App Round-Up – January 2018

Each month we look at 10 recommended apps for the month.

A few will be classic apps which you might well have already but we’re including them for those who are really new to iPhone and iPad. Some will be recent releases that have caught our eye or lesser known but excellent apps. Some months we’ll cover a certain theme – maps, photos, games – but sometimes we’ll just shout about apps that we think every iPhone owner should have.

And, lastly we’ll always include a selection of paid apps that have been made free by their publisher for a limited time. We never know when the publisher will revert these apps to paid apps, so grab them as soon as you can. Every month these apps will be a saving that is more than the cost of your monthly subscription! Meaning that really, you get our newsletter for free!

5 Must Have Apps:

This month we’re picking out another five great apps that every iPhone or iPad user will love.

We know how much our subscribers love this feature so, trust us, we are always looking for great apps that will really improve your iPhone or iPad experience.

This month the five must-have apps are all to do with being organised – something a lot of us look to do at the start of the New Year. I use all 5 of these every day to run my home and work life and they have my highest recommendation.

On top of that, as usual, we have five more apps that are usually paid but that are free right now – so grab them while you can.



SignalIf you want to try a different app for messaging or voice and video calls and security and privacy matter to you, then Signal is the number one choice.

Signal is one of the most highly recommended apps when it comes to chat encryption and security and a large part of that comes from the fact that it is ‘open source’ and funded by grants and donations. So nobody is tracking the data and no-one is looking to make money from the app. All the team want to do is make the best most secure messaging app possible. Not even they can see the messages you send.

It has military grade encryption for all your messaging and voice calls and it supports sending texts, voice calls, group messages, and sending media attachments.

I also like that there is no additional login or password as Signal just accesses your phone contacts and works automatically.

This is a top pick for people who are looking for security, first and foremost.

This is well worth trying!

Price: Free!

Get The App Now!


SlackIf, on the other hand, you’re looking for an app that does messaging and communication for a team (such as in the workplace – but I use it for family) then there’s only one choice – Slack.

Slack is the premier messaging app for teams and companies, allowing for clear communication throughout a company with sub-channels where different departments can keep on topic.

Slack instantly syncs across all your devices and is compatible with dozens of other apps and services (like Dropbox, Google Drive, Trello and countless more) to make your job simpler and easier. Every message ever sent is searchable and files can be attached. It’s awesome!

The free version is all you’ll need if you have a small business or just as a family messaging tool. A paid version ads voice calling and more functions but only larger companies would need it.

We now use this app to run our house and communicate with our kids!

Price: Free!

Get The App Now!


TrelloI’m on a roll, with this messaging and productivity thing now!

So, if your messaging and communication is locked down – whether it’s for work or your home life – here’s another tool that could change your life.

Trello is a task management app that gives you a visual overview of what is being worked on and who is working on it. It uses the ‘Kanban’ system, which was developed in Toyota as a system to keep production levels high and maintain flexibility.

Think of a whiteboard filled with post-it notes. Each post-it represents different tasks involved in the project and you place them in columns to show what stage they are each at – started, in progress or complete.

Trello copies this idea with a system of boards, lists and cards. This creates a system that allows for individuals or teams to track a project and collaborate or contribute where they can be most useful or where it is most needed.

That might sound simplistic and you might not see how that can help you or a team you work with get things done – and it’s not a system that everyone takes to.

But, if it does fit with the way you think and work, this can revolutionise how you approach work (or hobbies) and can really help you plan projects and hget things done.

I love it and use it every day to break down my jobs into tasks to get through. I look at Trello, start a task and just grind away until I’m done!

Price: Free!

Get The App Now!

Focus Keeper

Focus KeeperAdmission – I did list this in the app section in April 2016, but as I’ve got stuck into communication and getting things done (productivity) I need to mention it again as it is one of the very best apps I have. I use it every day to keep me on task!

Pomodoro is a technique to keep you focused on the task in hand and avoid distractions.

It works by forcing you to focus on short blocks of focused attention (perhaps 20 minutes) and then giving you timed breaks of say 5 minutes.

Advocates are very effusive about how effective it is in helping them be more focused and productive.

There are a few apps that help you time the blocks of work and stay on task.

As a Pomodoro fan I have used several and I’ve settled on this one.

Give it and the technique a go and you might be surprised!

Price: $1.99

Get The App Now!

Any.doWe all manage to forget daily tasks and chores, but is there to keep you on track with to-do list, reminders, notes and the ability to share lists with and assign tasks to others. themselves claim that it is the easiest life manager around, which means people stick with it twice as long as other to-do app and their 15M users agree.

