Apple’s iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want you to get the most out of yours. From dating apps to QR scanners, your phone is capable of nearly anything these days, and some apps just rise above the rest. We’ve recently cut our list of the best iPhone apps in half, bringing you the true cream of the crop: 100 apps, sorted by category, that will make your life simpler, easier, and more enjoyable.
iOS essentials, messaging, and dating
Want to find nearby restaurants or track a package using your voice? Well, the official Google app allows users to have full-fledged conversations with their phone. It’s just like Siri, except it connects with your Google accounts.
Google Chrome is an upgrade from the default browser, Safari. The app can sync your history and bookmarks across devices, and includes features like search bar autocomplete and unlimited tab functionality.
Facebook is the social network. If you want to make your phone Facebook official, you should download this app. A must-have for nearly anyone, as many other social apps connect through Facebook to acquire vital information.
YouTube used to come with your phone, but with iOS 6, Apple removed it. Luckily, Google brought it back. If you need to know what YouTube is, please meet us back in 2005. Now featuring Youtube Red, a monthly subscription service that allows downloaded playlists to be used offline and playback with no ads.
Wikipedia finally made a revised version of its iOS app, which aims to give you better recommendations for content that you’re interested in and match you with articles that pertain to your interests. The app now offers users an “Explore” feed with a number of the most popular articles, as well as a featured article and picture of the day.
It may be owned by Facebook, but Instagram is still the best social network for sharing pictures and ruining them with silly filters. We say ruining, but we put X Pro II on just about everything.
Communication and messaging
Facebook now offers its messenger service as a standalone app, enabling you to chat with your Facebook friends and anyone in your contacts with the app installed, without having to be signed into Facebook. We recommend this app for the sheer volume of messaging that happens via Facebook, though it’s a little frustrating that the Facebook app itself no longer includes messaging functionality.
The de facto VOIP service that is owned by Microsoft, Skype is used by more than 250 million users worldwide. Offering free international voice and video calls is a tough deal to pass up.
It’s also a standard texting and messaging app, but Hangouts was merged with Google Voice. It now gives you the ability to make video and voice calls, giving you a nifty all-in-one solution.
WhatsApp is a great choice for anyone that doesn’t have unlimited texting and spends a lot of time connected to Wi-Fi, letting you send and receive messages, pictures, audio notes, and video messages.
Slack is the premier messaging app for teams and companies, allowing for clear communication throughout every level of your organization. Slack instantly syncs across all devices and is compatible with dozens of other apps and services (like Dropbox) to make your job simpler and easier.
Wickr Me is a free end-to-end messenger app loaded with features to secure all of your messages and in-app media. You can adjust the Configurable Timer to set a specific expiration date on all of your content as well.
Tinder is a terrible app if you want to date. It only shows you someone’s picture and age. But it’s super fun to swipe people away as Hot or Not. If someone thinks you’re hot, you can chat.
Bumble flips the web dating paradigm on its head by forcing women to make the first move. Match with someone (the app functions pretty much exactly like Tinder) and the woman has 24 hours to send a message or the match expires.
If you would prefer to do your dating with people your friends can vouch for, check out Hinge. It hooks you up with the best matches in your extended network, connecting you with friends of friends for more familiar dates.
OKCupid gets the job done. It’s not great, but it’s free. It will give you matches based on how you answer questions. You can browse profiles and chat with those you’re interested in dating.
If you’re serious about finding a relationship, we recommend eHarmony. The subscription service can be pricey for some, but it has the most robust feature set. There’s a separate app for LGBT called Compatible Partners.
Food, gaming, and going out
This has 250,000+ recipes, and will give you grocery lists based on them, let you add your own, or import recipes from your friends. If you like (or want to like) to cook, start with Big Oven.
Food Network In the Kitchen
Food Network’s official app combines the recipe-browsing functionality of BigOven with the shows and chefs you love, allowing users to search by chef or ingredient to fit your favorite tastes.
