Every year, our list of the best smartphones includes some surprises and some old favorites. But there’s one brand that’s been there since the very beginning, and it’s one of the most popular smartphones in the world. It’s undeniable the Apple iPhone has a special place in our hearts. Apple’s magnum opus is one of the best smartphones you can buy, and it’s easy to see why, thanks to the top hardware, stellar performance, and iconic Apple design. Backing up the physical aspects of the phone is the incredible iOS software — and a particular draw is the millions of apps available in the Apple App Store. From boosting your dating prospects to looking up recipes, your phone is capable of nearly anything these days — and we want to help you get the most out of yours.
However, not every app is created equal. While some apps are worth $8, many others aren’t even worth downloading. But how are you meant to figure out which-is-which? Thankfully, some apps rise above the rest, and we’ve gathered the best of those. Our list of the best iPhone apps brings you the true cream of the crop: 100 apps, sorted by category, that will make your life simpler, easier, and more enjoyable. If you’re looking to spend some time with some great games, you won’t find them here — instead, check out our constantly updated list of the best iPhone games.
What are you waiting for? Start downloading the best iPhone apps now.
Want to find nearby restaurants or track a package using your voice? Google’s app isn’t just for searching the web, and the official Google app on iOS allows users to have full-fledged conversations with their phone. It’s just like Siri, except it connects with your Google accounts, and so can pull a bunch of data from there, personalizing responses and adding information it thinks you’ll find useful. It’s also an excellent hub to find the latest news.
Everyone agrees; Google Chrome is an upgrade from the default browser, Safari. The app can sync your history and bookmarks across devices and includes features like search bar autocomplete and unlimited tab functionality. That said, make sure to clear out your tabs from time-to-time, eh? No-one wants to see 78 open tabs.
Facebook is the social network. If you want to make your phone Facebook official, you should download this app. A must-have for nearly anyone, as many other social apps connect through Facebook to acquire vital information. It has a nifty little marketplace, video center, and likes to show off memories from times past. While Facebook may have peaked, and is shunned by most of the younger generation, it’s still the place to connect with a huge number of people. As such, it’s still a must-download.
YouTube used to come with your phone, but with iOS 6, Apple removed it. Luckily, Google brought it back. If you need to know what YouTube is, please meet us back in 2005. Pretty much everyone uses YouTube, from mom bloggers to tech-obsessives. It also now features YouTube Red, a monthly subscription service that allows downloaded playlists to be used offline and playback with no ads. That functionality will cost you $12 per month, but YouTube is still great even without it, so don’t feel like you’re missing out if you don’t fork out the cash.
It may be owned by Facebook, but Instagram is still the best social network for sharing pictures and ruining them with silly filters. We say ruining, but we put X Pro II on just about everything. You can follow specific interests as well as people, making it a great place to gather inspiration for projects, holidays, or just about anything. If you’re not the type to take lots of pictures you don’t need to feel pressured to share — just lurk on the homepage and enjoy shots from those you follow.
Communication and messaging
For those who find themselves participating in a ton of group chats, GroupMe makes it easier to keep track of them all. Add people simply with just their phone number, and they can begin chatting without even needing to download the app. You can name your groups, set avatars, and also save your photos and videos within group chats to refer back to later. There’s even a desktop version, so you can keep on chatting without getting your phone out of your pocket.
Facebook’s Messenger service is also offered as a stand-alone app, enabling you to chat with your Facebook friends and anyone in your contacts who has the app installed. Best of all, you don’t even need to be signed into Facebook to use it. We recommend this app for the sheer volume of messaging that happens via Facebook, though it’s a little frustrating that the Facebook app itself no longer includes messaging functionality, and takes up another slot on your homepage.
WhatsApp, which is a great choice for anyone who doesn’t have unlimited texting and spends a lot of time connected to Wi-Fi, lets you send and receive messages, pictures, audio notes, and video messages. It’s one of the most feature-packed chat apps out there, and absolutely worth downloading if you’re a regular chatter. Despite it being a worldwide sensation, most Americans don’t use it, which is odd, since it’s a phenomenal app. Do yourself a favor and give it a try.
Marco Polo is a video chatting app for busy people. Rather than waiting until a bunch of you are ready for a call, Marco Polo gets you to record your video and send it out whenever you have a moment. Your friends can then watch it live, or if they’re busy, they can watch it later. An excellent group chatting tool, Marco Polo is brilliant for staying connected when normal text chats just won’t do.
