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MULTIMEDIA

101 Recommended Apps (Part 6)

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32.  Cycle Hire Widget

Price: Free

Whether you are need to get around on two wheels in London, or looking for the nearest cycle stand in Washington, the Cycle Hire Widget app aims to get you on your bike as soon as possible.

Choosing the cycle hire scheme nearest to your current location, the simple color-coded information indicates if there are bikes still available and how many storage slots are left to put your bike back when you are done.

Cycle Hire Widget

Cycle Hire Widget

Once you’ve selected a location, you can view it swiftly on Google Maps and, with a single long press, get further options such as walking directions, driving directions and navigation. Live data taken from local transport governing bodies means information about free bikes at each location is updated every three minutes.

There is also a widget to put on your home screen, which you can tap to power up your GPS and find the nearest cycle banks. With the ability to work in cities across Europe and the US, this is the perfect app to avoid the car and stretch your legs instead.

33.  Opera Mini 6

Price: Free

Opera Mini 6

Opera Mini 6

The Opera Mini web browser is so quick and slick, it has to be seen to be believed. In fact, in our tests, the only thing holding it back was a shoddy 3G signal. Whack it on while you are using Wi-Fi and the results are electric.

The interface is plain but easy to use. It comes with default bookmarks but these are easily swapped for your own. Just hold your thumb down on a bookmark and follow the instructions.

Once you are on a page, you zoom to any part by touching your thumb on the specified section. Great when you need to input passwords and the like.

For those who want to browse the web properly and not via bookmarks, a Google search bar is integrated.

34.  Retro Camera

Price: Free.

Retro Camera

Retro Camera

It’s not often the technologically Savvy pine for older times, but there are some gadgets that work better when you turn back the I clock. Cameras are one example. You can throw all the megapixels i you want at a Digicam, but it won’t give you the nostalgic warmth of images taken with a Polaroid. Lucky, then, the Retro Camera app brings back old-school shooting with a vengeance.

Load the app up and within seconds you can take some age-old images. There are five cameras to choose from: the Barbl, Little Orange Box, Xolaroid, Pinhole Camera and the FudgeCam.

Each takes remarkably different pictures. For a full frame image with low saturation and medium contrast, the FudgeCam works well. If you want a Polaroid look, the Xolaroid offers this. Whichever camera you use, the app makes it so that it looks as though you are looking through the camera’s viewfinder.

Once done, you can view your images in the ‘darkroom! Another nice touch is that it takes a few seconds for the images to develop.

There’s a lot of love in the Retro Camera app and it will make taking pictures with your phone a whole lot more enjoyable.

35.  Mixzing

Price: Free

Mixzing

Mixzing

Apple’s Genius function for iTunes is something that should be awesome but isn’t. Maybe it’s the way that Genius has to rifle through all of your songs every time you use it, making it slower than Stephen Hawking reciting The Iliad while trying to explain the notion of time travel to a five-year-old.

Maybe it’s because it’s made by Apple, who treats Android users with the sort of contempt usually kept for reality TV stars in pantomime.

Mixzing makes the bold claim that it is better at iTunes for matching music to mood and creating playlists that can be used as soundtracks to your puny and rather average life.

It works and it works well, creating playlists based on individual songs and allowing you the ability to chop and change songs in the lists.

There’s even the inclusion of artist bios and information, which is a decent addition to any music player.

Other features include the option to find artwork for albums, fix tags on songs and some neat desktop syncing.

In some ways, the fact that Apple keeps iTunes for the iPhone and iPod is a good thing - because it means that apps such as Mixzing can come in and give it a kicking.

36.  Mabilo Ringtones

Price: Free

Find the perfect tune to annoy everyone with by using the Mabilo Ringtones app

Find the perfect tune to annoy everyone with by using the Mabilo Ringtones app

Choosing the right ringtone can have a dramatic effect. Download something too chirpy and that chirpiness will be the subject of hatred in the office by the end of the day. But have a ringtone that’s too sombre and you may end up looking all emo - no one wants that.

Mabilo Ringtones offers thousands of songs to choose from. Whether it’s what’s in the Top 40 or a comedy song from Family Guy, it’s all there.

We are not sure quite how Mabilo is allowed to offer all these songs for free as ringtones but it’s on Google Play and we won’t tell if you won’t.

If your conscience gets the better of you, and you want to raise the alarm, there is a report button to press if you feel a copyrighted song is being used.

If you want to listen to a song, click on ‘Preview’. If you like it, downloading takes only a few seconds.

37.  Lookout Mobile Security

Price: Free

Lookout Mobile Security

Lookout Mobile Security

Lookout Mobile Security is broken into three components: Security, Backup, and Missing device. In the Security section you can automatically scan every app you install, with the option to perform a scan every week. The Backup section provides an automatic backup of data on a weekly or daily basis, while the Missing device mode enables you to locate your phone on a map, send a loud siren to your phone, even if the sound is off, and enable GPS satellite location to help hunt the handset down. This element of the app requires setting up a password and an account on myLookout.com.

Antivirus apps that run all the time are likely to be a drain on your phone battery, but Lookout claims that it only consumes as much power in one day as a 33-second phone call.

It may not look or feel as intuitive as the AVG Virus Scan app, but it does an efficient and effective job protecting you from attacks in real time and is handy if you lose your phone.

38.  Mirren Browser App

Price: Free

Mirren Browser App

Mirren Browser App

This browser takes seconds to load and is one of the most intuitive we’ve used. Create bookmarks on the front page, and you’ll also find links to top sites and search functionality here.

Load any site up and the speed of the thing is immense. It took seconds for us to load up a graphically-intensive website and even less time for those that are optimized for the mobile web.

But it’s the little touches that make the difference. Such as the ability to browse using the full screen of your smartphone (and it’s just one touch to get back to normal) and that it allows Flash, and you can even pinch to zoom on the page - although this did crash the browser a number of times for us.

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