When I first bought a new iPhone 5S (thanks to parents), I went straight to the app store and started downloading apps! Having a smartphone and not using applications is like having a computer and only using it to surf the Internet. If you have an iPhone, you’re in luck, because Apple’s app store is still better than the Android app store in terms of number of apps and quality in my opinion.
So what are the best free apps to download on your new iPhone right now? Well, a bunch of them! Obviously, everyone will have their own preferences, so I’ll try to keep this list general and useful enough for everyone. Also, I won’t list many alternatives, just one or two, and usually the best ones.
I will categorize it as well, so if you are looking for the best video or chat app, you can skip to the relevant section. I won’t mention any games because the â€œbestâ€ game changes every day, and there are already enough lists on the Internet to find good games. I will also not mention news apps and a few other categories that speak for themselves.
The best maps / navigation apps
Google Maps – I use GPS all the time on my iPhone while driving, and it has completely replaced the Garmin GPS that I used many years ago. Apple Maps is pretty good right now, but still lags far behind Google Maps. Since this is a Google product, you can also log in using your Google account and sync all your data, making life much easier.
Waze – Waze is turn-by-turn navigation with the addition of a social community to help drivers get useful information. It was acquired by Google, but it’s still a standalone app. Eventually, it can be combined with Google Maps, making it the only app you really need for GPS navigation!
The best weather apps
There are a million weather apps out there and it all comes down to preference, so you might hate my list! If you really like something else, write in the comments.
Yahoo Weather is my favorite option because it has a beautiful interface and almost all the information you need, unless you are a weather fanatic, in which case you will probably spend money on a fancy weather app. But free is just perfect.
Weather Underground – A lot of people trust this app, I used it too and I really liked it. It’s free but contains ads. This is the only drawback. You can pay 99 cents and remove ads, but we try to only mention the best free apps. Despite the ads, this is a great weather app.
Best camera / photo apps
flickr – The flickr app allows you to view your Flickr photos as well as upload everything from your iPhone to their 1TB free account. If you take a lot of photos, this is a great option. It also has filters and editing tools so you can fix your photos before uploading to Flickr, Twitter, or Facebook.
Google+. Google+ is basically a social media app, but I also put it on my list of the best camera / photo apps because it’s really great for photography. If you’ve used Picasa Web Albums in the past, they’ve been converted to Google+ Photo Albums and you can access them from the Google+ app. It also automatically uploads all your photos and videos to Google+ and creates animated GIFs, automatically enhances photos, and more.
Instagram. It’s hard not to find a friend who doesn’t use Instagram. Even though Facebook bought them, they still remain one of the most popular photo sharing apps.
Snapseed – The aforementioned apps are mostly related to viewing and storing photos, but Snapseed is good for photo effects. You can transform and correct your photos using the many options and tools that are included in this app for free.
Photo Editor by Aviary is another free app, but it comes with in-app purchases if you need more effects than just basic ones. The free version has tons of features, and there are more than enough to create cool edited photos.
VSCO Cam – Again, just like the Aviary photo app, you get a basic set of filters and can buy more with in-app purchases. The program uses cutting edge technology to add stunning effects to your photos.
The best cloud storage apps
Dropbox – The most popular and widely known Dropbox is great for storing files in the cloud. It works on almost every device, and on iPhone, it’s great for automatically downloading all of your photos and videos. The only drawback? Expensive for storage. If you use a lot of data, you will pay a lot more than the competition.
Google Drive is my new favorite due to the huge price drop: $ 10 a month for 1 TB of storage. You only get 500 GB on Dropbox for $ 500 a year. My new plan is to move most of my Dropbox data to Google Drive and then continue using Dropbox, but only on smaller, less expensive plans. Google Drive cannot automatically download anything from your phone. Google+ can, but they don’t integrate very well at the moment, which is what Google needs to do if they want to compete more with Dropbox.
OneDrive. Despite being from Microsoft, it’s a pretty good app. Almost everyone has a Windows PC, which makes this application really useful. OneDrive is integrated with Office 2013, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Microsoft Surface, and other Microsoft products, so if you’re in the Microsoft world, it’s a good cloud storage app. It’s also cheaper than Dropbox in terms of storage.
