If you’re the same as me, you’ll resent the idea of having to pay for apps. Fortunately, there are plenty of free gems out there and, since these freebies are available in pretty much every category you could think of, the likelihood is you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for without having to spend a penny.
That’s not to say that they’re all good apps. A lot of them are duds that won’t be worth your while, but there’s no fool-proof way of knowing that until you actually test them. Alternatively, you can just have a look through a list that sifts out the best from the rest. Wouldn’t that be convenient?
With the rising popularity of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, we thought that this would be the ideal time to update our list of the top free iPhone apps, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. Just to be clear, these aren’t the official top-selling iPhone apps or anything like that, just 30 top-notch apps that we think should be on everyone’s iPhone 6 download list.
If you think we’ve missed anything out, feel free to let us know in the comments section below. Get your thumbs ready.
The BBC’s has one of the best interfaces of all news apps -- it’s clean, with relevant headlines, good photos and, perhaps best of all, no advertisements. The Beeb has correspondents in every corner of the globe, and covers a huge variety of topics. Another perk is that you can elect to view some news in other languages, such as Urdu, Arabic, Russian and so many more.
Candy Crush Saga
I’m sorry people, I just couldn’t resist sticking this one in. This hugely popular and addictive game has to feature in the list, mainly because you get so much game time for a free app. I’ve had a minor (okay, major) addiction to this for the last few months now, but I know I’m not the only one. There are two different modes you can play in and once you really get going the levels are tough enough to keep things interesting. Warning: prepare to be hooked like never before.
Citymapper is one of the best transit apps on the market, coming runner-up in Apple’s App of the Year awards in 2013. Available in a host of major cities including London, Paris, Barcelona, New York and San Francisco, the app displays virtually all of a city’s transit options, as well as showing estimated costs and travel times. Simply a must-have for any frequent travelers.
In today’s mobile world, where we use multiple computers and devices on a daily basis, having a means of accessing your files from wherever you are is an absolute must. Whether it’s your office computer, home desktop, laptop or smartphone, the Dropbox app for iOS allows you to access files from wherever you have a decent connection. Documents are stored in the cloud and a straightforward interface enables easy uploading and downloading.
The eBay iPhone app makes the buying and selling processes quick and easy with a fluid search tool, large, high-resolution images and an easy-to-navigate interface. The app will notify you when auctions are about to end, has a barcode scanner feature for comparing prices and a local shopping feature so you can pick up your items from a nearby retailer.
Without the Evernote app for iPhone, I’d be a lot less productive while I’m away from my desk. This free, straightforward, note-making app outperforms most competitors thanks to its strong search capabilities and effortless organization. But the real key to its success and popularity is that Evernote synchronizes all your files by saving them to the cloud, meaning anything you create or alter from your iPhone will be there waiting for you when you log into any other version of Evernote. A must-have for anyone who finds themselves constantly on the move.
Social networks thrive with a mobile app -- you’ve got to be social on the go, of course -- and Facebook for iPhone is solid. Despite occasional crashes, Facebook loads pretty quickly and has a slick interface for viewing updates and photos. The design is easy to navigate, too.
Find My iPhone
The Find My iPhone app from Apple helps you locate a lost or stolen iPhone. You can use your Apple login details to find the geo-location of any of your devices, as long as they are connected to Wi-Fi or 3G/4G. You can also remotely make your phone blare out a loud noise, even if it’s in silent mode, if you think it’s still within earshot. You can also remotely send a message to your phone’s screen if you think someone trustworthy has it in their possession, and you want them to be able to contact you.
Speed, improved search functionality and color-coded threading make the standalone Gmail iPhone app superior to the built-in Mail app (where you can access Gmail). It allows iPhone users to decide what they value in an email app. Do you prefer search capability to text displayed at readable sizes? Is it more important for your various email accounts to be managed in one app, as Mail arranges them, or would you rather have a dedicated app just for Gmail that looks more like Gmail on the web? The Gmail app searches your entire email in slicker and quicker fashion than the pre-installed Mail app.
As far as I’m concerned, Google Maps is the best navigation tool out there by a long way and should be one of the first apps you download on your new iPhone 6. You can view search results in a list or on the map itself, the app is generally familiar and smooth, it has great graphics and allows you to save your favorite destinations. An absolute steal.
Search giant Google has many excellent free apps (several are on this very list), but its search app is the one closest to its founding business and is thus bursting with some pretty smart features. You can search for stuff by typing keywords, speaking or even snapping a photo, as there’s a toggle for Google Goggles (in the settings area), which lets you take photos of books, landmarks, logos, artwork and so forth to find out more about them. You can also save pictures you take, and the app will scan and read any text that appears on them too. The Google Search app does a lot more than just trawl the Internet, making it well worth the free download.
Now owned by Facebook after a cool $1bn (around £620 million) acquisition in 2012, Instagram is the hugely popular picture-sharing app that allows you to spice up your photos through a range of different filters and then share your creations through Facebook and Twitter. You can also tag your friends, "Like" other people's photos, add comments and follow your favorite celebrities. Be prepared for a barrage of selfies, as well as snaps of food and exotic holiday destinations.
In this fast-paced, high-pressure world where business mixes with your personal life all too often, an app like LinkedIn’s turns out to be a pretty useful one to have at your fingertips. If you’ve ever found yourself wanting to suggest a potential new connection to a colleague or connect with someone whilst at an event, the LinkedIn app is the one you want. It’s the central place where you can find all those “loose ties”, the acquaintances that often turn out to be the most valuable in terms of career advancement and overall success.
