Web Design Techniques

There are principles and specific components that we should try to find in a design to make sure whether the design and layout of the website will not be unable to take your potential marketplace and the readers the message. Keeping the layout and design of any website clean and simple is very important. Dirty or cluttered design for the layout for your marketing materials on the website is never good. The more improperly managed the website is, the harder it is for your customers to locate things on your website. Therefore, you should never overcrowd the layout of your advertising stuff. After all, it should be kept quite straightforward and clean. Yes, all of us need to meet just as much info as we can into the layout but hey, keep the reason for the layout of the advertising things at heart. You will have to contact a web design OKC firm for a good design, and something that sells.

If you’ve got some corporate colors (like the colors which you use in your logo, letterhead, envelopes…etc), try keeping identical colors in your layout. You should present an extremely simplistic, exceptional, corporate, professional, consistent picture, not a haphazard one. Also, make sure that you do not use a lot of colors on your layout. And for designing advertising stuff, another significant point is to avoid using all the colors of the rainbow in one layout! You’re not attempting to confuse your customers, you’re attempting to allow it to be simple for their sake to locate info, bring them and encourage them to purchase something! For any typical layout to be a good, I’d say using 2 or 3 primary colors out of your corporate color should be fine.

Pictures in your website also tells a lot about the company. Using pictures in the layout of leaflets, flyers, menus, business profiles is recommended. Including pictures of your products in the layout of your advertising items or enticing your customers with useful graphics or diagrams that exemplifies your purpose is highly recommended. Before you go online and try to find stock photos in the internet for your advertising stuff, make sure you do not violate somebody’s rights to the pictures available online.

Innovative Website Design in Oklahoma City

Does style change lives? Well… in brief YES! It is the very first point your visitors may find plus it’s going to either make-or-break their very first impressions of your company immediately. Styles from Website Design OKC is not only about fairly graphics that seem fine, in internet layout a layout that is good is one that works the objects needed. From e-commerce to social press our customers needs to be offered instruments, the appearances and features to participate them. This can enable Bricktown SEO to make a top level layout option to reach it by understanding just what your business plan provides to your own intended audience and exactly how we need them to react then. Rather although we’re able to sit around all-day-long looking forward to our creative juices to flow we gather, contemplate discuss ideas and the goals. We don’t consider in reinventing the wheel but even as we we have studied your market it enables us to get an excellent notion of who we have been, how we will get forward and who we are facing. Our models look not bad to get a cause, alluring, practical and engaging methods. Internet layout that works for the company.

Normally, this is because consideration and awareness of detail goes to internet placement and the business utility of a web job. Our procedure intends to convey your information that is significant toward your visitors even simply join or to create revenue. At Bricktown SEO: advertising service and a website-design we need you the customer understand that we’re operating with you and to feel confident in our procedure each step of the strategy to reach the targets that are most effective potential.

In the bottom up is the most effective strategy to make sure our customers get the website they desire. This means the company may reap the benefits of a renewed on-line existence which is not just well-built and looks not bad, its also 100% unique. Using the most recent in internet methods that are innovative we could shove. At Bricktown SEO we consider that each job that functions helps us develop as a company also. Borders beyond a customers anticipations generally by advanced characteristics and improving functionality which help encourage and to manage articles that functions. Why conceal the most effective options that come with merchandise or an excellent company? Lets get it out there-after all we understand customers and we understand the things that they would like to participate with and by training “good internet layout” we may get great things happen in regards to your own website.

Sensible signal that is defined is in need that is great in terms of website-design that is excellent and most importantly it should be standard size. Online systems at the moment are in web sites and wealth must be reachable at all times. Our web sites get approval process’s that is on-line that guarantee the best quality in terms of functionality. Could it be it be done? YES is the solution to providing strong sites that are visually beautiful and fully operational. Our expertise guarantees the delivery of strong sites from lightweight picture galleries as well as creation as common to weight e-commerce internet apps that are heavy. Our are to ensure that your market on each internet platform sees and heard your website out there. Bricktown SEO style and create spectacular sites giving functionality driven outcomes to you. Through careful planning and innovative communications’ we link you and your clients. Customized Content-Management Systems

Because we realize that having complete control above an internet site is strength. Content Management System (content-management techniques) come in a variety of shapes and sizes-these times from heavyweight open-source methods to light variations all with complete performance. Bricktown SEO: advertising service and a website-design additionally specializes in custom built CMS techniques giving just the features you’ll need to you, this can be most importantly and perfect for operation, quicker loading times really user friendly.

We love going together with the the changing times because we understand your web site must be scalable as your company. In producing web sites which can be created to survive, we exercise and that enable whenever the demand is there, updating potential. Your web site may be observable accessible and working across all systems constantly appearing visually pleasant for your intended audience and using the the most recent technologies.

Tokenization for All Kinds of Devices

Tokenization may be can be explained as as little package of information that will be passed along or or about a PC system to control-which computers change it it will be to transfer. This can be an organized predicable type of accessibility. Tokenization may be can be explained as little package of information that will be passed along or about a PC system to control which computers change it will be to transfer. This can be an organized predicable type of access-control, contrary to CD. Tokens are found amongst the others, in token-ring and FDDI systems. The function of precedence, computer screen, tokenization vendors & booking in the access-control parts-

Precedence and booking: Typically, when a symbol is introduced, the following stop in the band as well as info to move gets the ability to support the the band. However, in IEEE 802.5 version, one more choice is also likely. A stop that’s waiting to distribute in revenge of of the place of the stop in the band is not unable to save the symbol that is energetic. Every stop and each contains a signal of precedence. As the framework moves via a stop and waiting to distribute may save the following available keepsake through inputting its signal of precedence in the A-C (access-control) area of the keepsake or the information body. The stop with greater problem re-instate it by a unique and might remove a booking of precedence that is lesser. Among additional channels of equal priority, the process is the 1 st. Through this process the opportunity when the symbol becomes free to air promptly is acquired by the stop maintaining the booking; it comes later actually on the band.

Computer Screen: a few issues may happen to touch the procedure for the system of token ring. In a single scenario, a stop may possibly don’t air again otherwise or a symbol a symbol may possibly ruined by the sound, in that circumstance there may no expression in the band also info might not be sent by any station. In additional scenario when its flip finishes, a stop may possibly don’t get rid of its utilization of information body from band that is special or may not dispatch this expression. Tokenization is a means whereby information accident may be confined in a manner that is complete.

When the symbol gets forward the computer screen repairs timer each time. In the event the special symbol doesn’t re-appears in the moment that is given then it’s likely to be mislaid also the computer screen generates a brand new expression and starts it in to that band. The computer screen that is particular pads against constantly re- through establishing A-C area for every single body, moving information structures. When frame impasses, the computer screen checks when the position that has been establish it understands the unique box has currently around that band and have to be lost and position area. A symbol then destroys areas along with the special frame in the band. In the event the computer screen that is specific fails a 2 stop is selected as backup gets control.

Value of Tokenization: Token ring method is extremely valuable when a-ring system is being used by any business where each of the nodes of system are connected in this way that node is attached to to last one so that form a ring-shaped construction. A frame that will be called symbol is created in the band that will be taken by the node which needs so the nodes become filled to deliver information. When one node limits the expression subsequently information can not be sent by any additional node as information may be transmitted as well as expression just.

Even Facebook is designing its own processors, says a new report

Facebook is reportedly designing its very own processor hardware so as to reduce reliance on partners like Intel and Qualcomm in its device efforts. The news comes via anonymous sources speaking to Bloomberg and apparent job listings.

The outlet reports that Facebook is currently in the early stages of building a team to design silicon semiconductors, an “end-to-end SoC/ASIC, firmware and driver development organization.” Indeed that very job posting is still live on Facebook’s online job board at the time of writing.

Bloomberg suspects that Facebook could use these chips in future device endeavors, artificial intelligence software and server hardware. Perhaps the delayed Facebook speaker will use one of Facebook’s own chips.

Hiding in plain sight

It’s interesting to see that Facebook is still openly hiring for this position with the news out from an awfully accurate team of leak reporters.

The job seems to call for someone skilled in processor technology in lots of applications, but particularly AI and machine learning on or via mobile systems on chip (SoC). Those types of technologies are popularly behind smart speakers.

Perhaps Facebook wants to control where the data lives on these devices even more directly with its own silicon versus a third party’s. After all, what Facebook does with said data is under more scrutiny than it’s ever been.

Facebook declined to comment on Bloomberg’s report.

At any rate, it’s now in the open that Facebook is working toward developing its own processors for the purpose of AI and machine learning through SoCs.

What that means for the future of Facebook products is unknown – perhaps this has something to do with future versions of the Oculus Go VR headset. One running with Facebook-developed silicon could possibly gain a Nintendo-like inherent advantage in performance, with hardware and software in harmony.

  • These are the best processors we’ve tested this year

Via 9to5Mac

Google Chrome gives Oculus Rift users native VR support

Oculus Rift users can slip on their headsets and have a much easier time navigating the web on Chrome now that native virtual reality (VR) support has been added. 

A new flag for “Oculus hardware support” in the stable build of Google Chrome was spotted by a Redditor and noted in a post today.

The flag says, “If enabled, Chrome will use Oculus devices for VR (supported only  on Windows 10 or later).” 

With our browser updated to the latest version, we checked for the flag at chrome://flags and it is indeed there. Google has been pushing forward with VR support in Chrome for some time now, and this latest move will make it much easier for users of one of the best VR headsets to surf the web. 

Google isn’t the first to give Oculus Rift owners a way to browse the web in VR. There are already plenty of other VR web browsers, and Oculus even has its own specific browser on the Oculus Store. But, access to one of the top web browsers through VR is likely to be welcome by Oculus enthusiasts.

This new feature brings more VR support to Google Chrome just after Firefox announced it was making significant moves toward VR support. Firefox Reality is a planned browser version focused on standalone virtual and augmented reality headsets. 

While each step toward complete support is great, it’s likely still going to be a while before anyone is doing the majority of their web browsing in VR or AR.

Via Variety

  • How does mobile VR stack up? Check out our Google Daydream View (2017) review

Best PC gaming headset 2018: the best gaming headset for your new rig

As you await the inevitable return of graphics cards back to their stock prices, consider this: the rest of your components and peripherals are ageing, and someday they’ll be as obsolete as an Intel 8080 is today. Truthfully, high-quality sound is underrated, so while you’re out trying to fetch the highest resolutions and framerates, someone else is outdoing you by taking advantage of the audio immersion offered by the best PC gaming headset.

In 2018, even the best gaming monitors either don’t come equipped with speakers, or the sound solution is mediocre at best. So, if you want decent sound, you’re stuck choosing between the best computer speakers, or preferably, the best gaming headsets to hear all the immersion-making background music, sound effects and dialogue. However, a good set of computer speakers can be expensive and take up more space than you actually have, so our general advice here is to just skip all that hassle and just go for one of the best gaming headsets – they sound great, and they’re easily stored to boot.

For the money, the best gaming headset will give you all the bells and whistles of a pair of speakers, but with one key difference: privacy. For those dead-set on letting their roommates sleep at night, here’s a collection of gaming headsets that we’ve methodically tested and ranked for your reading pleasure below.

HyperX Cloud Revolver S

When we first sat down to review the HyperX Cloud Revolver S, we were frankly divided. On one hand, it has brilliant 7.1-channel surround sound delivered through Dolby’s trademark digital signal processor. On the other, it’s ludicrously expensive when compared to other headsets featuring similar specs. Luckily, as one of Kingston’s most subdued pair of cans we’ve ever laid our ears on, the pristine comfort and top-notch sound more than makes up for its high price and weirdly placed detachable mic.

Read the full review: HyperX Cloud Revolver S

If there’s anything you can count on SteelSeries for, it’s pristine audio – and the SteelSeries Arctis Pro is proof perfect of just that. Not only will this headset provide immersive surround sound for all the explosive action of your favorite games, but, thanks to its included DAC (digital to audio converter), the Arctis Pro will also serve you well while listening to music. It may be a little expensive, but when you consider just how comfortable and bombastic this headset is, well, it’s not hard to see why it’s one of the best gaming headsets you can buy today.

Read the full review: SteelSeries Arctis Pro 

Valuing sheer performance over the traditional ‘gamer aesthetic,’ the Logitech G Pro headset offers fantastic sound quality over long periods of time and little else. Not that that’s a bad thing though. Available for just $89 (about £65, AU$115), Logitech made sure that you’re paying for fantastic sound and comfort, with none of your cash being wasted on flashy RGB lighting or other frivolous features. If you’re looking for something a bit more subtle, but can perform with the best of them, the Logitech G Pro is a compelling headset.

Read the full review: Logitech G Pro Gaming Headset 

If you’re looking for one of the best gaming headsets, but those high-end $300 headsets make your stomach turn and you also don’t want something cheap, you should take a look at the Astro A20s. Featuring solid stereo sound performance in a wireless headset, not to mention the stunning 15 hour battery life, this headset has all the necessary features that you might want in its price range. Sure, it doesn’t have surround sound, but it more than makes up for it with its economy and battery life.

Read the full review: Astro A20

Creative Sound BlasterX H7 Tournament Edition

Over the years, Creative has made a name for itself to be trusted when it comes to audio products – and the Creative Sound BlasterX H7 Tournament edition further cements that legacy. Rather than just sitting and iterating on the winning formula of its previous products, Creative took the Sound BlasterX H7 and completely changed it up, creating a headset that looks as good as it sounds. If you’re looking for a comfortable, sturdy and deep-sounding headset, the Creative Sound BlasterX H7 Tournament Edition, especially at such a low price, is one of the best PC gaming headsets money can buy in 2018.

Read the full review: Creative Sound BlasterX H7 Tournament Edition 

Compromises are a part of everyday life, but nobody actually likes making them. Luckily with the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless, you don’t have to make any compromises, you can get high quality lossless audio playback with a wireless headset. And, when you add in the unique and ultra-convenient dual-battery charging system that lets you wear this headset in perpetuity, you have a recipe for one of the best gaming headsets we’ve ever gotten our hands on. If you have the cash, and you absolutely need the best wireless headphones money can buy – you can’t do wrong here.