If you want to set up or are looking for a chat group for a bunch of like-minded people, then Discord is the way to go. It’s fully cross-platform, so you can go from your phone to the computer, and back again without losing a second of banter, and it has all the features you expect from a chat app. It even has voice chat, You can join groups easily through a link, making it simple to join your friends.
Tinder is a terrible app if you want to date. It only shows you someone’s picture and age. But it’s fun to swipe people away as Hot or Not. If someone thinks you’re hot, you can chat. It has gained something of a bad reputation over the years, but it’s still the first stop for most daters.
Bumble flips the web dating paradigm on its head by encouraging women to make the first move. Match with someone (the app functions pretty much exactly like Tinder) and the woman has 24 hours to send a message or the match expires. It’s a new system, and the risk of losing out helps hesitant daters to really get the ball rolling.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel likes to take things a little slower. CMB will send you a bagel a day — a prospective partner who’s matched your dating preferences. You then have 24 hours to choose whether to like or pass on your bagel, and if you both like each other, you’ll get a private chat room to get to know each other. However, that room expires after eight days, giving you a great way to fade from each other’s lives if you really don’t get on.
Grindr is the largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people. The app uses your phone’s location to find other members close by to talk to, swap photos with, or meet in person. It’s not just about dating either, and there’s a group chat feature for when you need to assemble your friends.
Start the new year in the right way with a personalized diet plan and food tracker from Lifesum. If you’re looking to shed some pounds, or just want to eat healthier, then Lifesum’s list of plans for a variety of diets is a great starting point. It has meal plans for keto, vegan, and paleo diets, a food diary, and macro trackers. However, a lot of these are locked behind a premium subscription, and it affords you access to more personal diet plans, unlimited tracking, the macro tracking, and more.
Yummly is a great recipe app with a particularly powerful search engine being one of its best features. Need to strip out all recipes involving eggs? It can do that. Vegan? Easy. There are step-by-step instructions and large pictures to really tempt your tasebuds. Once you’ve found a recipe you like, just tap the button to add the stuff you need to your shopping list.
Forks Over Knives ($5)
The film Forks Over Knives makes the case for a plant-based diet, and the Forks Over Knives app gives you the knowledge to make it happen. With over 400 meals from more than 50 well-known chefs, this app gives you step-by-step instructions and a shopping list so you know exactly what to pick up at the store. It’s pricey, but if you get a lot for your money.
Uber Eats: Food Delivery
With Uber Eats, ordering food is simple — especially if you’ve used Uber before. Browse the menu of available restaurants to order from and pay straight through the app by linking your credit or debit card. You’ll then be given an estimated delivery time and you can track the location of your order in real-time.
Many people will be going into 2020 with the admirable goal of giving veganism a try. Unfortunately, it can be tough to find a good vegan restaurant while you’re out-and-about — which is why every vegan (aspiring or otherwise) should download HappyCow’s app. HappyCow keeps a catalog of over 108,000 restaurants, cafes, and stores in over 180 countries that cater to vegans. You’ll find reviews and photos of the various eateries thanks to HappyCow’s bustling community, and thanks to a selection of filters, it can search for vegetarian, gluten-free, and other dietary choices too. It’s $4, but it’s well worth the money.
Microsoft’s mobile companion app for the Xbox One allows you to control your Xbox One using your smartphone, so you can use your device to control media, and perform otherwise tedious tasks like typing messages. When you’re away from your console, the app acts as a way to stay in contact with your friends and see what they’re up to.
The PlayStation app doesn’t allow you to control your console like the Xbox One app, but it still acts as your link back into your gaming world while you’re out-and-about. View trophies, compose messages, and browse the PlayStation store with this app. Some games also include second-screen functionality for a deeper play experience.
Twitch’s mobile app brings the wide world of game streaming to your fingertips. Chat with other Twitch users, view your favorite streamers’ channels, or watch recorded videos of top gamers and events. The Twitch app is AirPlay and Chromecast compatible.
If you love to keep up with the latest news and scores from your favorite esports, then give Strafe Esports a try. It covers news from a variety of games, including League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Rocket League — and it even allows you to gamify your esports experience with a betting system that pits your predictions against other people’s. If you’re a lover of esports, or are just curious, this is worth downloading.
