Apple and the iPhone helped to kick off this whole 'app' craze that we've been experiencing the last several years, and iPhone owners have the privilege of being able to access and download over 1.5 million different apps. Sadly the fact that there are so many apps means there is plenty of terrible stuff out there, and sorting them all from the good can be incredibly difficult. So we're helping out.
Whether you've just bought yourself a new iDevice, or you've had one for a while, these are the best apps that you should have installed on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
If you're finding that you don't like Apple Maps, you're going to need to get yourself a replacement if you want to continue using your iPhone to navigate. Rather than defaulting to Google, give HERE Maps a try. One of the big advantages is that HERE Maps actually lets you access the maps offline, so you don't have to worry about eating through your data limit or finding yourself cut off if there's no signal. It also has turn-by-turn voice guided driving directions, real-time traffic information in over 40 countries, and extensive public transport information in over 900 cities worldwide. It really is one of the best ways to get yourself around.
Free | Download HERE Maps
You know how it goes. You hear a song on TV, or on the radio, or in a shop, and you need to find out what it is. Maybe you like it and want to hear more, or maybe you just can't place it and it's going to bug you for the rest of the week. Whatever the reason, Shazam has your back. It identifies a song by listening to a short clip and comparing it to a central database, so just pull out your phone and press the big button to put your mind at ease. It'll come back with all the details you need about the song in question, including lyrics and where you can buy it online.
Free | Download Shazam
Have you ever found yourself in a position where you need to find something, but don't have a clue where to look. Rather than fiddling with your maps app, give AroundMe a try instead. Its got a big list of imprtant points of interest that people need to find, including things like cash machines, petrol stations, car parks and so on. Just tap what you need to find, and it'll show all of the relevant places in your vicinity, along with the distance from your current location and a map to help you find your way.
Free | Download AroundMe
Runkeeper is one of the most extensive fitness tracking apps out there, with an awful lot of features to get you active and keep track of everything you do when you're out there. The most prominent of Runkeeper's features is the GPS tracking system that follows you as you run, walk, or cycle out in the real world. By monitoring your progress that way it's able to work out your speed, pace, cadence, calories, and which route you took. It also syncs with Bluetooth-enabled heart-rate monitors, plays music from Spotify and your iTunes library, as well as coming with a bunch of pre-programmed routes and training programmes for you to enjoy.
Free (With in-app purchases) | Download Runkeeper
There are a lot of great image editors out there, but Pixelmator stands right at the top -- especially on the iPhone. Unlike some image editors, the mobile version still has all the great features that you'd find in the desktop version of the software. Like another popular image editor, Pixelmator is layer based and has everything you need to touch up and enhance existing images, creat paintings, or create your own unique image combinations. There are way too many features to list here, but if you buy it you certainly won't regret it. It even has iCloud syncronisation that lets you pick up your work on other iOS and OS X devices.
£3.99 | Download Pixelmator
This is one for people who own an iPhone and a Mac, and want to keep that Mac secure whenever they leave it unattended. Tether ensures that your Mac is locked whenever you leave it alone, but comes without the hassle of making you enter a password when you come back from every little task that you have to do. It tethers your Mac to your iPhone via Bluetooth, and whenever the iPhone moves away the Mac will lock up. Once the iPhone returns, Tether will unlock the Mac automatically.
The app is free, but there are two in-app purchases (both £0.79) that add extra features. One lets you remotely lock, unlock, restart and shut down your Mac from your iPhone, and the other lets you use your iPhone to control the Mac's media playback.
Free (With in-app purchases) | Download Tether
Real-time translation of voices is fast becoming a thing, but if you want to translate text you still have to type it out into a translation app and copy it into wherever you want it to go. Translator Keyboard takes that awkward extra step out of the equation, by translating your text from directly from your iPhone's keyboard. It's easy to switch to and from your normal keyboard, and the app will translate to and from 44 and 32 different languages respectively.
£1.49 | Download Translator Keyboard
Launch Center Pro
There are always a few things on our phone that we do more than any other, and Launch Center Pro makes it easier to get to them quickly. Think of it as speed dial for your phone. You've got loads of spots to fill, and if there's something that your phone can do then you can be sure there's a place for it. It could be something as simple as ringing your better half, controlling one of your smart home devices, or tweeting that amusing cat GIF you've been saving for a special day. Whatever you need to do, you can use Launch Center Pro to take out a bunch of steps between turning on your phone and getting it done.
£3.99 | Download Launch Center Pro
Transferring big things between devices has always been fairly simple, but the little things were always a nuisance. If you wanted to send a link or some text from your iPhone to your desktop the best way often involved emailing it to yourself, but not with Pushbullet. Pushbullet lets you share all sorts of things between your devices instantly, including links, photos, and music files.It also forwards calls, texts, and notifications over to your desktop, without requiring an arduous setup process.