Read the full review: SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless 

HyperX Cloud Flight

The HyperX Cloud Flight is a long-lasting wireless gaming headset packed with up to 30 hours of battery life. This means you can potentially get two full days of gaming in between charges. However, there is a catch – unlike the Cloud Flight’s competition in the Astro A20, the HyperX Cloud Flight only offers stereo sound, foregoing any surround sound implementation. You can thankfully get around it by messing around with the Dolby Access app, however, and the sound profile is balanced enough to make this a non-issue. 

Read the full review: HyperX Cloud Flight

Razer ManO'War

Razer ManO’War

Quick and easy to set up using a wireless USB receiver that stores inside the headset for transportation, the Razer ManO’War is a user-friendly unit primed for surround-sound gaming. Sure, it’s a little chunkier than most other headsets, but two soft leatherette ear cups make it comfortable to wear over extended periods. And, with Chroma RGB lighting customizable through Razer Synapse, it even looks snazzy to observers.

Read the full review: Razer ManO’War

HyperX Cloud Alpha

There’s a common misconception the best PC gaming headsets have to cost a fortune. That’s fortunately untrue of the HyperX Cloud Alpha, which presents a compelling design along with impressive mid-range sound. The added dual-chamber drivers are a feat for audio quality that doesn’t break the bank, minus the distortion that usually haunts headphones at this price. Better yet, the sonorous bass will put any first-person shooter, not to mention Skrillex, to the test.

Read the full review: HyperX Cloud Alpha

Corsair HS50 Stereo Gaming Headset

As a general rule when you’re buying anything, much less gaming peripherals, you get what you pay for. You don’t go into Walmart, pick up a $50/£50 gaming headset and expect to be blown away. Corsair takes this rule and turns it on its head. The Corsair HS50 is, for the budget gamer, the best gaming headset you can buy today. Retailing at $50 in the US, the HS50 has sound quality and mic quality that rivals headsets that are twice as expensive. Everything, even down to the build materials radiates quality. If you’re looking for a cheap gaming headset, and you don’t mind giving up some extra bells and whistles, like 7.1 surround and Bluetooth connectivity, you need to take a look at the Corsair HS50.

Read the full review: Corsair HS50 Stereo Gaming Headset 

Corsair Void Pro RGB Wireless

It wasn’t that long ago that Corsair was solely known for PC components but, over the last five years or so, they’ve arguably become better known for their gaming peripherals. With products like the Corsair Void RGB Wireless, it’s hard not to see why. Now, while at first glance, some may scoff at the asking price, the Void Pro RGB Wireless delivers on that price point with great build quality, fantastic sound fidelity and – perhaps most importantly – RGB lighting. Plus, if you’ve already got a full arsenal of Corsair peripherals, the Void Pro RGB Wireless fits in nicely, and can even synchronize lighting effects with other peripherals through the Corsair Utility Engine.

Read the full review: Corsair Void RGB Wireless 

Turtle Beach XO Three

Although it’s designed to be used for the Xbox One, Windows users can take solace in the fact that the Turtle Beach XO Three is compatible with any PC sporting a single jack for both mic input and headset output or a PC splitter cable. In spite of this minor caveat, the XO Three is a steal for the price, especially considering its use of 50mm sound drivers. What’s more, it even supports Windows Sonic for 3D surround sound. 

Read the full review: Turtle Beach XO Three

SteelSeries

SteelSeries Arctis 7

 

SteelSeries has a storied reputation among the best PC gaming headsets, and the Arctis 7 only proves to continue it. Boasting a shockingly long battery life and extreme comfort, this headset will appeal especially to anyone who plays a lot of MMOs, where comfort reigns supreme over long play sessions. The sound quality is also worth noting here – as its neutral sound signature means that even audiophiles will be happy with it, even if the bass is a little weak.

Read the full review: SteelSeries Arctis 7 

Astro A50 Wireless

We called the original Astro A50 a “game-changing, experience-enhancing headset,” and thankfully its wireless successor follows the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” rule. Astro’s latest headset does what it says on the tin and adds wireless connectivity to an already stellar package. Not only is it ready to rock with your PC, but with PS4, Xbox One and legacy consoles as well – a headset that’s robust and versatile.

Asus ROG Centurion 7.1

Eschewing any traditional rules of fashion, the ROG Centurion 7.1 is a beautiful headset regardless. Even if it’s a genuine pain to get going, this excellent PC gaming headset features both surprising style and a knack for emitting extremely clear sound. The Asus ROG Centurion 7.1’s onboard amp controls give you complete control over this bombastic sound, and this beast can even bolster its already amazing sound through a passthrough to an external set of speakers. Really, this thing is great. 

Read the full review: Asus ROG Centurion 7.1 headset

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article

  • Put your audio quality to the test in the best PC games

Best free iPhone apps 2018

There are now hundreds of thousands of apps available for your iPhone X (and others), and surprisingly, many of the best are free.

  • What’s the best phone of 2018?

The following list showcases our pick of the best free iPhone apps, and includes iPhone applications for social networking, travel, news, photography, productivity and more. Most of these apps are also compatible with the iPod touch as well.

What’s going to be interesting is how the iPhone X affects this list of best apps, because the larger screen is going to mean developers have to code their wares differently to cater for the new audience.

But no matter which phone you’ve got, as long as it’s made by Apple (and it’s not too old) you’ll be able to enjoy these titles that have been curated by TechRadar’s expert app reviewers, who parse through the App Store regularly to see just what’s bubbling up… and whether it’s worth downloading.

New this week: RememBear

RememBear puts a friendly, furry face on password management. Getting started is simple, as is inputting website usernames and passwords. Everything you enter is fully secured behind a master password – or Touch ID if you have a compatible iPhone.

The app can integrate with Safari for iPhone, but has its own built-in browser too, should you want to keep certain passwords and activity away from prying eyes. There’s also cross-device sync so you can use your logins across Macs, PCs, and Android devices.

There’s less scope here than in the likes of 1Password – RememBear is only for website logins and payment cards, not things like notes and servers. Still, its focus and friendliness make it a great choice if you’re not already using a password manager – or if you are, but fancy something simpler.

Wondering how the new iPhone X stacks up? Watch out our video review above.

Cake Browser is a mobile-centric web browser that wants you to skip right to dessert. Instead of presenting you with a list of search results, Cake immediately displays what it thinks is the most relevant page, while others load in background tabs. You then swipe between them (though you can still access a traditional results list by swiping from the left).

There are great ideas in Cake, not least the buttons that trigger searches specifically for video, images, news, and shopping.

The downside is that the search engines and sites Cake uses aren’t configurable, and the results it provides aren’t always what you want. Even so, that sense of surprise, and not always heading to the same old places, makes Cake worth a look – even if you stick to Safari for the bulk of your browsing.

Canva is a graphic design tool for the rest of us. It’s not going to send professionals scurrying for the shadows, but with its mix of templates, filters, and editable design elements, it gives the average iPhone owner a fighting chance of working up an invite or poster during a lunch hour.

Layouts are smartly targeted and categorized, and move beyond typical posters, greetings cards and flyers into social media territory (Twitter headers, Instagram posts and blog posts), and even business (cards, logos and presentations).

You can import photos, add text, and fiddle around with a wide range of drag-and-drop elements before sharing directly to social media, or saving your work to your iPhone.

For anyone who wants to design something for their burgeoning home business, or just for fun, Canva is a great place to start.

Pages is a fully fledged and fully free word processor for your iPhone. Word processing might not be top of your list of iPhone-related tasks, but this great app might just change your mind.

Pages includes a wide range of templates, such as reports, letters, cards and posters. Although you probably won’t want to create and edit an entire magazine on your smartphone, Pages is user-friendly, with an efficient interface that’s suitable for banging out a first draft of a letter, leaflet or poster while you’re on the train.

Thanks to iCloud sync, whatever you create in Pages can be opened on a Mac or iPad running the app. If you’re resolutely iPhone-only, you can export your work in a range of formats, including PDF and Microsoft Word. If you’re really rocking it old-school, you can even send it to an AirPrint printer.

Clips is a video-editing app geared towards making content for sharing on social media. To that end, it eschews convention (widescreen, standard titles, typical editing tracks) and attempts to infuse plenty of fun into a streamlined, straightforward editing process.

You can record directly in the app or import existing videos. In either case, you can overlay stickers and live captions that appear as the subject speaks, and apply filters for a different look. Posters serve as a replacement for titles, helping with pacing and context in a way that’s much more interesting, animated and editable.

For iPhone X users, there’s an extra treat: animated 3D selfie scenes. These can transport you into a number of stylized landscapes, including neon cityscapes and ships from Star Wars. The effect is mesmerizing to the point where the app’s worth picking up for selfie scenes alone.

PhonoPaper is a deeply weird app. It records sounds and plays them back, but it is to Voice Memos what bonkers abstract art is to a traditional watercolor of a tree.

The app starts by having you record a sound, which it converts into a kind of audio barcode. You then print this out on to paper and ‘scan’ it with the app, which plays back your sound. More or less.

What you get is often akin to science fiction sounds – metallic echoes and strange noises – but with care, you can indeed hear what was recorded and start experimenting with ‘playing’ hand-drawn scribbles, or whatever else you fancy.

In truth, PhonoPaper is the definition of a niche app, but it deserves a place on this list because there’s nothing else quite like it.

Oak – Meditation & Breathing is a relaxation app with no time for complexity and price tags – two things many rivals revel in, despite their potential to (ironically) increase stress levels. Here, you simply choose between three options: meditate, breathe, and wisdom.

The last of those is a small selection of video and audio, introducing you to the concepts of meditation. Breathe provides three exercises, offering techniques for relaxation and boosting alertness. Meditation is probably where you’ll spend most time.

There, you choose between mindful/unguided meditation, pick the instructor’s gender, decide on a duration (10–30 minutes), and add background sounds if you like. It’s basic but effective, and there’s tracking too. You can delve into basic stats or watch your efforts transform a little sapling into an oak tree on the app’s menu screen over time.

WhatTheFont has been described as Shazam for text, and although it lacks the pinpoint accuracy suggested by that comparison, that line of thinking isn’t too far off.

To get started, you either use WhatTheFont’s camera to snap a shot of some text or load a photo taken earlier. The app then attempts to pick out individual words, one of which you then use for identification. You can set a boundary manually if the app doesn’t highlight something you want to search for.

Then it’s just a question of waiting to see what you get. The results are sometimes a bit duff, but that mostly happens when your image is murky. For clearer text, WhatTheFont’s powers are akin to witchcraft, revealing the name of the exact font you photographed. For a freebie, it’s perfect fodder for anyone who ever needs to match a typeface.

World Clock Time Widget does what you’d expect from its name, enabling you to set up a world clock that’s visible at a glance in Today view.

Setup is straightforward. Tapping a + button gives you a list of locations. You can type a place name to rapidly filter the list, then tap an item to add it to your clocks. Locations appear in order from west to east, although you can rearrange them manually.

The widget shows your first four clocks in Today view, but can be expanded to show more. Neatly, you can also move the clocks forward and backward by hourly increments. It’s a pity you only get a digital view – analog clocks are only available within the app – but otherwise this is a solid freebie.

Notcho is one of the cheekier apps on the App Store, and would have perhaps best been named “Notch? NO!” In short, it’s designed to hide the divisive iPhone X notch. It does this by making clever edits to wallpaper, adding curved corners that hide the notch within a black bar.

The wallpaper creation bit is pretty good, with various fit options, and the option to stick with straight edges or less pronounced corners, if you don’t want to ape the iPhone X’s curves. Bizarrely, you can also add the notch back in if you want to.

Saved wallpapers do have a watermark unless you stump up for a one-off $1.99/£1.99/AU$2.99 IAP, but otherwise this is an essential app we wish could somehow extend to the rest of iOS.

Smiling Mind is a straightforward, approachable meditation app that wants you to slow down a bit and embrace mindfulness. It starts off with a simple exercise that introduces the concept, before getting you started with short practice sessions. But if you’re already familiar with this kind of thing, you can jump right into a range of programs.

As you use the app, it urges you to input how you feel, and tracks your progress over time. Also, along with providing programs for adults, the app offers exercises designed for children.

Most importantly, though, everything about Smiling Mind feels calming, from the stylish interface to its lack of a price-tag. Whereas rivals go for wallet-thumping subscriptions, Smiling Mind is by a non-profit; it’s intent only on relieving you of stress rather than money.

Habitica is a to-do list tracker. But before your eyes glaze over, Habitica does something very different in this particular app category, transforming boring lists into a game.

The idea is that you input all the things you need to sort, including one-off items and daily goals. As you check off tasks, your little on-screen avatar gets powered-up, acquiring armor, pets, skills, and quests. Get some friends suitably invested and you can battle monsters alongside them – or just keep everyone honest.

In short, this app makes productivity fun. And while there’s some satisfaction deleting an item from a boring bullet-point list, it’s a lot more interesting when taking the trash out results in your tiny hero beaming with delight at their shiny new sword.

Squigglish! is a very silly drawing app, on account of the fact that its brush strokes wiggle. There’s quite the variety on offer, too, from thick, snaking, gloopy lines that just jiggle a little, to spiky electrified offerings that give the impression that your artwork has just been jabbed into a socket.

Given its oddball toolset, you’re probably not going to use Squigglish! as the basis for some highbrow iPhone art. But because you can import a photo, it’s perfect fodder for making yourself or a friend look vaguely ridiculous, with some silly blue hair, a pair of wibbly glasses, and the kind of animated mustache Dali would have killed for.

Naturally, your tiny animated masterpiece can be exported to GIF or a movie.

JigSpace is an education app that reasons we learn things better in 3D, on the basis that this is how we experience the real world. And that’s a good point. It’s all very well to learn how a car’s transmission works by reading about it, or even pore over an exploded illustration in a book. But being able to fiddle around with a real engine is much more helpful.

This app isn’t quite that level of magical, but it does use iOS’s augmented reality smarts to project various objects onto a flat surface. These can then be explored and fiddled around with, in a manner that hints at the future of anything from repair manuals to textbooks.

And even though you’ll perhaps exhaust the items on offer fairly quickly, JigSpace is a nicely immersive educational experience while it lasts.

