The question is, which ones should you install? We've got you covered. The experts here at PCMag have tested a vast number of apps, sorting the good from the bad, to come up with this massive list of the best iPhone apps. If apps are too many for your attention span, check out our much shorter and sweeter 12 must-have iPhone apps.
There you'll find essential and well-known apps, some of which you may be surprised not to see here—since we needed to make room to fit as many deserving apps as possible in the top The apps included here will run just fine on the past few generations of iPhones, large or small. However, if you have an iPhone X or later, some apps let you do new, different things. The newer models include better cameras, and their Face ID makes a difference for some apps. Inside the new phones' guts, the newer processors make some things possible They also make many activities feel much zippier.
Our favorite apps cover a range of activities, including photo editing, social networking, messaging, getting organized, and staying healthy. There's even one that helps you fill your gas tank cheaply. We've broken this list into relevant categories, so you can browse just the app types that most interest you. Each app name is linked to its page on the App Store, and if we have a review of it, it's linked in the text. In the past, this list also featured the coolest video games the App Store had to offer. But the App Store gaming scene has become so robust that we decided it deserved its own separate, expanded list.
If iPhone gaming is your passion, check out our feature covering the 50 Best iPhone Games. Be sure to revisit this page from time to time. Cool new apps arrive on the App Store all the time, so we update this list when we make new discoveries. Have you become enthralled with an app we failed to mention?
We'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment and we might add your suggestion during our next update. We didn't foret Android users either; we have a separate roundup of the best Android apps as well. Boxer is one of the best iPhone email client apps for people who want to take charge of their email. Its push notifications are fast and it's easy to set up. Boxer also integrates with your calendar and lets you customize swipe-based gestures. Many messaging apps require you to give up your phone number to those who you chat with, but Kik only requires a username.
And with a bot store already boasting more than 6, bots, Kik beat Facebook Messenger and Skype to the punch in the field of artificial conversationalists. Group chat, photo and video sharing, and gaming add to this youth-focused app's appeal. Microsoft Outlook's light and flexible mobile email app supports nearly every email account you might have, includes an integrated calendar, and provides a Focused inbox that shows you only important messages.
Frequently updated, the app includes an ancillary Apple Watch app and supports 3D Touch. Unlike the rest of Office Mobile, the Outlook iPhone app is totally free. Skype is one of the best free communication tools for the iPhone. The app lets you make video calls and supports rich texting with animated emojis. A good selection of bots gets you info you can use as well as entertainment. As with other versions of Skype, you can call or chat with other Skype users at no charge, or buy credit to call any other phone number, landline, or mobile.
Sexting and security worries aside, the visual chat app Snapchat can be a lot of fun to use—if you can figure out its very nonstandard interface. Snapchat should not be used as a private and secure messaging app. Rather, it's a simple app that you can use to swap funny, ephemeral visuals with your friends. Messages sent through Snapchat disappear from the receiver's phone after a short time. Snap a picture, draw or write on top of it if you like, choose the amount of time the recipient can see it, and send away.
Just bear in mind that all digital media is reproducible. Spark sports a slick interface and organizes your email into logical categories like Personal, Newsletters, and Notifications, though you can switch to a more standard full inbox view if you like. It handles multiple accounts, but doesn't combine categories for them as Outlook does. The app is very configurable, with customizable swipe actions It also lets you pin improtant stuff and snooze emails to deal with later. The ability to seamlessly transfer calls from mobile to desktop and vice versa was an early differentiator for Viber , which lets you exchange sticker-emblazoned texts as well as make calls and engage in video chats and calls to standard phones for free.
And though it requires your phone number, it does encrypt communications. It uses videos to teach you the alphabet, various useful words and phrases, and the required gestures. The free version covers the basics, and in-app purchases add advanced material in cent packs. People often forget that there's more than one way to find webpages, directions, videos, and photos on the Internet. There are actually plenty of good reasons to try out alternatives to market leader Google, and the Bing app for the iPhone shows several of them. Bing has a design that's gorgeous, clear, and simple to use.
Feature-wise, Bing's app can keep up, and adds voice and camera input along with local info.
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What's more, the Bing app's home screen offers local guidance and news suggestions, rather than just a blank search box. Every college student is familiar with handing over several dolllar bills and lugging many pounds of textbooks from the campus store.
