This article has been just updated: December 11, 2019
Your iPhone deserves great apps, which is why we’ve put together this list of 7 essential free and paid apps for the iPhone. Our selection of apps covers everything from social media to photography to security, so you’re guaranteed to find something interesting no matter which apps you prefer.
7 Essential Free Apps for iPhone
1. Google Maps
Even diehard Apple fans admit that Apple Maps is far from perfect. If you often use your iPhone as your GPS while driving, biking, or walking, you need Google Maps. With over 220 countries and territories mapped and hundreds of millions of businesses and places on the map, Google Maps is by far the best navigation app in the App Store today, and it doesn’t cost anything at all.
It’s 2019, and it’s now okay to say that selfies are fun. But they can be even more fun with Facetune, an award-winning photo editor app that makes it easy to capture the perfect selfie every time. Facetune has an incredible collection of professional retouch features, allowing you to magically replace backgrounds, add amazing filters, and even reshape your face. The app itself is free, and you can unlock additional features via in-app purchases.
Feedly is a smart RSS reader that collects millions of stories every day, helping you get ahead on any subject. The reader knows which articles are trending at the moment, so it’s easy to read the most important content first and leave the rest for later. You can integrate Feedly with Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, Buffer, OneNote, Pinterest, LinkedIn, IFTTT, and Zapier to easily share everything you find interesting with your networks and teammates.
Amazon’s eBook readers need no introduction. With the Kindle app for iOS, you can read all your Kindle eBooks everywhere you go. The app offers a customizable reading experience, allowing you to change the font style and size, adjust screen brightness and page color, and more. With features like X-Ray, Whispersync, Page Flip, and instant translations and definitions, books are now more accessible than ever, giving you one more reason to finally pick up that novel you’ve been yearning to read for so long.
Not to be confused with the social network Snapchat, Snapseed is a powerful photo editor developed by Google. It can open both JPG and RAW files and offers a wide selection of editing tools, allowing you to adjust exposure and color automatically or manually, crop to standard sizes or freely, adjust the colors so that the image looks more natural, add both stylized or plain text, add a beautiful Bokeh to images, bring a stunning look to your images by creating the effect of multiple exposures, get modern film looks with realistic grain, add frames with adjustable size, and much more.
6. Sleep Cycle
Your sleep is more important than you may realize. A single night of bad sleep can negatively affect your cognitive abilities, memory, mood, and general wellbeing. Sleep Cycle is a smart alarm clock that tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up in light sleep so you feel rested, energized, and ready to conquer the world. The app has been featured in CNN, Wired, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and many other prestigious publications because it just works.
It takes a lot of work to find a good restaurant and book a table. Fortunately, there’s OpenTable to make everything easier. This great app helps you discover great dining experiences and make free restaurant reservations at more than 43,000 restaurants around the world. You can find restaurants using comprehensive search filters, book tables, update reservations, cancel, or re-book straight from the app, and more.
7 Best Paid Apps for iPhone
The official Twitter client for iOS isn’t horrible, but it’s nowhere near as good as Tweetbot, which lets you enjoy animated GIFs, create and use Twitter Lists as multiple timelines, switch to an optimized dark theme for OLED displays, or hide tweets in your timelines by users, keywords, hashtags, or even the client that published the tweet, just to name a few features that make Tweetbot such an excellent Twitter client. The app costs $4.99, and it’s well worth the price.
2. Pocket Casts
If you enjoy listening to podcasts, you can greatly improve your experience by purchasing Pocket Casts, a premium podcasting app for the iPhone. Pocket Casts is simple to use yet powerful. It can automatically build a playback queue from your favorite shows, cut silences from episodes so you finish them faster, increase the volume of voices, skip episode intros, pause your episode when you fall asleep, or send episodes straight to your Airplay or Chromecast device.
Life is full of responsibilities, and it’s essential to manage them as efficiently as possible. Things is one of the best to-do apps for iOS devices, and it can be yours for just $9.99. This app allows you to create a project for each of your goals, create to-dos from other apps, see your calendar events alongside your to-dos, and use tags to categorize your goals. Things developers frequently release updates that add new features and fix existing bugs, and the excellent rating of the app says that they’re doing a great job.
Fantastical is an award-winning calendar app that supports natural language parsing, reminders, and other features. It works with many calendar services, including the Calendar app, iCloud, Google Calendar, and Exchange. Thanks to its natural language parsing capabilities, you can enter something like “dinner with Bill Gates in Silicon Valley on Saturday,” and Fantastical will schedule it for you without any additional input.
With so many excellent free weather apps readily available in the App Store, you’re probably wondering why you should spend any money on a paid weather app like Darksky. There are many reasons why, actually. To start with, Darksky is able to create minute-by-minute forecasts for your precise location. It also features perfectly smooth weather animations that make it clear what the weather situation is like at a glance. Last but not least, it comes with a beautiful notification center widget that lets you see what’s going to happen in the next hour and the next week.
If you’re not using a unique password for each website and online service you visit and use, you’re greatly compromising your online security. A password manager such as 1Password remembers all your passwords for you so you don’t have to. While the app itself is free, the service behind it isn’t. 1Password charges its customers $2.99 per month when billed annually, but there’s also a discounted family plan that costs $4.99 per month and can be shared among five people.
iPhones have always had excellent cameras capable of taking beautiful pictures. Halide allows you to take things to the next level with its support for RAW images, live histogram, full manual controls, and intuitive gesture-based user interface. The app is compatible with iPhone 5S or later models, and it costs $5.99. Just don’t be surprised if your beloved DSLR starts collecting dust.