Whether you’re going out at home or abroad, TripAdvisor is one of the best apps you can download. TripAdvisor’s massive database has over 700 million reviews from travelers all around the world on all the best attractions, restaurants, and more. You can book from the app for certain places, and you can even pay using it.
With StubHub, you can buy and sell tickets straight from the app — whether it’s for a concert or sports event — up until the day it is happening. You can also pick and choose your favorite bands or sports teams, so StubHub can provide you with event recommendations that you’ll be interested in.
If you want to browse showtimes and/or buy movie tickets in advance, Fandango is for you. The iPhone app works well and can mean the difference between making a sold-out show or going home brokenhearted.
Open Table is great for planning dinner on the fly. The free app allows you to search for new restaurants, explore menus, and even reserve a table.
Health and fitness
Meditation has many benefits, and taking the time for a few minutes every day can make a huge difference. Meditopia is a great place to start if you’re interested in meditation. It’s not just about relaxing you or helping you get to sleep. Instead, it offers over 1,000 meditations that aim to cover the whole spectrum of the human condition. These include meditations on body image, purpose, sexuality, and more. But even if you’re not grappling with any deep feelings, meditation is still a great way to spend a few minutes a day.
30 Day Fitness (subscription)
One of the best overall fitness apps on iOS, 30 Day Fitness is everything you need to kick start or continue your love of activity. Boot it up and you’ll find a highly personalized app that takes your personal details and your goals, and creates meal plans and activities so you can reach your goals with help from video exercises. The downside? There’s no free option, and you’ll need to dedicate yourself to a subscription to use it. You get a week’s free trial, but after that, it costs $10 a month (or $60 a year). That’s fairly expensive, but if you’re serious about your fitness, this is the app for you.
Fitocracy is a fully-fledged social media network for fitness enthusiasts, and if you love to move, then it’s a great app to download. But it’s not just about connecting with other fitness lovers, and the app also tracks your workouts and uses a leveling and achievement system to encourage you to work towards your goals.
If you’re into strength training then you want to track your progress too. GymBook is great for that, and it also displays neat GIFs of 50 preset exercises and how they affect different muscle groups.
Yoga for Complete Beginners
Down Dog is one of our favorite yoga apps, but the price tag undoubtedly puts some new users off. If you’re looking to get into yoga for the first time, then check out Yoga for Complete Beginners. It comes with three different yoga styles to explore and explains its way through all the moves. An excellent way to start a yoga journey.
Spotify is changing the game for the entire music industry. It’s free on PCs and tablets, but $10 a month if you want to fully use it on iPhone. It’s worth it. You can listen to full albums and create playlists.
With access to over 120,000 live radio stations from around the world, TuneIn Radio is the place to go for the latest breaking news, talk radio, sports, and more. It’s going to be a big app for sports fans though, as TuneIn offers a premium service with ad-free access to live NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL games for just $10 per month. But even if you’re not into sports, it’s still hard to pass up the thousands of live radio stations for free.
SoundCloud is the audio player that has become a favorite of musicians, talk shows and podcasts alike. The iOS app gives access to favorites, playlists, and trending audio, and lets you follow and listen with friends.
Apple Music works with your Apple account to give you personal recommendations based on your library. You can create your own profile and playlists, and follow friends to check out their tunes. Depending on the membership you choose — student, individual, or family — you’ll have to pay a fee ranging from $5 to $15 per month.
There’s no use having all these music apps if you don’t know what’s playing. Shazam is absolutely the way to go if you need to identify a song. Once it’s identified the song, it’ll also let you know which services you can use to buy or stream your new jam.
Looking to make music, rather than listen to it? You can’t go wrong with Garageband’s collection of tools and instruments, from the cello to the electric guitar, to the most ’80s of all instruments — the synth. It’s completely free, and worth the download, even if you don’t know one end of a piano from the other.
The New York Times
The world-famous newspaper comes to the small screen, offering breaking news alerts, morning briefings compiled by New York Times journalists, and the ability to save articles for offline access.
Curio: Hear great journalism
Why download a series of different apps when you can just download one that collates a bunch of reputable news sources? Curio brings together stories from a series of great news providers, including The Washington Post, The Guardian, and more. Best of all, it even allows you to listen rather than read with its collection of narrated stories. The free version has limits on how much you can listen to or download for later, and it’ll cost $8 a month to lift those limitations.
