Best iPhone Apps 2015: Free and paid apps for iPhone

App Store essentials you need in your life

Whether you're after the latest free iPhone apps or the App Store essentials, T3's app experts pick the best iPhone apps to grab in 2015

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is the latest extension of the Apple smartphone family, and comes with an ever-growing library of available apps. Each month T3's specialist iPhone team storm the App Store in search of the very best iPhone apps available right now, so if you're looking to furnish your phone with some top quality, free and paid for app delight, look no further.

Whether you scroll aimlessly through the App Store, or have just grabbed an Apple smartphone, here's our monthly updated list of what the T3 app experts have uncovered.

Darkroom

Unlike apps which just give you a series of rigid filters to play with, Darkroom lets you create you own. So if you find a style you like for your shots, you can quickly add it to multiple ones without playing about with the options again. It delves directly into your photo library, so no need to import and has some nice editing options, like the sliders, which give you a live preview as you go.

Free (IAP needed for some features) | Download Darkroom

Enlight

The current new kid on the photo editing block, Enlight has lofty ambitions - claiming to be the only picture manipulation tool you need. And, it is rather feature packed. There are filters aplenty, deep diving sliders that can control tone and details and a host of black and white options. Then you’ve got the more Photoshop type additions, like switching out the background and mixing two photos together. The results are very impressive. There’s even a handy guide that talks you through every different option, so you can really get the most out of it.

£2.99 | Download Enlight

Outlook

We doubt many of you would have thought that an app called ‘Outlook’ would become our new go-to email client, but it has. Actually, this isn’t really Outlook, it’s a rebadged app that Microsoft purchased a few months ago. Acompli, the original name of the app, was already a slick app, so it’s no surprise the new Outlook is too. Alongside support for multiple email systems, we’ve got Gmail and iCloud running at the minute, it narrows down your inbox into ‘Filtered’ and ‘Other’. ‘Other’ seems to be the home for your large amounts of junk, while ‘Filtered’ picks out all the important stuff. There’s a calendar built in too and you can link different cloud service, Dropbox or Google Drive for instance, so files are easy to find.

Free | Download Outlook

Breaking

Look inside the Breaking app and there’s not much going on. Nothing much at all, apart from a address box to search out your favourite news feeds. The real magic happens once you’ve added it as a widget in the Notification Centre and becomes flooded with all the latest news. It’s the quickest way to get at the latest updates and as it’s basically an RSS reader, the majority of sites will support it.

£2.99 | Download Breaking

ProTube

While there’s nothing wrong with the official YouTube app from Google, this version is a bit slicker, lets you set your streaming quality even when you’re off wi-fi and, for us, the performance is a bit more reliable, especially on the iPad. The overall layout is very picture based, so you can scroll through a visual list of videos and there’s some sweet animations thrown in for good measure.

£2.29 | Download ProTube

Duet

Want a dual monitor set-up, but just spent all your money on the iPhone 6 Plus? Duet is the answer. Once you’ve downloaded the companion app to your Mac, you simply connect your iPhone with a Lightning cable and voila, your tablet is now an extension of your computer. Performance is great, mainly because it uses a wired connection rather than wireless, and there’s a couple of resolution options. Choose ‘Retina’ and you’ll get a better picture, but select one of the lower-res choices and performance will be improved.

£11.99 | Download Duet

Worldtime

Ridiculously simple. Wordltime lets you add multiple timezone clocks to your notification center as a handy widget. That’s basically it. It’s great if you travel a lot and you can add plenty of different countries.

79p | Download Worldtime

Keeply

If you’ve got some, erm, ‘sensitive’ pictures or content on your phone that you’d rather keep away from prying eyes, this handy app creates a safe (everything is stored on the phone, not in the cloud) that only you can access. You can use a pin-code, or enable TouchID and have your finger protect everything.

Free | Download Keeply

Acast

Podcasts have exploded in the last few months, notably with the fantastic Serial series. There are plenty of great podcast apps out, but if you’re new to the whole thing, it might be worth checking out Acast. The best part here is how it brings up great suggestions for new things to listen too, along with all the latest episodes. There’s a web client as well, so you can continue listening when you get home.

Free | Download Acast

Google Inbox

Google’s reimagining of the email inbox is a great example of taking something we use everyday and making it much more useful. Instead of just giving you a list of emails, Inbox automatically groups similar messages together so you easily know what you’ve got to deal with. You can save messages for later, snooze them or remove them completely and there’s even an option to send you a reminder on a particular day. The look is full on Material Design and it’s slick, fast, but you'll need an invite.

