It is hard to imagine that there are still people out there that haven’t had, at least some experience with an iOS device. However, we know that there are plenty of smartphone and tablet users that are making the transition from another platform to Apple this year.
To celebrate your new adventure into the world of Apple, we’ve come up with a list of 10 must-have apps and games for you to download onto your iPhone or iPad after it is fresh out of the box.
If you don’t already have dozens of passwords squirreled away in your mind, you will after owning an iPhone or iPad for a while. The best way to keep track of everything is with a password storage app. 1Password is arguably the best in its class. You can create new passwords from scratch using the password suggestion feature. Then, once created, you can store the password in a cloud-based program that you can access from anywhere at anytime. So, you can literally have hundreds of complex, multi-character passwords, and you’ll only have to remember one of them – the one to unlock 1Password. It is a lifesaver and a data saver. This app is available for free.
In addition to the obvious social networking apps, like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, we recommend you add Pinterest to your list. This service lets you pin images to themed boards that you create. The images are usually linked to some website that has more information on the content. It’s like having the glossiest, most colorful magazine in the world. If you cook or bake, you can create a board with saved recipes. Then, prop your iPad up on the kitchen counter and use it as your cookbook. If you travel, create a board of places you want to visit, and things you want to do while you are there. It’s great for everyone. This app is available for free.
You will quickly learn that Apple’s Podcast app is lackluster, at best. Overcast is the best alternative third-party podcast streamer. You can download your favorite podcasts for offline listening, easily browse for new podcasts, and create customized playlists with filters and episode priorities. You can even speed up the playback without causing audio distortion so you can listen to episodes a little bit faster when you are in a hurry. If you are worried about missing a new podcast, set up a notification so you’ll be sure to hear it right when it comes out. It is also compatible on Apple Watch so you can control playback right from your wrist. This app is available for free.
Spark just came out in 2015, and it immediately became a favorite around the iDB office. It has the unique feature of automatically detecting when an email is personal, business, a notification, or a newsletter. Emails are filtered into priorities, so you can quickly address the most important ones and set the others aside for later. If you are just too busy to answer an email right away, hit the “snooze” button and get a notification at a later time to respond. It comes with a Quick Reply feature, which lets you tap one button to send a single-word (or emoji) response. It also works with Apple Watch so you can keep track of your emails without even having to open it on your iPhone or iPad. This app is available for free.
This one isn’t a definitive app, but we love it because it is so awesome. If you have any interest at all about the sky above you, hold your iPhone or iPad in the air to view the stars and planets through an augmented reality. You can tell your friends what that bright star is, or use it to track comets in the summer. You can even point it at the ground to see what people on the other side of the world are looking at right now. You don’t have to hold up your device, either. Simply open the app and drag your finger around on the screen to find constellations and galaxies far, far away. This app is available for $2.99.
If you are new to iOS, you may not know just how bad the history of Apple Maps is. It’s bad. Admittedly, things got better and the mapping service is top notch now. However, some of us just can’t let that old habit of Google Maps die. If you prefer the cross-platform compatibility of Google Maps, you are definitely going to want to add this one to your Home screen. It even works with a number of third-party apps (but, not all of them), so you can get an address from one app and open Google Maps from inside it to get directions. This app is available for free.
Once you’ve spent enough time filling your calendar, reminders, and task lists with things to do everyday, you will realize that your life is much busier than you thought. This app takes the stress out of organizing your life by clearing everything but what is most important at the moment. It features gesture-based actions to help you quickly address your to-do list. You can create easy-to-find project-themed lists to stay focused on the task at hand. One of the best parts is that it is compatible with Apple Watch, so you can check of items from your wrist. Plus, it looks great. This app is available for $1.99.
Apple’s stock weather app is… fine. However, Yahoo’s version looks much cooler. It uses pictures from the location you are in as a background and overlays it with animated weather conditions. For example, if you are in New York City, you will see the Manhattan skyline. If it’s raining, water droplets will appear on the screen, as if you are looking out of the window. It also shows you the five or 10-day forecast with hourly changes in the weather. Scroll down to see the day’s precipitation, and see what time the sun will rise and set. You can even find out what position the moon is in. There is additional information about the wind speed and pressure, as well as the humidity level and UV index. To bring it all together, there is a location map with real-time radar tracking that you can “rewind” back an hour and a half. This app is available for free.
This third-party camera app is likely to become the only one you use. It makes taking smartphone pictures easier than ever and provides amazing tools for making sure your pictures look great. You can manually adjust the exposure and focus by touching the screen. Turn on the stabilizer to create a faux steady cam for a clear shot, even when your hands are shaking. The Clarity feature automatically tweaks your photo with light balance, contrast, highlights, and more to “magically” turn a dull photo into a beautiful masterpiece. It also includes basic photo editing options, like filters, effects, borders, and cropping. This app is available for $2.99.
There are thousands of incredible, amazing, awesome, and beautiful games in the App Store. So many that we really struggled with coming up with one for this list. We settled on Monument Valley because it is a fun, simple puzzle game that really shows off the gestures, touch, and high-definition of the iPhone and iPad. Players unlock secret rooms and explore strange castles in an M.C. Escher style environment. Using spatial reasoning, you twist, rotate, and move around the 3-D environment. Where you thought there was nothing at all, you will turn gaps into pathways, simply by viewing things from a different angle. This game is available for $3.99.
There are a lot of apps in the App Store and we make a point to sift through the piles to find the good ones. Check out some of our collected app lists for more content to download on your new iPhone or iPad.