The Financial Times is one of the most prestigious newspapers around with over 130 years of history, and it’s one of the best news apps to visit if you’re looking for the latest business news. While the FT covers all of the most important news, it also keeps a close eye on the financial markets and all the news that may affect them. It’s a great choice if you’re tied into any markets, or just like to keep an eye on trends.
Formerly a paid app, Pocket Casts has gone free-to-use, opening one of the best podcatcher apps to absolutely everyone. Podcast lovers are sure to appreciate some of Pocket Casts advantages over Apple’s software, such as customizable skip intervals, Chromecast and Sonos support, the ability to boost voices over background noise, and even a selection of themes. If you want to sync between devices — so between your desktop PC and your iPhone — or other benefits, then you’ll need a subscription to Pocket Casts Plus. This service will cost you just $1 a month, or $10 for the whole year. Not a bad price for a service this powerful.
Apple News is already available on all iOS devices and reduces the need for a variety of news apps. The “For You” tab allows you to pick and choose specific apps you’d like to receive notifications from. You can also search for specific subjects or publications and save articles to view offline later. All of the stories are also saved across all your iOS devices.
Tortoise rejects the idea that breaking news is the only news people want to read with a philosophy that prioritizes slow news. What’s slow news? Deep dives and long reads into subjects you care about, less knee-jerk reaction to breaking news, and more carefully considered opinions. If that sounds like your thing, give Tortoise a try. It’s subscription-only to read the app, though you’ll get a month’s free trial to help you decide whether it’s your sort of thing.
Payment and money management
Use PayPal to check up on the transactions in your account, send or request money, and photograph checks or credit cards to add them to your account without messing with the details.
Venmo is the payment app for the people. Connecting directly with your debit card, Venmo offers free person-to-person money transfers. Credit transfers require a percentage fee. It’s compatible with many shopping apps for easy checkout.
YNAB (You Need a Budget)
Alright, it’s got a steep learning curve, but take the time to get into it and YNAB is absolutely the best budgeting app out there. It asks you to put every dollar to work and can connect with your bank account in order to track your expenditure automatically. If you’re serious about saving, then You Need a Budget.
Designed with college students in mind, Splitwise helps you keep track of debts owed between friends and connects seamlessly with Paypal and Venmo so you can settle up at any time.
Spectre Camera ($3)
With few built-in tools available, Spectre Camera is the app to turn to for excellent long exposure photography on the iPhone. Spectre uses A.I. to make long exposure shots possible, removing people and traffic from stunning areas, and giving water that silky smooth texture. Its $3 price isn’t bad for an app this good, and Apple clearly agrees — as Spectre won App of the Year for 2019.
Enlight was developed to harness the full power of the CPU and GPU in Apple’s devices, delivering one of the most powerful photo-editing tools on iOS. If you own an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus or later, the app takes advantage of the wide color gamut of the displays in those phones, and features an extensive roster of customizable filters and special effects, allowing you to create even more amazing things with your already capable camera.
As the sequel to Afterlight, Afterlight 2 is the revamped version complete with tons of features to edit your photos — filters, artwork, text, advanced tools, and more. Since the move away from a straight purchase though, you’ll now need to subscribe for the full range of tools.
With Facetune, you can easily edit selfies and portraits in a variety of ways without having to use fancy programs like Photoshop. For $4, you can perfect your skin, reshape your facial structure, add makeup, and more.
Simply designed, but packed with features, we had to include Apple’s native ebook reading app, as it’s one of the best places to read or listen to a bunch of best-sellers. The app connects with social media platforms like Facebook so you can share your thoughts on your favorite novel, and you can now set a daily reading goal so you can make tucking into a good book a habit.
Amazon rules the ebook reader world, but you can also get its Kindle app just about everywhere else, including for iPhone. Kindle features one of the largest literary selections in the world, and you can even subscribe to Kindle Unlimited to read as many as you want for $10 a month.
Google Play Books
Google Play Books offers millions of titles to choose from that you can read even when you’re offline. Any notes taken while reading will automatically sync to your Google Drive, which you can share with a group to collaborate on. With the addition of audiobooks, you can also listen to books on-the-go instead — with no subscription required.
