Everybody loves getting free stuff, and iPhone apps are no exception to this rule. Whether it's for productivity or fun, apps immeasurably expand the iPhone's usefulness. The following 25 apps are excellent, and they enjoy the added benefit of being free unless the user chooses to pay for premium versions that provide additional functionality.
Here are Wirefly's picks for the best free iPhone apps currently available:
At the time this article is being written, Gmail is number one under productivity apps in the Apple App Store. Its superior search capabilities as well as multiple account support and real-time notifications make it a favorite for many over the mail tool that comes with iPhones. It also just looks and works more like Gmail for those who already use it on their laptop or desktop and want the same color-coded threading and other Gmail specific touches that they've grown used to.
An intuitive interface and simple organizational structure help to make this productivity app very popular. At its core, Evernote is a note making app, but it's an exceptionally well-designed one with impressive search capabilities. Additionally, it allows users to synchronize notes and files to a secure space online, so they can be accessed on any device that it's installed on. Notes can be kept in many different formats including text, photos, audio files, image files, screenshots and web clippings.
While there are other apps on the market that help people organize what content they receive from blogs, websites and social networks, Flipboard takes it a step further by organizing this content into beautiful digital pages. It gives the feeling of reading through a magazine except that the stories it contains are keyed to each specific person's interests. The internet offers so much information that it can be information overload, which is why an app like Flipboard that curates content is so essential in allowing everyone to avoid wasting time.
This vital tool is a currency converter and so much more. It has multiple categories across which it can convert to different units, and these include measurements for cooking, gas mileage, temperature, pressure, speed, volume, weight, length and distance. The built-in mortgage, fuel economy, sales and tip calculators will be useful for many people, and all of this is in addition to being able to convert exchange rates between 167 of the world's currencies.
This is the ultimate place online for people of all walks of life to display pictures of things they like for the world to see. With this iPhone app, it's a literal snap to take a picture and then upload to Pinterest for the viewing pleasure of friends and family. Those with the app can search by keywords, and see what others are posting and get ideas for their life. Collaborating with friends and perhaps even making some new friends along the way has never been easier.
ESPN: Live Sports & Scores
Many of the apps in this list are all about work and productivity, but this one is a reminder that we all need to have a little fun too. It lets users check the latest scores on their favorite game whether that be baseball, basketball, football, soccer, rugby, cricket and others. For those not satisfied with scores alone, the ESPN Score Center will show highlights from favorite games, and this app is constantly updating throughout the day with new scores and highlights.
For those who have multiple documents across multiple devices that need to be kept organized, Dropbox is essential. It gives users one central location online for all of their important documents where they can access them with a simple password from their iPhone, laptop or desktop. It's especially helpful for those working on a group project, so all necessary documents and information are accessible to everyone that needs them.
This popular app is a favorite among those who need to be productive and squeeze as much out of each day as possible. Its features include the ability to capture tasks as well as organize reminders, ideas and to-do lists. This useful app helps anyone to stay organized. As an added bonus, quick updates from coworkers and simple organizing of tasks and projects make teamwork a breeze.
The free version of this app offers an impressive 15 gigabytes of storage space where users can backup files from their laptop, desktop or iPhone. When simply backing up files to another hard drive in the office or at home, there is still the risk of loss from fire or theft. Google Drive is an excellent solution for secure, off-site storage of documents that puts them within easy reach. Being online, this app makes the sharing of these documents among coworkers effortless since they're available from any device or location with a simple internet connection.
Feedly - Smart News Reader
Described as a smart news reader, this app allows users to be connected to the information they want in a single location. It's used by professionals and those who simply wish to keep up-to-date on subjects they care about. It pulls blogs, publications and videos together into one place, which saves users the time of switching between apps to see what interests them. Sharing items of interest with friends or coworkers is enhanced by its ability to integrate with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Evernote and OneNote just to name a few.
J&J Official 7 Minute Workout
Practically everyone is aware of the importance of exercise, but frequently, there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day to squeeze it in. This is where the Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout App comes into the picture. It may actually be closer to 11 minutes with a warm up and cool down included, but it still comes programmed with a number of exercise routines that will deliver a maximum amount of benefit in the least amount of time. Despite its name, it does come with additional workout routines that last longer, and it enables users to create custom workouts by combining exercises. It even contains dozens of high-definition video tutorials detailing how to do various exercises.
This app is number one in the navigation category of the Apple App Store at the time of this writing and with good reason. Anyone who has to figure out how to get somewhere as directly and quickly as possible can benefit from having this app on their iPhone. Its real-time updates of traffic conditions enable users to take the best route that's currently available. It also gives pedestrian directions and shows local transit service stops and routes. This app, more than any other on the market, gets people where they need to go.