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Chegg's goal is to take some of the pain out of that process. The app lets you rent, buy, or sell books. The company offers study apps, too. Could your learning a new language somehow add value to other people all over the world?
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It's a strange idea, but one that's playing out when you use the free language learning app Duolingo , which now has an iPhone app as well. As far as free, mobile apps for language-learning go, the Duolingo iPhone app is easily the best. A recent update makes your next lessons available offline, so you can continue learning even when you're not connected to the Internet.
Elevate offers training in writing, listening, speaking, reading, and math. You can set your goals, and after you've completed some engaging exercises, it graphically shows your performance in each of these categories. Go ahead: Make yourself smarter! Rosetta Stone , our top pick among advanced language-learning programs, offers a mobile app that mirrors the lessons available online.
When you log into the mobile app, you're able to pick up your learning from the place you left off. Its simplified interface is easy to navigate and effectively lets you keep up your practice while on the run. It's not cheap, but it's the best way to learn a new language. Half the fun of having a smartphone is looking things up when you're in the middle of a bar bet—and hopefully being right.
Wikipedia is the go-to source for fact-checking in the mobile age, and the Wikipedia app usually returns results faster than a mobile search engine. WolframAlpha is like a math and science version of Wikipedia. It's an outstanding source of knowledge and computation about virtually anything, from basic algebra to the depths of the universe. It's like a search engine for algebra, physics, engineering, and so much more—even nutritional information.
As you might expect, the app requires an Internet connection to work. If you love anime or live-action Asian TV , Crunchyroll is the ad-free streaming service for you. It offers tens of thousands of episodes, shows simulcast from overseas, and numerous services fans crave, including social interaction features. We do wish, however, that it had a Netflix-like recommendation feature. Downcast's iPhone app shines with excellent features, smart downloading options, and a great interface. It's worlds better than the stock Podcasts app from Apple. Downcast is suited for people who want a lot of control over their podcast listening experience, and it's that fine level of control that makes it our Editors' Choice.
Downcast lets you customize not only how often the podcast catcher checks for new episodes, but also where you are when it does, using geo-fencing. For example: Hulu is the best service for legally streaming new and classic domestic and international TV programs soon after they air, and the service offers up some excellent films as well as a notably extensive anime collection. You can even stream live content with a Hulu with Live TV subscription.
There are plenty of fantastic podcasts you can listen to on your iPhone. Unfortunately, Apple's own podcast app hardly does them justice. Good podcast discovery and rich settings and options, including the ability to sync your listening experience across multiple devices, make Pocket Casts one of the best podcast catchers and players on the iPhone. Of all the music streaming apps in the Apple App Store, Slacker Radio always seems to pound just a few beats harder than the rest.
The same outstanding service you'll find in Slacker Radio's online version is on the iPhone, and has been for a long enough time for the company to have massaged the interface and performance to the point that you can appreciate it audibly. SoundCloudhas become an audio phenomenon. The app provides a gorgeous and clear interface to the tunes. If you want more than the mainstream or want to upload your own music, you can't ignore SoundCloud.
Internet radio remains one of the wonders of modern global communications: Listen to broadcast and Internet-only radio without geographical restrictions, and even without temporal restrictions: There are dozens of Internet Radio stations that can take you back to the 40s and 50s, if you're a fan of the Fibber or Jack Benny. TuneIn Pro offers the very best portal to all this, and throws in an MLB radio option, as well as other sports.
Oh, and you can also get your RadioLab fix in it, as it also supports podcasts. A free, ad-supported version is also available. Twitch's iPhone app may not allow you to stream your own gameplay videos, but it is the best way to watch your favorite streaming personalities and chat with fellow gaming fans on your mobile device. Twitch is the service to turn to if you want to watch countless people, from professionals to hobbyists, streaming every video game you can think of. It's also mostly free of the harsh copyright restrictions that are currently kneecapping competitor YouTube Gaming.
Twitch on iPhone is a great portable portal into the Twitch community. Vimeo is the grownup's version of YouTube. With a higher quality level in general, you'll find art films and independent projects, as well as animation, sports, music, instruction, and comedy. No more being overwhelmed with cats, memes, and skateboard wipeout videos. Not to mention the ads and the uncivil comments found on the incumbent internet video service.
