Smartphones aren't cheap these days, and that's especially true of Apple's devices. The current iPhone X starts at $999, and Apple's upcoming iPhone releases don't figure to offer much more of a price break. 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.
The Civilizations AR app taps into iOS's ARKit tools to bring ancient relics and cultural treasures to life with augmented reality. You can view each artifact as a life-like 3D rendering, using your phone as an AR viewfinder. Not only do you get unprecedented views, you can also zoom in and spin around objects. Interactive features like x-ray views and narrations add to the experience, as you learn about the secrets, origins and history of these global cultural treasures.
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.
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.
Snapchat has grown from its origins as the self-destructing photo messages app, turning into a social media and messaging behemoth that lets you communicate with friends through chat, photos, video calls, and ongoing "stories" of photos and videos that you've posted up throughout the day. All of these things can be augmented with stickers, filters, and augmented reality effects. In addition to sharing your stories or viewing what your friends have to say, you can check out stories by other content creators and publishers and subscribe to content that you like.