Entertainment and distractions
Many websites aren’t geared towards reading – instead, they urge you to gulp down information and see what else is on offer. And even sites with a top-notch reading experience can’t magic their way to your eyes when you have a spotty data connection. Fortunately, Pocket exists for such occasions.
Sign up for an account and you can subsequently send web pages to it from a browser. Load the app and it’ll quickly download the content, which you can then peruse offline, stripped of extraneous junk, leaving only text and imagery. As you scroll, the app shifts to full-screen, giving you a pleasing, minimal, focussed reading experience – for whatever web content you’ve sent to it.
Sago Mini Friends
If your Android tablet frequently finds itself in the hands of a tiny person, ensure Sago Mini Friends is installed. This sweet-natured outing features a cartoon critter visiting chums’ houses, and getting involved in all manner of kid-friendly activities.
These are supposed to promote empathy – during an eating mini-game, for example, feeding one animal causes the other to look utterly forlorn; although they both emit a massive burp at the end of the meal, which presumably makes everything all right. Just ensure your own little critter doesn’t get any bright ideas from the ‘hammering nails into a birdhouse’ mini-game.
Attenborough’s Story of Life
David Attenborough is a broadcasting legend. It’s fitting, then, that this app is a bit of all right as well. It draws on Attenborough’s decades of work travelling the planet and coming face to face with everything from gorillas to ferocious sharks. In all, you can delve into over 1000 of the greatest wildlife moments ever filmed.
The man himself shows up in the odd intro, and there are hidden films to find, recorded exclusively for the app. Mostly, though, this is about settling back to revel in all of the amazing creatures our little ball of mud has brought into being, from tiny lizards to gigantic whales.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if there was one video format to rule them all, like MP3 is to music? Well, dream on... Until that day you’ll be thankful for VLC, which aims to play every video format you’ll ever encounter. If you like to source your movies from varied locations, you’ll find this one of the most useful apps on your phone or tablet. It’s ad-free and doesn’t try to harvest all your personal data either, which makes a nice change.