Health and fitness
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.
White Noise+: Best free iOS ambient noise app
There’s crossover here with TaoMix 2, but, whereas the former heads towards noodly randomised soundtrack generation, White Noise+ is more focussed on customised ambient noise.
It also dispenses with fluff. The interface is modern and usable, with you dragging icons to a grid. Those placed towards the top and right, respectively, play louder and with added complexity.
For free, you get five noises: white noise, rain, wind, thunder and wind chimes. There are also built-in mixes that include more diverse sounds. If you like those, all sounds are unlocked for S$2.98, or you can pay S$4.48 to also get a sleep timer.
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 ‘Elite’ membership (S$5.98 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.
ReachOut Breathe: best free iPhone stress aid
STRESS! ANXIETY! MORE STRESS! If your heart’s thumping now, you could probably use ReachOut Breathe, an app designed to slow your breathing and help you unwind. You place a finger on the screen, breathing in until a circle fills. You then hold your breath for a bit and breathe out until the circle fades. This probably sounds like we’re now a bunch of hippies (man), but here’s the thing: ReachOut Breathe really works. Try it. Relax. Be briefly at one with the world, until some idiot does something to annoy you again.