Smartphones aren't cheap these days, and that's especially true of Apple's devices — the iPhone X starts at $999. Even if you've picked up an iPhone SE, you're still out $349. If you're looking for ways to save on your mobile budget, why not start with apps? The App Store is loaded up with free options ready to fill up your new iPhone. Here are 40 free iOS apps that we think have earned a spot on your mobile device. (Photo Credit: Tom's Guide)
Noted turns your iPhone 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.
What Noted is to audio notes, Scanbot is to documents. Scanbot turns your iPhone 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. While the app is free to use, premium subscribers get extra features like optical character recognition, iCloud synchronization, support for a variety of file transfer protocols, editing, encryption, and passcode protection.
WhatTheFont helps even the most basic layperson identify fonts, using optical character recognition and your iPhone's camera lenses as a viewfinder. Simply snap a picture of the font you want to ID, and the app does the rest, finding the closest matches in MyFonts' database in addition to similar fonts. You can even test drive the font by typing out text within the app.
Habitica gamifies forming good habits and knocking to-dos off your task list by using RPG-like elements that reward you for getting things done. Users create avatars, and each time you tick off a task or habit, you progress toward leveling up your character, unlocking new gear, and customizations like pets and mounts. You can also participate in quests alone or with friends, dealing damage to the boss monster with each task that you tick off, or taking damage every time you miss a daily task.
Google Trips turns your smartphone into an all-in-one travel assistant, consolidating travel itineraries and reservations from your emails into automatically sorted trips. Google automatically collates your flight details, hotel and car reservations, tour itineraries and other information available in your emails. The app then augments that with recommendations, suggested day plans, and related local sights based on your tastes, interests and local travel tips. Users can save their trip details locally to their iPhone, allowing for offline use away from local Wi-Fi or pricey roaming rates.
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.
Business news app Quartz doesn't inundate you with voluminous long reads that will wind up in the land of "TL;DR." Instead, the app offers you bite-sized digests and summaries, almost in the form of text messages that you can react to, click through to more detailed writeups, or simply breeze past. Quartz's notifications can come with photos, news digests, charts, GIFs, or even 3D augmented reality objects that you can play around with or learn more about.