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 fantastic utility or interesting new features to your iPhone or iPad. (Image Credit: Sam Rutherford/Tom's Guide)
If you're curious about Snapchat's funky filters, but don't have the time for a new social network, Apple's Clips is for you. Clips allows iPhone and iPad owners to shoot stills and video and then add wacky filters. Its biggest selling point, though, is Live Titles, the subtitles you create by speaking. Just be prepared to repeat yourself, as the app may not always hear you right the first time.
Lake is a freemium coloring book app that's great for relaxing and winding down after a stressful day, and is great with kids and adults alike. The app comes with a selection of free illustrations, and each day, users can unlock and color a single new illustration, using coloring tools such as an acrylic or watercolor brush, spray paint, or a fill tool, with a gradient color wheel and custom palettes. In-app purchases can unlock new coloring books, and a subscription unlocks all content.
MyScript's Nebo is a feature-rich note-taking app built with the iPad and the Apple Pencil in mind. Featuring MyScript's Interactive Ink technology, Nebo automatically parses your handwritten notes into text, while allowing you to easily format your text, add extras like emphasis, underlining, bullet points, diagrams, mathematical notations, and picture annotation. Users can write equations and calculate or export to LaTeX, export text into Microsoft Office documents or text files, and search through your notes to quickly find something you've scribbled down. If you're more about jotting down notes as opposed to typing them down, MyScript Nebo is an incredibly versatile note-taking tool.
Enlight combines powerful photo editing tools with simple controls to provide a premium photo editing that works great on mobile devices. Featured in the 2017 Apple Design Awards, Enlight includes color and tone controls, filters and other editing tools, complete with masking features for seamless effect blending. Photo correction tools let you fix under- or overexposed photos, and a photo mixing feature lets you overlay different images for a double exposure effect. Versatile, easy to use, and packed to the brim with editing tools, Enlight is well worth the premium price.
Moleskine may be better known for its notebooks than its mobile apps, but the company's Timepage calendar app for iOS does a good job at being stylish and feature-packed. A smart calendar and day planner, Timepage works with existing calendar providers like iCloud, Facebook and Google, while providing some nifty calendar views and easy event creation. The base view provides a simple timeline of the day's coming appointments, with a date tab on the side for selecting specific days of the week. A month "heatmap" view quickly shows which days are free or busy, with filters surfacing particular events or calendars. Natural language parsing for event creation, maps and weather info, and natural language support are among the other additions. The iPad app provides expanded view modes and split-screen support.
The stock Voice Memos app does an good job as a voice recorder, but if you're looking for something more muscular, try out Just Press Record, a one-tap recording app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch that also adds some useful features like built-in transcription features for easy note taking. Users can record from a long press on the app icon, from a lockscreen or notification widget. The app can transcribe speech with support for a number of languages and spoken punctuation commands. Recordings are sorted by date and time, and can be manually renamed. The transcription also allows you to search through recordings for specific terms. You can sync recordings and transcriptions to iCloud, where they can be shared to a variety of apps.
Bear is a flexible writing and note-taking app that works great for jotting down quick notes, doodling, writing down poetry or prose, or even collecting snippets of code. Focus mode lets you get right down to business, and a markup editor supports 20 different programming languages. Inline image and photo support combined with Apple Pencil and hand sketching makes adding scribbles, doodles, and illustrations a simple task. Bear also includes cross-note links, and tag support for easy searching. A pro subscription includes note syncing, export options for multiple file types and extra editing tools.