Free | Download Pushbullet
World Time Widget
World Time Widget only has one function, but the way it does it is going to be incredibly useful if you need it. It adds a selection of different world clocks to your Notification Center, which makes checking up on the time in different countries easier than ever before. That makes it an essential tool if you travel for business, or if your job involves working across different time zones.
£0.79 | Download World Time Widget
We all love a good burger, but with every single restaurant and pub selling them it can be a bit tricky to figure out where you're going to get yourself something good. Burgerapp is there to help you out if you live in London, with a full list (and map) or burger joints in the capital, each complete with a review that lets you know what's good and what isn't. It also has burger-related news, and even tips on how to make your own perfect burgers at home.
£2.29 | Download Burgerapp
Got some documents you need digitising, but you don't have a scanner handy? No problem, because Scanbot turns your phone's camera into a portable scanner you carry around in your pocket. Just snap a picture of whatever it is you need to digitise, and it'll turn it into a high quality JPEG or PDF document. It automatically detects the edges of the page too, so you don't have to worry about cropping, and if you opt to pay for the pro features (prices from £1.49) Scanbot adds in text recognition, TouchID support, password protection and search functions. Just in case that wasn't enough, it also functions as a QR code reader.
Free (with in-app purchases) | Download Scanbot
Copy/Paste is an essential part of any computer, but the iOS clipboard is remarkably restrictive since it can only hold one thing at a time. Clips helps you out there, because it's a keyboard and widget that lets you clip anything on your screen (whether it's text, imagery, or whatever else) and storing it safely for you to access anytime you like. The free version is restricted to the original device, but if you pay £1.49 to upgrade to pro Clips syncs with your other devices to make sure you never lose access to anything you've stored.
Free | Download Clips
The thing about digital photography is that you tend to take a lot of photos, but not all of them are worth keeping. Sadly, organising them is a time-consuming pain of sifting through your gallery and tapping through menus and warnings. Flic makes it easy and quick, by making deleting a photo as easy as swiping the screen. It uses a Tinder-like interface that shows you all of your photos in a gallery - and if you see something you don't like, just swipe right and it's gone.
Free | Download Flic
Anyone who's ever tried keeping track of an ongoing email chain will agree that it's a bit of a nightmare to remind yourself about what's been said. Hop is a handy little app that changes that, converting all of your email conversations into something more akin to an instant messenger. Everything is sorted by specific email addresses or brands, it works just like the SMS app in your phone, and it doesn't matter what email service people have chosen to use. Just be wary, it does take away from the formality of email so keep in mind when communicating with someone important.
Free | Download Hop
Whisky (or whiskey if you're Irish), like wine, is one of those things where taste can vary wildly depending on the brand and age, but not everybody is capable of carrying around an encyclopaedic knowledge of the brown liquor in their head. That's where the apps come into play. Distiller is a comprehensive guide to the different whiskys that exist, complete with reviews, scores, and personalised recommendations of what to drink and when. You can also leave your own reviews on the different whiskys that you've tried, as well as keeping track of your favourites.
Free | Download Distiller
The Squawka Football App
If you're big on this whole 'football' thing, then Squawka is definitely an app that you need to have installed on your phone. It's a comprehensive football app that never goes to sleep, keeping track of numerous football leagues worldwide and updating when new information arrives. It's got real-time stats, photos and news about your favourite players of teams, and even animations of key in-game events for you to relive those great moments time and time again (or catch up on if you missed the game).
Email has been a staple part of communication for many years, but somehow it hasn't really caught up with our every increasing desire for larger files -- making it rather difficult to send large number of images or videos. WeTransfer is a service that changes that, letting you send up to 10GB of photos and videos to someone's email inbox quickly and easily. No more messing with compression software or sacrificing high resolution. They just need to click the download link that arrives and they're good to go.
Free | Download WeTransfer
Keeping track of the things you own can be a real hassle sometimes, whether it's a specific collection you you just like to keep track of all the little bits and pieces you have lying around the house. Rather than filling your photo gallery with pictures, or your notes app with big long lists, you should give Snupps a try. It's specifically designed for keeping track of all your things, and lets you take pictures and organise everything onto virtual shelves. It doesn't matter what it is, Snupps will keep track of everything in a way that's easy for you to come back and refer to.
Free | Download Snupps
Weather is generally quite a boring topic to discuss, so you need something to add something to make it a little bit more interesting. CARROT Weather does that with deprecating twisted humour and a personality similar to that of Futurama's Bender. But don't assume that comes at the expense of the weather data, because CARROT is scarily accurate. You can see 24-hour and 7-day forecasts along with relevant meteorogical data, and even a minute-by-minute system that tells you when it's about to start ranining or snowing. CARROT also has weather maps, and a 'time machine' that tells you all about the weather from up to 70 years in the past or 10 years in the future. How? Who knows.