Best messaging / chatting apps
Google Hangouts – Hangouts is great for anyone using Gmail and other Google services. It allows you to chat with friends and make video calls with groups of people. Not the best chat app if you think about it, but since it’s Google it’s useful.
WhatsApp. If Facebook paid $ 16 billion for this, you should probably use it. Just kidding, this is very helpful for anyone with a family outside of the US because everyone else uses WhatsApp for messaging.
Facebook Messenger – You can use stickers, make free calls, record voice messages, and send free text messages. Messenger is a pretty useful application for communicating with people. Plus, it’s Facebook, so everyone you know in the world will be on it.
Snapchat. If you are a teenager, download it as you will likely want to share inappropriate photos of yourself with other inappropriate teens. Good luck.
The best social apps
Facebook Paper – Paper is a new Facebook app that allows you to follow your news feed in a much more modern interface. Everything looks better in the Paper app, and you can follow the trending news on a wide variety of topics.
Twitter. If you’re not on Twitter yet, you should really join this group. Even if you never post anything, you can get a lot of useful information by following the right people or companies on Twitter. In fact, I get better customer service from companies by posting on Twitter than I currently do by phone or email.
LinkedIn. Even if you are self-employed, you must have a LinkedIn profile. This is the best social network for professionals. Businesses are using LinkedIn like crazy to find talent, so keep an eye on your connections through the app.
Pinterest. I don’t use Pinterest very much, but that makes me an exception. Pinterest has huge traffic and people love it. Find interesting things, whatever your interests are.
Google+ – Google+ will never replace Facebook, but it’s a nice addition. Google+ posts are more interesting and engaging than photos of someone’s lunch or kids.
The best video apps on the Internet
YouTube – It only has the largest number of videos in one place in the entire world. Be sure to download the YouTube app and keep an eye on the crazy viral video that is currently circulating on the web.
Netflix. If you have a Netflix subscription, you’ll need an iPhone app to watch Breaking Bad or House of Cards.
Amazon Instant Video. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you need the Instant Video app to watch all of the free content that Amazon offers.
Vine – You can literally spend hours watching ridiculously short but hysterical videos on Vine. You can also create your own and publish it!
Best note-taking apps
Evernote is the king of note-taking apps with many features. With Evernote, you can hardly go wrong. Works on all devices, there are plugins for browsers, apps, etc.
Microsoft OneNote – OneNote is a free note-taking application from Microsoft that I really like. It’s also free for Mac and PC, so your notes will sync across computers, the web, and your mobile device.
The best local applications
Yelp – You will always need good recommendations for places to eat, etc., so it’s a good idea to download one of the most popular local guide apps. Yelp is integrated with Google and Bing search and many people leave reviews, which makes it useful.
AroundMe is another great app for quickly finding local businesses nearby. While Yelp is more food oriented, AroundMe can help you find ATM machines, hospitals, banks, bars, and more.
Best movie apps
IMDB – Absolutely the best app for getting information about actors, movies, TV shows or anything related to movies and TV. A must if you watch TV or movies at all.
Fandango – A great app for watching show times and watching movie trailers. Pretty much the same as Flixter, but I like this app better.
Other best apps
Apart from the apps listed above, there are some that don’t necessarily fall into any of the above categories. Here are a couple more that I find helpful.
Chrome browser. If you’re already a Google user, Chrome has several useful features to keep everything in sync. I also find it faster and better than Safari.
Google Search – Even if you never use this app for actual search, you should use it for Google Now notifications. If you use Gmail, you can connect them and automatically receive alerts for flights, packages and more.
Skype – Facetime is cool, but sometimes you need to video chat with someone who doesn’t have an Apple device. Skype is a great option as it is already so popular.
Find My iPhone – You should definitely install it if you have multiple Apple devices using the same iCloud account. It helps me keep track of all my family members at all times.
Mint – You probably have credit cards, right? Bank accounts? Loans? Investments? Mortgage? Keep track of all of this with the free Mint app.
Runkeeper – Runkeeper is the only fitness app I mention because it’s free and keeps track of your runs great.
Obviously this is a short list of the best apps, but I wanted the list to be short and to the point. I don’t like giving people 10 options for each category, because then it’s hard to decide which one to download. Which of your favorite free apps do you use daily or regularly? Let us know in the comments. Enjoy!