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)
Travel and weather
Triposo: Best free iOS travel guide
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.
Forecast: Best free iOS weather app
When the iPhone was first unveiled, there was no App Store. Apple’s cunning plan was that everyone should write web apps. Although the web app bandwagon trundles on, few apps of that ilk rival native alternatives. One major exception is Forecast. The online service provides immediate and upcoming weather data, with eerily accurate rainfall predictions. To save it on your device, load the site in Safari, tap the share button, and select Add to Home Screen.
Citymapper: Best free iOS city travel planner
If you’re roaming around one of the places Citymapper supports, and fancy getting about a bit more efficiently, it’s a superb app. Pick a start point and destination and it lists public transport options and related costs, along with telling you how long it’d take to walk or cycle your route, and how many calories you’d burn. Alternatively, check out the Near tab for a mini map, nearby stops and stations, and to see what transport’s leaving and when. Frankly, we’re almost surprised the app doesn’t turn your iPhone into some kind of tiny car, to transport you about itself.
Google Maps: Best free iOS maps app
Apple initially made a mess of its own maps solution, and even today it’s imperfect. The Apple Maps app is pretty good for driving directions, but it’s not great on foot and it remains poor for locating points of interest.
Fortunately, Google’s alternative is excellent, accurate, and also bundles the useful Street View, for checking out routes before a long and unfamiliar journey. Smartly, it’ll also work offline, too, if you download chunks of map to your device.
Hear: best free iPhone wellbeing app
Hear: best free iPhone wellbeing app
Depending on your circumstances, Hear might come across like a mad remix app, a means for quiet, or a genuine help for getting through the day.
It applies varying amounts of delay, reverb and volume boosting to anything your iPhone hears. There are seven pre-defined filters, including psychedelic horror show Happy, the deep reverb washes of Office, and the oddball Talk, which auto-tunes voices around you.
Hear’s fun to try, but can prove practical, too, blocking out noise by remixing ambient sounds around you, rather than blaring music into your ears.
RunKeeper: Best free iOS fitness app
The developers of this app call it a ‘personal trainer in your pocket’. If you opt for RunKeeper’s ‘Elite’ membership (S$5.98 monthly), that might be the case; for everyone else, it’s instead a free, efficient means of logging your hikes, runs and bike rides, and taking a quick gander at the exercise your friends are doing (or not). Routes are mapped, stats are stored, and if you feel really tired half-way through a run, you can procrastinate for a few seconds by taking a photo from inside the app.