iCheapskate: the 35 best free apps for iPhone and iPad

UPDATED: We've overhauled our list of the best free iOS apps to bring it bang up to date

Just three of the best free apps for iPhone

Apps are big business, and they're one of the main reasons for the success of iOS.

Android may shift more units than Apple's mobile platform, but the App Store still tends to get the lion’s share of the best apps, from high-end audio tools through to cutting-edge education offerings.

But what can you get if you’re not willing to spend anything at all? Surprisingly, quite a lot; as our selection shows, fantastic free iPhone and iPad apps are available for all manner of tasks, from sprucing up photos and composing music through to keeping fit and exploring the world.

(Many thanks to Pixeden for the fabulous iDevice mockups)

35) PCalc Lite (iPhone/iPad)

PCalc Lite

For reasons that baffle us, Apple still doesn’t provide a calculator with the iPad. PCalc Lite is the best of the freebies, boasting an elegant interface, RPN mode, alternate themes, and conversions for length, speed, volume and weight. If you require more features, themes, layouts or conversion options, IAP enables you to bolt on bits of the app’s commercial sibling, the suitably named PCalc. (And the app’s great on the iPhone, too, bettering Apple’s built-in equivalent.) 

Download PCalc Lite

34) TodoMovies 4 (iPhone)

TodoMovies 4

Sometimes the best apps on the iPhone do one thing very well, and that’s certainly the case with TodoMovies 3. The app’s designed to help you manage movies you want to watch in the future: you can browse what’s playing or search a huge database of older titles.

Each film’s page includes a trailer and artwork, and can be added to your list with a tap. Once you’ve watched a film, you can rate it and send it to your Watched list, providing you with a portable directory of films you love - and those you hate and want to avoid ever seeing again!

Download TodoMovies 4

33) Triposo (iPhone/iPad)


There are plenty of travel guides on the App Store, but of the free ones Triposo is our favourite. The app isn’t restricted to just a few major cities - it has information on a wide variety of destinations.

Along with providing suggestions of things to see, Triposo can build a city walk for you, based on the amount of time you want to spend ambling about. Most usefully, it works offline (assuming you download relevant data before you leave), and so won’t chew through your overseas data allowance. 

Download Triposo

32) Flickr (iPhone/iPad)


Flickr’s had something of a resurgence in recent years, and the iOS app is an especially nice way to browse your friends’ photos, and also to upload your own. The built-in camera works very nicely, and along with adding filters to your snaps, you can perform rather more delicate and precise edits.

Best of all, you can upload in the background (to a private album) all your iOS photos, making full use of Flickr’s free 1TB of storage. 

Download Flickr here

31) Retrica (iPhone)


As of iOS 7, the Camera app gained eight live filters, but Retrica’s selection is much larger, drawing on decades of photographic styles. Other tools further boost creativity, including vignettes, blurs and borders. Our favourite feature, though, is the interval timer, which takes a number of consecutive photos and stitches them together in a user-defined layout.

Download Retrica

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