If you’re like us (read: lazy), GrubHub will get used far more than any app that requires you to cook for yourself. It works almost anywhere and lets you order delivery or pickup from most restaurants.
Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker
For those looking to make some changes to their physique, MyFitnessPal’s Calorie Counter app is perfect. The app allows users to take pictures of barcodes to sync nutrition facts for any food product, and you can create goals to reach your desired weight.
Microsoft’s mobile companion app for the Xbox One allows the user to navigate the Xbox menus using their smartphone. The Xbox app offers compatibility with otherwise tedious Xbox apps like messaging and achievements.
The PlayStation app
The PlayStation app offers the same basic functionality as SmartGlass, except for your PlayStation 4. View trophies, compose messages, and browse the PlayStation store with this app. Some games also include second-screen functionality for a deeper play experience.
The Steam app’s standout feature is the ability to purchase and download games to your PC remotely, directly from your smartphone. Steam Mobile also offers much of the same functionality as the Xbox and PlayStation apps, such as messaging and news browsing.
Twitch’s mobile app brings the wide world of game streaming to your fingertips. Chat with other Twitch users, view your favorite streamers’ channels, or watch recorded video of top gamers and events. The Twitch app is AirPlay and Chromecast compatible.
For fans of League of Legends, Instant eSports has you covered with live scores, breaking news, and match recaps for even the most MOBA-crazy consumer. The app also features the ability to follow teams or players to keep up with statistics, and the ability to chat with other fans.
Yelp is good for looking up almost any location, be it a restaurant or hardware store. Yelpers write in-depth reviews and you can read all their nasty and nice comments. It has a helpful map view, too.
AroundMe identifies your location and provides you with a list of businesses and services nearby. Whether you’re looking for a gas station or a five star restaurant, AroundMe can find what you’re looking for.
If you want to browse showtimes and/or buy movie tickets in advance, Fandango is the best. The iPhone app works well and can mean the difference between making a sold-out show or going home broken hearted.
Want to buy or sell tickets for the next game, concert, or any other event? This app is perfect for you. While it won’t wow you with its looks, the interactive maps and huge marketplace will.
Open Table is great for planning dinner on the fly. The free app allows you to search for new restaurants, explore menus, and even reserve a table.
Health, fitness, and music
Turn your grueling workout into an exhilarating fight for survival with an app designed to simulate a zombie attack. Build your base by collecting supplies and avoiding the deadly horde — all by running around town!
FitNet features a huge catalog of quick workouts that are perfect for busy individuals that don’t have time to drive to the gym and back. If you throw down some extra dough, you’ll also get hooked up with a personal trainer via text and video coaching.
Full Fitness: Exercise Workout Trainer
The Full Fitness app has it all. There’s a plethora of different workouts and exercises, targeted at specific body parts and goals. You can also use it to easily track all your workout statistics and notes, essentially allowing you to create a full-on workout plan.
Nike+ Training Club
Nike’s free workout app is, unsurprisingly, full of familiar faces. Celebrities and world-class athletes — such as Ellie Goulding and Ashton Eatonare — use the app to present their favorite workouts. The app also allows you to track your exercise habits and sync them with various social media sites.
Yonder — Outdoor Adventures
Yonder is a free app that features more than 20,000 different outdoor destinations and 25 activity types. You can check out posts by hikers and kayakers from around the world, or craft your own weekend adventure with Yonder’s help.
Daily Yoga features several different ways to get in touch with your inner yogi. Short courses with accompanying music are free, but more advanced users can shell out some cash to get more poses, routines, and ‘tunes.
Spotify is changing the game for the entire music industry. It’s free on PCs and tablets, but $10/mo if you want to fully use it on iPhone. It’s worth it. You can listen to full albums, and create playlists.
If you haven’t used Pandora by now, go turn your AM radio back on. Pandora uses music science to create stations out of a song or artist. You tell it what you like and what you hate. It learns.
