly app to look for the cheapest flights to any destination.
My favourite app has to be Facebook. I can't live without it as I love to keep up with all the news. It was really great to find out what was going on in the Blueleaf office whist I was on maternity leave. The Tesco app is a life saver as it's ace to be able to do my online shopping anywhere rather than trying to get on the computer. We use Sky+ all the time because it's amazing to be able to record your favourite programme if you are out and about. Finally, I find the Ebay app brilliant as it allows you to take your photos on your phone and then upload them straight away rather than having to plug into your PC.
I love iHandy flashlight for those times when I drop stuff! Another Must-have would be Spotify as its much cheaper than buying CD’s!
WhatsApp is great as it allows free text, photo and video messages to your contacts as long as they have WhatsApp installed. Fuelio is a brilliant app that tracks fuel expenses and general other expenses for your car. It gives very good stats and helps you to drive more efficiently. Google Maps + Navigation, GPS by Google on the android - one word - amazing. For the more geeky try AndFTP & androidVNC for FTP and VNC clients, respectively. If you are a Gamer, Shot or Fling are very addictive fun puzzle games. Finally My perfect egg timer allows you to create your perfect egg by inputting its dimensions, temperature and the altitude. It then gives you the exact time you need to cook your perfect egg, depending on how soft or hard your would like it!
I would recommend iReddit for saving your articles to read later and my choice of sat-nav would be TomTom. If you want to remove all of the crippling Apple restrictions from your iPhone or iPad then try Cydia or Installous. PocketCloud is brilliant for remotely accessing another computer over remote desktop VNC and finally Dropbox is a must if you want to upload books or large files to your device.
Written by Deb Jowett