Fave and share, follow users who post videos you like, add to your Watch Later set, and save videos for offline viewing. Among some slick interface features is a PiP player, for while you explore other parts of the app. Get in on the cryptocurrency craze with this full-featured and well-designed app. See current rates and set up digital currency wallets for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. LevelUp can save you a few dollars the very first time you use it.
You won't be billed until the beginning of the following month, either. You can also order ahead through the app, and find participating nearby businesses. No more waiting in line! The iPhone app gives you deep insight into how you're spending your money and whether you're sticking to the budget you've created.
The Best Productivity Apps for iPhone
It's one of the best personal finance apps you'll find. Proper budgets are serious business, but who says they also can't be a fun game? Personal finance iPhone app Qapital entices you to save through gamification and tiny actions you take every day. It makes saving for goals easy. Just be ready to open a new savings account that entails a low monthly fee.
25 Underrated iPhone Apps You Need
For small businesses, mobile card readers are a welcome, innovative solution for accepting credit cards using a mobile device. Square is one such solution, and it's a pretty great one. The intuitive iPhone app, along with the physical card reader, allows you to accept credit card payments, even from new, secure, EMV cards. The experience is excellent for buyers and sellers alike. Doing your taxes on your smartphone may seem less than optimal, but the mobile version of TurboTax is your best option.
How We Choose the Best Productivity Apps for iPhone
It offers an exceptional user experience and supports most common tax situations. Importantly, its support options for tax questions are second to none. Devices like Square and built-in services like Apple Pay Cash make it easy for you to pay businesses without cash or cards. But if what if you just want to pay back a friend for a fun night on the town? With Venmo , you won't have to scrounge up dollar bills or remember how to write a check.
Just download this app, enter your bank account or debit card data, connect to your friend, and start letting the money flow. Venmo also talks to Facebook so you can share your wildest transactions with the world. Despite some controversy in some areas over hotel laws, we've had nothing but good experiences, clean rooms, and friendly hosts via Airbnb. The app has all the capabilities you could ask for and more. Travelers can book their stay, chat directly with the host, get exact directions, and explore fantasy accommodations like furnished tree houses.
Hosts can vet potential boarders, manage their calendars, and promote their properties through the app. It's a win-win proposition. Sometimes while visiting far-flung places, you can't get your iPhone connected to a data signal, yet you need to figure out where exactly you are. For those times, there's the Galileo offline map app. It lets you download an entire country's map data with one click, so you don't have to worry about getting lost when you haven't got mobile or Wi-Fi data. The app lets you search offline, record your GPS tracks, and choose from multiple languages for your map labels.
A free version lacks bookmarks, GPS tracking, and cross-device synchronization. Gasbuddy shows you the best prices at the nearest stations. With a big enough tank, that could cover the cost of the tunnel! Most cities have plenty of delicacies to offer, but going out and getting them can be a pain. If you live in or are visiting any of GrubHub's 1,plus covered towns in the US or London , you can have tasty local food delivered directly to your doorstop with the GrubHub iPhone app.
After merging with competitor Seamless the service now offers a choice of over 45, takeout restaurants. We love how it texts you to tell you when your food will arrive, lets you tip inside the app, and lets you tell restaurants to save the earth and spare the plastic utensils. The Hipmunk iPhone app, a spinoff of the Hipmunk website, is a travel booking app for flights and hotels. What makes Hipmunk unique is it incorporates accommodation options from alternative sites such as Airbnb and HomeAway, two services that let homeowners rent out their private real estate by the day or week.
Kayak is a wonderful multipurpose travel app, helping you find and purchase flights, hotels, car rentals, and more. A companion Apple Watch app keeps your plans an alerts on your wrist. Another perk: OpenTable has long been a choice service for making dinner reservations without picking up the phone, and with TouchID support, the iPhone app now has a whole bunch of new features. You can not only make a restaurant reservation, but also pay for your meal at the end of it using Apple Pay.
The redesigned interface makes use of the Plus iPhones' extra-large size, too. Transit has become the go-to-app for city dwellers and travelers to cities who want to get around like natives. Without even requiring you to tap anything, transit instantly shows all the public transportation options around you. It also lets you know how long the nearest Uber car will take to get to you, and its map shows you the location of nearby Car2Go cars.
For anyone who craves the most efficient way to get around any of its included worldwide cities, Transit is a must. None of us will be able to bend the weather to our will like Sean Connery in 's The Avengers , or Thor in the other Avengers. Instead, we rely on weather apps like The Weather Channel's offering to keep us alert to the weather's whims.
