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6 free apps for iOS and Android that we can't live without

Tech Tips

There's no doubt that everything has got an awful lot easier since apps made their way to our mobiles. But are you making full use of everything your iPhone has to offer? Here are six of the apps that run on iOS and Android that we can't remember how to function without.

1. Horizon

This useful little app always takes photos and videos perfectly straight. It's free for personal users, but your mobile does need to have a gyroscope. Real time leveling for video and photography, with multiple resolutions and frame rates. Avid photographer Chris Mallon says, 'It's useful for people who physically can't hold a camera straight.'

2. Sleep Cycle 

Sleep Cycle is one of the more popular sleeping apps, which insists that, 'Waking up easy is all about timing.' Although this seems a bit simplistic, people swear by it. Just set your alarm and pop your mobile on your nightstand (or under your pillow for better accuracy) and the app will monitor your sleep and wake you up when you're in ''light sleep'' rather than ''deep sleep''. Dan Morrison says, 'I’m not a morning person so anything that can help me wake up is a plus.'

3. CrashLight 

CrashLight is an app for motorcyclists which uses the gyroscope (again, those without one are on their own) to ''detect'' shocks to your phone and identify when a crash has occurred. It then gives you three minutes to 'cancel' before it sends an automated call/SMS to three contacts with your last known GPS coordinates. Dave Park says, 'Make sure you remember to turn it off when you get off the bike, else people can think you've had a high speed crash in a car park.'

4. RunPee 

For those who are heading to the midnight showing of Star Wars tonight, RunPee is  a must. It allows you to view the optimal time to go to the bathroom during a film, by letting you know when the dullest and most unnecessary scenes are coming up. They also provide summaries for the sections that you've missed. However, Dave Wong insists that, 'It won't work during Star Wars. There will be no dull scenes in Star Wars.'

5. Moovit 

For those of us without a car or a motorbike, public transport is both a god send and a necessary evil. Although bus and metro apps for Newcastle and Gateshead are available, Anthony Karapetredis' says, 'They are either awful, or they lie to you. Or both.' Moovit is an app which has live arrival and departure times for buses and metros, as well as live community service alerts so people can report ''conditions'' for the line or service. Never wait at a bus stop again.

6. SwiftKey 

There's an awful lot of third party keyboards out there, but in our opinion this is the best of the bunch. It predicts your favourite words and phrases, and learns your writing style the more you use it. Paul Callaghan says, 'Spelling out one's insults letter by letter takes too much of the immediacy from it - so much better if the keyboard app knows your favourite insults and can string them together on its own.'

If you've got an idea for an app, we want to hear from you! Give our app development team a call on 0191 482 0444.

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