Meteor is an internet speed tester designed for human beings. It eschews complex information – and even advertising – and instead provides you with straightforward, colorful buttons and readouts.

An inviting ‘Start Testing’ button kicks things off, whereupon the app sets about checking your internet connection’s performance, a little meteor animating on-screen as it does so. Once the tests are done, speeds are scored, and are subsequently available from the History tab.

Meteor also attempts to estimate how well your connection would fare with popular apps and games, six of which can be added to an ‘app performance’ bar. These values should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt, but this freebie nonetheless impresses for being a no-nonsense, user-friendly, ad-free way to check internet connectivity.

Sweat Deck reimagines exercise routines as a deck of cards. You assign exercises to certain suits, and lob in a couple of ‘jokers’ for good measure. The app then has you define how many cards/reps you want to try your hand at.

The app’s semi-random nature keeps you on your toes (or hands and back, depending on the exercise). If you draw a three of spades, that might mean three squats; then a nine of diamonds could mean nine push-ups. It’s a novel interface that’s a bit different from other iPhone exercise apps.

Sweat Deck could do with a way to switch cards other than tapping the screen (shouting perhaps), but you can always use prodding your iPhone as an excuse to rest for a few seconds, having suitably worked up a sweat by that point.

Trips by Lonely Planet is an app for sharing travel experiences – or just reveling in the journeys made by others. It’s a bit like a travel-oriented Instagram mixed with a smattering of travel guide and blog. If you like gorgeous photography and a touch of commentary for context, it’s a must-have install.

New top picks are regularly showcased on the app’s Home tab, and you can favorite those you like, and/or follow the authors. Annoyingly, there’s no search, but you can delve into themed categories, such as ‘cities’ and ‘adventure’. (Think of it more like a magazine than a website and you should be fine.)

When you have an adventure of your own, you can upload your own story. The layout options are a bit basic, but the app is really easy to work with, making for stress-free sharing.

PCalc Lite is a version of leading iOS calculator PCalc, aimed at people who aren’t keen on spending money. In terms of functionality, it’s more stripped back than its paid sibling, but the app’s guts are identical.

What this means is PCalc Lite is undoubtedly the best free traditional calculator for iPhone. It’s fast, responsive, and friendly, and bundles a small set of useful conversions for length, speed, temperature, volume, and weight.

If you want to bolt on something from the paid version, IAPs exist, such as for multi-line support, or extra conversion options.

When iOS 11 arrived, Apple’s built-in calculator proved buggy, leading to people scrabbling around for an alternative. With PCalc Lite installed, that need never happen to you.

Housecraft is an augmented reality (AR) app that wants you to have fun redesigning your home. Waggle your iPhone about in a room with sufficient space and the app rapidly scans the floor. You can then drop virtual chairs, tables, and bookshelves into place – and then move around them using the power of AR.

The app proves to be an interesting mix of useful, elegant and fun. There’s a range of furniture, which can be recolored, resized, and copied – the last of those being useful when you want to add several of an item to a space.

But also, you can go berserk with Housecraft’s bouncy physics, dumping dozens of chairs in place when you’re bored of being productive and just fancy being a bit silly.

Google Maps is an app that’s been a mainstay in this list for years – and it’s easy to see why. Although Apple’s own Maps app has hugely improved since launch, Google Maps retains the lead in almost every way. It’s superb at locating points of interest –whether you’re looking for a distant town or local restaurant – and offers robust public transport suggestions.

Beyond that, it just proves handier than Apple’s app. Street View is great for virtually scoping out a location, looking for landmarks that might prove handy during a drive. You can draw a route to measure the distance between two places.

And best of all, you can download maps to your iPhone, transforming Google Maps into a free sat-nav equivalent that works entirely offline.

Snapseed is a photo editor that marries simplicity and power. At its most basic, it can be a tool for loading a photo, selecting a filter (referred to here as ‘looks’), and exporting the result. But it’s when you delve into the app’s tools and stacks that its true potential becomes clear.

The tools menu, while a bit cluttered, offers a huge range of options for adjusting your photo. You can crop, adjust perspective, edit curves, and add all kinds of filters and effects.

But stacks are arguably Snapseed’s best component. The stack is where your edits live, each of which can be updated at any time.

This offers far more flexibility than editors that ‘burn in’ each change you make. Furthermore, you can save any combination of edits as a custom look – and use stacks to deconstruct pre-loaded ones. Brilliant stuff.

Google Earth simply gives you our planet in the palm of your hand, and encourages you to explore. You can manually rotate and zoom, search for specific locations, or take your chances with the dice icon, to check out somewhere random.

Wherever you end up, Google Earth provides local photography and information, becoming something of a virtual tour guide. Places others have explored nearby are provided as cards, which prove genuinely useful for giving crowdsourced points of interest or recommendations.

This concept reaches its logical conclusion with Voyager – a selection of journeys you can take to some of the world’s most amazing sights, from ancient wonders to modern ones like Kennedy Space Center.

Google Earth’s visual majesty is lessened on the smaller screen, but it’d be churlish to scoff at an app that in an instant provides access to so much of our planet.

Arty initially resembles yet another filter app – and, to be fair, it does have a bunch of filters lurking that can turn a photo sepia, or make it so vibrant that your eyes hurt. But this one’s mostly about its other tools, which have been carefully designed for jobbing artists working with real-world media.

There’s a grid, and various image-tweaking settings to fine-tune a photo for the magic bit, which is comparing your photo with whatever’s lurking under your iPhone’s camera.

So if you’re in the midst of making a lifelike drawing from a reference photo, your iPhone can now be a handy guide to see how you’re getting on, rather than a tool primarily for procrastination.

Sticky AI is all about selfies. Shoot one (or a short video, by holding the shutter button) in the app, and Sticky AI will instantly remove its background – often with a frightening degree of accuracy.

You can then get to work, resizing and rotating your beautiful face, slapping on a text label, mucking about with colors and filters, and then sharing the result to your social networks of choice.

It’s naturally geared a bit towards the self-obsessed, but there’s plenty here to like: the technology’s mightily impressive, for one, but also Sticky AI neatly hangs on to your previous edits, so you can at any time peruse your collection and make a change to a favorite snap.

Lingvist is a language-learning app that claims to be able to teach you at light speed. Naturally, that’s hyperbole, but Lingvist nonetheless has a methodology and interface that gets you going in your chosen language (French, Spanish, German, and Russian are supported) at serious speed.

Mostly, it’s about plugging words into sentences, in a drill-like fashion. Imagine interactive flash cards thrown your way in quick-fire fashion and you’re there. The underlying algorithm tracks words you’re finding tricky, and in-context explanations for things like verbs pop up as and when they’re needed.

Will Lingvist make you fluent in hours? Probably not. But as a refresher, or even a first step in learning a foreign tongue, it’s the best freebie around on iPhone.

Bricks Camera is a novelty camera app that will strike a chord with anyone who has an affinity for plastic building blocks.

The app’s essentially a live filter. Through its camera, the world’s transformed into a universe of brightly colored ‘bricks’, the size of which you can adjust with a swipe. Hold down the shutter and you get a short video rather than a still. Also, if you’re not feeling the vibe in live mode, you can import a photo instead.

Your blocky masterpiece can be saved or shared – unfortunately only with a three-brick-wide watermark. It’s a pity there’s no cheap IAP to be rid of that, but otherwise this is an entertaining – if slightly throwaway – camera freebie.

WLPPR is a wallpaper app that’s apparently not keen on vowels. But what it lacks in letters, it makes up for with beautiful satellite imagery, which you can save to Photos and later apply to your home or lock screens.

Unlike many wallpaper apps, WLPPR has been crafted with care and respect. Every image has a credit but also explanatory copy regarding what you’re looking at. You can bookmark favorites for later, apply a custom blur, and download imagery in standard or ‘parallax’ sizes.

Neatly, there’s a preview mode, too. Tap the eye icon and you can load a realistic-looking home or lock screen to see how your wallpaper would look. Not convinced? Swipe to get the next one.

Note that WLPPR is a freemium app, with IAP for extra photo sets; but for free you get 86 high-quality shots – more than enough for most – and an extra 58 if you’re happy to spam your social media feed one time.

Mood wants to add some visual style to your writing. It’s not about crafting a novel, but fleeting, simple thoughts, which can be assigned a dazzling layout. Think Twitter if you were armed with your own personal graphic designer.

Using the app is very straightforward. You start typing, and Mood reformats your text on the fly. Open the styles draw and you can flick between all kinds of appearances. Once you’re done, your tiny literary masterpiece is rendered to an image, which can be saved to Photos or shared on a social network.

Rather nicely, your creations aren’t transient, either – they’re also saved in the app and can later be edited. And there’s an amusing Easter egg, too – flip your iPhone upside down when in the styles section for some decidedly weirder themes (including an unnerving wall of bacon).

Green Riding Hood subverts a much-loved fairy tale, re-imagining Grandma as a hip yoga teacher, and having the Big Bad Wolf gradually learn how tasty healthy food is. Which might all sound a bit like brainwashing for tiny people if the story bit wasn’t so well designed.

Each little scene in the book is interactive, so you can tap animals to make them exercise, have the wolf angrily lob a bone into the forest, or – our favorite – fashion a cacophony as the animals try to wake a dozing granny with whatever objects they have to hand.

Beyond the book, you get some recipes and stickers for free. If all that takes your fancy, IAPs unlock exercise and dance routines – but, really, just the fairy tale bit alone makes this one very much worth a download.

Today Weather provides a sleek, elegant take on weather forecasting, marrying modern design, usability, and a slew of data.

Set a location and you get current conditions below a supposedly representative photo. (The photo is, frankly, a bit rubbish but can fortunately be disabled.) Scroll to delve into predictions about the coming hours and days, and details about UV index and pressure, the chances of imminent rainfall, air quality, sunrise/sunset times, and what the moon’s up to.

Sadly, these components can’t be rearranged, and anyone who wants a rainfall radar will have to pay for it. But these drawbacks shouldn’t stop you downloading what’s a great freebie weather app.

Also, Hello Weather has a trump card in its data source menu, which lists conditions and temperatures from five different providers. If one regularly seems better than the others, you can switch with a tap. Nice.

ClippyCam is a camera app that makes use of both iPhone cameras. You shoot a still – or hold the shutter to record a short video – and once that’s done use the FaceTime camera to overlay a second photo or video.

At first, you might end up with what looks like a screengrab from Skype, but play around with the various options and you can get a bit more creative. For example, take a snap on holiday and then add a video of your family waving to a loved one; or load a movie poster and unsubtly insert your head into the scene.

Smartly, the app can save your ‘vanilla’ snap alongside your ClippyCam creation, although note the latter has a watermark unless you splash out on a one-off $2.99/£2.99 IAP.

Clarity is all about creating wallpaper for your iPhone’s home and lock screens. The name comes from the app’s ability to create artwork that improves the legibility of the content above it.

Three options are available: Gradient, Blur, and Mask. Gradient has you choose two colors and decide on the direction of the gradient. Blur has you take a photo or picture and assign a blur level. And Mask allows you to overlay a color-to-transparent gradient atop an image.

It would be good to have positioning options for imported images (Clarity just crops as it sees fit), but otherwise this is a great freebie for quickly creating sleek and effective wallpaper for iPhone.

Steller is an app about stories. On first opening the app, you get a scrolling pane of photos to explore, each with a title overlaid. It kind of resembles a minimal virtual bookstore.

Tapping a picture allows you to delve into a story, which is presented as a little flick book. Depending on the author, you might just get a few pages of photos; some also add a little commentary – although text content is typically succinct in Steller stories, because pictures do the talking.

Creating a story yourself is simple, too. Pick a theme, import up to 20 photos and videos, choose a template for each page, and then share with the world. And although your output’s best enjoyed within the Steller app, people can visit your creations in a desktop browser, too.

Infinite Music says it will help you “rediscover your music library”, through “smart remixing and mashups”. What this really means is the app rifles through all the DRM-free music on your iPhone, throws it up in the air, and plays the result.

The theory is that Infinite Music figures out the dynamics of songs and then has everything flow together, potentially forever. And sometimes it works. Often, though, it’s more akin to a hyperactive DJ with no attention span over-excitedly live remixing your music collection.

In short, then, Infinite Music is often more a mad and jolting musical journey than seamless magic, but it’s certainly interesting. And given that it’s free, it’s worth grabbing for a distinctly different take on a music collection that might have become all too familiar.

This app is one for perfectionists who also happen to spend a lot of time on Twitter. Often, people post links to articles, but want to highlight something, and so they take and attach a screen grab. With OneShot for Screenshots, these screen grabs becomes a whole lot more useful.

After you’ve taken a grab, you open the app and load a screenshot. You can then crop it and even highlight the bits you want people to notice. Comments and source URLs can be added before the resulting composition is hurled at Twitter.

The workflow within OneShot is admittedly not that sleek, requiring bouncing between it and other apps. But highlights on screengrabs help get across your point much more than a wall of text.

With 8bit Painter, you can pretend a couple of decades of technology evolution never happened, and create digital images like it’s 1984. On firing up the app, you select a canvas size – from a truly tiny 16 x 16 pixels, all the way up to a comparatively gargantuan 128 x 128. You’re then faced with a grid and a small selection of tools.

There’s nothing especially advanced here – this isn’t Pixaki for iPhone, and it lacks that tool’s layers and animation smarts. But you do get the basics – pencil; flood fill; eraser; color selection – needed for tapping out a tiny artistic masterpiece.

And, importantly, you can pinch-zoom the canvas for adding fine details, and export your image at scaled-up sizes, so it’s not minuscule when viewed elsewhere. For a freebie, this one’s pretty great.

Smartphones are supposed to save you time, but certain actions may require you to dart in and out of several apps, which can be fiddly on an iPhone. The idea behind Workflow is to create triggers that automate a string of actions.

If you’re new to this sort of thing, Workflow does its best to be friendly. The interface primarily comprises big, colorful icons, and the drag-and-drop workflow creation is surprisingly approachable.

Should that still sound like too much work, dozens of workflows (such as GIF creation, making PDFs, and finding local coffee shops) can be downloaded from the gallery to use as-is or experiment with. Usefully, these are not only available from within Workflow itself, but also can be saved to your Home screen, Today widget, Apple Watch, or Share sheet.