Free | Download Google Inbox

Burgerapp

While we all love a good, juicy burger, it can sometimes be a pain to track down the best places to grab the ultimate pig-out food. You won’t have that problem though if you have Burgerapp installed, as it collects all the places to pick up a burger in London and plots them on a handy map. There’s loads of reviews too, and even tips on whipping up a batch of your own at home.

£2.49 | Download Burgerapp

Scanbot

A great alternative to scanning, Scanbot lets you snap a picture of a document and it’ll automatically crop and trim it, saving just the important bits. It’ll upload to iCloud so it’s available on all your devices and if you upgrade to the Pro version you get some extra nifty features like automatic tagging and full text search.

Free | Download Scanbot

Clips

Utilising a custom keyboard and notification panel widget, Clips is the best way to save everything you read on the internet. Easily clip words or picture and save them to your roll, then you can quickly paste them into an email or just create a scrapbook for yourself. If you’ve got both an iPad and iPhone you can sync your cips between the two devices, which is a nice addition.

Free | Downloads Clips

Flic

We all take a load of photos on our phones, some great, but a lot that are pretty terrible. The problem is that the act of deleting all these awful snaps can be quite arduous. Not if you’ve got Flic installed. This clever apps loads all of your photos and then lets you quickly flick away the bads one, without having a manually select them all.

£1.49 | Download Flic

Workflow

This app is ridiculously powerful, but it’s the time saving features that make it a must have download. Workflow lets you join steps together into automatic actions, for example every time you take a picture it’ll upload to a certain folder in your Dropbox, or when you play a song it’ll tweet it out. You can even add shortcuts to your desktop, a quick call to your mum, perhaps.

£1.99 | Download Workflow

Surgeon Simulator:

Brain surgery? Not exactly rocket science, is it mate? But time to scrub up and don your latex gloves anyway, proving yourself by taking virtual control of the flailing, jelly-arms of a doc given the task of fixing an unfortunate soul named Bob. Bob is your Prometheus, but with even less hope of rescue, remaining chained eternally to your operating table as you attack his open chest with a variety of enthusiasm and metal. When Surgeon Simulator landed on the PC’s Steam Store this time last year, after just two months of development, it was an instant hit and now stands as one of 2013’s big indie success stories, having racked up over a million downloads. This tweaked iPad version gives you the opportunity to control Bob’s fate with your bare hands, which is no easier, but still a lot of fun. You can choose to take on a variety of tricky transplant operations, but as you’ll quickly realise, battling with the ragdoll physics means Bob meets a grisly end time and time again. That sounds frustrating, but it’s actually hilarious and central to the fun. Honestly, throwing a man’s vital organs around a room has never been such a lark.

£3.99 | Download Surgeon Simulator

Hop

Control multiple email accounts in one single, instant messaging-like feed, sharing big files, images, videos and more with seamless ease.

Free | Download Hop

Distiller

The ultimate whiskey companion. Answer a few questions and a clever algorithm will analyse the app’s top shelf and find you the perfect tipple.

Free | Download Distiller

Squawka

Our fave footy stats site is now our fave footy app, with instant news, play-by-plays and detailed analytics tailored to you. A World Cup must.

Free | Download Squawka

Explovia

A curated shortlist of great events in your city. Suggest them to friends and instigate a night out. You can even book tickets from within the app.

Free | Download Explovia

WeTransfer

Still the easiest way to send big files, now condensed into a rather excellent app. Save regular recipients and upload up to 10GB of files for transfer.

Free | Download WeTransfer

Snupps

A simple way to organise all your stuff. Take pictures of your belongings and store them on virtual shelves – to keep record or just for showing off.

Free | Download Snupps

Pocket Starships

Think Resogun but massively multiplayer, with RPG elements and an in-depth crafting system. Yes! Make friends, forge alliances, explore.

Free | Download Pocket Starships

Cook with M&S

Sometimes (ok, most days) figuring out what to have for dinner is a total headache. Thankfully M&S have brought out a fuss-free app packed with recipes, searchable by difficulty, time, calories and ingredient. It'll also put together a shopping list for you and has handy built-in timers to help you stay on track. That takeaway looks less appealing now, doesn't it.

Free | Download Cook with M&S

Authentic Weather

Us Brits are famously blunt and pessimistic about our weather, and this app brings together weather updates for your location and a dose of straight talking. It's not one for the kids, but it does provide some welcome humour when the weather's letting you down.

69p | Download Authentic Weather

Moju

Moju is the most futuristic photography and video app around. It allows users to create and share stunning 3D moving-images effectively. Take up-to 24 shots of an object at different angles, and then slant your device to get a virtual "3D" effect, much like Microsoft's.

Free |Download Moju

Cinematic

Cinamatic in essence is Vine's newest competitor. It's an app that allows users to create beautiful short films, and then transforms them them into amazing short motion pictures, ready to share on all social-networks.