SoundCloud is the audio player that has become a favorite of musicians and talk shows and podcasts alike. The iOS app gives access to favorites, playlists, trending audio, and lets you follow and listen with friends.
Tidal, the subscription-based music service backed by Jay-Z, offers high fidelity sound quality and high definition music videos along with access to exclusive tracks and albums. Subscribing to Tidal also nets you free music downloads across all devices.
Amazon Prime members have access to more than just free, two-day shipping. With Amazon Music, you can stream popular songs or download your favorite albums for offline playback.
Tabs & Chords by Ultimate Guitar
Aspiring guitarists will have their hands full with this app. With Tabs & Chords, you can quickly find sheet music for almost any song you can think of. Users can even upload their own versions of songs, which are then available for download with ratings and reviews.
News, money, and photography
The biggest newspaper in the world comes to the small screen, offering breaking news alerts, morning briefings compiled by Times journalists, and the ability to save articles for offline access.
For those looking to get fair, unbiased news on a global scale, Al Jazeera English brings a curated collection of top news stories and video from across the world, and 24-hour access to live video and background audio streaming.
The BBC News App offers an alternative for those not looking to spend money to access all the features available through the New York Times. Pin top story threads for quick updates, or download stories to read offline later.
Reddit: The Official App
Categorizing the Reddit app under ‘news’ may undersell it a bit. Reddit, with over 36 million subscribers, is one of the largest Internet communities out there. There are ‘subreddits’ for nearly every subject you can imagine, and many of them are dedicated to news.
Use the NPR News app to stay up to date on both local and world events. The app provides written articles, NPR’s famous radio programs, and podcasts. Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Fresh Air are just a few of the choice offerings on the NPR News app.
Payment and money management
Use PayPal to check up on the transactions in your account, send or request money, and photograph checks or credit cards to add them to your account without messing with the details.
Venmo is the payment app for the people. Connecting directly with your debit card, Venmo offers free person-to-person money transfers. Credit transfers charge a percentage fee. Compatible with many shopping apps for easy checkout.
It takes some time to set up, but once Mint can track all of your spending and create a sensible budget for you. You can monitor all of your credit card purchases and banking through Mint, created by Intuit (of TurboTax fame).
Spendbook (iOS exclusive)
Spendbook combines a simple, intuitive interface with a diverse suite of features to create one of the best budgeting apps on the market. Spendbook tracks your income and expenses, and provides you with vibrant charts to explain exactly where all your money keeps going.
Designed with college students in mind, Splitwise helps you keep track of debts owed between friends and connects seamlessly with Paypal and Venmo so you can settle up at any time.
Camera+ (iOS exclusive)
Even with the robust iOS 9 update, Apple hasn’t done a whole lot with it’s default camera app. This is the full-featured photo taking app that you’ve always needed and wanted on your iPhone.
Pro HDR X
The tenth edition of Pro HRD brings even more functionality, increasing the base quality of photos taken with your iPhone along with a huge suite of frames, sliders and filters to give your pictures a professional look.
VSCO is like a super-professional version of Instagram, allowing users to shoot high-quality stills with advanced camera controls and post them to their VSCO profile. The community features original content from VSCO as well as a curated collection of user work.
Adobe Photoshop Express
Adobe brings the most popular image editing software to the mobile platform, with all the tools you need to create award-worthy compositions on their iPhone. Auto-fix, crop, and blemish removal are just some of the features available.
Unhappy with your selfies? Don’t blame the camera — blame the face! With Facetune, you can whiten teeth, erase blemishes, and anything else you might want to do to fix the subtle imperfections that drive you crazy.
Reading, shopping, and social media
Though it hasn’t been updated since 2013, we had to include Apple’s native ebook reading app. The app connects with social media platforms like Facebook so you can share your thoughts on your favorite novel.
Amazon rules the ebook reader world, but you can also get its Kindle app just about everywhere else, including iPhone. Kindle features one of the largest literary selections in the world, and you can even subscribe to Kindle Unlimited to read as many as you want for $10 a month.
