- Dave Smith/Business Insider
- The iPhone is an incredible piece of hardware, but apps unlock its true potential.
- I own over 200 apps on my iPhone X, but there are only 11 I couldn’t really live without.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
My iPhone X is my most used gadget. It’s my alarm clock in the morning, it’s in my hands all day long, and it’s the last thing I see before I go to bed.
The magic of the iPhone lies in its apps. There are literally millions of apps out there, for every kind of need: If you want to learn how to cook, or edit your photos to look like artwork, or learn another language, or anything else you can possibly think of, there’s probably an app for that.
Your favorite iPhone apps might be way different from mine, and that’s OK! But these are the 11 applications I swear by – and honestly couldn’t really live without.
Apollo, the best Reddit app there is
I love Apollo. It’s easily my favorite iPhone app.
Apollo is highly customizable: You can change how gestures work within the app so it’s most intuitive to your style, filter out words and subreddits you don’t want to see, and can change the appearance of the app, including its color themes and how posts, thumbnails, and buttons look. You can even change the app icon!
Apollo is built by Christian Selig, an incredibly attentive developer who is constantly updating the app based on users’ feedback.
I can’t recommend Apollo enough – and if you’re new to Reddit, here’s how to get started.
Waze, the best way to navigate the roads and avoid traffic
If you drive a car, Waze is a must. It’s the perfect way to get real-time updates on traffic, including accidents and things to avoid on the road.
Without fail, it seems to get me to my destination faster than any other navigation app I’ve tried, including Google Maps and Apple Maps. It’s also very good at helping you find parking.
Twitter, because I’m a glutton for punishment (and news)
Twitter might be a hellscape in a lot of ways, but it’s still the best place to get news right from the source, usually as it’s breaking.
Not only do media companies post their articles directly on Twitter, but people of interest – including politicians, actors, and influencers – directly communicate with their fans and audiences there, making it the best place to get information straight from the horse’s mouth.
Instagram, the best social network at the moment
Sorry, Facebook: You might own Instagram, but Instagram is the superior product.
Most of your Facebook friends exist on Instagram, but it’s far more enjoyable to browse the photo-sharing app. People are sharing happy moments like vacations, weddings, meals, and friend outings – compare that with Facebook, where brand posts feel more out of place and friends more often share bad news or wild stories, sometimes making you question your friendship with these people in the first place.
Slack, for working and chatting with colleagues
There may be no better team-communication tool than Slack. You can create private and public channels for all your members, message people individually, create threads for specific topics, and more.
We use it at Business Insider, and lots of media companies do the same – that’s because it’s incredibly effective at helping large groups of people collaborate.
Reminders, for staying on top of all my to-do’s
You don’t need a good memory if you know how to use Reminders, Apple’s native app that lets you create to-do lists that sync across all your Apple devices.
I use Reminders all the time in lieu of a traditional calendar. You can put due dates on your reminders so you never forget to go somewhere or do something. You can make repeating alerts so you never forget to take medicine or forget a birthday or anniversary. You can create reminders for certain locations so you don’t forget to pick up groceries when you leave work.
It’s simple but powerful, and it makes a world of difference if you’re someone trying to stay organized.
Google Maps, for discovering what’s nearby
Apple’s Maps app is getting a big boost later this year in iOS 13, but for now Google Maps is still the best app for getting around and discovering what’s around you.
You can create lists of locations and share them with friends, store maps offline, find and sort businesses nearby, and more.
Notes, for jotting down any idea
I’ve tried lots of note-taking apps, but I keep coming back to Apple’s Notes app, which comes pre-downloaded on your iPhone.
I do wish there were more ways to organize and categorize your notes, but I love all the options you have with note-taking: You can use rich text; change fonts; add tables, checklists, and bullet points; and even freehand draw right in the app.
Splitwise, for keeping track of bills
Splitwise is one of the best apps you can download, especially if you’re in a relationship or get meals with friends often.
Equity isn’t always easy to achieve, but Splitwise makes it simple. You can keep track of all the bills you’re splitting and decide how you want to split them (down the middle? 60/40?), and the app keeps track of what everyone owes. You can even add bills in different currencies.
At the end of each month, the app tallies what you owe – so you can pay each other back just once a month, instead of every time you pay for something.
Uber, for when I need a car to get from point A to point B
Uber is still the best ride-hailing app I’ve tried. It’s intuitive and easy to use, and you can get all sorts of rides – carpools, sedans, SUVs, and more – within minutes. Just remember to be kind to your driver.
Spotify, for all my music needs
Spotify, in my experience, is still the best app for connecting you to your favorite artists and helping you discover new music. A big part of Spotify’s success in this area is its Discover Weekly playlist, which updates every Monday and feeds you songs it thinks you’ll like based on your music preferences and what you’ve been playing recently.
But I love how Spotify has no issues working across devices: I can play music on my iPhone, my Amazon Echo, or my PlayStation 4, with no problems handing off.
Other apps I could live without but love and heartily recommend:
- Dave Smith/Business Insider
- LinkedIn, a great application for networking and job hunting.
- TapeACall Pro, which lets you tape phone calls and play them back later.
- Venmo, for paying back friends.
- Flixster, basically the mobile version of Rotten Tomatoes, for learning about upcoming movies and theater showtimes.
- Solebon Solitaire, for those quiet moments when you want a simple game.
- Things 3, for organizing your entire life.
What are your favorite apps?
I’d love to hear about your favorite smartphone apps. Shoot me an email at email@example.com.