£2.99 | Download CARROT Weather
Photography has been around for centuries in its regular flat self, but if you want to add a bit more motion to them then you should give Moju a try. It's a little bit like merging photos and videos together, and you shoot 24 frames for Moju to merge together into one simple animated image. But this isn't the GIFs that adorn the internet, this is an image that changes as you tilt your phone around. Really the best way to desrcibe the end result is a 21st century update to the holographic cards you used to get as a kid. There's also a flashback feature that shows you the Moju creations you made in days gone by.
Free | Download Moju
This is one for aspiiring filmmakers out there, letting you shoot a bunch of short scenes (3-60 seconds in length) and then bring them together as your own original short films. The free version of Cinamatic gives you full control over the camera settings, apply filters, and share your creations over social media. If you pay for the pro features (£1.49) you get access to a more extensive range of video editing features, including scene rearragments, seamless scene integration, and the option to add your own soundtrack.
Free (with in-app purchases) | Download Cinamatic
This is the official app for Noisli.com, a website that generates noise and colours to help you block out distractions, relieve anxiety, as well as to help with meditation and relaxation. The app is mobile version that you can carry around with you, coming with a bunch of different noises that you can play and combine to find the optimum sound for enhancing your productivity. Saving and cloud synchronisation also means that you'll never end up losing that special combination.
£1.49 | Download Noisli
Tracking your activity is all the rage these days, but is there any point in buying yourself a seperate gadget if you can just have your phone do it for you? Nike+ Move does just that, turning your phone into a fitness tracker so you don't have to strap an uncomfortable device to your wrist all day. Nike+ Move also converts your fitness data into Nike Fuel, which is a universal unit for tracking activity. That means it doesn't matter if you're running, cycling, or any number of other things, you'll be able to directly compare how hard you worked. Just make sure to keep your phone on your person all the time.
Free | Download Nike+ Move
If you have a lot to get done, it makes sense that you'd try and fit your jobs in between all your important meetings and events, right? That's what the folks over at Gneo think, which is why their app integrates your to-do list with your calendar so you know what you can get done and when. It has a nice gesture based design for helping you tackle all your jobs, ith a system of prioritisation that keeps you informed about pressing and urgent tasks. It's an expensive choice, but if you want something that will do everything it can to keep you on top of your work then it's more than worth it.
£7.99 | Download Gneo
ProCamera 8 + HDR
if you're looking for a bit more control over your photos than the standard iOS camera has to offer, you've come to the right place. Pro Camera 8 + HDR offers more in the form of giving you total (and seperate) control over focus and exposure, a full-screen trigger so you can tap anywhere to snap a picture, a choice of aspect ratios, a full resolution photo preview and so much more. Plus, it has built-in editing tools, so you don't have to load your photo into a seperate app just to add a filter or make other adjustments.
£3.99 | Download ProCamera 8 + HDR
Workflow is probably one of the most important apps ever to be released on the App Store, simply because of how ingenious and powerful it is. What it does is lets you automate tasks on your phone, which you do by combining different actions together into a unique 'workflow'. Each workflow can then be activated in a number of different ways, including from within the app itself, as an 'app' that lives on your homescreen, or through the Today widget in your notification centre. There are 200 actions currently available, integrating with numerous different apps and services that you might have on your phone, meaning the possibilities are almost endless.
£3.99 | Download Workflow
There are a lot of times where you need to keep hold of your recipt, whether it's for declaring expenses, a safety net in case you need a refund, or you just like to be meticulous with your financial records. Unfortunately we all make mistakes, and there are times when those receipts go missing or you just forgot to pick it up at the till. Rather than accept that it's gone forever, use ReceiptGen instead. It's quite a clever little app that generates a brand new receipt with the information you already know. It just takes a few minutes of typing, and you'll end up with a receipt inditinguishable from the real thing.
£1.49 | Download ReceiptGen
There's a lot of content on the internet, too much for any one person to soft through to find what they like. That's why apps like 5by exist, doing all the hardwork for you while you sit back and do something more productive with your time. 5by has a team that sorts through video content, picking out the best stuff, and organising them into channels for you. Then all you have to do is browse through those channels and watch the stuff that you think you'll enjoy. Simple, painless, and you can share your favourite videos with friends at the push of a button.
Free | Download 5by
Journalling is generally something people keep to themselves, or take a chunk of time out of their day to do. Heyday is the complete opposite of that, instead offering a way for you to create interesting and beautifulk stories for your friends to enjoy without you having to put in too much effort. It works automatically in your pocket, arranging what you've done and the photos you've taken into an easy-to-digest story that you can share with friends and family within seconds. With Heyday, remembering all those memorable moments just got an awful lot easier.
