These apps excel on the iPhone X
The iPhone X is unlike any Apple smartphone that's come before it, thanks in large part to that extended edge-to-edge screen and the notch housing the TrueDepth camera and Face ID sensors. With Apple about to launch the latest generation of iPhones, all of which are likely to adopt the iPhone X's notched display, we're taking a look at some of our favorite apps that take advantage of the iPhone X's hardware, augmented reality capabilities, and its enormous screen real estate. (Image Credit: Caitlin McGarry/Tom's Guide)
Halide ($4.99 / £5.99)
Halide is among our favorite iPhone photography apps, and it's also leading the way with an interface that doesn't just adapt to the iPhone X screen but also takes advantage of new hardware and software features in the phone. The UI's been redesigned to support the iPhone X's edge-to-edge screen, and even uses the "horns" on either side of the camera and speaker notch to display information like exposure settings. Under the hood, Halide also includes support for depth maps, allowing users to apply portrait effects in iOS 11's Photos app. All of that is on top of Halide's already excellent photographic feature set and uncluttered interface.
HBO Now ($14.99 per month)
Westworld may not be on right now but there's plenty of reason to have an HBO subscription. HBO Now lets you stream shows on your iOS device without signing up for a cable package, and you can easily cancel when your show du jour ends for the year. With its iPhone X-optimized app, HBO looks better on a small screen than ever before. If you are looking for something like it in the UK, then try Amazon Prime Video.
Focos takes advantage of the iPhone X's dual lens camera and depth recording features to let users tinker around with and refocus images after the fact, delivering a more customizable Bokeh effect with variant shapes, adjustable aperture and diaphragm settings, and added depth filters. You can even tweak your existing Portrait Mode photos after the fact. While it doesn't have the newer customizable lighting features of the stock camera's updated Portrait Mode, it's an excellent addition to your mobile photography bag of tricks.
Enlight Photofox (Free)
Enlight Photofox is the latest edition of the award-winning photo editing app, allowing users to create stunning double exposures and other artfully manipulated effects. The app provides a wealth of tools to affect color and tone, with filters, masks and layer effects making it easy to stitch together photos with a variety of blending modes and tools to keep everything seamless. The app offers some effects free, with an unlimited subscription unlocking all features.
Where Focos and Enlight provide stunning specialized editing features, when it comes to all around photo editing, Snapseed is still one of our favorites with its combination of ease of use and powerful, pro-grade features and editing tools. The app's arsenal runs the gamut from simple transformation tools, filters, and effects, to more powerful retouching and editing features that you can selectively apply with editing brushes and customizable "Control Points" for more precise enhancements. It's a powerful, easy to use and ad-free photo editor that easily deserves a spot in your iPhone's app drawer.
The Civilizations AR app brings ancient relics and cultural treasures to life using augmented reality to turn your iPhone X into a mobile museum. You can view each artifact in lifelike 3D renderings, using your phone as an AR viewfinder. Not only do you get unprecedented views, you can also zoom in and spin around objects. Be sure to check out interactive features like x-ray views and narrations, and learn about the secrets, origins and history of these global cultural treasures.
iTranslate Converse ($4.99 / £4.99 a month )
A winner of the 2018 Apple Design Awards, iTranslate Converse is a more nimble version of iTranslate's mobile app, focused entirely on two-way voice translation for 38 different languages, with automatic language detection. Speak into the iPhone X's mic, and the app quickly translates your speech into your selected language, complete with text and audio. Then, it's ready to listen for an answer and translate to the first language you used, and provide text transcripts. Converse's main virtue is its ease of use, with a simple interface and few extras to get in the way. Subscriptions start at $4.99 / £4.99 per month, with a free 7-day trial.
Calzy 3 ($1.99 / £2.99)
Calzy 3 takes a neat approach to calculator apps with a "Memory Area" for quickly saving and labeling calculations, variables, and other bits of data that you might want to store for easy reference across multiple sessions. The app also includes a configurable keyboard, 3D touch support, scientific functions, history and bookmarking, as well as multitasking support. It's an excellent all around calculator app, so it's no surprise that it was recognized with a 2018 Apple Design Award.
Featured in the 2018 Apple Design Awards, Agenda is a note-taking app that stands out on Mac and iOS devices. This app takes a date-oriented approach to organization, attaching timestamps to your notes so that you can easily view your progress and the evolution of your projects. You can organize your notes by project and category, and highlight specific items into your agenda to make them easier to find. Notes can be synced on iCloud or shared through print or a variety of formats like PDF. The app is free to use, with premium features like events and markdown editing unlocked through an in-app purchase.