What’s the difference between Amazon’s Kindle app and Barnes & Noble’s Nook app, you might ask? Well, there isn’t much of one. Nook, though, does offer over 1 million free titles. So there’s that.
Goodreads is similar to Yummly, but for books, providing recommendations based on books you like and books your friends like. The app lets you connect to book clubs and discussions with readers across the globe.
Prefer listening to books over reading them? Audible has you covered with more than 180,000 titles that you can download for offline play. Speed up or slow down narration speed to fit your preferred listening experience.
Amazon is the number one online retailer for a reason. Browse Amazon’s vast collection of products quickly and easily. Plus, you can enable notifications for daily Amazon Gold Box deals so you never miss out on a discount.
There’s very little that you can’t buy or sell on eBay. The app is full-featured and much easier to use than the website. Bid on items, track your orders, and sell all of your unwanted stuff right here.
Feeling arts-and-craftsy? Etsy has you covered with their diverse marketplace featuring homemade and vintage goods from millions of creative people. The app works with Apple Pay or PayPal to ensure safe transactions.
The free Groupon app is perfect for all the coupon clippers out there. Save money and paper in one fell swoop, as Groupon presents you with incredible deals that often total up to 70 percent off a meal or outing.
ScanLife offers you a wealth of information about nearly any product, using your iPhone camera to scan the barcode or QR code. The app links you to product reviews, price comparisons and even nutritional facts for food products.
Twitter helps you keep your finger on the pulse of the world — and find out who’s worth listening to. Follow friends, celebrities or companies’ official feeds to get instantly notified when something big goes down.
Pinterest is the ultimate repository for creative concepts and photographs of food. Users can ‘pin’ stuff they find on the web, searching using tags to find what they’re looking for, from recipes to fashion ideas.
Twitter’s answer to Meerkat, Periscope lets users live stream on Twitter. Your followers can interact by commenting on the view. Finally, a way for your friends to respond to your live stream of the bus ride home.
Hands down, Snapchat is the best app to use if you want to send naughty pictures to someone. Every picture or short video you send deletes itself forever after about 10 seconds. Watch out for screenshotters!
Looking to get famous quickly? The Vine app allows users to to film and edit quick, snappy videos that can be uploaded and shared directly, and the most popular users have millions of followers — and views. Like Twitter, but with less words.
Musical.ly allows users to create their own lip-sync music videos by adding effects and music to the footage. The app, which received a $500 million valuation this summer, represents one of the fastest-rising social platforms on the planet.
Sports, streaming video, and travel
ESPN has a monopoly on this sports stuff. Its official app is the best place to keep up to date with sports scores from all your favorite professional or college teams on the go. The ESPN app also now allows mobile streaming of WatchESPN and ESPN3.
Bleacher Report’s Team Stream app features a highly customizable feed that provides you with up-to-date scores and stats as well as more traditional long-form sportswriting. More written work than ESPN, but no streaming capability.
Yahoo Fantasy Sports
For those who can’t get enough of fantasy sports, Yahoo’s app is the best in the business. Track stats for baseball, football, hockey, and basketball here, as well as participating in mock drafts and reading expert opinions.
More athlete than fan? This app lets you record your golf swing, tennis serve, or anything else you would want to analyze in slow motion. You can provide commentary, make annotations, and compare two videos.
Twenty Four is the sports app for the metrics-obsessed basketball fanatic. Twenty Four provides daily and weekly stats to help individuals more aptly predict both player and team performance going into a game or series. Twenty Four also offers the latest and dankest NBA memes for individuals so inclined.
The ubiquitous, super-popular Netflix app nearly made our list of essentials. If you don’t know what Netflix is, we’re surprised you found our website. Stream movies and television shows for a monthly fee.