Free |Download Cinematic

Noisli

Noisli is a new app that aims to help you sleep or relax. The app's background noise and colour generator helps users work better or unwind. The high-quality sounds that will help you focus while you work, relax your mind or relieve stress and anxiety.

Free |Download Noisli

ReceiptGen

ReceiptGen does exactly what the title says – it's a simple app that stores information and from this regenerates any lost or misplaced receipts. So, if you forget your copy of the credit card summary at a local eatery, this app will let you quickly recreate it.

Free |Download ReceiptGen

Acompli

Acompli organises your emails and helps you keep track of your calendar, and also supports Microsoft Exchange for email-toting suits. The app allows manage all your email accounts, be it home or work and search quickly, filter efficiently and link file attachments easily. What's more, you can easily view your calendar, share available meeting times, schedule meetings, get reminders, and more, all tightly integrated with email.

Free |Download Acompli

TomTom MySports

Sync to your TomTom Sport Watch and navigate all your running data on your phone in real time with ease. Also alerts you to timely firmware updates.Free | Download TomTom My Sports

Faded

Just as powerful as Mextures and Photoshop for iPad, this image editor gives you a pro palette of tools and a selection of filters to play about with.£0.69 | Download Faded

M&A Game

Wolf of Wall Street made you hanker for a career in finance? Practice your swindling expertise with this app that lets you buy and sell fake companies.Free | Download M&A Game

Octonius

Cloud storage means all your data is always accessible, but not if you can’t remember where it is. This combines all your storage hubs in one place.Free | Download Octonius

5by

Sifts through a YouTube-worth of video content while you sleep, looking for things you’ll be interested in and learns your tastes over time, too.Free | Download 5by

KAMI

Puzzle apps can be stressful, but this one dispenses with time limits, giving you all the time in the world to solve its beautiful but dastardly problems.£1.49 | Download KAMI

The Hobbit Official Visual Companion

The latest film from Peter ‘Lords of the Rings’ Jackson is perhaps his most beautiful journey through Middle Earth to date. This companion app takes you on your own quest, with a 3D map of Tolkien’s world, over 75 in-depth articles on everything from locations to characters and even a quiz to test your Hobbit knowledge.

£2.99 | Download The Hobbit Official Visual Companion

Jetpac City guides

A new take on the age old ‘travel guide’, this thoroughly brings it up-to-date by taking recommendations from Instagram. With info from 5,000 cities around the world including guides on finding the coolest places to eat, drink and be merry.

Free | Download Jetpac City guides

Heyday: Journaling reimagined

It’s a pain writing a journal. Every night you’ve got to remember to find your book and force yourself to write a few words – with no pictures or anything. Heyday makes it so much easier and worthwhile. Along with your text you can add snaps, audio and locations - plus it'll randomly remind you of some of your favourite destinations.

Free | Download Heyday

Ember

Ember is a clever little app that helps you remember all the great stuff from the internet, by sticking it all down in your own personalised scrapbook. By combining with the desktop app, you can keep a track of all your content across iOS and Mac, meaning it’s always to hand. Designed with style and simplicity, it’s what we’ve come to expect from Real Mac Software.

Free | Download Ember

PlayStation App

Sony’s answer to SmartGlass arrives with access to PlayStation Store, social extras and second-screen features for some games. If your system is sitting in standby mode, you use the app to turn it on and navigate around – saving you reaching for that DualShock 4.

Free | Download PlayStation App

Fixr

Want to go out, but don’t know what’s on? Fixr finds nightlife near you, from club nights to comedy gigs, helping you buy tickets and get directions, all without you having to worry that you’ve managed to go and choose the worst place in tow.

Free | Download Fixr

Tweetbot

Price: £1.99 | Download Tweetbot

The official Twitter app is all fine and dandy, but it does lack the high amount of polish and finesse that comes with the latest version of Tweetbot. Rebuilt and all shiny for iOS7, Tweetbot will sync your timeline between all your devices through iCloud, let you set up draft tweets and even block people from appearing on your feeds.

The real winning feature though, is the design, which makes the app is pleasure to use. Blur effects are frequent, as is a lovely white theme that really fits with the aesthetic of Apple’s latest operating system.

If you were a user of the previous version of Tweetbot, you’ll have to re-buy the new edition, but that’s not something we’re complaining about.

Nike+ Move

Free | Download Nike+ Move

Exclusively built for the spanking new iPhone 5s, the Nike+ Move app utilises the M7 co processor that Apple so handily included in the device. This nifty ‘chip’ can track your movements and the app turns these movements into Nike+ fuel, similar to the Nike Fuel Band.

You can track at what times of the day you move the most, how long for and even set yourself goals – for that little bit of competition. Plus, it integrates with Game Centre, so you can see how your friends are doing and, hopefully, beat them.