Noted turns your iPhone X into a powerful audio recording and note-taking tool perfect for keeping track of lectures, meetings, interviews, and other occasions. The app records audio, while also allowing users to type out notes (with rich text and image support), which are automatically time stamped with bookmark-like searchable "time tags" for easier navigation. Recordings and their accompanying notes can be synced through iCloud, organized into notebooks, and quickly searched through, with the help of time tags, audio scrubbing and fast playback. Noted's free tier has core functionality and lets you save up to five recordings, with premium plans removing that limit and adding features such as noise reduction and exporting notes to PDF.
Scanbot turns your iPhone X into a powerful portable scanning tool, allowing you to scan documents and QR codes and save them in high quality JPG or PDF files. The resulting scans can be saved locally, shared to the cloud or faxed from within the app. Automatic edge detection and a wide array of filters, tools, and settings help you get the clearest scan possible from your iPhone's camera. That, in turn, allows you to create clear, readable electronic versions of your important documents and notes. Premium subscribers get extra features like optical character recognition, iCloud synchronization, support for a variety of file transfer protocols, editing, encryption, and passcode protection.
Asphalt 9: Legends (Free)
Prepare to be wowed by Gameloft’s Asphalt 9: Legends, with the latest edition of the racing series focusing on blazing fast hypercars from prestigious manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini and W Motors. The game lets you customize your cars with materials, colors, and rims. You can then take it out for a spin in a career mode featuring more than 60 seasons and 800 events, as well as in online multiplayer. Asphalt’s focus is squarely on arcade fun rather than realism, with nitro pulse speed boosts and 360-degree knockout spins, combined with slick, hyperdetailed cars and console-quality visual effects. It's a nice showcase for the iPhone X's powerful graphics capabilities and gaming chops, and those graphics really standout on the phone's OLED screen.
Dark Sky revolutionized mobile weather forecasting with its hyper-local weather forecasting, and the app continues to improve on the formula, with a major revamp of its iOS app that puts more weather data right at your fingertips. The freakishly accurate hyperlocal forecast is now accompanied by a precipitation map for the next hour, as well as handy hourly forecasts and a temperature graph. Severe weather alerts, customizable notifications, and a Today widget make sure you're never caught unprepared for what the day will bring, whether it's a slight drizzle or a severe thunderstorm.
Deliveries ($4.99 / £4.99)
Deliveries is one of the best all-in-one package tracking apps available online, with support for a variety of services, including UPS, USPS, FedEx and DHL. A simple system allows you to enter package information through tracking numbers or via iCloud syncing that pulls delivery information from your emails and receipts to automatically populate your incoming deliveries list. You can then view a quick timeline summary of incoming and delivered packages and ETAs; you can even find the location of your packages on a map where available, or through the provider's online tracking portal. A Today widget keeps you informed of incoming packages and notifies you of package arrivals.
HQ Trivia (Free)
HQ Trivia brought the television game show format to the iPhone last August and has been delighting players with live daily trivia games ever since. On the iPhone X’s almost bezel-free display, the game feels more immersive as popular host Scott Rogowsky makes jokes to fill the time between questions. It’s not quite the same as watching a rerun of Jeopardy on a big TV screen, but it’s just as fun.
Reeder 3 ($4.99 / £Free)
Reeder has long been one of our favorite news reader apps on iOS, with its clean, no-nonsense viewer and its support for a wide variety of services like Feedly and Feedwrangler. It's a great fit on the larger screen real estate that the iPhone X brings, displaying stories in dense, no-nonsense email-style lists, and a clean article viewer strips away ads and other unnecessary extras. Swipe controls let you quickly switch from the article view to the full website or to user-configurable actions in list view. In addition, Reeder supports a variety of sharing services, such as Pocket, Pinboard and Evernote.
Flipboard is another old favorite, turning bland-looking web articles into slick presentations not out of place in some glossy magazine. Users select from a slew of topics and interests, and the app builds a “Smart Magazine” devoted to your selections, feeding you a rich blend of articles from reputable sources all across the web, all of which you can now enjoy on the edge-to-edge screen of the iPhone X.
Alto's Odyssey ($4.99 / £4.99)
Snowman taps into the same magic that produced a hit with Alto's Adventure. The follow-up, Alto's Odyssey, once again has you guiding Alto and friends through an ethereally beautiful landscape. In this version, though, you trade snowy highlands for impossible dunes and desert vistas, as you pull off tricks and jumps to avoid rocks, and other hazards catching as many coins as possible. What sets Odyssey apart is the addition of numerous new environmental elements, such as tornadoes, balloons and cliff edges that you can wallride. Put another way, Alto's Odyssey expands on the original's gameplay without tacking on too much to the elegant simplicity that made Alto's Adventure such an appealing and relaxing infinite runner.