The app lets you sync between phone, desktop, web, and tablet to keep your lists up to the minute. A voice-entry feature lets you add items to your task list just by speaking. Calendar integration is available for better task list management.

The thing I like the most about is that they think of it as a life manager that fits your life – it adapts to your needs and helps you get your life under control in any setting.

I use for my home life and a combination of Trello and Slack for work and they allow me to empty my brain into my phone and stay on top of everything.

Choose either a free or premium version with advanced features (the most this costs is $2.99 per month and it’s well worth it.)

Price: Free!

Get The App Now!

5 Apps That Were Paid But Are Free Right Now:

Each month we look for a handful of Apps that are usually paid but that have been reduced to free by their publishers for a limited time. These Apps can return to their price at any time but are free on the date we publish the newsletter, so grab them ASAP!

If you click to the App Store and see a price rather than the word ‘Get’, then you have missed the free period and will be charged if you download the App. We don’t know how long any of these apps will be free!

Fitness Point Pro (Male and Female editions)

Fitness Point ProThese are two very well respected and very high-selling fitness apps that you can get tailored for men or women.

They have both had over 5,000,000 downloads and countless dedicated users.

And, with it being New Year, this is another app that might help you with resolutions to get fit and healthy.

Fitness Point ProThese are essentially a workout planner and progress tracker. You can create a personal workout or select one of the pre-defined workout plans to get you started right away.

This Pro version has hundreds of exercises with descriptions, animations and trained muscle plus a body tracker for your weight and much more.

These are the Pro versions, so it’s ad free.

Price: Normally $4.99 each, both these apps are currently free (plus In App purchases)

Get The FP Pro Male App Now!
Get The FP Pro Female App Now!


SubscriptMeThis is a simple but excellent idea.

Subscriptions are forgettable by design. Never lose track of your subscriptions again with this app. SubscriptMe helps you understand your monthly and annual subscription spending and keeps you on top of your bills and budget.

How it works is simple:
1. Scan your accounts in Inbox or Phone
2. Select your paid subscriptions
3. Manage your money spendings
4. Get reminders

Use this technology to find your subscriptions without inputting your credit card information. Then, quickly gather services into a personal subscription list so you can see what you pay for in one view. Finally, set reminders for all upcoming service bills and never incur an unwanted charge again.

See an overview of your monthly spending and upcoming bills. Add custom recurring payments to remind yourself about any frequent payments. Discover new and popular services that people like you are using.

Sounds great to me!

Price: Normally $1.99, this app is currently free.

Get The App Now!


MagnifyShortest free app review I’ve ever done.

This app is a quick, simply and easy to understand magnifying glass that you can whip out and use when something is too small for even your reading glasses to decipher.

Brilliantly does what you’d expect!

Grab it!

Price: Normally $1.99, this app is currently free.

Get The App Now!


Note-ifyThis app is another that fits well with the New Year resolution of getting sorted.

It’s a much loved and versatile yet still simple note taking app.

Organize your notes, ideas, shopping lists, tasks and different reference information. It features user-friendly and customizable interface with colour coding and also links to various other apps such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

If you don’t have a favourite note app, this could be worth a look.

Price: Normally $0.99, this app is currently free.

Get The App Now!

8BitWar : Netherworld

8BitWar : NetherworldIt wouldn’t be an app roundup if I didn’t find a game to while away some time.

This was my favourite find in the deals today.

It’s a real retro tactical wargame with intentional old school 8-bit graphics.

Build up armies and strategically place them for an all out war!

This is a retro gamers delight and well worth a bit of your time!

This is a very well rated app and if it’s your thing, grab it now.

Price: Normally $2.99, this app is currently free.

Get The App Now!

How to Disable in-App Purchases

If you’re worried about having apps that allow in-app purchases, then you can disable them completely for your peace of mind.

Probably a sensible thing to do if you’re letting kids play a game that has them since often they don’t even realise that items offered in a game cost money and they will click and be charged without knowing it.

Here’s how you can be sure that in-app purchases are disabled:

1. Go to Settings

2. Then to General
3. You’ll find half way down that screen > Restrictions

4. So then click ‘Enable Restrictions’

5. You’ll be asked to create a passcode. Make sure that the passcode is a number you’ll remember!

6. Slide the green On/Off toggle to white (Off) to turn off In-App Purchases.

In this section you can also disable other functions of your iPhone or iPad such as installing or deleting apps.

That’s it for this month’s app round-up. Lots more brilliant, classic, new and discounted apps next month. I’ve already got some great ideas lined up!