Looking for some cool apps to make the most of your summer? We've gathered our top tips of the best new releases...
It’s officially summer, which means it’s time to play, all day every day! Whether you’re jetting off for an outdoor adventure or embracing the staycation, we’ve got you covered with the latest apps to suit every occasion.
From finding the perfect hiking trail and keeping the kids entertained to making connections online for real life gains, there’s plenty of great ways to spend your downtime this summer.
Here are this summer’s hottest apps…
Experience the great outdoors this summer with Komoot, a navigational app that can help you find the perfect route for your next hiking, mountain biking or road cycling adventure. Plan your trip down to the last detail with a info like surface, difficulty, distance and elevation profile, and even help other users plan theirs. Komoot Community’s ‘Favourite Places’ lets follow your friends and like-minded explorers to keep up with their outdoor adventure and highlight spots you think they should check out.
Safety is also a top priority, with Komoot packed with useful tools such as turn-by-turn voice navigation to help stay on course, and seamless syncing which allows you to connect to multiple devices and even wearables such as Android Wear and Garmin devices.
With simple-to-use maps, which guide you along every trail, track, road or path – even when you’re offline – Komoot is a breath of fresh air in a crowded app market.
Daisie | iOS, Free
A networking app that will help showcase your talents to build your career? That’s the premise of Daisie, the recently upgraded networking platform developed by Maisie Williams (yes, Game of Thrones’ Arya Stark is an app developer, too). The networking platform is designed to help the ambitious, but unconnected, make connections and break into the creative industries. Given that the creative industries are notorious for following the ‘who you know, not what you know’ model of business, this is a small step towards levelling the playing field.
So, how does it work? Users simply download the app to build a profile showcasing their skills, projects they’re working on and crucially, to put the call out for other creatives to join them. If you’re a creative looking for your next big break – or a truly devoted Arya Stark fan – you’ll definitely want to check out Daisie.
Hour Blocks: Day Planner | iOS, £0.99
The days might be longer now that it’s summer, but when it comes to fitting everything in, it seems like there are never enough hours in the day. That’s where Hour Blocks: Day Planner comes in. Designed to help you be more productive and take back control of your life, this easy to use organisational tool focuses on tasks, appointments, dinner and much more, in one-hour blocks. Instead of trying to do a hundred things at once, the app only allows you to fill each hourly slot with a single event, which you can then move around to reflect your needs and plans as they change (you can also load events from your existing iOS calendar). For anyone who feels that life is too complicated, this app will help you to manage your day-to-day life, one hour at a time.
iRedpoint – Climbing Tracker | iOS, Free
Indoor and outdoor friendly, bouldering is the perfect sport for the UK weather. Whether you’re a bouldering pro or a newcomer to the sport, we’d suggest trying out iRedpoint – Climbing tracker. With a slew of useful tips and photo-guides about technique, plus features that let you track your climbing and boulder sessions (including your heart rate and ascending speed thanks to its built-in barometer), iRedpoint can help keep a record of your progress.
It also acts as your own climbing PT, providing a detailed overview and feedback of your session, which it then uses to create a personalised training plan for you to achieve your next climbing goals. Most crucially, the app is supported by Apple Watch so you don’t have to worry about your phone ascending before you do. Also, you can easily organise a friendly competition with friends as iRedpoint is compatible with the Strava app, which allows you to upload and share your progress with others.
Need to keep the kids entertained without breaking the bank? We’d recommend Epic! – Kids’ Book and Videos, the leading digital kid’s library that strikes that tricky balance between being educational and fun. Jam-packed with 35,000 high-quality ebooks, audiobooks, learning videos, and quizzes for kids 12 and under, Epic! has something for the most demanding child (and parent).
From National Geographic Kids and A Series of Unfortunate Events, to bilingual books (Spanish, Chinese and French) and audiobooks, your kids can explore their interests in a fun, safe, kid-friendly environment, with no ads or in-app purchases.
Epic! has fantastic features such as personalised book recommendations based on a kid’s reading levels and interests, and a reading log to track progress. The best feature by far is its offline reading capability – you can take this vast portable library in the car, on a plane or camping and keep everyone happy – win-win.
Jour – Guided Journaling | iOS, Free
If you’re looking to increase focus and decrease stress look no further than Jour, a private and portable journal companion. This fantastic self-care app is more than just a home for your thoughts; it’s a way of practicing mindfulness to improve mental health and record what’s happening in your life, anywhere and at any time. A standout feature is its in-built ‘Guided Journeys’, which each offer a step-by-step approach to specific areas for growth, such as: feeling calmer, sleeping better, combatting anxiety, and improving mental health.
You can also choose between either pre-set exercises or write a free-form entry, set reminders to journal at specific times and track your writing progress and/or the Journeys you’ve completed – all of which save automatically so you can pick up where you left off. Whether you’re looking to start a daily journal habit or just jot down occasional thoughts, Jour is a great place to declutter your mind.
Simple, entertaining and highly addictive, Hardball: Swipe Puzzle might just be your next favourite mobile app game. The aim of the game is all in the name: swipe up, down, left or right as many times as you like, for as long as you feel, with the purpose of getting the ball in the basket. With 400 challenging levels to complete, Hardball will not only keep you entertained for hours, but also help keep your mind sharp – perfect for whiling away time in the airport or on the Tube. Plus, it’s suitable for all ages so the whole family can join in on the fun.
How often have you found that you reach dinner time and realised you’ve drunk next to nothing? With temperatures rising, it’s important that you stay hydrated this summer. Of course, this is easier said than done, which is the genius of WaterMinder®, an app that helps you track your daily water intake. Accountability is what this app does best; you can view your hydration balance progress, calculate water goal, and get motivated via reminders to achieve your daily hydration goals.
This is all embedded into a simple, quick and easy to use interface that displays a human outline which visually fills up with you There’s a whole range of features designed to reflect your needs and goals; it takes into account your body weight, activity and weather location, and you can even customise your cups and add other drink types for a more accurate report. It’s also Siri friendly so you can dictate on the go. A fun app for anyone looking to stay on top of their water consumption.
Want more summer fun? Here’s what’s on offer this month…