If your friends and family are very much of the opinion that your singing voice resembles a particularly unhappy wounded yak, Vanido might be just the ticket. It’s akin to personal music teacher Yousician, only the instrument you spend time improving is your voice.

Vanido works by way of short vocal exercises that change daily. As you attempt to sing, you get real-time visual feedback, so you can see how accurate your pitch is compared to what’s required. Got a wiggly line? Try to hold a note. A line heading north? Dig deep for those bass notes.

Given enough time, you probably still won’t be troubling the pop charts – but perhaps those around you won’t visibly grimace when you start singing along to your favorites.

We’re in one-trick pony territory with Moodelizer, but it’s quite a trick. The app’s all about adding custom soundtracks to videos while you record them, and all you need is a single finger.

You select a genre, and ‘rehearse’ playback by dragging your finger about the square viewfinder. As you move upwards, the music’s intensity increases; rightwards adjusts variation.

Just messing about with the audio alone is quite fun, but it all properly comes together when making a video.

Now, when you’re shooting yet another clip of your cat being mildly amusing, Moodelizer can add much-needed excitement by way of rousing club music or head-banging guitar riffs. Quite why you can’t import a video to add music to, however, we’ve no idea.

There’s no getting around the fact that Emolfi is ridiculous – but it’s also a lot of fun. Self-described as the “first empathic selfie app”, it has you take a photo of your face, whereupon the app’s wizardry attempts to figure out your mood. The app then cuts out the background and adjusts the rest of the image accordingly.

If you’re feeling happy, you might be surrounded by bubbles and sunshine. If you’re angry or scared, you’ll get something that looks like a horror movie, or a massive spider on your face with your eyes animating towards it in worried fashion.

It certainly beats yet another app unconvincingly transforming you into characters from fantasy and comic-book movies.

Prisma is the best-known app for transforming photos into tiny works of painted art, but Pixify takes things further, largely by offering you more control. Although you can just select which artwork you’d like your photo to ape, the Custom tab provides tools to tweak the result through changes to brush size, style amount, image resolution, and style influence.

While ramping up settings can greatly increase rendering time, the results are often worth it – Pixify simply does a better job than Prisma of fashioning a realistic virtual painting. The app also works with video – although results there are a mite more variable.

Output gets a Pixify logo added to it, but the Pro IAP ($0.99/99p/AU$1.99) removes those for good, along with unlocking higher-resolution artwork and longer videos.

There are plenty of ambient noise products on the App Store, designed to help you relax, or to distract you from surrounding hubbub. TaoMix 2 is one of the best, due to its gorgeous interface and the flexibility of the soundscapes you create.

You start off with a blank canvas, to which you drag noises that are represented as neon discs. These can be recolored and resized, and positioned wherever you like on the screen. A circle is then placed to balance the mix, or flicked to meander about, so the various sounds ebb and flow over time.

For free, you get eight sounds, can save custom mixes, and can even import your own recordings. Many dozens of additional sounds are available via various affordable IAP.

Billed as ‘your smart travel guide’, Triposo elevates itself above the competition. First and foremost, it’s comprehensive. Whereas other guides typically concentrate on a few major cities, Triposo drills down into tiny towns and villages as well, helping you get the best out of wherever you happen to be staying.

50,000 destinations worldwide are included, complete with information on bars, restaurants, hotels, tours and attractions.

Beyond that, the app is easy to use, and it optionally works offline, enabling you to download guides on a regional basis. This is perfect for when you’re ambling about somewhere new, without a data connection. And if you’re unsure where to head, Triposo can even build an editable city walk for you too.

If you wonder what your iPhone would be like if graphics technology hadn’t moved on from the age of the C64, Famicam 64 can enlighten you. This camera app uses live filtering to replicate the visuals you might once have seen on a classic games system – or other old-school kit like oscilloscopes.

Filters can have their properties adjusted, and you can add text, retro-oriented stickers, freeform scribbles, and borders to a photo, before sharing the results.

Note that some options are limited in the free version, and output adds a Famicam 64 banner to the bottom of the image. You can get rid of all that with the PLUS IAP ($1.99/£1.99/AU$2.99), but in either incarnation, Famicam 64 is a fun, quirky, usable way to do something different with your camera.

If you’re bored with watching the same old movies or relying on rental charts, Popcorn may be just the ticket, as the app instead aims to catch your eye with hand-picked lists. This means you delve into anything from ‘movies starring robots’ to the comparatively oddball ‘most harrowing kids’ movies’ (complete with a gruesome still from Watership Down).

Open a list and you get offered a few cards, which you swipe Tinder-style: left consigns them to oblivion and right adds a film to your watchlist. If you’re not sure about whatever’s on a card, you can have a quick look at a trailer first. It’s a fast, simple, effective means of building a movie watchlist in an unusual way.

Adobe apparently has no interest in bringing full Photoshop to iPhone, but the brand’s focused Photoshop-branded apps offer a smattering of the desktop product’s power in the palm of your hand. Adobe Photoshop Sketch is a drawing and painting tool, designed for anyone who fancies dabbling in natural media.

Select a canvas and you can work with virtual pens, markers, acrylic, ink and watercolor. Acrylic is nicely gloopy, and watercolor can be realistically blended as it bleeds into the ‘paper’. A layers system provides scope for complex art, and stencils enable precision when required.

For free, the app’s hard to beat; and for Creative Cloud subscribers, work can be exported to layered PSD for further refinement in full-fat desktop Photoshop.

With its large display and the Apple Pencil, the iPad seems the natural home for a coloring app like Pigment. But if you fancy doing the odd bit of coloring-in when you need to relax, Pigment’s great to also have installed on the device you always have in your pocket.

Even on the smaller screen, it excels. You get quick access to a set of top-notch coloring tools, and a range of intricate illustrations to work on. Sure, buy a subscription and you gain access to a much bigger range; but for free, you still get an awful lot.

Amusingly, the app also offers options for staying inside the lines. By default, Pigment automatically detects what you’re trying to color and assists accordingly – but you can go fully manual if you wish!

The iPhone version of GarageBand has always been ambitious. Aiming at newcomers and professionals alike, its feature set includes smart instruments that always keep you in key, multitrack recording/editing functionality, a loops player, and superb guitar amps.

But 2017’s major update takes things much further, with new synth Alchemy improving the app’s previously slightly ropey sound set. Smart piano strips have been expanded to all keyboard instruments, helping anyone to play perfect melodies.

And Audio Unit support exists to load third-party synths directly inside of GarageBand, similar to how plug-ins work on desktop music-making apps.

Because of these things, GarageBand is now even more suited to musicians of all skill levels – although be aware on smaller screens that the app can be a touch fiddly, what with there being so much going on.

Although the app is listed as $4.99/£4.99/AU$7.99 on the App Store, it’s free for anyone who’s activated a compatible device after September 1, 2014.

It’s so easy to click links you plan to get to later, and at the end of the day realize you’re left with dozens of unread tabs. With Instapaper, such problems vanish.

The app is effectively time-shifting for the web. You load articles and it saves them for later. Even better, it strips cruft, leaving only the content in a mobile-optimized view ideal for iPhone. The standard theme is very smart, but can be tweaked, and there’s text-to-speech when you need to delve into your articles eyes-free.

Should you end up with a large archive, articles can be filtered or organized into folders. Want to find something specific? Full-text search has you covered. It’s all great – and none of it costs a penny.

Although creative giant Adobe doesn’t seem keen on bringing its desktop software to iPhone in one piece, we’re nonetheless getting chunks of its power reimagined as smaller, more focused apps. The idea behind Adobe Photoshop Fix is to enable you to rapidly retouch and restore photos on your iPhone – using the power of Photoshop.

Some of the features aren’t anything outside of the ordinary: you get commonplace tools for cropping, rotation, and adjustments. But Photoshop Fix has some serious power within its straightforward interface, too, as evidenced by excellent vignette, defocus, and color tools.

The best bit, though, is Liquify. Using this feature, you can mash a photo to bits or make really subtle changes, depending on the subject matter. And if you’re facing a portrait, you can specifically fiddle with features, in a manner usually associated with high-end PC software.

Unsurprisingly, Wikipedia is an app for browsing Wikipedia, the massive online encyclopedia that makes all paper-based equivalents green with envy. It’s the official app by Wikipedia and is easily the best free option, and only rivaled by one paid alternative we’re aware of (the rather fine V for Wikipedia).

Wikipedia gets the basics right: an efficient, readable layout; fast access to your browsing history; a home page full of relevant and potentially new articles. But it’s all the small things that really count.

Save an article for later and it’s also stored offline. Finding the text a bit small? You can resize it in two taps.

Also, if you’ve a fairly new iPhone, 3D Touch is well-supported: home screen quick actions provide speedy access to search and random articles; and when reading in the app, the Peek gesture previews a link, and an upwards swipe displays a button you can tap to save it for later.

If you need some ambient noise around you, White Noise+ proves an excellent app for blocking out distractions. The free version offers a small selection of sounds to soothe your soul – white noise, rain, wind, thunder, and wind chimes.

To create some ambience, you simply drag one or more noise icons to an on-screen grid; the items towards the top play at a higher volume, and those towards the right become more complex in nature. Happen upon an especially pleasing combination and you’re able to save your mix for later use.

The app smartly includes built-in mixes to provide a little inspiration – and to showcase a wider range of sounds that’s available via IAP. A single $2.99/£2.99/AU$4.49 purchase also removes the ad bar, unlocks a sleep timer, alarm, and dark mode, and allows you to fiddle with the 15 additional sounds – in both the bundled mixes and also your own creations.

But whether you pay or not, the combination of excellent sounds and a modern, usable interface make White Noise+ a best-in-class product on the iPhone.

Many apps attempt to emulate film stock, but most go for an over-saturated, larger-than-life take on old-school photography. By contrast, Filmborn is all about realism, arming you with tools to make you a better photographer.

The icon-heavy interface takes some getting used to; but once you know where everything is, Filmborn quickly replaces the stock camera app – or any other app you had previously favored. Much of this is down to features such as manual controls and a superb blown highlights preview, which covers problematic areas of your potential snap in red.

But it’s the filters that will most wow anyone keen on real-world stock. They’re few in number but extremely realistic, and Filmborn also assists regarding when to use them, thereby adding educational clout.

Beyond that, there’s an editor for making post-capture adjustments, and some pro-oriented features you can unlock using IAP, such as curves and multiple set-up slots. But even in its free incarnation, Filmborn is an essential download.

This music-creation app manages the tricky combination of being broadly approachable to the masses yet providing real scope for advanced composition. Designed to be used on the go, Tize has you lay down drum, melody or audio tracks (the last of those being recordings made using your iPhone’s mic).

The app automatically loops recordings, can align notes to the beat, and gives you options for adjusting tempo, scale, and effects.

Its main differentiator over the competition is speed. Once you crack how it works, you can very rapidly fashion loops comprising several overlaid drum tracks, bass, keyboard arpeggios, and lush chords.

Need some help? Easy Chords will play chords for the current scale when you tap a single note. Want to tweak things? Delve into the piano roll and move individual notes. For free, this is astonishing stuff.

The only limit is the available sounds, but these, naturally, can be expanded via various affordable IAPs.

You might not associate taking medication with a hip and cool iPhone, but technology can be a boon to anyone with such requirements. Round Health offers great pill tracking and dosage notifications – and it doesn’t do any harm that the app also happens to be gorgeous.

It’s split into three sections: in My Medicine, you add medications, and for each you can define a name, strength, individual doses, and schedules based around reminder windows of up to three hours. In Today, you view and log the day’s medication.

Flexible preferences enable you to set up cross-device sync, push notifications, and to export data – and reminding users to refill will be a real help too.

That the app is free is generous, given the job it does – and how well it does it. Also, the system is flexible enough that Round Health might work as a reminders system for other repeating tasks, albeit one in which jobs are labelled as ‘taken’ rather than ‘done’!

Apple’s pre-loaded Clock app has a perfectly serviceable timer – but you only get one countdown at any given moment. MultiTimer, as its name might suggest, gives you multiple timers that you can set going simultaneously.

On launching the app, you’ll find six timers already set up. Each has a different color, name and icon. Tap a timer and it starts, tap again to pause, or double-tap to reset. Easy. Long press and you open the timer’s options, so you can adjust its default time, label, color, icon and sound.

You also have plenty of preferences to delve into, including adjusting the default workspace. Should you want extra workspaces – or a custom layout – grab the $4.99/£4.99/AU$7.99 MultiTimer Pro IAP.

An app rooted in a deeply personal story, Notes on Blindness VR is a VR experience based on the notes of John Hull, who went blind in 1983. Each of the six chapters explores a specific memory, moment and location, utilizing surround audio alongside Hull’s spoken notes, and glittery visuals akin to echolocation.

Purely as a documentary watched on a standard iPhone display, Notes on Blindness VR is well worth experiencing, as Hull adjusts to his new life and experiences – objects ‘disappearing’ as their related sounds fade, and how rain makes the world beautiful because for Hull rainfall gives objects form.

But the full VR experience (assuming you’re also using headphones) takes things further; you gain greater insight into Hull’s life as your own senses are taken over, leaving you with flickers of light but a world of sound.

MuseCam dispenses with the gimmickry seen in many iPhone camera apps, instead concentrating on manual control over shutter, ISO, white balance and focus. There’s no means to use a volume button for the shutter, nor RAW support, but otherwise it’s a solid camera.

The app is also an editor. You select a Camera Roll item, add film-inspired filter presets, and make further adjustments. Again, this feels like serious fare, but MuseCam wisely provides enough tools for pro-oriented iPhone photographers while remaining accessible enough for newcomers.

Interestingly, edits made on Camera Roll items remain accessible in MuseCam regardless of whether you export your final work, meaning you can later return to and update in-progress projects.

All in all, MuseCam feels refined and mature. That it’s free (bar the option of splashing out on additional presets by way of IAP) and also ad-free is remarkable.
 

It’s safe to say that the original promotional video for Bohemian Rhapsody – which popularized the medium – is on the weird side, but it doesn’t compare to The Bohemian Rhapsody Experience.