This is the go-to app for anyone searching for bargains on flights, hotel rooms, vacation packages and rental cars. Their motto at Hotwire is “spend less, travel more,” and they frequently have the deals to back this up. Those with more love of travel than money can save up to 60 percent off hotel rooms and up to 50 percent off car rentals. The Hotwire app includes the ability to check trip details, reservations and confirmation numbers while on the way to a favorite destination.
My Data Manager - Track Usage
For many people, their iPhone data plan can be a significant monthly expense. This app tracks data usage, so people on the go can stay on top of what they're spending each month. You only need to input the available data usage on your phone plan and the billing cycle, and this app handles the rest. It will send out alerts when nearing the monthly data limit, or it can tell you if an unlimited plan is worth the money based on your actual data usage.
This is the preeminent restaurant reservation app available for the iPhone with over 43,000 restaurants around the world supporting it. It gives anyone the ability to refine dining choices by cuisine and location, and it allows the input of personal preferences in order to receive more refined recommendations. OpenTable displays menus, photos and reviews for every restaurant to make the choice of where to eat easier than ever. Earning reward points toward future meals every time it's used to book a reservation makes using this app a literally rewarding experience.
For those who are traveling abroad or studying a new language, Google Translate can be an invaluable app to have available. It lets anyone translate between 103 languages when connected to the internet, and the app itself contains enough information to enable translations between 59 languages even while offline. Its ability to translate bilingual conversation in real time can really help in those situations where travelers have to know what someone is saying.
This app excels at making anyone's life easier by automating tasks. The name of the app is an acronym standing for “if this, then that.” The user can basically set up almost any action to follow any other one automatically. For example, if someone snaps a photo with their camera, IFTTT can be set up such that the photo is automatically uploaded to one of their social media accounts. This functionality is made far more practical thanks to it integrating with over 600 other apps including Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, Twitch and devices such as Amazon Alexa and Nest.
LevelUp: Order food ahead
The tagline for this app is “never wait in line again,” and for many users, it is delivering this benefit every day of the week. It enables credit card payment for food at participating locations over your phone, so you don't have to wait to pay after arriving at your favorite cafe, diner, restaurant, store or coffeehouse. Considering that Americans cumulatively spend about 37 billion hours a year waiting in lines, anything we can do to bring that number down can only be seen as a positive.
This app opens up the ultimate professional networking website for iPhone users. LinkedIn lets users create a profile where they can showcase their work-related accomplishments and responsibilities and tell the world what they're interested in. Anyone can manage all of their professional relationships here, and it's also the top way to conduct a social job search by enabling people to apply right through the app. For professionals in any field or industry, this is an indispensable free app to have on their iPhone.
This app is a one-stop-shop for finding and booking deals on flights, hotels and rental cars. Those who travel with any frequency at all should not be without it. As TV commercials for this app say, it automatically searches hundreds of travel sites, so you don't have to. It enables all travel plans to be organized in a single place and offers private deals and mobile-only rates. That it also shows airport terminal maps, security wait times and flight status updates is icing on the cake.
Mint: Personal Finance & Money
For most people, tracking finances is a laborious task that they wish they could relegate to an accountant. Mint enables anyone to have detailed insights on all income sources and their spending habits in order to better track their finances and stay within budget. Mint brings together bank accounts, credit cards, bills and investments in one place, so gaining control over income and outgo has never been easier.
This is an excellent diet tracker and calorie counter for the iPhone. Whatever your fitness or weight loss goals, MyFitnessPal makes reaching it as easy as possible with its simple design and intuitive interface. Its huge food and nutrition database is a big part of what makes this a top app under Health & Fitness in the Apple App Store. It covers all the basics of tracking food eaten and exercise completed and even provides support and motivation. It also tracks progress photos taken with your iPhone to help chart your progression toward fitness goals and enables the sharing of this information to get encouragement from friends and family.
Pocket: Save Stories for Later
There isn't an internet user alive who hasn't run across a story or video they wanted to read or watch but just didn't have the time. With the pocket app, they can just save that interesting blog post or article to their pocket, and then they'll be able to read it later. Perhaps the greatest benefit of this app is that it saves these tidbits of interest in a manner that enables them to be accessed later even when offline. It also affords the app user a clean reading or viewing experience since any ads or other distractions are stripped from the item of interest when saved to the pocket.
With a 4.8 out of 5 star rating in the Apple App Store from approximately 1.2 million users, no music lover could go wrong by downloading this app to their iPhone. Features such as creating personal playlists, shuffling music and finding playlists for any mood or moment are keeping this app at the head of the pack. Spotify quite literally enables anyone with an iPhone to play any song at any time, and it just doesn't get better than that.
Anyone tired of embarrassing autocorrect “fixes” or who is all thumbs when it comes to typing on their iPhone should get this incredibly helpful utility. Basically, SwiftKey learns from the user as they type, and this enables it to become much more accurate as far as predicting what they meant to say. As the tagline for this app says, it truly does enable “faster, smarter, easier typing” on any iPhone because of its incredible ability to learn and adapt itself to a particular users typing habits.
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