If you’ve just gotten a new iPhone — whether it’s your first iPhone ever or simply the latest installment of a long-standing loyalty to Apple’s phones — you’ll likely have some adjusting to do. If you’re a veteran iPhone user, you’ll need to get used to iOS 9, plus new hardware features like 3D Touch. And if you’ve never had an iPhone before, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with a brand-new operating system and an unfamiliar phone.
One of the best things about getting a new phone is installing the apps that will make the new device both fun and functional. But, particularly if you haven’t used iOS or its App Store before, you probably feel a little bit overwhelmed when you think about how you’re going to find the most useful apps for your new iPhone — particularly if you’re looking for something beyond the array of apps that come pre-loaded on every iPhone.
1. Day One
Day One is a great app to download if you want a simple way to keep a journal or notes that you can access from your iPhone, tablet, and computer. You can make journaling a habit with notifications, add photos to your notes, and add context to your memories with information like weather and location. The app can sync and back up your data, and you can even share select entries with Facebook or Twitter.
2. Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is a must-have for anyone who keeps in contact with friends or family members via Facebook. You can send text messages, make voice or video calls, share photos and videos, and record voice messages from Messenger. You can also send a map of your location to friends you’re meeting up with, send money to friends when you split the bill, or start group chats with your favorite people.
3. Google Maps
Google Maps is a great alternative to Apple Maps if you, like many iPhone users, have had less-than-stellar experiences with the iPhone’s default navigation app. Google Maps can choose a route for you based on real-time traffic data, suggest which lane you should be in, and help you avoid traffic jams. Thanks to an integration with Open Table, you can also make a restaurant reservation from within the Google Maps app.
Manual is a great choice if your iPhone’s camera is the feature you’re most excited about learning to use. Manual enables you to get custom exposures with your iPhone camera, with full control of the shutter, ISO, white balance, focus, and exposure compensation. You can save your photos directly to your Camera Roll, and use a rule of thirds grid to better compose your photos.
Slice will be your best friend if you’re a frequent online shopper. Slice will automatically identify tracking numbers in your email when you make a purchase, which makes it a lot easier to keep track of when your boxes will be delivered. Slice can also help you to get your money back if the price of an item drops after you buy it, send you an alert when something you buy has been recalled, and easily access receipts for returns or for work-related expenses.
SwiftKey is a keyboard that replaces iOS’s default keyboard with one that adapts to the way you type. SwiftKey learns your writing style to give you more accurate autocorrect and next-word prediction. That reduces the number of keystrokes you have to make, and the app offers a number of other features — like multilingual typing, support for more than 800 emoji, and swipe typing — to make typing faster and easier.
Timeline is a must-have for news junkies, and puts the day’s news in context. Its content offers a different way to think about the day’s headlines, and makes sure that you’re informed about the historical context of the day’s event. You can scroll through the timeline quickly to get a quick glimpse of what led to the day’s news, or read all of the details of the stories and topics that interest you.
Workflow is one of those unique apps that can make your iPhone and the apps on it work better for you. You can connect apps and actions together to automate the things you do on your phone. The app supports more than 200 different actions, and even enables you to make your own apps that will be housed on your home screen, or create extensions that plug into other apps.
Spotify is a great app to download if you aren’t a fan of Apple Music. You can listen for free, or subscribe to the premium service. You can find your favorite artists and albums, make playlists, listen to playlists for every genre and mood, discover new music, or even get a student discount or a family plan.
Mint is an App Store favorite thanks to its wide array of tools to help you manage your finances right from your phone. You can make a budget, track your spending patterns, monitor your investments, and get custom recommendations based on your lifestyle and goals.
11. Dark Sky
Dark Sky is a much more capable weather app than the one that comes pre-loaded on your iPhone. It can predict when it will start raining or snowing at your exact location, and offers you a detailed outlook for the next 24 hours. You can also get a day-by-day summary of the weather for the next week, and watch weather patterns evolve with beautiful maps and simulations.
Evernote is a perennial favorite among users who need to stay organized across their devices, and for good reason. You can write and collect ideas in notes, clip web articles, capture handwritten notes, share ideas, and collaborate with other users. You can even transform your notes into a screen-friendly layout for presentations, and access all of your notes on your phone, tablet, or computer.