This experiment by Google aims to send you on a journey through Freddie Mercury’s subconscious mind, and recreate the sensation of being on stage with the band.

With VR glasses strapping your iPhone to your face, the experience is at once deeply strange and excitingly varied. Wherever you look, something’s happening, whether on stage with a distinctly stylized animated take on the band, and then looking behind you to see the crowd, or standing before a rock face, watching singing creatures in the distance, only to peer down and see a stomach-churning chasm below.

Smartly, the app also works as a standard 360-degree video, which might not have the same immersive clout, but remains impressive all the same. 

Google and Apple may be rivals, but that doesn’t stop them building on each other’s work, as evidenced in Motion Stills, an app which takes the idea of Live Photos and runs with it.

Putting your Live Photos through Motion Stills adds Google’s stabilization technology to them, reducing the amount of visible camera shake, but that’s just the beginning.

You can also transform them into GIFs which can be shared in messaging apps, or even combine your Motion Stills into longer movies, and do cool things like invert the direction of the action to make your subject look like it’s dancing.

If you like the idea – but not the reality – of Live Photos then Motion Stills is the app for you, and you’re not limited to using it for new images – you can also fix up any Live Photos you’ve already taken.

If you lack the patience for working with full-on stop motion apps, but nonetheless fancy yourself as a mini-Aardman, Loop by Seedling is just the ticket.

You shoot frames using your camera, and can handily overlay your previous photo in semi-transparent form, to ensure everything is properly lined up.

Once you’re done, you can play your photos as an animation, where tools are available to adjust the frame rate, add a filter, and mess about with grid collages, creating a Warhol-like animated GIF to share.

The interface is a bit opaque – quite a lot of controls need to be ‘discovered’ before you become comfortable with using this app.

But once you know where everything is, Loop becomes a smart and efficient way to create charming miniature animations; amusingly, it also works within Messages, so you can reply to friends with a tiny movie should you consider the written word passé.

VPNs have become commonplace in a world where countries routinely block internet access to key content. In some cases, you may merely be blocked from accessing media libraries; elsewhere, even news and social media may be beyond reach. The idea behind Opera VPN is to enable anyone to access otherwise inaccessible online content, entirely for free.

Set-up takes only a minute or so, and the VPN itself is toggled in the Opera VPN app. You get a small selection of regions to choose from, after which point your iPhone effectively thinks it’s in whatever country you selected.

During use, Opera VPN typically feels snappy, rivaling paid VPNs we’ve used elsewhere. Although it won’t unlock all overseas services (Netflix, notably, is wise to VPNs these days), it’s at the very least a good first place to try if you find you can’t get at a particular corner of the internet.

From the brains behind game-like language-learning app Duolingo comes Tinycards. The aim is to enable people to memorize anything by way of friendly flashcard sets.

Duolingo itself offers a number of sets based around language, history and geography. Smartly, though, anyone can create and publish a set, which has led to hundreds of decks about all kinds of subjects, from renaissance art to retro computing.

The memorizing bit is based around minutes-long drills. You’re presented with cards and details to memorize, which the app then challenges you on, by way of typing in answers or answering multiple choice questions.

Some early teething problems with typos and abbreviations (for example, stating ‘USA’ was incorrect because ‘United States of America’ was the answer) have been dealt with by way of a handy ‘I was right’ button. Just don’t press it when you don’t really know the answer, OK?

With Google having extended its tendrils into almost every aspect of online life, Google Trips is the company’s effort to help you explore the real world more easily.

Tell the app where you want to go and it’ll serve up a selection of things to do, itineraries for day trips, food and drink recommendations, and more.

This being a Google app, some of the smart bits are somewhat reliant on you being ensconced in the Google ecosystem – reservations need to be sucked in from Gmail, for example.

However, with offline access for any downloaded location, Trips in tandem with Maps (which can also work offline) is an excellent app to have handy while on your holiday, and with the included ‘need to know’ section (emergency numbers; hospitals; health centers) could even be a life-saver.

Following in the footsteps of MSQRD, FaceRig enables you to embody a virtual character by controlling it with your face.

Everything happens entirely automatically – you just select a character and background, gurn into the camera, watch a seemingly sentient floating hamburger mirror your very expression, and have a little sit down to think about the terrifying advance of technology.

For those not freaked out by the hamburger to the point that they hurl their iPhones into the sea, FaceRig provides plenty of characters, unlocked using tokens earned through regular use or bought using IAP.

You can also snap and share photos of your virtual visage, or record entire videos where you pretend you’ve turned into a sentient goggles-wearing raccoon, an angry dragon or a slightly irritated-looking turkey.

One-time darling of the digital check-in crowd, Foursquare in 2014 reworked its app to focus entirely on local search. Although this irked fans who’d been there since the beginning, it’s hard to criticize the app we’ve been left with.

On iPhone, you start with a search field, beneath which sits a handy list of relatively local places of interest. Tap an item and you gain access to a photo gallery, basic details, and a slew of reviews.

In the main, Foursquare is quite obsessed with food, drink and nightlife, but the ‘fun’ and ‘more’ categories house plenty of additional places to visit, from gig venues and cinemas to rather more sedate options like parks and historic sites.

Filters and ‘tastes’ options within the app’s settings enable you to further hone down recommended choices, and anything you fancy reminding yourself of on a more permanent basis can be added to a custom list.

Although most fans want to cheer on their soccer team by hollering from the stands or, second best, yelling at a TV in a pub, that’s not always possible. When you’re otherwise busy, Onefootball is a great means of keeping track of your favorites.

The app’s a cinch to set up. Choose your teams, allow Onefootball to send notifications, and then let the app work its magic. On match days, you’ll be notified of every goal, which, depending on your team’s fortunes, may make you thrill at or dread hearing the notification sound.

If you at any point need a little more detail, venture into the app and you’ll discover everything from live tickers to customized news feeds.

If you like the idea of editing home movies but are a modern-day being with no time or attention span, try Quik. The app automates the entire process, enabling you to create beautiful videos with a few taps and show off to your friends without needing talent – surely the epitome of today’s #hashtag generation.

All you need do is select some videos and photos, and choose a style. Quik then edits them into a great-looking video you can share with friends and family. But if your inner filmmaker hankers for a little more control, you can adjust the style, music, format and pace, along with trimming clips, reordering items, and adding titles to get the effect you desire.

Cementing its friendly nature, Quik offers a little pairs minigame for you to mess about with while the app renders your masterpiece. And there’s even a weekly ‘For You’ video Quik compiles without you lifting a finger.

We’ve seen quite a few apps that try to turn your photos into art, but none manage it with quite the same raw ability as Prisma. The app is almost disarmingly simple to use: shoot or select a photo, crop your image, and choose an art style (options range from classic paintings through to comic book doodling).

The app within a few seconds then transforms your photo into a miniature Picasso or Munch, and it’s instantly better than most of us could ever hope to achieve with Photoshop.

On trying Prisma with a range of imagery, we found it almost never comes up with a duff result thanks to some insanely smart processing. But if you find the effects a bit jarring, a slide of your finger can soften your chosen filter prior to sharing your masterpiece online.

Our only criticism is the app’s fairly low-res output, making Prisma pics only suitable for screen use – but it’s a real must-have.

The camera sitting inside your iPhone is pretty amazing. In fact, plenty of people think it’s too amazing, the clarity and purity of digital shots having lost the ‘character’ found in photography of old. Retrica brings a sense of creativity and randomness to iPhone snaps – and more besides.

Filters are Retrica’s main trick. You can manually select one from a list (which can be managed, for faster access to favorites) or try your luck by stabbing the shuffle button. A selected filter’s strength can be adjusted, but there’s sadly no quick ‘filter off’ switch.

The filters, though, are varied and interesting, and you can optionally add a blur and vignette. It’s also possible to apply Retrica filters to shots taken elsewhere, if you prefer taking ‘clean’ pics and messing around with them later.

Retrica also plays with time. You can take multi-shots, your photos subsequently being stitched together on a grid (there are well over a dozen options to choose from), or played in sequence as an exportable GIF.

Alternatively, hold the shutter and the app starts recording video, using your chosen filter. For five dollarpounds, we’d have written a glowing review about Retrica, but for free this is an astonishing gift – a superb and unmissable creative camera app.

If you used to sit there at school, doodling flick-animation masterpieces in the corner of your jotter, Animatic is the iPhone equivalent. You use simple tools to scribble on a small canvas, and then build your animation frame-by-frame.

The app uses a basic onion-skin approach, meaning you can see the previous few frames faintly behind the current one, ensuring whatever you draw doesn’t lurch all over the place. Once you’re done, you can adjust the animation speed of your creation and export it to video or GIF.

Given that you’re scribbling with what amounts to the iPhone equivalent of felt pens, you won’t be crafting the next Pixar movie here. But Animatic is fun, a great way to get into animation, and a useful sketchpad for those already dabbling. The app also includes a bunch of demos, showcasing what’s possible with a little time, effort and imagination.

Plenty of apps claim they can get you making music in seconds, but Figure really means it. The app’s heritage helps, as it comes from Propellerhead Software, creators of the legendary Reason and ReBirth.

In Figure, though, working on loops and beats is stripped right back from what you’d find in those complex PC apps; instead, you tap out drums, and slide your finger around to fashion monster bass and playful leads.

Sounds can be tweaked or swapped out entirely at any point. Once you’re done, finished tracks can be uploaded and shared online. For serious musicians, there’s even Audiobus support.

There’s a tendency for weather apps to either bombard you with facts or try to be too clever with design Hello Weather, by contrast, simply wants to get you all the weather information you need, but nothing you don’t.

This focused approach doesn’t mean Hello Weather is an ugly app. On the contrary, it’s very smart, with a clean layout and readable graphs. Mostly, though, we’re fond of Hello Weather because it eschews complexity without limiting the information on offer.

The single-page view is split in three, covering current conditions, the next few hours, and the week’s forecast. If you need more detail, a swipe provides access to things like sunrise/sunset times for the current day, or written forecasts for the coming week.

The app doesn’t quite check off our entire wish-list – the lack of a rainfall radar (or at least a precipitation prediction graph for the coming hour) is a pity. But as a free no-fuss weather app, Hello Weather is hard to beat.

The idea behind Cheatsheet is to provide fast access to tiny chunks of information you never remember but really need to: your hotel room, your car’s number plate, Wi-Fi passwords, or, if you’re feeling suitably retro, the Konami code.

Set-up is pleasingly straightforward. Using the app, you add ‘cheats’ by selecting an icon and then typing your info nugget. When you’ve got yourself a number of ‘cheats’, they can be reordered as you see fit. Once you’re done, the entire lot can be displayed on the Today widget or an Apple Watch.

Cheatsheet saves some features for a $2.99/£2.99/AU$4.49 ‘pro’ upgrade – a custom keyboard, an action extension, some of the icons, and iCloud sync. But the free version is nonetheless useful and generous, along with making really good use of the Today view on your phone.

With the vast range of movies available at any given time, keeping track of what you’d like to see and what you’ve watched already isn’t easy. TodoMovies 4 aims to simplify the process and aid discovery.

The app starts off with the discovery bit, having you check out lists that range from Academy Award nominees to those with the ‘greatest gun fights of all time’. Beyond this, you can browse by genre, explore upcoming films and what’s on in theatres, or perform a search for something specific.

Selecting a film loads artwork, and most have a trailer. Tap the big ‘+’ to add the current film to your To Watch list, which can be searched or browsed (alphabetically, by date added, or by release date).

Watched films can be removed or sent to your Watched list, whereupon they can be rated. This mix of focus and friendliness – along with some very smart design – makes this app a no-brainer download for movie buffs.

If you live in or visit one of the supported cities (which include London, Paris, Berlin and New York), Citymapper is an essential download, assuming you want to find your way around more easily.

It’ll zero in on your location and then intelligently get you from A to B, providing all kinds of travel options and routing, and, where relevant, live times for transit.

Sometimes with apps, it’s the seemingly little things that make a big difference. With Overcast, for example, you get a perfectly decent podcast app that does everything you’d expect: podcast subscriptions; playback via downloads or streaming; a robust search for new shows.

But where Overcast excels is in attempting to save you time and improve your listening experience. Effects (which can be assigned per-podcast) provide the smartest playback speed-up we’ve heard, voice boost for improving the clarity of talky shows, and smart speed.

The last of those attempts to shorten silences. You won’t use that setting for comedy shows, but it’s superb for lengthy tech podcasts. As of version 2.0, Overcast is free, and betters all the other iOS podcast apps that also lack a price tag. (Should you wish to support the app, though, there’s an entirely optional recurring patronage IAP.)

  • Now you’ve downloaded Overcast, check out our list of the best podcasts

Although Apple introduced iCloud Keychain in iOS 7, designed to securely store passwords and payment information, 1Password is a more powerful system. Along with integrating with Safari, it can be used to hold identities, secure notes, network information and app licence details. It’s also cross-platform, meaning it will work with Windows and Android.

And since 1Password is a standalone app, accessing and editing your information is fast and efficient. The core app is free – the company primarily makes its money on the desktop. However, you’ll need a monthly subscription or to pay a one-off $9.99/£9.99/AU$14.99 IAP to access advanced features (multiple vaults, Apple Watch support, tagging, and custom fields).

It’s interesting to watch the evolution of an app. Starting out on iPad, Paper was something of a design industry darling, offering a beautiful and stylish, if ultimately slightly limited, digital notebook of sorts.

Then it went free, the developer positioning Paper as the perfect app to use with its Pencil stylus.

But the latest update not only brings the app to iPhone it also radically reimagines and expands it. Alongside existing sketch tools, you now get notes and the means to add photos, transforming Paper from nice-to-have to essential.

Back in 2009, Jorge Colombo did some deft iPhone finger painting using Brushes, and the result became a New Yorker cover.

It was a turning point for iOS and suitably handy ammunition for tech bores who’d been drearily banging on about the fact an iPhone could never be used for proper work. The app sadly stagnated, but was made open source and returned as Brushes Redux.

Now free, it’s still a first-rate art app, with a simple layers system, straightforward controls, and a magnificent brush editor that starts you off with a random creation and enables you to mess about with all manner of properties, from density to jitter.

