The Essential Download: macOS Sierra, Google Trips, Ryder Cup

Get more productive, active and entertained with our weekly roundup of the best new and updated iOS, Android and Windows apps

Welcome to the Essential Download, a selection of new, updated and essential applications that will make working on a mobile device simpler, more productive and secure activity. There’s even room for a bit of fun as well.

Mac OS Sierra (Mac)


The newest version of the rebranded mac OS Sierra is a free update for all Macs introduced since alte 2009 and bring Siri to the platform for the first time. Sierra also adds Apple Pay on web, an updated Photos app with ‘Memories’ and improved video functionality.

Of interest to businesses is ‘Optimised Storage’, which frees up local storage by automatically moving infrequently used files to the cloud and removing unused apps, and the fact that Apple has fixed 68 security flaws.

Google Trips (iOS/Android)


Google’s latest app is a travel application that combines all of your important information, such as flight details and hotel reservations, with tourist ideas – and there’s even offline access too. Data is scraped from your Gmail account and can help make business trips that little bit more enjoyable.

A customisable map helps you plan exactly what you’re going to do while you’re there and for many of the top cities around the world, you’ll get curated suggestions too – ideal if you’re looking for a place to eat or have a glass of the local tipple.

Google Allo (iOS/Android)


Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) powered communications app is now available on iOs and Android. Through the use of the Google Assistant, a smart virtual assistant powered by natural language recognition and machine learning akin to Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri, the Allo app can serve up suggested contextual replies in chat messages through a feature known as Smart Reply.

The more Assistant is used the smarter Allo becomes, with Google providing “suggestion chips” so that users have access to shortcut follow-up questions which over time help the Assistant understand the context of the user’s questions.

Firefox 49 (Android)

Firefox Android

The Android release of Firefox is tied to the desktop edition, unlike on iOS, which has its own release cycle. This latest update adds a number of new features, the most notable for mobile users is the addition of offline reading – allowing you to save pages for areas with poor coverage or subterranean enclaves like the London Underground.

Ryder Cup (iOS/Android)


One of golf’s biggest and most emotive events kicks off next week at the Hazeltine National Golf Club and naturally there’s an official app to go with it. Watch video and audio content, see live scores and receive notifications form all the fourballs, foursomes and singles matches. Who will win? The US or Europe? We don’t know but at least you can stay informed.

Quiz: What do you know about mobile apps?