With more than 1.5 million apps available for download through iTunes, it can be daunting to determine which ones are worth your time and money. For every killer app there are numerous pointless ones. That's true even of the many free apps available for iPhone. So, here's our list of recommendations — a selection of 40 free apps that you'll be happy to have downloaded.
Whether you're looking to learn how to cook the perfect steak, DIY some furniture or craft other small projects, SnapGuide has got you covered. Easily among the most visually attractive and detailed crowd-sourced how to apps online, SnapGuide features numerous projects, repairs, recipes and lifehacks, with detailed instructions and full page photo guides. Users can view featured guides, check out a variety of topics from gardening, automotive, arts & crafts and other projects.
Marco Ament's Overcast is our favorite iOS podcatcher, offering a great combination of clean design and powerful audio and podcast management features. Overcast deftly handles episode playbacks and downloads, sends notifications of new episodes, and can play offline or through streaming if you need to save some space; plus it has some nice audio features. Voice Boost normalizes the sound levels of speech, automatically raising quiet voices and lowering loud ones. Smart Speed automatically cuts away at gaps and silence in the podcast, speeding up play without distorting audio.
Prosper Daily allows users to connect their bank and credit card accounts so that they can track spending and protect against fraud. Prosper Daily uses a combination of predictive algorithms and crowd-sourced data from other app users to spot suspicious activity and unfair or dubious charges. If it finds something fishy, the app flags the charges and notifies the user. Prosper Daily also doubles as a handy expense tracker, gathering all your charges and collecting them into one app.
Paper by Fifty Three may have started life as a drawing and notebook app, but it's since expanded to include checklists, photo annotations and general note-taking, all while retaining the app's expressive drawing engine and analogue feel. Users can easily bring together checklists, notes, and annotated photographs into a notebook system for easy organizing. Once you're done, your work can be exported into PDF, Keynote or Powerpoint formats for easy use. Whether you're looking for something to doodle with or a useful productivity tool, Paper delivers the goods.
A standout password manager on desktop, LastPass also features mobile support for subscribers to LastPass's premium service. The LastPass app is a password vault, strong password generator and browser all rolled into a single mobile app. Users can sync their password vaults, and then have LastPass automatically fill in forms and login details when surfing the Web and accessing sites. The service lets you use a master password or TouchID to access your vault and login. Users can also generate new passwords as well as add or update their list of Form Fills, Sites and Secure Notes.
The VSCO app provides users with a versatile package of tools and presets to tweak their photos and apply special effects, coming off as a slightly classier Instagram. VSCO's actual camera functions are on the spartan side, but the real magic lies in the photo editing features. Users can apply a variety of preset filters with adjustable strength sliders. You can tweak image saturation and temperature and apply film grain, shadows, highlights and more, with additional filter preset packs available as in-app purchases. The app keeps tweaking the formula, with a new "DSCO" feature allowing users to edit and share animated GIFs with VSCO editing tools; at the same time, other UI and feature changes have irked long time users.
While Apple offers cloud photo storage as part of its iCloud services, Google Photos is also another great option worth considering for your iPhone, primarily for its unlimited photo storage. Users can store an unlimited number of high-quality photos in their Google account, as well as up to 15GB of original resolution photos in their Google Drive space. Google Photos also offers a smart album assistant and basic photo editing tools. In addition, Google Photos features a smart search tool for finding familiar objects, places and event photos — features so good that the iOS 10 version of Apple's own Photos app is adopting a similar approach.