We keep hearing about how important coding will be to the future of everything. That’s all very well, unless code makes about as much sense to you as the most exotic of foreign languages.

The idea behind Lrn is to gently ease you in. Through friendly copy and simple quizzes, you gradually gain confidence across a range of languages.

For free, you get courses on HTML and CSS, along with introductions to JavaScript, Ruby and Python. You can complete any course for $2.99/£2.99/AU$4.49; but even if you don’t pay anything at all, you’ll get a lot out of this app if you’ve an interest in coding but don’t know where to start.

The science of sleep is something few people delve into. But you know some days that you wake up and feel awful, even if you think you’ve had a decent night’s sleep. Sleep Cycle might be able to tell you why. It analyses you while you sleep, using sound or motion, and provides detailed statistics when you wake.

Additionally, it’ll constantly figure out what phase of sleep you’re in, attempting to wake you at the best possible time, in a gentle, pleasing manner.

That probably all sounds a bit woo-woo, but here’s the thing: this app actually works, from the graphing bits through to helping you feel refreshed and relaxed on waking up.

Developer Pixite is best known for its eye-popping filter apps, and so Assembly was quite the surprise. The app is all about building vector art from shapes.

Individual components are dropped on to the canvas, and can then be grouped or have styles applied. It feels a bit like the iPhone equivalent of playing with felt shapes, but you soon realise that surprisingly complex compositions are possible, not least when you view the ‘inspirations’ tab or start messing about with the ‘remix’ projects.

For free, you get loads of stuff to play with, but inexpensive IAP unlocks all kinds of bundles with new themed shape sets to explore.

It’s interesting to see how far the App Store has come. Time was, Apple banned apps that gave you the chance to build prototypes. Now, Marvel is welcomed by Apple, and is entirely free.

Using the app, you can build on photographed sketches, Photoshop documents, or on-screen scribbles. Buttons can be added, and screens can be stitched together.

Once you’re done, your prototype can be shared. If you’re not sure where to start, check out existing prototypes made by the Marvel community.

The Weather Underground app (or ‘Wunderground’ to your iPhone, which sounds like an oddly dark Disney film) is one of those products that flings in everything but the kitchen sink yet somehow remains usable.

Whatever your particular interest in the weather, you’re covered, through a slew of ’tiles’ (which can be moved or disabled to suit) on a huge scrolling page.

At the top, you get a nicely designed tile detailing current conditions and showing a local map. Tick and cross buttons lurk, asking for input regarding the app’s accuracy. During testing, we almost always tapped the tick — reassuring.

Scroll, though, and you find yourself immersed in the kind of weather geekery that will send meteorological nuts into rapture. There are rainfall and temperature graphs for the next day and hour, along with simpler forecasts for the week.

You get details on humidity, pressure and dew point. Sunrise, sunset and moon timings are presented as stylish animations. You can investigate local and global webcams and photos, and then head to the web if not satisfied with that deluge of data.

Weather Underground is funded by non-intrusive ads (which you can disable annually for $1.99/£1.99/AU$2.99 if you feel the need), and is easily our favourite free iPhone weather app; in fact, it even rivals the best paid fare on the platform.

On the iPad, Novation Launchpad is one of the best music apps suitable for absolutely anyone. You get a bunch of pads, and tap them to trigger audio loops, which always sound great regardless of the combinations used. This isn’t making music per se, but you can get up a good head of steam while imagining yourself as a futuristic combination of electronic musician, DJ and mix genius.

On iPhone, it shouldn’t really work, the smaller screen not being as suited to tapping away at dozens of pads. But smart design from Novation proves otherwise. 48 trigger pads are placed front and centre, and are just big enough to accurately hit unless you’ve the most sausagey of sausage thumbs.

Effects lurk at the foot of the screen — tap one and a performance space slides in, covering half the screen, ready for you to stutter and filter your masterpiece.

As on the iPad, you can also record a live mix, which can be played back, shared and exported. This is a really great feature, adding optional permanence to your tapping exploits.

We’re big fans of iMovie. Apple’s video editor for iPhone is usable and powerful. In our lazier moments, we also really like Replay, which takes a bunch of videos and edits them on your behalf. But there are times when you hanker for a middle ground, and that’s where Splice fits in.

Getting started is simple — select some videos and photos to import (from your Camera Roll, or online sources like Facebook and Google Photos), along with, optionally, a soundtrack. Name your project, choose an orientation, and the app lays out your clips. These can be reordered by drag and drop, and transitions can be adjusted with a couple of taps.

If you want to delve deeper, individual clips can be trimmed and cut, and you can apply effects. Several filters are included, as is a speed setting, and the means to overlay text.

These tools perhaps won’t worry the Spielbergs of this world, but a few minutes in Splice can transform a few random iPhone clips into something quite special — and all without a price-tag or even any advertising.

The nature of social media is it’s all about the ‘now’. With Timehop, you get the chance to revisit moments from this day, based around your online history.

The service connects to whatever accounts you allow it to, and then shows you what was happening in your world. It’s a simple concept that’s perfect for iPhone.

The world’s biggest social network brings a tightly honed experience to the iPhone and iPod touch, but nonetheless still enables you to access your contacts, feeds and other important information. This sense of focus makes it in many ways superior to using Facebook in a desktop browser.

If you pick up an iPhone 7, Facebook will likely be one of the first apps you’ll want to download.

AKA ‘Stalk My Contacts’, but Find My Friends does have practical uses: if you’re meeting a bunch of iPhone-owning friends and want to know where they’re at, for example, or for when wanting to check where your spouse is on the road, to see if it’s time to put the dinner in the oven/pretend to look busy when they walk through the door. (Or maybe that’s just what freelance tech writers do.)

It’s all opt-in, so you won’t be able to track your friends / be tracked without explicit consent, so you can rest easy once you start using it.

Plenty of apps exist for transferring content between your computer and your device, but Dropbox is free and easier to use than most of its contemporaries.

And even now that Apple’s provided easier access to iCloud Drive, Dropbox remains a useful install, largely on the basis of its widespread support (both in terms of platforms and also iOS apps). The Dropbox app itself works nicely, too, able to preview a large number of file types, and integrating well with iOS for sending documents to and from the various iPhone apps you have installed.

Love Dropbox? Then check out our article Essential tips for every Dropbox user.

Google’s own YouTube app works much as you’d expect, enabling you to search and watch an almost limitless number of cats playing pianos, people moaning about stuff to their web-cams, and more besides.

Despite Google’s adherence to its own distinct design language, YouTube tends to be a good iOS citizen, supporting AirPlay. It also naturally integrates well with your Google Play account, providing access to purchased films, which can be watched or flung at your telly if you’ve the relevant hardware.

Although you get the sense eBay’s designers can’t get through a month without redesigning their app, it’s always far superior to using the online auction site in a browser.

eBay for iOS works nicely on the iPhone, with browsing proving fast and efficient. Speedy sorting and filtering options also make it a cinch to get to listings for whatever it is you fancy buying.

The revamped keyboard in modern incarnations of iOS is far better than what we had before, not least because of the predictive word bar, but SwiftKey takes things a step further.

Rather than laboriously tapping out individual keys, you just glide your finger across them. This can make for some comical typos initially, but SwiftKey soon speeds up iPhone text entry.

For the most part, Yousician Guitar feels quite a lot like Guitar Hero, only you use a real guitar and the app is cunningly teaching you how to play it.

Things start with the absolute basics, but before you know it, you’re strumming and picking with the best of them. The app’s free, although with limited daily play time. Subscriptions enable you to learn more rapidly.

Google Translate is a bit like an insanely portable and entirely free gaggle of translation staff. When online, you can translate written or photographed text between dozens of languages, or speak into your device and listen to translations.

And for English to French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish (and back), the app will attempt to live-translate (even when offline) any text in front of the camera.

The thinking behind Slack is to free teams from the drudgery of email. It’s essentially a real-time messaging system, where people have group conversations based around user-defined hashtags, or send private messages to one-another.

Support for inline images, videos and Twitter-like summaries boost pasted content, and the app integrates with cloud storage from the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive.

It’s worth noting that while Slack is clearly aimed at businesses, it works perfectly well as a means of communication for groups of friends who aren’t thrilled about storing their personal insights and details on Facebook.

The prospect of Nike+ but better and for free might sound unlikely, but that’s what RunKeeper provides. Previously split into ‘pro’ and ‘free’ versions, the developer now generously includes all the features in one free app.

That means you can spend no money, yet use your iPhone’s GPS capabilities to track your jogging and cycling routes, and examine mapping and details of your pace and calories burned.

Activities can be shared online, and treadmill runs and other exercise details can be entered manually.

We’re told the ‘S’ in Vert S stands for ‘speed’. This is down to the app being an efficient incarnation of the well-regarded Vert unit converter.

The older app had you browse huge category lists to pick what you need, but Vert S is keener on immediacy. There’s a search, but the app’s core is a Favorites page, where commonly used conversions are stored.

Tap one and you enter a basic calculator, enabling you to convert between your two chosen units, which can be quickly switched by tapping the Vert button. (Note that currencies are behind an IAP paywall — $2.99/£2.99/AU$4.49 for ‘Vert Pro’ — but conversions for other units are free.)

Apple’s Music Memos is all about getting music ideas down — fast. You launch the app, hit record, play your guitar or piano, and your riff is safely recorded, rather than vanishing from your head the moment you see something vaguely interesting outside.

Smartly, the app provides additional toys to experiment with. There’s a tuner, and during playback, you can add automated electronic bass and drumming. The virtual instruments attempt to match tempo and energy with whatever you recorded (and with some success, although more complex inputs can confuse this feature to an amusing degree).

Music Memos also tries to transcribe the chords being played; its accuracy is questionable beyond the basics, but not bad as a trigger when you later want to learn how to play your own spark of inspiration.

Usefully, you can fling recordings at GarageBand and Logic (bass and drums going along for the ride as separate tracks).

Less usefully, you can sing into the app, and still add bass, drums and chord transcription, for some kind of madcap tech-based cacophony of awfulness that we felt entirely compelled to try in the name of a thorough review. Expect our effort to (not) trouble the charts shortly.

Call of Duty Black Ops 4: release date, news and rumors

[Update: According to reports from both Polygon and Kotaku, Call of Duty Black Ops 4 won’t have a single-player campaign. This is extremely surprising given single-player has been such a key part of the series over the last ten years. Kotaku’s report on the matter also goes on to say that sources have said the game will feature a battle royale mode as has previously been reported. Activision, however, is yet to confirm these rumors and details are still murky with regards to the reasons behind dropping the campaign. Read on to find out more.]

Call of Duty is one of those franchises that you can count on. Like FIFA, it doesn’t miss its yearly slot on the release calendar and, to be frank, we like that kind of stability in our gaming lives. 

Activision has now confirmed that 2018 will see the release Call of Duty Black Ops 4 and that Treyach is the studio working on it. Last year’s Call of Duty WW2 was largely well-received and there was an uptick in the sales figures, so the decision to keep going with the series has surprised no one.

Details on Black Ops 4 are pretty thin on the ground at the moment, given it’s just been confirmed but here you’ll find all the latest news and rumors.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The 2018 installment of the Call of Duty franchise 
  • When can I play it? October 12
  • What can I play it on? It’s usually Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, but if rumors are correct you’ll also it on Nintendo Switch too

Release date

Activision has now confirmed that the game will be released on PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 12 2018.

News and rumors

Now that Activision has confirmed there will be a Call of Duty game in 2018 and it’s a new title in the Black Ops series we’re just avidly awaiting more information.

No single-player campaign?

According to recent reports from both Kotaku and Polygon, Call of Duty Black Ops 4 will drop its main single-player campaign. Activision hasn’t confirmed these reports so if they’re true we can’t sure as to why the game will be dropping the single-player campaign which has been a part of the series for a decade. However, Polygon suggests that as the development cycle has come closer to release date, it’s become apparent that a single-player mode wouldn’t be completed.  

If these rumors are true, that’s not to say the game will be bereft of content; Call of Duty games have a wide array of modes usually, from multiplayer to Zombies. Polygon also reports that a battle royale mode will feature in the game, as has been previously suggested by Charlie Intel. 

Battle Royale suggestions

With the ongoing success of PUBG and Fortnite, other developers are naturally paying attention. Acitvision Blizzard in particular has said it’s “keenly aware” of the sub-genre’s popularity. Does this mean we could see a battle royale mode come to Black Ops 4?  It’s far from certain. Activision does, after all, have a great many titles it could bring a battle royale format to, never mind opportunities for a new IP.

Though it’d be a new move for Black Ops, Treyarch has asked fans to forget what they know about the series and it would be a good fit. Regardless, we may hear more about any new game modes at the official reveal on May 17.

Vonderhaar tweets

Treyarch designer and director David Vonderhaar has been teasing Call of Duty Black Ops 4 on Twitter in the strangest way recently. Vonderhaar has changed his name to Redacted and removed all of his tweets from his profile  with the exception of one which reads: 

It’s obscure, but it’s a possible hint as to the route Black Ops 4 will be taking with its plot. 

Call of Duty Black Ops 4 is confirmed

On March 8, Activision confirmed that Call of Duty’s 2018 outing would indeed be Call of Duty Black Ops 4 and that we’ll see the game released on October 12. Before this, though, there’s going to be a community reveal event held on May 17 where we’ll get the chance to see more about the game.

A Gamestop leak

A further sign that Call of Duty 2018 will indeed be Black Ops 4 came from a leaked Gamestop listing in March 2018. CharlieIntel  reported that an insider sent images of an internal database of listings for Call of Duty Black Ops 4.  

The listings are for various pieces of merchandise including T-shirts and lanyards which are expected to arrive in May 2018. This suggests that we’ll see the official announcement of the game before this and given Activision announced Call of Duty WW2 in April last year, that doesn’t seem entirely unlikely. It’s not certain, of course, whether these rumors are accurate and Activision is yet to comment. We’ll update with further information as it becomes available

Activision confirms Call of Duty 2018 and Treyarch

In an earnings call in February 2018, Activision confirmed to the surprise of no one that there would be a Call of Duty game coming in 2018. It also added that Treyarch would be the studio working on the game. Activision didn’t go so far as to say that this would be another Black Ops installment, but given Treyarch is the studio behind all of the previous Black Ops titles and there are already rumors swirling that 2018 will see the release of Black Ops 4 this seems likely. 

