If you just purchased or received an iPhone, iPad (Mini), or iPod Touch as a gift, then one of the first questions you are asking is, “What are the best apps I can get for my new iPhone 5, iPad Mini or any other iOS device?” Well, the truth is, there are a ton of really great apps out there and it partly depends on how you are going to use your iOS device. So, I just chose 10 that I use often. I highly recommend these. Some are free and some are not, but they are all worth having on your device. The links for each of the apps are in blue text and clicking through the link and purchasing any of the apps will help support this blog.
One of the first apps I recommend for everyone with an iOS device to install is some sort of first aid and/or survival guide. You may not use it all that often but it might just save your life the one time you do use it. In 2010, when the terrible earthquake hit Haiti, there was one aid worker, Dan Woolley, who got trapped beneath a bunch of rubble when the hotel he was staying in collapsed on him. Thankfully, he had the Pocket First Aid & CPR app on his iPhone and was able to figure out how to stop his bleeding and make sure he stayed awake for fear of being in shock. After 60 hours of being trapped, Woolley was pulled from the rubble. Here is a link to the article on CNN if you want to read more about it: Trapped Father Survives with Help of Phone App. All that to say, buy one of these apps. You won’t regret it. You could help save another person’s life or perhaps your own.
This is by far my favorite calculator app. My favorite feature is that the calculator creates a digital tape of all your calculations. So, at any point, you can pull down from near the top and see all your previous entries. You can also tap to copy a previous result or formula to use in your current calculation. Or, you can export the entire tape in an email. The user interface is simple and easy to use.
This is a fantastic app the helps you create shortcuts to other apps or certain tasks. It also gives quick access to turn on your camera flash as a Flashlight and change the brightness of your screen. I use this app every day. I recently wrote a more in-depth review of this app. You can find the article here: Launch Center Pro Article
This calendar app is much better than the built in Calendar app. It provides a way to add new calendar appointments with just a couple of taps. I also love the various week layouts and how simple it is to search for appointments. This app automatically syncs with all the calendar accounts you already have on your iOS device so there is no additional setup needed. I wrote an in-depth article about Easy Calendar. You can find the article here: Easy Calendar App Review
This is a very simple free app that keeps track of all your loyalty rewards cards. You enter the number on the bar code of your loyalty card and the app creates the necessary bar code for stores to scan. No more carrying around dozens of loyalty rewards cards – this app stores them all for you.
6. Google Maps
This app is a recent addition to the top 10 apps. Ever since the iOS 6 update, when Apple decided to stop using Google Maps as their default mapping service, people have been trying to find alternatives that provide a greater number of points of interest (and often times more accurate) that we are all used to with Google Maps. I also really like the local transit directions that had always been integrated into the Maps app. So, finally, Google released its own standalone app called Google Maps. It is actually far better than the old iOS 5 Maps app and it perfectly compliments and draws upon some of the things that Apple has done with their new Maps app. This is a highly recommended app and it is free.
This is by far the best news reader app out there. You can pull in all your favorite blogs, news sources, magazines, and social networks all in to one beautiful layout – all for free. And, since it presents little summaries of all the various sources you choose to include, you can get right to the articles or posts that are the most interesting. I recently reviewed this app. Here is a link to that article: Pulse Reader App Review
Dropbox is the key to syncing my entire digital world (along with iCloud of course). Dropbox offers a free account where you can store up to 2 GB of content in the cloud and access it from any device (PC, Mac, iOS, Android, etc). I store a ton of content in my Dropbox folder so that I can access it when I need it. The app is well designed and has the ability to read all kinds of different files. It also has an automatic photo upload feature that will upload and store photos. If the free account is not enough, you can always upgrade to a 100 GB, 200 GB or 500 GB account.
9. Genius Scan
This app will help you blend your physical and digital worlds. Genius Scan turns your iOS device into a scanner that you can then upload files to various locations in various formats. I use Genius Scan to take pictures of documents that I file in Evernote (the ultimate digital filing service – free). With the built in auto-correct filters, you can scan documents that look as good if you used a physical scanner. I recently reviewed this app. Check out the article here: Genius Scan App Review
It’s always helpful to know what the weather is and will be. The Weather Channel App gives you a ton of details about the weather in a user friendly way. This app also allows for push notifications for severe weather meaning that your iOS device will display an alert when inclement weather is on the forecast. The app is free and well worth having on your device.
11. Bonus: Angry Birds
Ok, so what do you do when you need some time to kill (or pigs to kill :)? Angry Birds, of course! This is a great app that won’t cost you much but will give you hours of addictive fun.
There you have it. Those are the top 10 (+1 bonus) apps I would recommend to anyone who owns an iOS device. I am sure there are tons of other fantastic apps that I could have included in this list. Feel free to leave these recommendations for the TeachMeiOS community in the comments section of this article. We’d all love to see what you recommend.