Free | Download Heyday
Looking to spend the evening away from home, but don't really know where to go? Well as the saying goes, there is an app for that. Provided you're up for something music-related. It's called Fixr, and if you live in Edinburgh, London, or are planning a trip to Ibiza, it's there to help you figure out what to do. It's the app to check out if you're looking for tickets to a music gig or club night, and in the app you can search by venue, genre. and artist. But finding n event is all well and food, you also need to be able to get in. Fixr will let you book and pay for tickets, tables, and spots on the guest list so that you're all good to go when you arrive at the event of your choosing. Plus, because printing things out is a massive pain, all of your tickets are stored on your phone.
Free | Download Fixr
Default calendar apps are always fairly basic with a lot of room for improvement, and the iOS calendar is no exception. It might work for yoiu, but if you want something more then you should check out Fantastical 2. Rather than just being able to set up events, Fantastical lets you set up reminders, which it then lists for you. Setting them up is as easy as typing in 'reminder', 'todo', 'task' or 'remind me to', and you can add in dates, times, and geofences so that you never end up forgetting about something important. Events are also slightly different than a standard app, coming with a map to show you where you're supposed to go, and better options for repeating events. But the main thing you should know about Fantastical 2 is that it has a beautiful efficient design that's been out together to ensure you check up on what you're supposed to be doing without wasting time scrolling through unecessary screens.
£2.49 | Download Fantastical 2
This one only has a single function, but it's such an interesting one that it warrants a download. Dubble is an app for making your photos a lot more interesting than they ever could be on their own, but instead of doing something boring like adding a filter it merges your photo with the photo of another random user. Just upload a photo, and let dubble do its thing. Of course, if you don't like the end result you can always try again and at the tap of a button your photo will be mixed up with another random photo. There's a bit of a social aspect, which lets you favourite other people's accounts and see their dubbles in your own feed, plus a discover feature that shows you other creations from users around the world.
Free | Download dubble
Fantasy Football Manager
As you may have guessed from the name, this one is an app for managing your own fantasy football team. You start off with a £100 million budget to create yourself a 15-player squad, and as the real life players play games on the pitch their actions earn you and your team points. Anything of note counts, whether it's goals, clean sheets, assists, you name it. The app lets you keep track of how you're doing, tinker with your team (even if you're not online), submit transfers, and track other fantasy players. It even has push notifcations to keep you in the loop about injuries, match day notifications, and more.
Unfortunately the world doesn't always rely on universal units, and from time to time you're going to have to work out what converts to what. Vert is an app that's there for converting everything you might need to work with, whether it's everyday things like height and temperature or more specific scientific units like acceleration and force. there are 1,000 different units in here, and the built-in search helps you find what you need quickly and easily. Vert also comes in with a calculator, a customisable favourites list, a log of all your previous conversions, and 100% offline functionality.
£2.29 | Download Vert
iOS has a lot of great features, but the contacts list isn't exactly perfect. If you're looking for something better to spruce up your phone exerience, FullContact is one of the best ones available. It keeps all your phone, Google, and social media contacts in one place, deleting any duplicates and ensuring you have a nice clean list of contacts to make getting in touch with people nice and easy. It also has tags to keep them all nice and organised, and you can add photos to everyone so that you know exactly who's who. To top it all off it syncs across your devices, so you'll never have to worry about transferring between phones again.
Free | Download FullContact
An invaluable tool for would-be renters across the country, SpareRoom is a service for finding flatshares and flatmates without too much hassle. If you’re looking for a place to live, but can’t afford a place of your own, then SpareRoom is the place to look. Through the app you can search for rooms in your local area, browse the thousands of adverts that have been placed on the SpareRoom website, and contact advertisers directly from the app. Plus, if you have a room spare you can post and manage your adverts from within the app.
Free | Download SpareRoom
This is a great tool for those of you travelling by public transport in London, Manchester, Birmingham, and a number of other cities all across the world. The aim is to make travelling from A to B as painless as possible, doing so with turn-by-turn directions, and real-time information on all the transport that’s available where you are — including taxis from Uber and Hailo. On top of that it has notification alerts that let you know what the weather is like, whether you’ll be facing any disruptions during your journey, and everything else that might have an impact on how you get around.
Free | Download Citymapper
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 there's no need to import, and has some nice editing options, like the sliders, which give you a live preview as you go.
Free (with in-app purchases) | Download Darkroom
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
Look inside the Breaking app and there’s not much going on. Nothing much at all, apart from an 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 it 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
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
Podcasts have exploded in recent years, 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’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 and fast, but you'll need an invite.
Free | Download Google Inbox