The Best Apps of 2014
With the new year fully under way, it’s time for us to take a look back and to give you our definitive list of the best new apps from 2014. There are some big names on this list, but maybe a few that you might have missed as well. So, without further ado, here’s our vote for the best apps of 2014!
One of our absolute favourite releases of the year is Snowball. How many messaging services do you have on your mobile? If you’re anything like us you’ll have a tough time keeping up with all the SMSs, WhatsApp, Skype, Viber and other messages that you’re getting. And that’s where Snowball comes in. This app centralises all your messaging services into one interface, so you get all the communication you need in a one stop shop. Plus, it uses the pop up face trick that Facbook Messenger uses so well, meaning that your conversations always appear on your screen. Snowball just makes using your phone easier, and that’s why we love it. Currently, Snowball is Android only, but there are rumours of an iPhone release to come…
Let’s be honest, transferring files over mobile is a bit of a nightmare. Sure, you can do it by email, but then you hit that data cap and you’re left sending multiple mails to get the job done. With WeTransfer though those days are over. The app let’s you send up to 10 GB of info all at once, quickly and easily. Whatever it is that you want to send, and wherever you want to send it, WeTransfer gets the job done. Worried that you’re going to be filling up your friend’s email box? Don’t be. WeTransfer doesn’t send the file itself, it simply sends a download link to the recipient. The best part is that it’s free, and available for both Android and iOS.
Microsoft Office Mobile
Okay, for some of us this was the biggest release of the year. If you’re a Microsoft Office fan you’ll know that up until recently editing Word documents or Excel spreadsheets on your mobile was next to impossible. Thankfully, Microsoft listened and in 2014 released a version of Office Mobile that lets you edit and create documents and spreadsheets from your phone. With mobiles getting bigger screens than ever and more and more business users wanting to work on the go, this app fills a much needed gap in the market. Available for Windows (obviously), Android and iOS.
For a while, podcasts sort of fell out of fashion, but the advent of new, cool casts (we’re looking at you, Serial) has meant that once again the bite sized pieces of entertainment are back on our to do lists. Overcast is the ultimate app to organise all your podcasts, you can stay on top of what’s cool and what’s not, you can catch up on things that you’ve missed and store lists of your favourite podcasts. Even better, a voice booster setting lets you improve sound quality on less than stellar podcasts. Overcast is great for organisation, and if you’re into podcasts then it’s a must have. Available for Android and iOS.
Acorn is an interesting little app because it deals with a complicated subject in a very easy to understand way. Investing? Who’s got the time to study economics? What Acorn does is to cleverly round up all your credit and debit charges to the nearest whole amount, and then it invests the spare change for you. Sure, we’re talking pennies for the most part, but it all adds up (especially if like most people most of your purchasing is done via card rather than cash). There are a few management fees, but for the most part you could end up making yourself some extra cash just by doing nothing. Acorn is a cool concept, and a worthy addition to our list. Available for Android and iOS.
QuickPics Photo Manager
This is another 2014 release that filled a hole in the market. Whilst Android devices are pretty good at organising photos, iPhones quite simply aren’t. And that’s what QuickPics does. By allowing you to tag your pictures (i.e. to put names to faces) the app then makes all the pics on your iPhone searchable. This is something that even the latest iOS version can’t do, making QuickPics a must have for Apple photographers. Obviously, this is iOS only…
Okay, SmartNews was released before 2014 in Asian markets, but it didn’t hit the west until last year. This, as the name implies, is a news app, and yes, there are millions of news apps around, so what makes this special? What we love about SmartNews is just how easy it is. There’s a large list of news stories from tons of different places, and browsing the headlines is as easy as flicking across the screen. And since the app updates itself at pre-set times you can read stories offline, meaning you don’t need to eat up your data limit. News junkies will love SmartNews, which in all honesty gives you a wider list of news resources than any other news app out there. Available for both Android and iOS.
We’ll be honest and say that there are so many camera oriented apps on the market right now that we really didn’t think another one was necessary. However, the fact that HyperLapse is made by Instagram perked our interest. And we’re glad that we checked it out. HyperLapse lets you make time lapse videos simply and easily. No, seriously. You don’t need to hold your camera up for thirty minutes to capture a video of a sunset. Actually, HyperLapse is kind of difficult to explain, and really should be tried to be understood. Basically, you get to make a time lapse video that would take a professional hours to make. Even better, the interface is intuitive and there’s little learning curve. Really, trust us, you need to check this out. Sadly, HyperLapse is iOS only right now.