6 Desktop Companion Apps

Weekly Smartphone App Roundup

Here at Apartment Therapy we try to find ways to blend appealing design into our lives, including those available via smartphone. With a dock or a budget stand that blank screen, much like a blank canvas has a lot of potential. Here are 6 desktop companion apps to add a little flair to your workspace.

iOS

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Left: Vinyl Love - Right: Uniqlo Calendar
Vinyl Love Music at the workspace can be a distraction, especially with many music apps out there being convulated and so full of features that good design has to take a back seat. Vinyl Love returns classic simplicity by emulating the look and feel of playing music by vinyl, complete with crackle and pops. Select an album from your collection (which is brightly displayed by flipping through crates of album covers) to load onto the player. Songs can be selected by dragging the needle closer to the center. $1 Another alternative is the Air Cassette app for sons and daughters of the 80's/90's.

Uniqlo Calendar
From the Japanese fashion design company comes a beautiful app that is also informative. Pop this app on while your iPhone is docked and it will display local weather, calendar, videography of several areas of Japan while playing music in the background (which can be turned off). It has the ability to sync with iCal and Google Calendar should you wish it to be more than eye candy. Every bit of detail from this app pleases the eyes making it a highly recommendable addition to any workspace. Free

Android

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Left: Just Pictures - Right: 3D Digital Weather Clock
JustPictures! Any screen these days can be turned into a mobile photo gallery. Even though you don't want to take your entire photo gallery on your handset, services like Flickr and Picasa help to clear local space for other data. Just Pictures is a simple but very effective app that displays photos from a variety of sources like Flickr, Picasa, Smugmug, Photobucket, Windows Live, Tumblr, Deviant Art, Imgur, Facebook or on board the Android handset. There are also private albums to hide private photos from prying eyes. Free

3D Digital Weather Clock
One of the more appealing features of Android are the flexibility in the overall interface. 3D Digital Weather Clock is an app that enhances the user experience by adding a home screen widget that displays time and weather alongside your apps. This is just one of the many options that developer Factory Widgets has. Their range of clock widgets range from cute and simple to quirky. An ideal addition to any desktop. Free

Windows Phone 7

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Left: MyStocks Portfolio - Right: NoteLocker
MyStocks Portfolio+
MyStocks Portfolio is as its name suggests, a very effective monitor that tracks the markets. Not only does it stay on top of information as it happens accurately and efficiently, the interface is gorgeous displaying everything without clutter. MyStocks Portfolio integrates with Yahoo/Google/MSN Finance and can import or export using csv format for easy data backup. If that hasn't caught your fancy then the live tile feature will be sure to seal the deal. $2 for the Ad-free version

NoteLocker
The tiles on Windows Phones remind me of post it notes. In an increasingly paperless world, small little reminders are shorter than tweets so why not jot down small tidbits on your phone? NoteLocker offers just that by creating tiles that look like post it notes with a myriad of colors. Notes can be organized into categories and even pinned to the start screen. It's true apps like Evernote or Simple Note can do all that and more but the beauty of NoteLocker is keeping it as minimal as possible making it the perfect desktop companion that moves with you. Free

(Photograph: Android Academy Shop)