Smartphone apps can help with work tasks and with keeping us abreast of the latest news and weather. There are many great apps for helping us navigate and find destinations, as well as assisting with shopping. Increasingly, apps are also turning smartphones into home entertainment centers, and users are able to watch films, read recipes, listen to music, check on their favourite TV programmes and play games without having to leave the sofa.
Apps are able to connect via home broadband as well as the mobile phone networks; this makes them incredibly versatile and multifaceted. Here’s a guide to some of the best apps currently on the market:
This is a really powerful free guide for the keen cinemagoer with information on, and trailers for, all the latest movies. It sets out which DVDs are due to be released, and where and when local movies can be seen. It rates films according to both the critics’ choices and those of other Flixster users. It can also recommend places to eat that are close to the cinema.
Remote is a neat little app that was developed by Apple. It gives iPhone, iPad and iTouch users the ability to control both Apple TV and iTunes across a Wi-Fi Network. Those who enjoy streaming audio or video from an iTunes server to a stereo set-up or a TV will find their phone ‘remote’ as one of their most frequently used smartphone apps.
The Sky Go app enables users to watch live Sky TV on their mobile device. Viewing is linked to the package owned by the user, and this means that individuals get to watch their favourite range of channels according to the subscription that they pay. These may include some or all of Sky Arts 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky 1, Sky News, Sky Movies and Sky Sports.
Considered to be at the top of the tree in terms of music players, PowerAMP is fast and superbly organised, has great sound adjustment and an abundance of features. With PowerAMP it is possible to set tracks as ringtones, edit track tags information and to get album artwork details, as well as play music and add playlists. PowerAMP has an equalizer for custom or premade presets and a very smooth and efficient user interface complete with themes.
Having been one of the top favourites of the casual gaming scene since 2010, it’s no surprise that Angry Birds still packs a punch. Now available for Android, Nokia and Palm, as well as iPhone and iPad, Angry Birds is a bizarre game that both delights and frustrates players. Followers say it is an addictive experience, despite – or maybe because of – the ridiculous scenario, and that may well be the case. Why else would avid players be drawn into an absurd contest when, using a catapult, their task is to shoot birds at fortified buildings created by a posse of evil pigs?
One of the best things about using smartphones for home entertainment is that besides the popular games that have been developed more recently, they can have universal appeal. They can provide familiar, educational games for youngsters; opportunities to read and to download books and web content, and to play simulated musical instruments, plus traditional word, board and card games that everyone can enjoy.