This excellently designed iPhone app provides all the weather information you need, and it even works with Apple Watch. It succeeds because it sticks to what it does best: The rich data in this excellent app will keep the most info-hungry meteorology geek satisfied. The most comprehensive business-reviewing app, Yelp turns out to be an invaluable tool for finding restaurants, stores, and services nearby, especially when you're in a town you don't know well.
YAnd you can find good local spots worldwide with it, not just in the US. Bicycle-ride tracking app Cyclemeter collects a wealth of data, is very accurate, and contains several well-thought-out features. It maps and records your bicycle rides, then compiles all your data into excellent graphs. Despite its name, Cyclemeter doesn't just record cycling. Other activities, from cross-country skiing to running, also come preloaded.
And now you can control many of this fitness app's functions from an Apple Watch, and store your workout data in iCloud. There are other components to fitness than huffing and puffing on the jogging track. Relieving stress is high on the list, and meditation can aid in that goal. Headspace offers hundreds of guided meditations that can reduce anxiety and increase mindfulness.
The free health app MyFitnessPal is one of the best all-in-one calorie counter and exercise trackers for the iPhone. A simple design and interface make using the app a quick chore rather than a fatiguing project, which is essential when trying to reach a long-term fitness or weight goal. The selling feature of this app is its exhaustive food and nutrition database, which trounces every competitor's that we've seen. The Pear Personal Coach app talks you through runs, at-home workouts, yoga routines, and even training programs for running races.
Real human voices make the audio part of the experience excellent.
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Don't be fooled by Runtastic's name. Runtastic PRO isn't just for runners—it's for anyone who wants to track an activity, including cycling, hiking, skiing, kayaking, or just walking. Runtastic spits out a wealth of information about your activities and route. Maps of your route, for example, have mile markers on them, and you can pull up detailed charts to see your speed, pace, elevation, and more for each leg.
When you wear a supported heart-rate monitor while using the app, it will show you that data in your final outputs, too. Audio feedback, music integration, and much more make this one of the best running and sports activity-tracking apps. Sometimes, you just want an app that offers some good — albeit kind of stupid — fun. Ditty is a text conversion app that turns almost anything that you type into your phone into a miniature music video.
While not perfect, Ditty is a fun little distraction made even better when you share your creations with friends. In its simplest form, Unified Remote lets you use your iPhone as a universal remote. That honor goes to its ability to control YouTube, Netflix, and even your mouse cursor. In other words, you can finally lay in bed and control your laptop or desktop with ease. The fall of physical media means we sometimes forget just how useful libraries are. Libby digitizes the library experience. It grants you access to thousands of audio and ebooks available at most local libraries.
It greatly expands any book collection. If you have roommates, you know how difficult it can be to split expenses. Nobody likes keeping track of every shared expense and asking for money. Splitwise simplifies the process. It lets you easily manage shared expenses through an itemized breakdown with your contacts. Not only does it let you get the money you need, it greatly simplifies the process of asking for money.
PDFs are used in all aspects of business and life, but they can be incredibly cumbersome to create and manage. CamScanner lets you turn nearly anything into a PDF. All you have to do is load up the app, take a picture, and convert that picture into a PDF. You can even edit your new PDF file with signatures and other effects. Managing every video service out there can be daunting.
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Sometimes, you just want to find a movie without having to open and search every service. For those times, you need JustWatch. Simply type in the name of a movie, and JustWatch will tell you where to find it online. Let us know about it in the comments below. Wolfram Alpha Photo: SleepBot Photo: RunPee Photo: Tunity Photo: Skiplagged Photo: Hear Photo: Cheatsheet Photo: The Infatuation Photo: Temp Mail Photo: Drunk Mode Photo: Drunk Mode makes getting back from there much easier.
Flush Photo: Fake Call Photo: Deliveries Photo: Deliveries makes a very common part of modern life as easy as it should be. Lake Photo: RunGo photo: This is an essential service for any urban runners out there. Tab Photo: Gorogoa Photo: Ditty Photo: Unified Remote Photo: Forget buying a wireless mouse, all you need is the Unified Remote app. Libby Photo: Splitwise Photo: This is just a beautiful app that makes life and money management a little easier. CamScanner Photo: JustWatch Photo: JustWatch saves you time and might help you find new movies.
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