It’s always more interesting when apps bust out of the box and try to do more than one thing at once - here are 9 of our favourites...


With hundreds of thousands of apps populating Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store, it can sometimes be difficult to for developers to make their wares stand out. And likewise, it can be difficult for you to find the app that’ll best incentivise you to do better – whether it’s for fitness, productivity, or just keeping your day-to-day life on track.

Sure, app categories can help, but it’s always more interesting when apps bust out of the box and try to do more than one thing at once, leaving you wondering: is this a photo editor or a social network? A dating app or a game? Join us as we run through some of our favourite app mashups, starting with the running app everyone loves to hate…

Zombies, Run!

Mashup: Fitness meets audiobook

Combine your love of The Walking Dead (back on our screens next month!) with your love of running with Zombies, Run!, which delivers an immersive zombie apocalypse story by way of a serial audiobook, courtesy of award-winning novelist Naomi Alderman. Every time you step outside, you’re at the mercy of horde of ravenous zombies, and there’s only one way to survive – run for your life. Not only does the app take you through a pretty captivating story, it simulates the noise of approaching zombies at regular intervals to urge you to find extra gear. Complete each mission, and you’ll find other virtual survivors in the game, as well as supplies to keep you and your group safe.
Available on iOS and Android


Mashup: To-do-list meets RPG

On the surface, EpicWin is just a streamlined to-do list. But this app’s genius is that it takes your chores and transforms them into quests, like the missions of a big budget role-playing game. Did you just vacuum the stairs? Tick it off your list, and your EpicWin character will earn experience, gold and awesome loot along the way. In the words of EpicWin-creators Supermono, “doing the laundry is an epic feat of stamina, so why not get stamina points for it?”
Available on iOS



Mashup: Photo editor meets social network

As camera apps go, VSCO is one of the more fully-featured out there and it was rated as one of the must have apps by Instagrammer @Jacob when we took him in a trip in a helicopter to capture the London skyline from on high. It has the usual spread of filters and other editing tools, but also includes options for separate focus and exposure rings, as well as a range of professional camera controls, such as adjustable ISO, white balance and shutter speed. As if that wasn’t enough, VSCO is also a beautiful way to share and curate your own photos. Thanks to VSCO Grid, you can create your own artistic profile, as well as following other photographers who catch your eye.
Available on iOS and Android

LovelUp Dating

Mashup: Dating meets gaming

Tired of dating apps that only care about your looks? LovelUp could be the solution, especially if you enjoy your video games. Just tell the app which games you own and enjoy, and what sort of partner you’re looking for, and it’ll match you with other LovelUppers who match your gaming interests. From there you can chat with each other, and even organise a game date through the app to play whatever title takes your fancy.
Available on iOS and Android


Mashup: Running meets shopping

Earthmiles is a neat way for runners to earn as they pound the pavement. Connect Earthmiles to the run tracking app of your choice, and the app will track your progress and distances, rewarding you with ‘earthmiles’ – which operate much like air miles – for each mile you cover. What do earthmiles get you, exactly? Only a boatload of exclusive freebies and discounts to loads of health, nutrition and sports products. Not a bad way to fuel your health obsession, is it?
Available on iOS and Android


Mashup: Note-taking meets sketching

For many of us, a simple pencil and paper is still the best way of jotting down ideas, whether it’s a shopping list or a quick sketch. So, what if Paper could recreate that exact functionality, but on your smartphone or your tablet? Well, that’s exactly what the devs at FiftyThree have done. Paper started as a simple notepad, but thanks to pressure-recognition functionality built into iOS 8, Paper can now recognise exactly how hard you’re pressing on the screen, giving you ultimate control over what you want to write, or draw. All that, while the ability to add flowcharts, pin photos and more makes it an organisational workhorse in its own right.
Available on iOS



Mashup: Alarm clock meets charity donations

iCukoo is as beautiful as alarm apps come, a lovely mix of pastel shades and geometric interfaces. But it’s far more than just a simple alarm clock. You see, every time you hit that snooze button, iCukoo will donate money to charity on your behalf. You can choose which charity will benefit, and how much they’ll receive every time you fail to get up in the morning (anywhere between 10p and £1 per snooze hit). So either you get up, or the charity of your choice benefits. Win-win.
Available on iOS

Aviva Drive

Mashup: Insurance shopping meets driving test

In its quest to find and insure safer drivers, Aviva has come up with an ingenious app mashup of its own. Install the Aviva Drive app, and it’ll use your phone’s GPS to monitor the quality of your driving, checking on your speed and control for 200 miles on the road. When you’ve completed the mileage, Drive will assign you a score, with a score of 3.1 or higher netting you a discount on your car insurance!
Available on iOS

Atari Fit

Mashup: Running meets arcade gaming

Like Earthmiles, Atari Fit motivates you to go the extra mile with certain rewards, but rather than encouraging your healthy living habits, the app rewards you with access to all the classic arcade games of your youth… Provided of course that they’re old Atari titles. Still, there’s a pretty healthy selection on offer – one that includes the likes of Pong, Super Breakout and Centipede. Just connect Atari Fit to an activity tracker or run tracking app, and Atari Fit will reward you with coins to spend on arcade games after your work out. Simple!
Available on iOS and Android

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