Most of us intend to read more often, but finding the time and remembering to do so can be tough. Take the decision out of your hands with Bookly. Set a time, and Bookly will remind you every day at that time to catch up on a little light reading. Bookly will also record your time spent reading, and its personal assistant will help you to stay on track with reading goals.
Prefer listening to books over reading them? Audible has you covered with more than 180,000 titles that you can download for offline play. One of the major benefits is that you can speed up or slow down narration speed to fit your preferred listening experience.
Amazon is the No. 1 online retailer for a reason. Browse Amazon’s vast collection of products quickly and easily. Plus, you can enable notifications for daily Amazon Gold Box deals so you never miss out on a discount.
There’s very little that you can’t buy or sell on eBay. The app is full-featured and much easier to use than the website. Bid on items, track your orders and sell all of your unwanted stuff right here.
With OfferUp, you can buy and sell your items locally by listing the item through your phone. You can browse items by image, category, or location and message buyers or sellers through the app. There are also safety features to make sure your transactions and conversations are secure.
Have a ton of surplus fashion to sell? Poshmark is one of the best shopping apps around, and it allows you to list your own items to sell by simply taking a photo. For those who want to shop, there are over 5,000 brands to choose from in a variety of sizes, with prices up to 70% off the usual price.
Krazy Coupon Lady
Not really a shopping app in the traditional sense, Krazy Coupon Lady brings together offers from a variety of stores, making it easy to save money while you shop. You can set favorite stores, and even get notifications when a new deal is available.
Twitter helps you keep your finger on the pulse of the world — and find out who’s worth listening to. Follow friends, celebrities, or companies’ official feeds to get instantly notified when something big goes down, or just when a friend has a funny thought. As you might expect from a social media site, Twitter hasn’t stopped growing and improving, and now you’ll find everything from stupid jokes to cutting edge livestreams of the latest news developments. Even if you only use it to keep an eye on events, Twitter is a must-install.
TikTok allows you to compile a variety of clips that you capture into a 15-second video. You can also add filters, music, stickers, and more, to bring your videos to life. But it doesn’t stop there — the app builds a personalized feed for you to scroll through and discover videos by others in the TikTok community from tons of different categories.
Hands down, Snapchat is the best app to use if you want to send naughty pictures to someone. Every picture or short video you send deletes itself forever after about 10 seconds. Watch out for screenshotters, and enjoy the filters!
Ever wanted to duet with Ed Sheeran? Now you can. Smule offers a large database of songs to sing along with karaoke-style, or side-by-side with the original artists, or even your friends. The free version is limited, but VIP access is just $3 a month, which isn’t bad if you want a night of fun with your mates.
Meetup puts the “social” in “social media”. Not just somewhere to share funny pictures, Meetup is an app for anyone who wants to meet and socialize with people with shared interests. Just put in what you’re into and Meetup will find you a local group for that interest. It’s free to use, and you’ll only need to pay if you want to organize meetups yourself.
Whether you follow a lot of sports and different teams, or you only follow the WWE, Bleacher Report has the personalized setup for you. Pick the teams and sports you care about, and Bleacher Report will send you the latest news and developments as they happen.
MLB At Bat
For baseball fans, there’s still no better app than the official one. MLB.com At Bat features scores and news, as you’d expect. But the app goes a step further for MLB.TV subscribers, with live feeds for nearly every game, as well as Gameday Audio for those who enjoy tuning in to their favorite hometown radio announcer. You can cast games to a supported device, like an Apple TV or Chromecast, easily purchase tickets, and even set the app icon to your favorite club.
If you’re the type to watch every game, regardless of where you are, FuboTV will keep you tuned in. Whether it’s NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, or something else, the app has you covered with more than 75 channels with live games to stream on your TV or on a mobile device. You’re also able to watch live news, movies, and TV shows from other networks. To start, there is a free seven-day trial and after that, it will cost you $45 per month.
Coach’s Eye ($5)
More athlete than fan? Or are you something of a coach on the side? This app lets you record your golf swing, tennis serve, or any other movement you want to analyze in slow motion. You can provide commentary, make annotations, and compare two videos. You can even call it “Coach’s Eye for the Sports Guy” if you really must.
