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An iPhone is a bit boring without the best iPhone apps to populate it. After all, they are one of the things that set Apple’s smartphones apart from Android phones, as they are more often than not better than their Android counterparts. They also add a lot of utility to your phone.
Top Ten Best Iphone Apps
And while Apple does a lot of curating to help you find apps, such as those suggested by editors, it can still be difficult to figure out which apps are right for you and which should be skipped, let alone wading through all the options. Regularly uploaded to the store.
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Luckily, we’re here to help. Whether you’re on a new iPhone 14 or still using an older model (and these apps work on most of the iPhone range, although you should check if yours is several or more generations old), you’ll find new apps that we’ve downloaded and Tested every week. These are the ones who stand out from the crowd. If you can run some of these apps, we suggest checking out our best iPhones guide to get up to speed.
We’ve compiled our list of apps to cover all sorts of categories, so you can expand what iOS can do for you, whether it’s for kids’ entertainment, photos, videos, drawing, office tasks, reading, or anything else.
This round-up compiles our favorites, from top-quality creative tools and video editors to the finest productivity kit and social networking clients. In addition to our ongoing list of the absolute best, each month we add our picks for the latest and greatest new or updated apps, so check back often.
First up is our app pick from the past month, then click through to the following pages for the best iPhone apps in a range of categories.
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Why you can trust our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we try.
Sticker Drop (opens in a new tab) builds on Apple’s subject isolation feature, so you can quickly create custom stickers for messages. You can drag and drop selected parts of images into Sticker Drop, or import entire snaps. Stickers can be edited (border; drop shadow; corner curls), named and organized into packs. Edits are non-destructive and can be adjusted later.
Once you’re done, stickers can be plastered over posts, helping posts. But you can also share your work with other users. In a neat touch, if you’re sharing an entire sticker book, its Quick View view (in long print) resembles a real-world pack of stickers.
This attention to detail helps separate sticker drops. It’s a great showcase for how a developer can take a built-in iOS feature, run with it, and have a lot of fun.
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These are our favorite iPhone apps for editing snaps, capturing photos and video, and applying the filters that actually make things look good.
Obscura 3 (Opens in a new tab) Rethinks one of the iPhone’s best manual camera apps. Its predecessor relied on a circular control wheel, which felt great to use but made it difficult to drill down into key settings. Obscura 3 instead has five modes, each with its own set of controls.
By making the controls contextual, the interface feels coherent and refined. But Obscura isn’t robbed of tactility: for example, Pro Photo Mode’s focus and ISO controls have dials that afford you great precision when tweaking settings.
This is also an app with nice details. The focus loop and focus picking help you get pin-sharp snaps. Recent captures appear at the notch, not over your work area. Histograms, grids and format options help you take photos the way you want. And the one-off price tag feels like a bargain in a world of creative apps that increasingly demand subscriptions.
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Pixelmator Photo (opens in new tab) wowed on its 2019 iPad debut. It allows you to improve photos with a single tap, through a machine learning system trained on millions of pro-grade images. And if you want more control, you can endlessly fiddle with a selection of sliders and filters.
The iPhone incarnation of Pixelmator loses none of the functionality of its iPad sibling. Impressively, it also remains usable. Sure, it’s comparatively tight, due to the iPhone’s smaller display. But it wisely provides quick access to important controls and lets you hide what you don’t need.
Want your photos to look better, but this is the truth. There’s nothing like it on iPhone, whether you want lightning-fast one-tap fixes or to dig deeper into fine-tuning your snaps.
Halide Mark II – Pro Camera (Opens in a new tab) isn’t messing around. It has serious pricing – $11.99 / £11.99 / AU$19.49 per year or $39.99 / £38.99 / AU$62.99 ‘forever’ – but this is a serious camera designed to get the most out of your iPhone.
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The app’s layout doesn’t bombard newcomers with options, but puts powerful functions within easy reach, with gestures mimicking actions you’d make with real-world cameras. Manual focus puts you in control, while peaking and similar tools ensure you never take a dull shot.
Best of all, the app can optionally smartly marry Apple’s processing with the needs of pro photographers, making the RAW format accessible and immediate. In short, Halide is a better camera app for your iPhone camera.
Inkwork (opens in a new tab) is an app designed to instantly transform a photo into sketch-based art. And, yes, we’ve seen it all before — but few filter apps catch the eye in quite the same way as Inkwork.
The interface is sleek and polished. You can quickly change background and ink colors, and the size of the strokes, thereby making your virtual sketch more detailed or abstract, but really the filters themselves you will spend most of your time fiddling with.
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There are a lot of them – perhaps a little too many, as the choice can be a bit overwhelming at first – but for anyone who likes black and white art, there’s everything here from scratchy pen hatching to stylized comic-book fare. Selections happen instantly and without needing the Internet, cementing the place of the app in our list.
RTRO (opens in a new tab) is a vintage camera app from the people behind Pro Camera. But while the app is a serious brand, trying to turn your iPhone into a DSLR, RTRO is a bit more playful.
That doesn’t mean the app isn’t stylish, though; RTRO has a minimalist retro vibe that sits nicely alongside the various vintage looks you apply to your movies. The range from distressed VHS fade to subtle color shifts and film grain. Each filter has notes from its creator, outlining what they are aimed for.
Shooting is simple, and you can capture up to 60 seconds of video on multiple shots, before sharing your miniature masterpiece with your social network of choice. Neat, although there is a subscription fee, you can alternatively opt to buy one-off views for a couple of bucks a pop.
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Apollo (opens in a new tab) allows you to apply new light sources to portrait mode photos. This kind of photo records depth information and can be shot on any relatively recent iPhone (iPhone 7 Plus / 8 Plus / any ‘X’ iPhone). In Apple’s Photos app, you can add studio-style lighting, but Apollo takes things further.
The interface is usable, and offers scope for creativity. It’s simple to add multiple lights, and for each one define distance, color, brightness, spread and mask effects for simulating effects such as shadows cast by light coming through a blind window.
Apollo is probably not an iPhone app if you want an instant fix. It asks you to sort out the details, and fine-tune your settings. Also, it does not always create a realistic result. But when it works, it’s a little slice of magic that lets you apply complex lighting to a photo after the fact.
TouchRetouch (opens in a new tab) can rid photos of unwanted elements. Such tools are common – even in free apps like Snapseed – but TouchTouch is dedicated to the work affords it focus; More importantly, the tools you get are really good.
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Blemishes on faces can be removed with a plug. Larger objects can be painted out, which the app fills in the gaps. Alternatively, you can clone from one part of the image to another. There’s also a line remover, which smartly makes short work of power lines and the like that otherwise cut their way across your image.
Of course, automation of this kind has some drawbacks – TouchRetouch can’t match desktop apps where you engage in painstaking, time-consuming, pro-level retouching. But for the average iPhone owner who wants to remove annoying things from pictures, it’s worth the small expense.
Darkroom (opens in a new tab) is yet another photo editor for iPhone, but after a few minutes, you’ll probably decide that it should be permanently welded to your home screen.
The app is efficient, usable and sleek. Immediately, it invites you to delve into your on-device images. There is no mocking around. Cropping tools and adjustments
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