While everyone is currently going nuts about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the fact remains that you don’t need Apple’s latest gizmo to enjoy the plethora of apps available for the iPhone. Keep in mind however that some apps have been optimized to take advantage of the larger screens and more powerful processors that the newer products boast. That said, whether you’re rocking the latest piece of tech to come out of Cupertino or you’re keeping it old school, we’ve put together what will be an ever growing list of the Best Free iPhone Apps.
Inbox by Gmail
Inbox by Gmail rethinks how email should work. A radical departure from what we know as email, if you can get over Inbox’s learning curve, you may finally be able to reach the elusive “inbox zero.” Inbox may seem like it came out of the blue but Google has been preparing us for its release for years. Gmail first experimented with its Priority Inbox feature, which let Gmail show you more important emails first. Then the company introduced its Category Inbox feature which sorted your emails automatically. Inbox by Gmail combines both of these features, leveraging automation for priority and bundling your emails into sections for Travel, Promos, Forums, Social, and more allowing users to interact with email in bulk, with one-click archiving.
If you’re looking for a good alternative to Safari, look no further than Google Chrome. The address bar doubles as a search box, which gives you a cleaner interface. You can also perform searches using your voice. Chrome’s incognito mode is also much easier to use than Safari’s, as you don’t have to access it from Settings. If you use Chrome on other devices, you can sign in and sync with them meaning you can easily use your bookmarks from home, and open the pages that are open on other instances of Chrome.
Instagram lets you take photos and videos with your iOS device, apply a few special effects and share them on its own social network – or via other social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The best thing about Instagram are the plethora of filters the program sports. There are 20 to choose from (Lomo-fi, Earlybird, Lily, Apollo, Nashville, 1977…) with different color, brightness and lighting effects. Instagram also includes support for videos, allowing you to capture up-to 15 seconds of footage to share. As with photos, you can choose from a range of effects to apply to your videos.
Flipboard is a media aggregation app that pulls content from a wide variety of sources and creates a digital “magazine” specifically for you. Much like an RSS feed, Flipboard imports content from many different sources. This includes not just sites, but also hashtags, people, blogs and trending topics. You can also connect a number of social networks, such as your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+ accounts into the feed of content and add other sites through their RSS feeds, which will display their content in the main menu of Flipboard. You can save articles to your personalized magazine to read offline later or share with friends, like and comment.
Arguably the leading music streaming app, Spotify lets you listen to millions of songs on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. You can sync with playlists you have on your desktop, create new ones, or just listen to tracks, albums, or artist selections. Spotify is getting better at music discovery and there are plenty of ways to expand your musical horizons. For example, the Browse section allows you to explore curated playlists based on different genres of music. There are thousands available and it’s a great way to check out subgenres of the type of music you like.
Google Maps for iOS provides an unrivaled way to find your way using your mobile phone. With Google Maps installed on your device, you can view street and satellite maps of the whole world. Not only this, but it can be used to plot routes as well as find local places of interest. Google Maps is incredibly easy to use on your iOS device. The application automatically detects your current location and displays it on screen. You can move around by holding your finger and dragging the screen and zoom in and out by pinching with your fingers.
Uber is a ride sharing app that connects passengers with drivers. With a presence in more than 40 countries and 100 cities around the world, Uber is an alternative to regular taxis. Instead of hailing a cab on the street or booking one over the phone, this app lets you to order a private driver with the tap of a button. With Uber, you can choose between five categories of vehicles ranging from economy (uberX) to luxurious (LUX), although these options aren’t available in every city. Before ordering a driver, you can get a quote by entering your starting point and your destination. While it’s only an estimate, it’s pretty accurate to what you’ll pay. Unlike traditional taxis, payment is done solely through the app. You can pay by credit card, PayPal, or Google Wallet, and even split the bill with your fellow travelers. After the trip, Uber lets you to rate the service and leave a comment that can be accessed by other users. Note that drivers can also leave comments about their clients. Using geolocation, Uber automatically detects where you are and offers a pick-up point. This can also be set manually on the map. Then, all you have to do is press the button to call a driver; the one closest to you will be notified of your request. If the driver accepts, you will receive an SMS with confirmation. Thanks to geo-location, you’ll also be able to follow the driver in real time on the map as he makes his way towards you.
Dropbox is an easy way to sync files between your iPhone and computer, allowing you to share and access your files remotely. If you haven’t used the desktop version before, Dropbox basically adds a special folder on your computer, and anything you put in it is uploaded to the web. This can then be accessed from anywhere else by the account owner. This iOS version allows you to access your Dropbox files and also upload and share pictures and videos taken with the phone. Dropbox features a public folder, too. This is designed for files you want to share, and you can send friends or coworkers links that will take them directly to what you want to share. The free account is limited to two gigabytes of online storage but you can earn more by referring friends or enabling Camera Upload.
If you love shopping on Amazon, this is a must-have application. It’s the perfect tool for doing research or just browsing for products. The app is easy to use and allows you to access all of your Amazon information, including wishlists, purchase history, and recommendations. The home page of the Amazon App is dedicated to your personalized recommendations and there’s a special section for any deals going on at the moment. Amazon’s Lightning Deals features new products every day so the Amazon Mobile app is handy to have around to check the deals every morning. When you’ve done all your research and are ready to purchase, you can do it right from the Amazon App. If you have 1-click purchasing enabled, your orders will be completed instantly. Users can choose which credit card and address to ship to so you’re not limited to only one preset. You can search by typing in keywords but you can also use the built-in barcode scanner, or the ‘Flow’ feature (where you simply take a photo of an item) to quickly search products. This is a must download for all Amazon shoppers.
Google replaced Google Talk with Hangouts, a cross-platform unified messaging service. With support for photos and emoji as well as video calls with up to ten friends, Hangouts is a required replacement for Talk. Hangouts syncs across devices and only get notifications once. Interestingly enough, Hangouts doesn’t support “invisible” status. The chat app also features photo sharing support, multiple accounts, and read notifications showing how far your contact has read in your chat. Now in Hangouts, if you slide over the dialer screen there is now a call credit display in the upper right hand corner. You can tap the button up there to open a browser and add more money to your account as well. Even if you use Google Talk, Hangouts will replace it with this update.
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