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MULTIMEDIA

101 Recommended Apps (Part 5)

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26.  Sky Sports News

Price: Free

The Sky News app was a revelation when it came to Android. As an app it was a breath of fresh air, offering decent content within a snazzy user interface, and it was constantly updated, which is always a bonus.

Sky Sports News

Sky Sports News

So, it’s fantastic that BSkyB has spun off another app for sport.

The Sky Sports News app is every bit as good as the Sky News app, and you’ll be glad to hear that its focus is not just on football. The app is a portal to content for loads of sports, including cricket, rugby league, rugby union, golf, tennis, Formula 1 and boxing - all of which get dedicated areas on the app.

The interface is as you’d expect from Sky. It’s slick and includes video content, tables and image galleries.

This is all rounded off with Sky Sports radio, which will keep you updated when the words don’t come in fast enough.

Effortless to use, the Sky Sports News app is a showcase in how apps should be made.

27.  Runtastic

Price: Free

Runtastic

Runtastic

If you’ve finally decided to grab those pair of trainers from the back of the cupboard, Runtastic GPS Coach could help you make the most out of a healthier new you.

Before you start breaking a sweat, you need to sign up for an account, which is free, recording details of your weight, desired weight and so on.

Using your phone’s GPS to record workout data, head to the settings to select your activity from a list, which includes running, biking, mountain biking and skiing. You can also choose whether you want voice feedback and a countdown before you start.

During your activity, you can see the map of your route, and keep an eye on your speed. Once completed, you can see a complete a rundown of your workout, which notably includes elevation gain/loss and additional info that lets you choose from a selection of graphics illustrating your mood post-workout, the type of surface you trained on and the weather.

With a sleek-looking interface, the option to attach a heart rate monitor, and heaps of useful data that can be uploaded to runtastic.com, this is an excellent app to keep track of your fitness progress.

28.  Seesmic

Price: Free

The impressive Seesmic app brings image-sharing to the Twitter party

The impressive Seesmic app brings image-sharing to the Twitter party

Seesmic is a Twitter client that takes itself very seriously. Instead of being a lite version of Twitter, where all you get is a steady flow of updates, Seesmic enables you to see all your Twitter timelines in one stream and allows one-click replies to tweeters.

One of the best things about the app, though, is the ability to share images. This is a major bugbear with some Twitter apps on the market, but Seesmic has links to yFrog, TwitPic and even YouTube, so you can add some much-needed multimedia love to your portable tweeting.

The interface is sleek, but it doesn’t look much like Twitter. If you already have the Seesmic desktop app, though, you will feel right at home.

And if you really feel like giving out all of your information, you can turn on the location feature and share your current address.

There are more features on show here than you will actually use but Seesmic is one of the best Twitter apps we have ever used.

29.  TED

Price: Free

TED

TED

Chris Anderson is one brainy fellow.  Not only did he found Future Publishing-the company behind 73 - but he is also the creator of one of the most innovative technology conferences around, TED Talks.

While TED has been on iOS for some time, it has taken a long while for it to come to Android. Available to those with Android 2.1 and above, TED enables you to delve into the minds of some of the brainiest people on the planet, and encounter subjects you’ve probably not even heard of before - Chautauqua and Botany, for instance.

Navigation of the app is fluid enough. You can either dive straight into the featured talks, or go by the most popular and the newest. We preferred sifting through the myriad categories and getting our bite-sized nuggets of knowledge this way.

Play a video - most are around eight minutes long - and it will go full­screen. The quality isn’t fantastic but it is fine for those who put up with everyday mobile clips.

With over 900 talks available, the TED app is a veritable feast of intelligent information. There’s so much to do here, it’s a real surprise the app is free.

30.  RAC Traffic

Price: Free

RAC Traffic

RAC Traffic

Anyone who has been on the M25 in rush hour knows that traffic jams can turn any sane man into Jack Torrence. Luckily, for those of us who’d rather keep our cool on the road, the RAC has developed an app to make your life on the move that little bit easier.

Now this is strictly for those who carpool, because obviously you can’t use your phone while driving, unless you get a phone holder, but the RAC Traffic app shows you in real time and via Google maps where the traffic hotspots are. Through the joys of your GPS, it will even determine which nasty jams are near you.

It won’t rid the roads of boy racers, middle-lane hoggers or totalitarian truck drivers but it works, is uncluttered and, best of all, it’s simple to use.

The app offers two screen layouts: either you see a map with incident signs or a running list of incidents.

To get it to work properly, you have to go into the options section and enable ‘Map Follows Me’. Otherwise you will know what the traffic is like back at base and nowhere else.

31.  Qype Radar

Price: Free

Qype Radar

Qype Radar

There’s nothing like Qype to make you feel at home. The app is one of the simplest we’ve used and unlocks the area around you. If you are feeling peckish and don’t know where to eat, load Qype Radar, select ‘Restaurants’ and let the app decide.

No matter where you are, Qype has a ton of reviews and information on offer, and even some pictures of the places to boot.

Once you find the one you want, click on its address and it shows you on Google Maps exactly where it is.

The Simon Cowell of apps, this hotspot-seeking tool tells it to you straight. Qype’s community decides whether a pub is good or bad, giving you all the information you need to suss out whether a pint in the Nag’s Head is good idea or not.

As for pin-pointing your location, it had us a mere four doors down from where we were, which is impressive.

But it’s not just about hunting down the best eateries and boozers - the amount of local amenity info on offer is pretty overwhelming. You want a petrol station? It will guide you. A hospital? That’s on there too. How about a bicycle? Yup, yup and yup.

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