My Top Five Apps



My iPad Mini is, I realised, basically an adult toy (easy, Grandma) that’s fun to browse while you’re watching something undemanding on TV. As I don’t watch TV it means I browse while I’m listening to music or stuck in the dullest part of a Bella Tarr movie I have to watch for jury duty.

Here’s what I’m currently flicking through.

‘London: A City Through Time’ is a memory-heavy app, but is a total delight, with a huge gallery of photographs, old map browsing, timelines, sections on ‘Life In London’ and ‘My London’, audio-visual histories, notable Londoners and much more. You do have to allow more downloads from time to time, but it’s worth it.

‘The Room’, my best game, an elegant puzzle is finely crafted as a brass-and-mahogany automaton, with difficulty levels that are set just right for continued learning (although I’m stuck on opening a particular dial at the moment). It’s a delightfully retro box of tricks perfect for anyone who ever fancied taking the clock to bits on a rainy day.

‘Tag Cloud’ – This satisfies the inner geek in me – select a URL or a piece of text and turn it into a very stylish, mathematically complex word cloud, choosing from a wide range of different styles and colours. Then send it to your friends for no reason other than to annoy them! ‘Venn Master’ is the same, but for Venn diagrams – unfortunately nowhere near as elegant – when will someone design a Venn generator that’s as cool-looking as the Tag Cloud’?

‘Action Movie’ – This treats your photographs to an action movie makeover, dropping in tornadoes, meteors, downed helicopters etc, although my favourite one is for hated neighbours – drop a boulder on them! Very, very silly but quite realistic and effective.

‘Paper’ is the best sketchbook I’ve come across. It’s very intuitive and slick, but be warned that for each extra technique you have to buy an add-on from their store. For basic drawing and painting, though, it’s very good, even if like me you have big awkward hands.

Quirky suggestions for apps, anyone?

2 comments on “My Top Five Apps”

  1. Dan Terrell says:

    My Samsung cell phone is so ancient it is almost easy to use. It has Roman numerals, at least on the faded keypad it certainly seems that way. The pictures it takes look like stills Matthew Brady would have composed here in Virginia, but without the Civil War dead strewn about. Heaven knows how many times it’s dropped out of my watch pocket; when it falls from the second floor to the first (the ground)floor, it pops its batterypack, but this is easily replaced, but it has never had a new batterypack. It is so small I can hid it in my hand. Nobody has tried to steal it, so far.
    It was designed and manufactured before the Japanese discovered phone use-by dates. In the Sprint store, it is marvelled at. “Oh may I see it, Sir? Which slot contains the little crank thingy?”
    I can, unfortunately,recommend no apps.

  2. John Howard says:

    Thanks for the suggestions. Who needs “500 best apps” ? Have used Action Movie and as you say, silly but fun. It’s pretty old now but have you tried Stupid Zombies? Just the sort of thing for Bella Tarr / music.

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