Tweets and the Eurogamer report

The prevailing rumor at the moment is that the next call of duty game will be Call of Duty Black Ops 4. The initial rumor was started by a self-styled industry insider known as Marcus Sellars who took to Twitter to announce some information on the game.

According to Sellars, Call of Duty Black Ops 4 will be set in the modern day, taking a more ‘boots on the ground’ approach in line with the recent Call of Duty WW2 release. The game would, he states, be released on PC, Xbox One and PS4 as you’d expect but he added that a Nintendo Switch port is also in the works. 

This tweet was then followed up by a report from Eurogamer, which stated that multiple sources have confirmed Call of Duty Black Ops 4 is indeed in the works at Treyarch studios, with an aim for a late 2018 release. 

Given Treyarch has been the studio behind the last three Black Ops titles, it’s safe to say the game will be in safe hands.  

Eurogamer’s report also stated that the game would be set in the modern day due to the negativity around Infinite Warfare’s futuristic setting, however it didn’t corroborate Sellars’ claim that there would be a Switch port. 

Returning to the Black Ops arm of the franchise doesn’t seem like a far-fetched move for Activision – the last time we saw a Black Ops title was 2015 with Black Ops 3. Overall, Black Ops 3 was a well-received title from fans and critics alike, with large amounts of praise being directed towards the game’s multiplayer mode in particular.

What we’d like to see

A Switch version

At the moment, it kind of feels like Switch port rumors float around every single game before the developers have to come out and say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Given Activision hasn’t done this yet for Call of Duty 2018, we feel like we can say we’d really quite like to see a Switch port.

There hasn’t been a Call of Duty game on a Nintendo console since Call of Duty: Ghosts hit the Wii U in 2013. That’s a big gap and though the Switch is nowhere near as powerful as the latest consoles, we’re sure it could handle a new Call of Duty game in some form or another. 

When Activision confirmed that there would indeed be a Black Ops 4 released on Xbox One, PS4 and PC, it made no mention of a Nintendo Switch version and declined to comment on such a release. We’re taking that to mean that there’s still a possibility.

A good campaign mode

Though Black Ops 3 had a fantastic multiplayer mode, its main campaign left something to be desired. We’d love to see Black Ops 4 remedy that with an engaging story and an interesting cast of characters.

We know it can be done – Black Ops 2 had a perfectly enjoyable campaign with really interesting multiple endings. We don’t need to see Black Ops 4 go for a carbon copy approach, but we wouldn’t object to an emotionally engaging single-play story mode.

Zombies

Zombies mode is pretty much a staple of the Call of Duty franchise at this point and naturally we’d love to see it return. It’s a mode that’s only really improved over the years and Black Ops 3 totally nailed it but we’d like Black Ops 4 to do even better.

A little innovation certainly doesn’t hurt and we definitely wouldn’t object to some new features in a formula that’s tried, tested and beginning to tire. 

  • Want to know what else is coming this year? These are the best new games coming in 2018

Nokia 7 Plus UK release date set for May 2

The Nokia 7 Plus was announced over a month ago, but you still can’t buy it. However, you will be able to very soon.

HMD Global (the company behind the phone) has announced that the Nokia 7 Plus will go on sale in the UK on May 2 for £349.99. Pre-orders are available from today on Nokia’s website and will be available from other retailers on April 25.

For your money you get a phone with a big 3,800mAh battery, a dual-lens 12MP camera and a sizeable 6-inch 1080 x 2160 screen.

High-end looks, mid-range power

The Nokia 7 Plus has a stylish design too, with slim bezels and an aluminium back, coated in ceramic-feel paint. Power-wise you’re looking at a mid-range Snapdragon 660 chipset and 4GB of RAM.

If you need any additional incentives it’s worth noting that you can also get a free Google Home Mini thrown in with the Nokia 7 Plus if you buy the phone during its first month on sale, but you might want to wait for our full review before hammering that buy button.

  • After something higher-end? Check out the Nokia 8 Sirocco

Facebook is set to introduce payments service feature in India

Facebook is reportedly testing a new payment service in India, and is currently hiring people to set up the service in the country. To recall, Facebook-owned WhatsApp messenger also introduced payment feature in its app recently.

As per FactorDaily, the social media giant is currently testing an option in the messenger app where users can top up their prepaid SIM without leaving the app.

It is also said to add more payment features allowing users to purchase items on Facebook Marketplace, peer-to-peer money transfers, and pay merchants through messenger app.

We must note that Facebook messenger payment services are active for users in the UK, US and France.

Ever since Indian government had launched Unified Payment Interface (UPI), there’s been a resurgence of digital payment services. Although PayTm has been amongst the most prominent names, big tech companies like Google and Amazon have sensed the opportunity and entered the space.

The government’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has made it simple for developers to integrate the service in their applications without a fee.  

Working on the same lines, Facebook messenger is said to be the next app to integrate payments and make the most out of India opportunity.

With Facebook’s entry into the payments ecosystem, rivals like PhonePe, Tez, PayTm, or Amazon Pay will have another big name joining the battle. It would be interesting to see how the social media giant takes advantage of its 250 million users in the country.

  • WhatsApp is sharing your payment data with Facebook

The best free music apps for Windows 2018: songs have never sounded better

Windows 10’s built-in music app is all right, but it’s very simple. If you want to really get the most out of your music collection, you’ll need to download something else – and there are some great options available.

Whether it’s organizing and tagging your music collection, downloading and streaming from online radio services, or optimizing playback for different devices, there’s an app here that will make it effortless – whatever your level of experience.

The best free music apps for Windows will give you full control over your music library and help you enjoy it like never before. Here’s our pick of the best options around.

MusicBee screen grab

MusicBee is, quite simply, the best app around for managing and playing your music collection. Unlike some apps, which try to cover all forms of media (with varying degrees of success), MusicBee is dedicated entirely to songs, and the focus shows.

Editor's choice: MusicBee

Unlike most music apps for Windows, which require you to build up a new library from scratch, MusicBee lets you import your existing tracklists from Windows Media Player or iTunes.

Once that’s done, getting everything organized is a piece of cake. MusicBee labels your songs using industry-standard metadata, and does a brilliant job of searching for any missing information online. If there’s anything it doesn’t get quite right, everything can be edited manually.

There’s a multi-band equalizer with digital signal processing effects, support for high-end audio cards, upmixing from stereo to surround sound and even support for WinAmp plugins to expand the app further.

MusicBee is also packed with thoughtful little touches that show how much thought has gone into its design. For example, in addition to finding the usual metadata like the year of release, artist and publisher, the app will search online for photos of the artists in your music library, which it will display in a neat slideshow while their tracks are playing. It will hunt down lyrics too and superimpose them over the top – all without you having to do a thing.

It’s a truly exceptional music app for Windows, and should be your first choice if you’re looking for a way to get more from your songs.

  • MusicBee review
  • Download MusicBee

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MediaMonkey screen grab

Unlike MusicBee, MediaMonkey isn’t designed exclusively for songs, but it’s still one of the best free music apps for Windows.

This is no simple player. MediaMonkey is designed to form the basis of a serious home media setup, and can take files from pretty much any source (local, online or a networked drive), with automatic conversion and leveling. 

MediaMonkey will also track down appropriate metadata from online sources, plus song lyrics and album art to help get your tracks organized.

If you’re also interested in archiving your CD collection then you’ll want to take a look at MediaMonkey gold. Lots of music apps can copy music from discs, but very few offer bit-perfect ripping that ensures you’re getting a perfect like-for-like copy of your tracks. MediaMonkey Gold can also convert these lossless files into a more convenient format for playback.

For everything else, the standard free version of MediaMonkey is all you need.

  • MediaMonkey review
  • Download MediaMonkey

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Dopamine screen grab

This free music app for Windows is smart, stylish and unfussy, making enjoying your favorite tracks effortless.

Some of the apps in this roundup might be a little intimidating if you’re not used to the finer details of music management, but Dopamine makes everything as straightforward as possible. 

It offers a choice of interfaces – a full-screen player, one that displays album covers together with playback controls, and a nano version that only shows controls for starting, stopping and skipping tracks. It can even pick up the color scheme from your Windows desktop automatically, which ensures it always looks great.

Dopamine doesn’t support as many file formats as tools like VLC Media Player, but it has all the most popular options covered. Provided you haven’t gathered a music collection from dozens of esoteric sources online, it should be able to handle everything without a hiccup.

If your music collection needs some serious reorganization and tagging then a tool like MusicBee will suit you better, but you could always switch to Dopamine once you’ve used a more sophisticated music app to get everything in order.

  • Dopamine review
  • Download Dopamine

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VLC Media Player screen grab

VLC is a hugely popular open souce media app, and for good reason. It can handly virtually any file format you can throw at it – music or video – and even convert between different formats if necessary.

It’s hugely customizable via plugins, but the main software also receives regular updates to keep it up to date with modern technology. Some recent additions include support for 360-degree video and virtual reality. Not so important if you’re just looking for a music app, but if you need a more general purpose media player then you’ll be hard pressed to find something more capable.

VLC also supports all the main streaming protocols, so you can download it safe in the knowledge that it’ll be able to handle your preferred music streaming service. 

It’s maintained by a dedicated team of volunteers, who have developed versions for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android and iOS. Provided your music collection isn’t a complete mess to begin with, in which case you’ll find something like MusicBee easier to work with, VLC is the only media player you’ll ever need.

  • VLC Media Player review
  • Download VLC Media Player

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Kodi screen grab

If you’re interested in streaming your music collection around your home – and possibly your videos and TV shows as well – Kodi is a great place to start.

The Kodi app is free to download, and is an ideal heart for any home media setup. It’s incredibly flexible, and almost infinitely extendable via plug-ins. Take care to only install ones that have been given the green light by Kodi itself – there are some illegal add-one around that stream copyright-protected material from the internet.

Kodi works best when hooked up to a TV or large monitor for watching movies and shows, but that’s not an issue for music and it will run perfectly happily on even a low-powered PC or laptop. 

You can use the software to stream music to your mobile devices too – though iOS users will need to jailbreak their phones or tablets, which always carries a certain degree of risk.

  • Kodi review
  • Download Kodi
  • Want to play video as well as music? Check out the best free media players

Best fitness tracker 2018: the top 10 activity bands on the planet

A fitness tracker is the perfect way to monitor your activity and health effortlessly and with unmatched accuracy. Think of it as an electronic finger on the pulse, constantly measuring your vitals, quality of sleep and step count.

Today’s fitness band market is stuffed with fantastic devices, most of which can do a pretty good job at the basics of tracking. But frankly, we’re only interested in the best, and you should be too.

We won’t be looking at all the techiest wristwear here – check out our best smartwatch guide for that, which includes the Apple Watch 3, LG Watch Style and Samsung Gear Sport. You also won’t find the Fitbit Ionic here either, which despite the brand name is toted as a smartwatch and is priced accordingly.

  • On a budget? Here are the best cheap fitness trackers
  • Looking for a Fitbit? Check out our best Fitbit 2018 ranking
  • Want to take the plunge? Read the best waterproof fitness tracker guide
  • Plus here are seven of the best fitness tracker tips to get you started

This guide will show you the best of the best activity trackers money can buy and show you how each ranks in terms of stand-out features, price, design and the quality of the software you’ll be using on your phone. 

The Moov Now is officially our favorite fitness band in the world right now. It’s cheap, offers everything you’ll want in an everyday tracker and there’s a phenomenal six month long battery life.

The Moov Now isn’t just designed for step tracking though – it comes with boxing and rep-based training, as well as a swimming mode on top of run coaching and sleep monitoring features. That’s a lot to get stuck in with.

You won’t get GPS or some of the more complex fitness tracking features that others on this list offer, but if you’re looking for a great everyday tracker that doesn’t cost a lot of money the Moov Now will suit you perfectly.

Read the full Moov Now review

What’s next? The Moov Now was first released back in 2015, so the device is due a refresh. That said, we haven’t heard any rumors of a new device coming from Moov.

The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro hasn’t made hefty changes to the company’s wearable line since the Gear Fit 2, but there are a few improvements to an already great tracker that sits it in second place.

The Gear Fit 2 Pro has a gorgeous design that looks fantastic on your wrist and as it’s sporting a big, beautiful AMOLED display you’ll be able to see all of your stats nice and clearly.

It also comes with GPS built-in so you can leave your phone at home while you go for a run as well as a top-notch heart rate sensor that should give you one of the most accurate readings possible from a wrist based tracker. Plus it will track your swimming too.

Read the full Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro review

What’s next? We don’t know exactly when we’ll see the Gear Fit 3, but we expect Samsung to launch a new tracker before the end of 2018 with new fitness tech built in.

In third place is the Huawei Band 2 Pro. a sleek little fitness tracker that manages to pack a decent amount of features into its diminutive frame, and for an impressively small amount of money. 

The Band 2 Pro has heart rate monitoring, VO2 max, GPS, step and sleep tracking and a seriously impressive battery life. The slim screen means that this tracker will work just as well with running gear as it will with a business suit, although the slim screen isn’t going to be as easy to read as some of the competition.

If you’re looking for a device that’s going to give you totally precise metrics, this isn’t it. But if you want an affordable entry-level device for your first foray into the world of fitness tracking, this is a great place to start.

Read our Huawei Band 2 Pro review

The TomTom Spark 3 is our fourth favorite fitness watch and offers a lot of great features for your wrist, including music without your phone.

You can upload music directly to the TomTom Spark 3, so you won’t need to take your phone out with your Bluetooth headphones while on a run.

Plus on top of that, the Spark 3 offers up GPS tracking, a heart rate monitor and route navigation, making this the perfect wrist companion to wear while running around areas you don’t really know and discovering new places.

Read the full TomTom Spark 3 review

What’s next? The company behind the Spark 3 doesn’t seem to be pushing ahead with new trackers right now, so we can speculate there won’t be a TomTom Spark 4 anytime soon.