1Password ($3.99 / £3.49 a month)
Password manager app 1Password hit the ground running for the iPhone X's debut, building in support for Apple's Face ID. The new feature gives you quick access to your password vault and other protected information without having to fumble around and enter clumsy text logins. Even if you're not packing the latest and greatest in Apple hardware, 1Password still has you covered with an encrypted password vault, TouchID, a searchable database with tags and custom datafields, and password sharing.
Spotify is another app that just updated its interface to fit the new dimensions of the iPhone X, removing the unsightly letterboxing effect that had plagued the app till now and providing you all that extra screen space to for displaying the album cover or to help you navigate through your playlists and tracks. Otherwise, it's still the same streaming music player, with an immense library of albums, soundtracks and new releases for you to listen to.
The Machines ($4.99 / £4.99)
Last year's iOS 11 update introduced us to ARKit, which makes it easier to build augmented reality apps for Apple's phones. The iPhone X is particularly fine-tuned for AR, and that's on display in The Machines, a multiplayer action game that turns your tabletop into a virtual battlefield. Players take command of a force of machines to defeat their enemy, with the iPhone serving as a viewfinder that you have to physically move around to position your forces and aim superweapons. Players can train and learn in the practice mode, and once they're ready, they can battle it out in online multiplayer or in local multiplayer with friends gathered around the same table.
Read-it-later app Pocket is a helpful addition to your iPhone X, providing a handy service for users to quickly save links, articles, images, video clips and web pages for easy offline viewing afterwards. Pocket trims things down into a clean, distraction-free format that can be organized with tags and listened to with text to speech, and the expanded screen space on the iPhone X makes for a comfy reading experience.
Netflix ($10.99 / £5.99 a month)
Streaming media juggernaut Netflix knows how important its mobile arm is to its business, so it's wasted no time working on an iPhone X-optimized version of its iOS app with an option to watch videos in full edge-to-edge mode (which includes some slight cropping and with the 'notch' in the way), or a more traditional view with black bars on the side. Netflix has also added support for new standards like Dolby HDR video, and subscribers can watch a wealth of TV shows, movies, and Netflix original films and series such as Stranger Things and the Marvel TV universe.
YouTube has also been on the move with interface updates to match Apple's newest premium device, with full-screen support now available alongside pinch controls that bring up the video to fill up the whole screen. If you do mind the notch, YouTube can still display videos uncropped with black bars.
Social network juggernaut Facebook also tweaked the familiar interface of its app to fit the iPhone X, keeping the notch from getting in the way, while making sure that all that extra screen space looks good for browsing through your news feed. Otherwise, it's the same ubiquitous Facebook experience that everyone's come to love and loathe, with your friends and family's posts, status updates, photos and link shares.
Facebook's photo sharing platform unsurprisingly has also updated to fit the iPhone X, with Instagram really benefitting from the ability to have photos fill the whole screen. Purists will decry the fact that the notch is getting in the way, but it looks great if you don't mind a bit of cropping.
Long one of our favorite iOS podcatchers, Overcast has updated its app to support iOS 11 and the new iPhone X's expanded screen space. UI tweaks make sure that the phone's notch doesn't get in the way, and basic drag-and-drop controls have been introduced with iOS 11. All of that is on top of Overcast's excellent podcast discovery and download management, playlist and playback controls, and audio enhancements.
Google Earth (Free)
Google Earth now also supports the iPhone X's native display, and looks particularly immersive as the map view stretches from edge to edge of your phone screen. In addition, iPad users now also get multitasking support, allowing them to keep Google Earth open while using other apps.
Apollo for Reddit (Free)
Apollo is an excellent iOS Reddit browser, with a ton of features such as markdown editing for comments, a jump bar for quick navigation, and an excellent media viewer for everything from photos, videos, and GIFs. The latest version makes sure the interface doesn't get obscured by the notch, resulting in a great Reddit viewer that just flows across the screen.
Image Credit: Apollo
Monument Valley 2 ($1.99 / £4.99)
Mind-bending puzzle game Monument Valley has long been a favorite when it comes to mobile brain-teasers, thanks to its Escher-esque puzzles confounding and astounding players in equal measure. Monument Valley 2 adds the ability to control a second character, as players guide the heroine Rho and her child through the game's labyrinthine levels. The iPhone X rework means that you'll get to enjoy the game's gorgeous landscapes from edge to edge of your new device's screen.