Apple's latest iPhones certainly impress, with their more powerful processors and camera enhancements. But it's more than just hardware that defines Apple's smartphones — the iPhone experience is also greatly enhanced by the software that you can install into each phone. It's not hard to find great lists of the best apps to load into your iPhone and iPad, if you want to load up on crowd favorites such as Facebook, Instagram or Spotify. But the App Store conceals a wealth of apps that might not have gotten any widespread accolades. We searched through the App Store to bring you more hidden gems — apps that don't always get a lot of attention or headlines, but deliver great utility, interesting new features or fantastic experiences to your iPhone or iPad. Whether you're picking up one of the new iPhones or just want to freshen up your current model, give some of these overlooked iOS apps a try. (Image Credit: Tom's Guide)
Editor's Note 11/11/2018: The holiday season is here. Make sure to check out our guide to the best iPhone XR Black Friday deals of the season.
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.
Another Apple Design Awards winner, 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 phone 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. The app subscriptions start at $4.99 per month, with a free 7-day trial.
Can't hear the TV at a noisy sports bar? Or maybe you want to listen without disturbing anyone else. Tunity is a neat app that lets you stream live TV audio straight to your headphones through your mobile device. Simply bring up your iPhone to scan the TV, and Tunity will stream audio through your phone to your headphones or Bluetooth speakers.
Skiplagged is a neat travel app can save you a fair amount of cash by taking advantage of "hidden city flights", where flyers get off at a layover, instead of at the final destination. Users enter their origin and target destination, and Skiplagged will show you the cost of a direct flight, as well as any cheaper "hidden city" flights that have your intended destination as a layover. The caveat? Stick to carry-on luggage, as any checked-in bags will go all the way to the flight's final destination. Skiplagged also allows you to book hotels, including last-minute deals and special offers.
Portrait mode on dual-lens iPhones like the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X lets you take striking photos, but if you want more customizable effects and the ability to refocus images, consider Focos, which lets you adjust Bokeh effects 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 Focos 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.
Rather than throw in a whole mess of features you might not even use, note-taking app Jot focuses on the bare essentials: the quick creation of notes and to-do lists, presented in a simple feed style with swipe menus for pinning, archiving or sharing your notes. Don't come in expecting stickers, elaborate tagging, sketching or other bling; Jot's specialty is quick, distraction-free note taking.
Cinder - Clean Your Contacts gives iPhone users a brutally efficient way to sort through their contacts, removing older, unwanted entries. Taking a page from Tindes, Cinder shows your contacts as a series of cards that you swipe right to keep or left to flag for possible deletion. Once you're done, you review all of the contacts that you've flagged before permanently removing them from your list. You can download more advanced contact manager apps to your iPhone, but Cinder's simplicity makes it a great way to blitz through your address book.