The 14 hottest apps of the month

There’s no shortage of great apps these days. We’re here to make sure that the best gems don’t fall through the cracks.

March was a great month for new apps and big updates to apps we already know and love. Here’s everything you may have missed:

Hound is like Siri, but way smarter.

Soundhound

You may know SoundHound for its Shazam-like ability to recognise music that's playing around you. But its latest app, Hound, is a voice assistant that absolutely blows Siri out of the water. Check out our full profile of Hound if you're curious to learn more.

Price: Free

Available on: App Store, Google Play

Shorts is a social network based entirely around what's in your camera roll.

App Store

What if all of your friends could see what's in your camera roll? Sound terrifying?

The makers of the app Shots certainly don't think so. The app lets you add friends from other social networks or your address book and choose photos from your camera roll to broadcast. You can also peek at what others have chosen to share.

Price: Free

Available on: App Store

Service handles nearly any customer support issue you might have for you.

App Store

No one likes having to call their cable company or cell provider to resolve an issue. Service contacts businesses on your behalf and gets to the bottom of your problems for you. No more waiting on hold for hours to contact customer support.

Price: Free

Available on: App Store

The best face swapping app got bought by Facebook.

App Store

You may have first seen Masquerade in action on the red carpet during the Oscars, but the app gained even more attention when it was snatched up by Facebook this month.

The technology behind the unabashedly goofy app is quite impressive to behold. You won't be able to stop swapping your face with other celebrities and other characters.

Price: Free

Available on: App Store, Google Play

The best scanner app got even better.

Readdle

Scanner Pro was already the best app for scanning documents on the iPhone, but its recent 7.0 release took things to the next level.

The app now has OCR functionality, which means it can extra words from scans and let you search for text in a PDF it creates like a normal document. It's also better at compensation for any distortion on a page or bad lighting.

You can also automate the scanning process to quickly share PDFs with external services.

Price: $3.99

Available on: App Store

Anchor is an audio-based social network that's been getting a lot of buzz.

Anchor

Anchor is designed to let anyone become their own audio broadcaster. The app's founders are lovers of podcasting and wanted to give normal people a tool to share their voice publicly.

The app started getting attention in the tech community at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas earlier this month. Its future success will depend on whether normal people want to share their voices on the platform.

Price: Free

Available on: App Store, Google Play

ProtonMail is an encrypted email app based in Switzerland.

App Store

ProtonMail runs a popular email service that fully encrypts messages end-to-end, and the crowd-funded company released its mobile app worldwide this month.

The service uses open-source PGP encryption to make sure all emails are unreadable expect by the sender and receiver. You can sign up for a free @protonmail.com account in the app and use it like a normal email app with folders, tags, and swipe gestures.

You can find out more information on ProtonMail's website.

Price: Free

Available on: App Store, Google Play

UberEats is the latest food delivery app.

Uber

UberEats is the ride hailing giant's second standalone app, and it's all about food.

UberEats leverages the company's vast network of couriers and drivers to deliver food from local restaurants. The app itself is well-designed with big, beautiful photos of food and descriptions of ingredients.

The service currently delivers in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Atlanta, Dallas, Washington DC, New York City, and Seattle. The next cities to get UberEats support will be Austin, Paris, and Melbourne.

Price: Free

Available on: App Store, Google Play

Foursquare's check-in app shows you everywhere you've been.

Foursquare

Foursquare invented the concept of checking into a location with a smartphone years ago, and its standalone app Swarm has carried on the legacy.

Swarm 4.0 is all about what the company refers to as 'life logging.' Most of the app's game mechanics, like the leader board and mayorships, are still there. But there's a new emphasis on visualising the app's data that shows where you've been.

Price: Free

Available on: App Store, Google Play

Snapchat overhauled its messaging abilities and made it easier to watch stories.

Snapchat / Business Insider

Perhaps the biggest app update of the month was Snapchat. The popular social network seriously upgraded its messaging features with Facetime-like video calling, audio notes, and plenty of fun stickers.

The new version of the app also makes it easier to watch other peoples' stories by automatically playing them in order.

Price: Free

Available on: App Store, Google Play

SoundCloud released a paid streaming service to take on Spotify and Apple Music.

Soundcloud

SoundCloud Go costs $9.99 per month and is intended to compete directly with Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Red, and every other paid music service out there.

The paid version of SoundCloud, a service which was completely free until this month, has some features diehard SoundCloud users will probably love. The most notable addition is the ability to save songs for offline access.

You should read our review of SoundCloud Go before you decide to pay -- the service isn't designed for most people.

Price: $10 per month

Available on: App Store, Google Play

The best public transit app now incorporates cab and Uber rides to help you find the optimal route.

Citymapper

Citymapper is already the best app for navigating public transit in big cities around the world, and with recent updates the app has started incorporating outside travel options, like Uber and traditional taxi rides.

Now the app can combine public with private transit to help you find the optimal route for getting from point A to point B. It could be the difference between paying for an expensive Uber ride from the airport or taking a train part of the way to reduce cost and time on the road.

'This is a world's first, and the future of multimodal mobility in cities,' Citymapper said on its blog.

Price: Free

Available on: App Store, Google Play

The best calendar app for the Mac added full support for Exchange and other features.

Flexibits

Fantastical is an excellent calendar app for the Mac and iOS devices. A recent update to the Mac version added a number of big features, most notable full support for Exchange accounts.

You can plug all of your calendars into Fantastical (whether they be Google, iCloud, Yahoo accounts, etc.) and manage your schedule in an intuitive interface. Fantastical also has natural language parsing for calendar entries, which means you can type 'lunch with John tomorrow at 11am' and have the entry auto-fill with all of the relevant details.

Check out the Fantastical blog for a full run down of all the recent changes.

Price: $49.99 (free trial available)

Available on: Mac App Store

Nintendo's first smartphone game is finally here.

Nintendo

Nintendo's MiiTomo is the legendary game company's first game made for smartphones.

You create your own virtual avatar in the app, buy things for your character with virtual coins, and interact with other players online. It's not 'Super Mario' on the iPhone, but we'll take it.

Price: Free

Available on: App Store, Google Play

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