It’s unsurprising that the official app of the NFL is one of the best places to go for NFL content. The app lets you watch videos, highlights, and more. You’ll also be able to keep up with breaking NFL news, stats, and scores in real-time while on the go with up-to-date notifications and alerts.
The ubiquitous, super-popular Netflix app nearly made our list of essentials. If you don’t know what Netflix is, we’re surprised you found our website. Netflix lets you stream movies and television shows for a monthly fee, and it’s one of the best websites in existence. Get started with our list of the best shows on Netflix and get bingeing right now.
If you want to keep up with TV shows, but can’t stand cable, Hulu is the best place to go. Hulu is your one-stop-shop for a lot of major network and cable channel shows. But it’s not for free — a Hulu Plus subscription costs $8 per month, which really isn’t that much compared to cable.
Amazon Prime Video
As Amazon Prime continues to release more original content, it can be tough to keep up with what you want to watch. With the Prime Video app, you can download and stream all the movies and TV shows available on the service — including Prime Originals — on any of your iOS devices. Naturally, you’ll need to have an Amazon Prime membership.
If you’re looking to get rid of your cable box, YouTube TV lets you stream more than 40 networks for $40 per month. You can also have six YouTube TV accounts per household, allowing each person in the family to have their own login, personal viewing history, and recommendations.
It’s a lot more specific than most streaming sites, but if you’re looking for the finest and latest anime, then Crunchyroll is the best app around. You can watch for free with ads, but if you want uninterrupted anime viewing, then you need to pay $7 a month. But there are a lot of benefits to that subscription, including simulcasts with Japan, and a big database of manga.
Fite — Boxing, Wrestling, MMA
If combat sports are your thing, then Fite is the only streaming service you need. Fite connects you to the latest and biggest MMA, boxing, and pro wrestling events and PPVs, and it streams to smart TVs, and streaming devices like Fire TV sticks and Chromecasts.
Travel and transportation
It’s the absolute best app to download if you need a hotel room quickly. Booking.com has more than 27 million hotels, motels, and more on the books, making it the perfect place to check out somewhere to stay. Make sure you’re getting the best by checking one of the over 135 million verified reviews, and leave your own. You can filter by price, review score, and even Wi-Fi quality (an increasingly important score). There are few restrictions on when you can book, and can often book last minute, or far in advance.
While it may be having some issues in some cities, Uber is still the king of privately booked transport. With drivers available in most cities around the planet, Uber is what you use if you need to get somewhere and don’t have wheels of your own. Uber’s “private taxi” service offers the privacy and safety of a stranger’s car as an alternative to public transportation, and it’s not too expensive either. You’ll be able to see where your driver is when they accept your ride, see the road ahead, and even rate and review your driver once your ride is done. And forget fumbling for change, as it’s all handled in-app.
Lyft offers a slightly less expensive version of Uber’s private cab service, allowing you to get from Point A to Point B — even if you’re not in a state to drive (or walk). Lyft offers ride discount credits upon registration, giving a strong incentive to drop Uber — at least for a little while.
Airbnb is no longer limited to finding places to stay while traveling, and it’s expanded past random people’s spare bedrooms. In addition to the usual room-book, you’re also able to find and make reservations at different restaurants in the area you’re visiting, and if you’re looking for things to do, the app suggests different experiences including classes, workshops, concerts, and more — all of which you can book directly from the app.
Not everyone has bottom-less pockets, and if you’re looking to travel without spending a ton of money, hostels are a great way to save. With rooms in 178 countries across the world, Hostelworld is the best app to help you find cheap hostels, from private rooms to social dorms. It has a wide range of rating criteria and rock bottom prices that make travel possible for almost any budget.
Admit it, you’ve not used a mapping app other than Google Maps for years. Google’s app is the king of mapping apps for a reason, and it’s a reliable and endlessly updated service you access for absolutely nothing. It’s not just a map, and it can provide real-time updates on traffic conditions and public transit information as well. You can read and write reviews for businesses and restaurants, label your favorite places, see a timeline of your activity, and share your current trip and location with friends and family.
Why waste time in traffic or pay more than you have to for gas? Waze solves both of these problems by supplying you with access to community-generated, real-time traffic information and gas prices. It’s recently added the ability to play podcasts inside the app, and will also warn you if it detects you’ve jumped above the speed limit.
