TaoMix 2: best iOS wellbeing app
There are loads of chill-out apps available for iOS, but TaoMix 2 stands out. It encourages creativity, with you adding loops of wind, rain, birdsong, and more to a pleasingly minimalist canvas. After positioning icons to suit, you place a playback circle at an optimum location or gently flick so it slowly bounces around the screen, your soundscape thereby shifting and changing over time. Dig deeper to find further useful features, including timers, the means to save and load your custom soundscapes, and even an option to record your own sounds.
RunKeeper: Best free iOS fitness app
The developers of this app call it a ‘personal trainer in your pocket’. If you opt for RunKeeper’s premium version (£7.99 monthly), that might be the case; for everyone else, it’s instead a free, efficient means of logging your hikes, runs and bike rides, and taking a quick gander at the exercise your friends are doing (or not). Routes are mapped, stats are stored, and if you feel really tired half-way through a run, you can procrastinate for a few seconds by taking a photo from inside the app.
Round Health: best free iOS medication tracker
Whether you’re into taking vitamins, or have other kinds of medication to keep track of, Round Health does the business. Using the app, you can quickly and easily define whatever schedules you like, and then have your iPhone bug you when it’s time to take something.
The app’s very human in nature – it provides windows within which to take medication, is extremely simple to use, and has an interface that’s easy to get along with. For as-needed doses, the app also bundles a timer. And if you for some reason feel the need to gamify the likes of wolfing down an anti-histamine every day, Round Health has streaks tracking, too.
Oak – Meditation & Breathing: best free iOS stress aid
STRESS! ANXIETY! MORE STRESS! If your heart’s now thumping, Oak can help you unwind.
Breathing exercises have you hold your breath until a circle fills, wait a bit, and breathe out. (Three are provided, covering calming, concentrating, and alertness.) Guided meditations boost awareness, and a guided breath courses helps you unwind when trying to sleep. Use the app often and you get badges with pictures of trees and mountains.
All of which perhaps makes you think Stuff is now helmed by hippies (man). But here’s the thing: Oak really works. Try it. Relax. And be briefly at one with the world, until some idiot does something to annoy you.
Kitchen Stories: best free iOS cookery app
Cookery apps tend to make assumptions about your ability, and abandon you with an ingredients list, some brief instructions, and a single photo to show what the dish you’re making should look like.
Kitchen Stories is different. It might lack the recipe numbers of some competing apps, but everything it presents looks mouthwateringly yummy.
More importantly, this app wants to help you cook. Never chopped an onion? Watch a tutorial video. Halfway through a recipe and wondering if you’re on track? Compare your efforts with the current step’s photo. Good enough to eat? Steady on: glass and metal isn’t tasty – unlike whatever you’ll create using this app.