Despite what’s inside your smartphone, it’s the apps you choose that really make them ‘smart’. Without good apps, many of the capabilities of your smartphone would be put to waste. The better the choice and quality of apps, the richer the smartphone experience.
The Apple App Store has a massive collection of over 1.3 million apps ranging across a wide range of categories. But sifting through this huge chunk for the best apps can be a daunting task.
Don’t let the sheer abundance of apps put you off. We’ve put together some of the best and most useful apps to help you make best use of your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
With a variety of graphic stickers and free calling features, Viber is a great messaging app for making voice calls over the Internet and sending text messages. The interface is clean and easy to use. It’s free to download, though some features are paid-for.
If a majority of the text messages you send are for your better half, consider an app designed especially for couples. You&Me gives a personalised messaging experience and has a great design. You can try fun features such as photobooth, send songs, halfsies, secrets and voice messages.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps used across different age groups. Since it has been around for so long, it’s easy to find friends to talk to without having to invite them. It has an intuitive interface, while features are limited to sending text, basic emoticons, photos and other media. Anyone on your phone contacts who has downloaded the app can send you a message.
Talko sends text messages that have been dictated by the sender. Talko lets you record a voice message and send it over the Internet to anyone else with the app. Recipients can listen to the recording when it’s convenient, rather than being interrupted by a traditional phone call. Messages get deleted automatically after 10 days, though you can buy a subscription to keep messages for as long as you want.
MailMag is one of the best email apps for iOS. All emails with attachments are pulled into one place, which makes it easier to search for emails containing movie or flight booking tickets, documents and photos. You can create filters, or ‘Magazines’, to filter emails from a particular contact, which is quite rare among smartphone email apps. You can personalise magazines by selecting custom covers.
Genius Scan lets you scan photos and documents with the help of your iPhone or iPad camera. You can then email scans in JPEG or PDF format. You can even organize and conveniently search scanned documents by using tags.
Dropbox is a multi-platform file synchronisation tool, which lets you create online backups, share and sync files across PCs, smartphones and tablets running different operating systems. You can tweak the settings to automatically save photos from your phone or tablet, edit documents and save large files.
Apple has finally opened the gateway to third-party keyboard apps. Following the same input mechanism as Swype, Swiftkey is known for its superior predictive software and is available to download for free. It learns quickly, and one will not have to spend a lot of time teaching the software you favourite swear words either. It lets you type in different languages at once (limited list of supported languages) without the need to change any settings.
Any.Do is a popular to-do app to help you stay organised. You can either type in tasks or dictate them, set reminders, and call, text or e-mail your contacts directly from the app. Any.Do syncs your calendars, lets you add and edit events and even access the app from your PC.
This popular restaurant-search app categorises nearby joints based on the mood, budget, taste and cuisine you might be looking for. Whether you’re a vegan, a music lover, or just want to try out a local cuisine, you’ll find several preferences neatly displayed on the easy-to-use app. Apart from exploring new dining places, the app also lets you review the restaurants you visit and collect points to become a self-proclaimed food critic.
Discover cool new trends based on your interests with the Pinterest app. It has a messaging feature for as sharing pins with your friends, pin stories on their boards from the message or click the ‘heart’ to add it to your list of favorites. You can even drag a pin from the site into a message.
You’ve probably used it for booking movie tickets, but the Book My Show mobile app is also a great social-search app – using your location to keep you informed about the coolest events, plays and festivals happening around you. That’s a lot of asking around saved for you. Booking tickets is as simple as can be, and the app gives you real-time updates about available seats and show timings. You can also save your credit/debit card information for faster transactions in the future.
Meetup is a great app to meet new people who share the same interests as you. Based on your location, you get to choose from a variety of Meetup groups happening near you, or alternatively, create groups of your own. It’s a nice way to keep you busy during the holidays and weekends, and the app works like your personal task-manager for the various activities you plan.
Cymera comes with beautification tools to add fine touch-ups to your photos. You can experiment different looks with fun make-up tools including the colour of your eyes, mascara and lipstick. You can pick from different hair styles and even work on your facial expressions after the photo is taken.
We know that collages are a great way of telling a story using a single frame. The Photo Mag app now lets you do this with a collection of over ten thousand collage layouts. You can edit each photo inside a collage, create magazine-like layouts, add speech balloons and a range of effects to help you build a solid fan-following on Instagram.
Although there are plenty of photo-editing apps in the app store, there are few that can match the power and simplicity of PixlrExpress. With effective tools such as red-eye reduction and focal blur, it’s great for creating professional-looking photos. It comes with hundreds of creative filters that are completely free of cost.
Pomelo integrates with the built-in camera app in all iOS 8 devices. You can edit pictures and add creative filters without leaving your iPhone or iPad camera app.
Google Maps is the most reliable navigation tool which provides near-accurate directions, real-time traffic information and the optimum routes to reach your destination. Unlike Android, iOS does not come with Google Maps pre-installed, so you’ll need to download the app separately from the App store.
This app includes everything you’ll need to know to have a worthwhile camping trip. Written by a former soldier and instructor, John Wiseman, this application is an elite guide to get you through some of the toughest situations you might come across during a camping trip. You’ll find the app useful even if you’re a rookie, with options such as the list of things you‘ll need to carry before the trip, a comprehensive first aid section and how to read different weather signs.
If you enjoy star gazing, SkyView app shows you the name of stars, constellations and planets above you on your iPhone or iPad no matter where you are. The app makes use of your smartphone’s integral GPS and compass to give the exact placement of stars and planets based on your location.
Do let us know your favorite apps in the comments section below.