Match.com is one of the UK’s top-rated dating websites and now it has a sleek, easy-to-use app so you can manage your private life on the go. It has taken cues from Tinder and carried out a recent overhaul to make the mobile experience more enjoyable. Browse other member profiles, search for singles near you, send winks and chat in real time with potential dates, all for free on your phone.
MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter
The free fitness app, MyFitnessPal, is one of the best all-in-one calorie counter and exercise trackers for the iPhone. A simple design and interface ensure the app is quick and easy to use, although its biggest selling point is the app’s exhaustive food and nutrition database, which trounces every competitor’s that we’ve seen.
PayPal is one of the most accepted payment services in the world so is a logical inclusion in this list. The app uses your location to find any merchants around you that accept PayPal and to pay, all you have to do is enter your mobile number and PIN into the app at the checkout. It’s a quick and easy way to pay without cash and the app itself is clearly laid-out and easy to use.
Pinterest is a virtual pin-board that lets you organize and share pictures of anything you find online or photograph in your life. With the app on your iPhone, it’s easy to snap photos in the real world and upload them to your boards. You can watch what others are pinning and sometimes the items are for sale and can be purchased by following a link out to the retailer’s site. It’s a great tool for collecting and browsing images of things you like or that inspire you.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the situation; you’re browsing the web and you see a great article. You don’t have time to read it, for whatever reason, but you’re pretty sure you can remember it for later on, only to draw a total blank when you do get a free moment. Well, this is now a thing of the past thanks to Pocket, an offline reading tool that allows you to save articles, pictures and even videos for later viewing. You can also sync the app across devices and platforms, meaning you’ll never miss out on that trending article again.
For all you exercise fanatics out there, this is a great app that uses GPS to track activities such as running and cycling, providing you with information regarding pace, distance and calories burned, as well as several other metrics. You can also monitor your progress over time and sync the app with other devices to keep track of all your exercise sessions.
Skype is one of the best free communication tools for the iPhone, enabling you to call phone numbers or other Skype accounts, make high-quality video calls as well as featuring an instant messaging tool. All the features work on either Wi-Fi or 3G/4G and you can have up to four people in a video chat at any one time. An intuitive interface makes the app easy to navigate and interact with.
The Spotify Music app has all the features you would expect it to have; search through a seemingly-infinite database of tracks, artists and albums, create and share playlists and discover new tunes with the personal recommendations tool. The recently added Your Music feature also allows you to collect your favorite music in one place and sync that list across all devices for that extra personal touch.
Ah Tinder, the mobile dating app everyone loves to hate. This is a bit of a tongue in cheek inclusion but, despite the criticism it has received, the app has enjoyed incredible success since its launch. For those of you who don’t know, the app presents you with a picture of someone near to your location and you either swipe right if you like them or left if you don’t. If both people swipe right, it’s a match and you can start a conversation. It’s very much a light-hearted approach to online dating and is great if you don’t take yourself, or the dating process, too seriously.
Whatever your taste, you’ll find it on this app. TuneIn boasts the world’s largest collection of sports, news, music and talk stations, with access to over 100,000 radio stations and four million podcasts at the touch of a button. It also possesses a clean and easy-to-use interface, making it the first choice app for all you radio fans.
Twitter has had its own app for a while now, having previously left the job to third-party developers. For those of you who prefer to express yourself in 140 characters or less, Twitter’s quick, responsive and easy-to-use app is the one for you. The Discover and Activity tabs allow you to delve into the world of Twitter more than ever before, so if you don’t tweet and have been on the fence about joining the masses, the iPhone app makes it easy and convenient to get on board.
Viber is a fast-growing communications app that is giving Skype some fierce competition, having already attracted over 400 million users worldwide. It allows you to make video calls, texts and send photo messages to any other Viber user for free, whether on Android or iOS. The app syncs with your contact list to automatically detect which of your contacts also have the Viber app.
This is a hugely popular instant messaging app that Facebook believed to be worth an eye-watering $19bn (£11.39bm) when it acquired the start-up in February of this year. The app automatically syncs to your phone’s contacts and enables you to send text, photos, voice notes or video messages. A word of warning though, although the app is free to download, after the first year it’ll cost you $0.99 (£0.60) per year, but this minimal expense is definitely worth it.
If you’re constantly dealing with different currencies, then you need an app that will display live, up-to-date currency rates in a way that’s easy to understand. That’s exactly what XE Currency does. Rates are updated every minute, which you can choose to change if you wish, and recent rates are stored on your phone so you can still get access to the information even without a Wi-Fi connection.
Unlike many other weather apps, Yahoo Weather strikes the perfect balance between looks and content, displaying a comprehensive amount of information on a visually appealing interface. The app will tell you basic information such as temperature and a short-term forecast, as well as including more advanced data like wind speed and barometric pressure. It may not be quite as powerful as some other weather apps, but you’ll find all the information you need to plan your day around the temperamental British weather.
This one doesn’t need much explanation as everyone knows about the power of YouTube by now. From hilarious cat videos, to tutorials, to music videos, its got the lot. Whatever you need, there’s probably a video of it on YouTube, so for that reason alone it definitely deserves a place on this list.
Dull evenings stuck at home in front of the telly are a thing of the past thanks to YPlan, the event discovery app that is a fantastic source of tickets and attractions for spontaneous nights out. The app recommends a range of events such as gigs, film screenings and experiences that are personalised to your taste. It currently covers London, Edinburgh, New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas but more cities have been promised soon.
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