Waiting around for public transportation is never fun, but Transit helps make it a little bit easier. In addition to real-time arrivals for both buses and trains, you can also compare options to see which routes are better. You can also receive push notifications whenever transit is delayed, view schedules offline, find bike share stations, and more.
Riding in a car or public transit isn’t the only way to get around — sometimes your legs are all you need. If you fancy stretching your legs out on a stroll, AllTrails is the app to download. It has more than 75,000 hand-curated trails with detailed maps and easy navigation. You can even keep track of your walking progress. It’s free to use, but you can get a Pro account for $30 a year that gives you offline maps, personal tracking, and more.
Utilities and customization
The new year is a perfect time to try and set some new habits in stone. Whether it’s going to the gym, taking ten minutes out of your day to go for a walk, or just remembering to water the plants, Habitify excels in helping you to remember your new habits and helps them to, well, become habits. It’s simple to use — just create the habit, name it, and select the time of day it is to be completed, and Habitify does the rest. The app will remind you when it’s time to complete your habit, and keep track of how often you do. Premium offers you some new features, include notes and the ability to skip a habit without resetting your streak, and it costs $5 a month, or $40 for lifetime access.
Note-taking isn’t just for college kids, and whether you’re attending a conference, an important meeting, or just want to note something down, Noted is a really great app to have in your back pocket. While it’s a word processor at its most basic level, it’s really so much more than that, and you can tag specific moments, add images, audio, and pretty much anything else you can think of to make your note-taking easier.
Being able to organize yourself is a vital life skill, but not everyone has the knack for it. For those who need a little helping hand, Todoist is one of the best to-do list apps you can get. It’s quick and easy to create a task, and you can even share it with other people or set a deadline.
Dark Sky Weather ($4)
You don’t want to get caught out in the rain, so don’t. While there’s a glut of other weather apps out there, Dark Sky Weather is one of the best thanks to its hyperlocal weather information that tells you the weather, right down to the minute.
With Google Translate, you have access to over 100 languages — 59 of which are available offline. You can also translate text in images using your camera, translate speech using the microphone, and draw text rather than typing in specific phrases.
Apple’s iCloud is excellent, but it can be hard to use outside of iOS. Dropbox offers brilliant cloud storage that can be accessed from Android devices and iPhones, or on MacBooks and PCs. A basic account is free and holds up to 2GB of storage. If you want to store more, then you can get up to 1TB of storage for $8.25 a month. Keep in mind the free version is limited to linking up just three devices, though.
Better Blocker by Ind.ie ($2)
There are plenty of ad blockers on the App Store that aim to streamline your web-browsing experience, but Better Blocker goes a step further with encyclopedia-like entries educating users on how unscrupulous advertisers and sites compromise your privacy. The app also encourages and permits responsible advertising practices — meaning you can still support the sites you love that play fair while shutting out the rest.
Blogging and word processing
1 Second Everyday: Video Diary
The idea is simple: Take a 1-second clip of every day and add it to your growing collection. Make notes for each clip so you don’t forget what you’ve been up to, and start building the movie of your life. It’s easy to do, fun to relive, and completely free to boot.
You don’t have to share all the writing you do with the world. If you like to spend a little time on self-reflection at the end of the day, then Reflectly offers a friendly and relaxing space to do that. Note down your daily thoughts and feelings, and Reflectly will coach you in mindfulness and offer ways to keep yourself motivated and happy.
While not an exact mirror of its web-based version, this app instead chooses to focus on quickness. It lets you quickly publish posts while also giving you the ability to moderate comments, view stats, and upload media on the go.
Looking to get some serious writing done? Ulysses is a powerful word-processing tool that’ll help you reach your goal. It’s a distraction-free word-processing app that lets you focus on writing — and nothing else. Everything you write is saved into the cloud and is accessible on the Ulysses apps for MacOS and iPadOS too.
It has a high price, but if you’re looking to finally write that novel, then Scrivener is the best app to make it happen. Available on Mac, PC, and iOS, Scrivener functions as a word processor, notes ring binder, scrapbook, and more. It has all kinds of customization options, and once you’re done, it’s easy to export in an editor-friendly format.
With Google Docs, you can create, collaborate, and edit documents with others on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod. Those on the document can also work on it at the same time, with real-time updates as content is added. You can work on documents offline as well.
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