Without even thinking about it, this week I included two Android apps that both encrypt data for their users — one of which was recently endorsed by Edward Snowden.
The rest of the apps in this week’s roundup, offered for iOS and Windows Phone, are less about privacy and more about creativity or usefulness. And there’s also kind of a teaser at the end for the Windows users out there. Enjoy!
You might’ve heard of this encrypted chat and call app before. It’s called Signal, and Edward Snowden himself recently said he uses it on a regular basis. The app has also been on iOS for a while now. Signal encrypts photos, videos and text before they leave your phone. Because of this, not even the developer, Open Whisper Systems, can see the content that’s being sent. (Free)
Speaking of encrypted data, Google Drive — which also does this to the files it keeps — was updated recently. The update will mainly be helpful for those who do a lot of collaborating on files saved in Drive. Before the update, Drive relied on emails for notifications. This was incredibly annoying because sometimes to get access to a doc, a person would have to wait until the owner granted them access via email. Now Drive will push notifications from the app on Android and iOS, making the whole sharing process a lot less painful. (Free)
Astropad Mini is for artists and non-artists alike, but you will need to be both a Mac and iOS user. The app lets people use their iPhones to edit with popular desktop applications like Photoshop and Lightroom. Rather than grabbing your Magic Mouse or tapping around on the touchpad, Astropad becomes the tool used edit whatever project you’re working on. Pinching to zoom is a lot faster than hitting Command + a bunch of times, after all. With the added benefit of 3D Touch on the 6s phones (assuming you own a 6s), the setup feels a lot like using a graphics tablet — pressure sensitivity and all. (Free)
AccuWeather updated its iOS apps a few days ago and redesigned the look and feel of the apps too. After the refresh it’s easier to get to trending weather videos, and the app runs more quickly than it used to. Probably the best tweak is the app’s new focus on localised data (which requires you sharing your location, of course) with the app’s trademarked software Superior Accuracy. (Free)
The updated Box app is now a Universal Windows 10 app. Box stores files online and through the app for free with a Box account. The ability to grab files on any Windows 10 gadget makes this type of program incredibly useful — it’s a lot like Google Drive in that regard. But you do need to have access to wifi or a decent internet connection. There is a free account if you’d like to try out Box and see if you like it more than, say, OneDrive. The free version gives you 10 GB of space with a max file size of 250 MB. (Free with account)
It’s not ready yet, but here’s a little note from the music streaming radio service’s developers:
@ivabiggun71 not yet. but we've locked the devs in the office and they're not getting any more pizza until it's finished.
— MixRadio (@MixRadio) November 5, 2015