Fantastical 2

Price: £1.99 | Download Fantastical 2

Apple really blew the native Calendars app in iOS7, making it a pain to use. So, your best bet is to find a replacement, and there is plenty of them knocking around the App Store. Our current favourite is Fantastical 2, a brilliantly designed and super easy to use app that makes that rather tedious task of scheduling appointments almost pain free.

Fantastical 2 supports all the same calendars as the stock version, plus it builds reminders right in, meaning you don’t have to switch between app. The natural language input engine is great as well, just type in what you’re planning to do and when, and it’ll schedules the appointment. Scrolling is smooth and slick, while the day ticker at the top is a great way to glance at upcoming appointments.

dubble

Free | Download dubble

Yeh, we know what you’re saying – do we really need another photo sharing social network? Well, no, but that doesn’t stop dubble being a fun little app to have a play around with. Instead of just taking cue from Instagram or Hipstamatic, dubble actually melds your snaps with them of someone else, so you’ll never be quite sure how your shots are going to turn out.

After you’ve dabbled in a dubble, you can download your images and save them to your device, or go again and create something even more different.

Jawbone

Free | Download Jawbone

A pretty simple app, the Jawbone speaker companion lets your create customised playlists, attach your Spotify account and easily connect up your Jawbone Jambox speaker.

What’s great about the app is that you can stay inside and play music from different sources, instead of jumping around multiple apps – perfect for parties.

It works with other Bluetooth wireless too, so you’re not out of luck if you don’t own a Jambox.

Kscope

Free | Download Kscope

Developed by the Arts University of Bournemouth, this clever app lets you see everything around you through the eyes of a trippy kaleidoscope. Along with this unique feature, the design is tip top and it works great on both the iPhone and the iPad.

Gneo

Price: £2.99 | Download Gneo

With the amount of to-do list apps available for almost every platform known to man, you really shouldn’t be forgetting to pick up that tub of yoghurt on your way back home from work. If you still haven’t been completely won over by any offering so far, then Gneo might just be the one for you.

Really powerful in its set of features, the headliner of Gneo is the forecast view, which helps you keep track of all the things you need to do, along with your calendar appointments. You can also search on grounds of urgency and importance, highlighting the stuff you really ought to get done as soon as possible.

The presentation is crisp and tidy, scrolling is smooth and it really does work. Possibly the new to-do list app king.

Pro Camera 7

Price: 69p | Download Pro Camera

Swish looking camera app that lets you control more aspects of your snaps than the relatively bare bones stock iPhone version. Choose your focus and exposure points, shoot shots rapidly and use the self timer for high quality selfies. Video mode is also fully supported, as is a useful night mode.

FFM

Price: 69p | Download FFM

If you’ve got a fantasy football team this season then this handy app will let you alter your team, make transfers and check your progress on the fly. It also plugs into all your leagues, ensuring you always know your position. Perfect for when you fancy a boast.

Vert

Price: 69p | Dowload Vert

With a completely iOS 7-ified design, Vert is perhaps the best looking way to work out everything from currency exchanges and fuel consumption, to density and pressure – plus a whole load more options as well. Basically, if you need something converted, this app will have you covered. A load of colour options are available to make the app a touch more personal.

Cameo

Free | Download Cameo

Create lovely looking short films, complete with great filters all from the comfort of your iPhone. The best thing is that they are not constrained to bursts of six or 15 seconds, so you can let your creativity run wild. Once you’re finished shooting, your clips can easily be uploaded and shared with the world through Cameo’s own service, along with Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Songdrop

Free | Download Songdrop

By combining music from services such as YouTube, Vimeo and Soundcloud, Songdrop creates custom playlists of your favourite tunes for free. Add both music and videos to your lists, and then share them throughout all the usual channels.

Cobook

Free | Download Cobook

The iPhone contacts app is hardly the pinnacle of Apple’s design; Cobook on the other hand is a joy to gaze upon. With a new iOS7 look, contact pictures running down the side and quick access to Facebook and Twitter, this is a great replacement. Our favourite feature though is the customisable business card, which lets you combine your contact details, Facebook and Twitter accounts into one handy, sharable file.

SpareRoom

Free | Download Spare Room

Invaluable for property hunters around the country, Spare Room lets you easily search for the perfect house, flat or studio, either if you’re planning on renting alone or looking for someone to share with. With so many options in advanced search, you can really narrow down your search quickly and efficiently.

City Mapper

Free | Download City Mapper

One of, if not the most complete London transport app available and possibly the best looking to boot. City Mapper searches through tube, buses and cycle paths for the quickest route across the capital. It also builds in alerts for tube closures, plus you can set your home and work destinations, so no faffing about with postcodes everyday.