If you want to keep up with TV shows, but can’t stand cable, Hulu is the best place to go. It has most major network and cable channel shows. A Hulu Plus subscription costs $8 per month.
Need your Game of Thrones fix? HBO finally caved and created a subscription-based streaming app, no cable subscription required. It now works with Chromecast, too, so you can stream it on the big screen. Be prepared to spend $15 a month for it, though.
For $7/month, CrunchyRoll is like the holy grail of streaming for anime fans. Featuring over 25,000 episodes in its database, the app adds new episodes just one hour after their live premiere in Japan.
Travel and transportation
If you need to get somewhere and don’t have wheels of your own, hop in someone else’s ride. Uber’s ‘private taxi’ service offers the privacy and safety of a stranger’s car as an alternative to public transportation.
Lyft offers a slightly less expensive, slightly less professional version of Uber’s private cab service, allowing you to get from Point A to Point B — even if you’re not in a state to drive (or walk). Lyft offers ride discount credits upon registration.
Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft can be expensive if you catch them at the wrong times. Up Hail lets you compare prices for several different modes of ground transportation, based on your location. The app also features filters so you can find a handicap-accessible ride, for example.
Looking to explore a new city or country? Viator Tours’ mobile app includes over 20,000 selectable activities in over 1,500 locations worldwide, and features stuff like ‘skip-the-line’ passes and coupons for popular tours.
Why waste time in traffic or pay more than you have to for gas? Waze solves both of these problems by supplying you with access to community-generated real-time traffic info and gas prices.
Being lost in a new city is one of the worst parts of traveling. Thankfully, CityMaps2Go allows you to navigate thousands of cities without looking like a tourist. If you’re traveling to a part of the world with spotty service or limited internet access, you can download maps and guides from the app beforehand. This handy feature keeps you from unnecessarily burning through data.
The Expedia app is another solid travel companion. The app allows you to book flights, rooms, activities, and cars from your phone. You’re even rewarded with discounts when you bundle purchases from the app.
Miscellaneous utilities, blogging, and word processing
One of the first big cloud services on the scene, Dropbox is still a good way to share files across devices and back them up in the cloud. DropBox Pro subscribers receive up to 1TB of web storage.
Now, if Siri only were a genius. WolframAlpha, a knowledge engine that disingenuous college students often use to cheat on homework, provides an answer for nearly any scientific, mathematic, or fact-based query you can come up with. Just type in your question and start learning.
Google Drive is the natural choice for anyone invested in Google’s apps and services. The streamlined app lets you store up to 15GB of files, which you can access from wherever you choose to. Google Docs and Google Photos are also worthwhile additions to your Google suite, and combined with Drive, they represent Google’s answer to Dropbox.
The AdBlock app comes with a lot of customization options — you can set your own list of blocked domains, for instance, and filter it through any device that uses iCloud. Its key feature, however, is its ability to completely rid your screen of unwanted advertisements. Regardless if they’re in an app or your mobile browser, AdBlock will take care of them.
Speaking someone else’s language has never been so easy. Thankfully, Google Translate puts the power of communication — and more than 100 languages — at your fingertips. You can even translate between half of the languages without an internet connection.
Blogging and word processing
The app version of Tumblr is just as easy to use as its web-based counterpart. You can post content to multiple blogs, save drafts for later, and schedule posts, all of which can be done offline.
While not an exact mirror of its web-based version, this app instead chooses to focus on quickness. It lets you quickly publish posts while also giving you the ability to moderate comments, view stats, and upload media on the go.
Beauty might be in the eye of the beholder, but Squarespace’s gorgeous mobile app makes sure everyone is a beholder. Its convenient, modular design is only matched by its powerful, intuitive toolset.
New iPhone owners can download it for free, but even at $10, Apple’s flagship word processor is tough to beat. Packed with templates, editing tools, and change tracking, there isn’t much it can’t do.
Documents To Go
Create, edit, and view your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with this handy office suite with cloud sync support. (Supports PDFs as well as files for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).