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 also includes 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)
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.
Unfold provides a clean and easy-to-use creative tool that focuses on creating slick and polished Instagram Stories-ready presentations. Download the app, and you'll get an arsenal of sleek and elegant templates that you can apply to your photos. It's a no-guff approach that focuses on the simple and stylish, eschewing the wacky for the elegant, with 25 free templates and fivefonts, applicable on photo and video presentations; even more are available as in-app purchases.
The old-fashioned pen-pal gets a modern take with Slowly, a social app that's intended for a slower, more deliberate messaging experience that might otherwise get lost in our modern age of instant gratification. Users set up a simple profile with an avatar, location and a list of interests; Slowly will then match you with users with similar interests. Unlike traditional messaging apps, Slowly adds a time delay element to your messages, encouraging longer-form writing at a more deliberate pace. In addition, the app has a stamp collection feature, with each message coming with stamps based on the sender's location, as well as special seasonal stamps or premium ones available as in-app purchases. You can also share a limited number of photos per day if your pen friend has agreed to receive them.
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.
Transit is a fantastic aid for commuters, helping you plan out the fastest public transport routes to your destination. The app provides routes that combine numerous transportation methods — such as trains, buses, and bike sharing — while also factoring in short walks to each stop and wait times. Transit can provide real-time data on arrival times of your bus or train, compare routes, step-by-step navigation, and notifications for service line disruptions. You can even book an Uber or reserve a car2go from within the app if public transport has failed you.