The Garmin Vivofit 4 is one of the best fitness trackers the company has ever created, and that now means it sits in this prestigious list alongside some other fantastic tracking products.

We particularly like the super-long battery life of the Vivofit 4, which means you won’t need to recharge your device for a whole year. That means you can wear it all day, then all night for sleep tracking and not have to worry about recharging it.

You’ll miss out on phone notifications by buying this tracker, but you do get the benefit of an always-on color display, accurate fitness tracking features – just note these are more limited than some other trackers on this list – as well as access to an in-depth app to break down your stats on your smartphone.

Read the full Garmin Vivofit 4 review

It’s not as stylish as most of the Fitbit products, but there’s a reason the Garmin Vivosport appears in this list before products from the latter company. 

This is cheaper than most Fitbit products and it comes with GPS built-in too. We found the Vivosport offers a solid seven days battery life from a single charge, even when using the GPS features.

Although it’s waterproof, it wont’ track your swimming easily but the Vivosport excels for other kinds of workouts and is great for tracking your jogging and cycling. Plus we found the heart rate tracker to be accurate too.

Read our full Garmin Vivosport review

The Polar M430 has a lot of things going for it, including GPS, a heart rate monitor and sleep tracking skills, along with good battery life. For the most part it’s also reliable and accurate, which is something not all fitness trackers can claim.

The M430 is designed primarily for runners, and can monitor the likes of your pace, distance, speed and cadence, but with all of the above, plus daily general activity tracking, it’s a strong choice for tracking most kinds of exercise and activity.

Given all the tech packed in, the Polar M430 also has a reasonable price tag. It’s not the best-looking fitness tracker, but it’s comfortable and functional.

Read the full Polar M430 review

In eighth place is the Garmin Vivosmart 3, which is on the more expensive side of the fitness trackers listed but offers almost everything you’ll want from an exercise tracker.

With a six-day long battery life, a heart rate monitor and fitness age feature, this is a device created more for gym-goers than runners.

The Vivosmart HR+, the device Garmin released before this tracker, came with GPS built-in but this newer version has dropped the feature and it’s a big shame for anyone who wanted to take this watch running.

Even so, you should definitely consider the Garmin Vivosmart 3, especially if you’re looking for a band that can do high-end fitness tracking with an almost week long battery.

Read the full Garmin Vivosmart 3 review

The Fitbit Charge 2 is the best Fitbit tracker you can buy right now. It’s more expensive than some of the other options from Fitbit, but if you’re looking to go jogging this is a great choice that won’t cost you as much as a traditional running watch.

It connects with the GPS on your phone, has a large screen to display your data, a heart rate tracker and new fitness features we’ve only previously seen on the Fitbit Blaze.

It may not be the cheapest device on the list, but this is the best Fitbit tracker money can buy.

Read the full Fitbit Charge 2 review

What’s next? Rumors of the Fitbit Charge 3 have started and we may see a new fitness tracker by the end of the year. That said, Fitbit usually takes a while to announce new products and we’ve only just seen it launch a new smartwatch so it we wouldn’t recommend waiting for a new version of the Charge.

Want a cheaper Fitbit product than the Charge 2? You’ll love the Fitbit Flex 2 as it’s one of the cheapest products from the brand, but it will still track your steps and some other activity.

The design is simple, so it should suit a variety of styles and there’s a selection of different straps you can buy to accessorize it. The Flex 2 is waterproof, unlike the Fitbit Charge 2, so you can take this in the shower or for a dip in a pool.

Considering there’s no screen or heart rate tracker, the five days of use from a single charge isn’t incredible though. If you’re looking for a tracker that’s light and comfortable on the wrist, offers a selection of basic fitness features and is available at a low price, the Flex 2 is certainly worth a look.

Read the full Fitbit Flex 2 review

  • Looking for a more affordable fitness band? Read our guide on the best cheap fitness trackers of 2018

Want a fitness watch instead? Here’s our Fitbit Ionic video review 

Best 32-inch TVs 2018: The best small TVs for any budget

Most of us would rather have a 65-inch TV than a 32-inch one. However, reality often gets in the way.

If you’re looking for a second bedroom TV or just don’t have much room in your home, a 32-inch set can still be the best choice. Even in 2018.

There are no ultra-high-end 32-inch TVs. You won’t find any with OLED panels or 4K resolution, but you don’t have to trade away the basics either. 

Unless you’re shopping with a rock-bottom budget, you can get a model with 1080p resolution, great image quality and smart TV. Some even offer newer features like HDR.

The issue: there are lots of 32-inch TVs out there. And some of them are not great. 

Our TV experts have tested and researches the best options, whether you’re in the US or UK. And, the best bit, they are cost just a fraction of the price of a giant OLED TV like the LG OLED C7. 

VIZIO is one of the biggest TV manufacturers in the US, but it hasn’t nailed the art of TV naming with the D32X-D1.

While the name might not exactly jump out at you, VIZIO’s small screen has a lot going for it – including a full 1080p resolution and an app tray full of the most popular streaming services including Netflix, YouTube and Hulu. We’d recommend plugging-in some speakers if you can, as the integrates ones are not great. 

Samsung has been a leader in the 32-inch screen space for years. Its top of the line modelis is the UN32M5300. 

Why? It offers full 1080p images and its Tizen operating system for a price that most folks can afford. This grants access to loads of apps, and the TV’s built-in Wi-Fi stops you from having to plug it into your router. 

Sure, the UN32M5300 doesn’t have the most connections in the world, with just two HDMIs. But hey, the small compromises are absolutely worth it.

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The LG 32LJ610V is a bit on the ugly side by 32-inch TV standards, and it uses an IPS panel, making it a bad option for dark room environments. IPS TVs have great viewing angles, but worse contrast than ones with VA panels. 

However, its picture is bright enough to stand out in light rooms, and best of all its webOS smart TV system makes it fantastically easy to use. Two out of three isn’t so bad, right?

It has two HDMI inputs, so make sure that’s enough.

  • This product is only available in the UK as of this writing. US and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Samsung UN32M5300.

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If you have shelves full of DVDs or a habit of popping the latest bargain bucket DVD title in with your weekly shopping, this new Toshiba model is one to consider. It has a built-in DVD drive. 

It won’t rival some of the other models here on all-round picture quality, and it is not Full HD. But it still looks attractive despite its combi design, and supports the Freeview Play smart system in the UK. Which adds up to a lot of features for its £229 price.

You also get three HDMI ports, one more than several in this round-up. 

  • This product is only available in the UK as of this writing. US and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Samsung UN32M5300.

The Sony KDL32WE613 is proof a 32-inch TV doesn’t have to miss out on newer tech. It supports HDR, usually only seen in much larger, more expensive TVs. 

HDR isn’t equal across sets as it relies on a screen’s contrast and brightness, but it will let you squeeze more out of a top-end Netflix or Amazon Video subscription. Or console games. The TV also offers recording over USB, Wi-Fi and access to BBC iPlayer, YouTube and a fistful of other apps. 

The stinger is it’s only 720p, not Full HD. If you’re going to watch close-up, the benefits of higher resolution may outweigh HDR. 

 Which TVs does TechRadar recommend? 

 

We know that shopping for a new TV can be a massive hassle, more so when you’re not sure what you’re looking for. But, don’t worry, we here at TechRadar are experts at compiling lists that help you find out what features to look for when you’re looking for the best 32-inch TV for you.

When it comes to 32-inch TVs, one of the most important features to look for is ‘smart TV’ capabilities. When you’re looking for a TV for a second or third room, smart features can drastically improve the value and utility of TVs for the simple reason that it prevents you from having to purchase another set-top box or streaming stick. Instead, all of the functionality of those devices is built right in, saving you time and money. If you’re looking for a TV to fill a bedroom or study, a set with Wi-Fi capability that supports video streaming and file sharing should be at the top of your list.

Even if you find a great bargain, you should never settle for a TV that’s lower than a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, especially in 2018. Some retailers and manufacturers will try to mislead customers by labeling most 32-inch TVs as ‘HD Ready’ signifying that it features an HD resolution. However, the lower 1,366 x 768 resolution qualifies as ‘HD Ready’, but will deliver an image that is muddier and less clear than TVs with a full HD 1,920 x 1,080 display. Plus, these lower resolution TVs won’t even save you much money. They’re just not worth it.

One last thing to consider before you decide which TV you want, is whether or not it has all the ports you need. Devices like PS4, Nintendo Switch and DVD/Blu-ray players will need HDMI inputs, the Nintendo Wii or other legacy game consoles will need a component or even composite video input, PCs, if they don’t use HDMI, will likely use a DVI or VGA input and Sky/Cable set top boxes will need an additional HDMI. When you have a lot of different devices to connect, it will really make your life easier getting a TV that has enough ports to support everything you want to do with it.

Keep these tips in mind, and you should have no problem finding the small screen of your dreams.

  • Head on over to page two to read more about 32-inch TVs!

Hopefully by now you’ve realized that you shouldn’t take buying a 32-inch TV lightly, even if it’s intended for a second room. An ‘impulse’ second room TV purchase – especially one based on just trying to get the cheapest model you can find – can often easily end in tears and a sense of money wasted – if a set doesn’t give you the features and performance traits your set up needs.

But what, exactly, should you be searching for beyond a 1080p resolution, a bevy of ports and smart functionality? Here are five more things. 

Get connected

While not often considered for TVs, Bluetooth support might also be handy – especially if you want to quickly stream music from your smart devices to the TV’s speakers. However, such support isn’t common in the 32-inch TV market, and so a TV not having it likely shouldn’t be seen as a deal breaker.

When it comes to built-in video streaming services, your 32-inch TV will ideally carry apps for Netflix, Amazon Video, and the catch up services of the UK’s four main broadcasters: The BBC iPlayer, the ITV Hub, All4 and My5. Now TV may be a handy extra bonus too.

Finding all of these services – or even a good percentage of them – on a single 32-inch TV can be quite a challenge, though, if you try to save money and look beyond the main LG/Samsung/Sony/Panasonic brands, which all combine relatively strong app support with far more advanced and friendly interfaces than you tend to get with ‘b-list’ brands. 

As the icing on the cake, you could also consider a 32-inch TV that carries either Freeview Play or YouView. These apps present the UK’s catch-up TV services in a convenient ‘wrapper’ that includes an electronic programme guide you can scroll back through time as well as forwards, making it easier to hunt down shows you’ve missed. At the time of writing, though, we believe only Panasonic offers this sort of functionality (in the form of Freeview Play) on its 32-inch TVs.

Go beyond resolution

Like we mentioned earlier, resolution is important. However, resolution is only one part of a TV’s overall picture performance, so it is possible for a 720p TV with better motion processing, colour management and backlighting to produce better pictures than a low quality 1080 set. Try and consider a screen’s picture claims and features as a whole, rather than focussing on a single specification.

Image courtesy of Samsung

IPS vs VA panels

There are essentially two types of 32-inch LCD panel technology out there: IPS and VA. IPS panels offer slightly wider viewing angles, while VA panels support much better contrast.

With big screen ‘main’ TVs likely to be used for watching films, sometimes with the lights dimmed, the lack of contrast with IPS screens can become a big issue, causing dark scenes to look washed out. So if you’re looking for a 32-inch TV to go into a relatively dark environment, a VA panel is a must.

IPS panel contrast issues are less problematic in bright rooms such as conservatories and kitchens, though, and the (slight) IPS viewing angle advantage can also be handy in such large environments where viewers may be using the TV while walking around the room.

It can be hard to find out for sure what sort of panel a particular 32-inch TV uses, but it’s definitely worth pursuing if you’re a movie fan or gamer looking to use a TV in a dark room. To get you started, all LG TVs use IPS panels, and pretty much all Samsung TVs use VA panels. Other brands tend to use a mixture of IPS and VA panels across different parts of their ranges.

Gaming mode

The 32-inch screen size is understandably popular with gamers. But some 32-inch TVs handle gaming much better than others. Motion issues are particularly critical to gaming, so if you’re able to see a few sets running look out for the motion-related issues mentioned in the previous section.

How quickly a 32-inch TV renders image data received at its inputs – something known as input lag – is also a critical issue for gamers. Unfortunately, though, this is seldom a specification that’s quoted by manufacturers, and while it’s something we cover in our TV tests, getting 32-inch TVs to test is proving next to impossible difficult these days.

At the very least, though, any 32-inch TV a gamer buys ought to at least carry a Game picture preset. This shows that a brand has at least thought about gaming by providing a mode optimised for it – and usually one of the key features of such game modes is keeping input lag to a minimum.

Don’t get hung up on design

One strange thing about the second-room TV market dominated by 32-inch models is that people seem much more likely to get obsessed by specific design requirements than they do with the main living room TV. Especially when it comes to the set’s colour (white, for instance, is in especially high demand for kitchens and conservatories).

Presumably some consumers think that with second-room TVs the usual picture quality concerns become relatively unimportant, as the TV will only be used ‘casually’. Our advice would be, though, that you try not to let design conditions limit your TV choice since experience shows that actually, smart features and some aspects of picture quality – especially brightness and, with gamers, motion clarity – are even more important to the effectiveness of second room TVs than they are to main living room TVs.

Sound quality

Far too many 32-inch TVs treat sound as an after thought, even though it’s a key part of any viewing experience. It can be tricky to judge a TV’s likely audio performance, though, without hearing it for yourself.

All you can do is look for rated speaker output specifications (even though these are notoriously unreliable) and clues in a TV’s design; forward firing speakers, built-in bass woofers, enough space on the rear to allow air to ‘move’, and so on.

To DVD, or not to DVD

Finally, if you want to limit secondary kit clutter around a 32-inch TV in a second room, there are still a small number of 32-inch TVs out there that carry built-in DVD players. The 32-inch Toshiba 32D3753DB, the Bush DLED32265HDDVDW and the Cello C32227FT2, for instance.

However, none of the ‘big four’ TV brands support this feature any more, leaving you having to consider second tier manufacturers – with potential negative impact on picture quality and smart features – if you’re still a DVD user.

TVs with built-in Blu-ray players are not available at the time of writing, by the way. So don’t forget that when you’re using a built-in DVD player you’re having to watch a standard definition picture being upscaled – often by rather average processing – to the TV screen’s HD resolution.