Smartphones aren't cheap these days, and that's especially true of Apple's devices. Even if you've picked up an iPhone SE on the cheap, you're still out $399. And with the iPhone 8's price tag expected to be especially high this fall, you're going to need to find ways to save in your mobile budget. Why not start with apps? The App Store offers plenty of free downloads, and we've found 40 that deserve a place on your iPhone. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Lips/Tom's Guide)
Apple's new Clips video app is an all-in-one package for quickly taking video clips, editing them and sharing them with friends, family, or over your social media networks. Easy video controls let you make short videos without having to mess with timelines, tracks, or more complex editing tools, for better or worse. Live Titles make it easy to insert captions or subtitles to your videos using just your voice, and users can apply a variety of filters, effects, and extras like animated speech bubbles and emoji. Smart sharing features recommend people to share your creation with based on who's in the video, or you can send the video directly to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media services.
Accompany brings together calendar and contact management features so you can up your meeting prep A-game. Sign up for the service with your work email account, and Accompany turns itself into your mobile chief of staff, assembling detailed profiles for people and companies in your upcoming events and meetings, all of which you can look up on the fly or consult in an Executive Briefing emailed to you the night before the event. You can look up your last communications with contacts, their social media posts, or news stories featuring them, as well as company profiles, financial reports, and news, meaning you'll never come unprepared. Users can sign up for the open beta in Accompany's site, and the app is available on iOS or through a web interface.
Open Whisper Systems' Signal is a fantastic messaging solution for security-conscious mobile users. It is a free all-in-one messaging and voice-call solution that uses end-to-end encryption. You can send text messages, voice calls, group messages, media and attachments to your phone contacts, all without having to mess with PIN codes or special login credentials. Messages can also be set to self-destruct after a certain amount of time. Ease of use and strong, open-source, regularly audited encryption makes Signal a favorite of the security-conscious, with accolades from Edward Snowden and other privacy advocates.
Using a combination of neural networks and artificial intelligence, Prisma takes images from your smartphone's camera roll and then transforms them into works of art in the style of famous artists like Munk or Picasso. It also applies a variety of special effects and visual transformations with a simple slider interface. You can then save your photos and easily share them across a variety of social media apps. It's a great way to transform your tired old holiday snaps into striking images worthy of using as wallpapers, digital postcards and more.
Busy people often forget daily tasks and chores, but Any.do is there to keep your schedule on track with to-do list, reminders, notes and the ability to share lists with and assign tasks to others. The app lets you sync between phone, desktop, web, and tablet to keep your lists up to the minute. A voice-entry feature lets you add items to your task list just by speaking. Calendar integration is available for better task list management. Further enhance your productivity with cross-platform support for sub-tasks, notes, and file attachments. Choose either a free or premium version with advanced features.
AccuWeather provides users with timely and detailed weather forecasts, from 15-day outlooks to the hyperlocal MinuteCasts. Forecasts come with animated weather info, radar maps, and detailed forecast summaries. Extra features include AccUcast, a system for crowd-sourced warnings on hazardous weather and road conditions, as well as customizable forecast details, weather-related videos, and Apple Watch support so that you can get forecast info at a glance.
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.