Apps are big business and one of the main reasons for the success of iOS. Android may shift more units than Apple's mobile platform, but the App Store gets the lion’s share of the best apps, from high-end audio tools through to cutting-edge education offerings.
But what can you get when unwilling to spend anything at all? Actually, loads; 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.
Below, you can find our favourite free travel and weather apps. Then check out Stuff’s pick of the best free iOS apps for: Health and wellbeing | Photography | Art, video and animation | Music, audio and video | Entertainment | Education and learning | Work and studying
Weather Underground: Best free iOS weather app
At the last count, there were about a billion weather apps knocking around. Weather Underground rises above the dross through a clever panel-based approach. If you just want to scan the forecast and rainfall for the coming hour, you’re set. But if you are a weather wonk, desperate to check air quality, UV risk, and what the wind speed will be like at precisely 2pm tomorrow, scroll down a bit and the details will be there. You get widgets. You get customisation. You also, unfortunately, get ads – but they’re at least unobtrusive and can be nuked annually for £1.99 per year.
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.
XE Currency: best free iOS currency convertor
When you’re grappling with unfamiliar currency, the last thing you need is for an app to make things difficult, resulting in you accidentally spending your entire life savings on a sponge. XE currency might not be the prettiest app around, but it’s straightforward and usable.
You concoct a custom list of currencies, and prod any of them to make it the main one. Tap the calculator to enter a value and conversions happen instantaneously. If you’re offline, the app retains the most recent rates it downloaded. You can also compare the rates you get at a cashpoint or bureau de change to see how much you just got ripped off.
Google Translate: best free iOS translation app
Google has a habit of injecting its apps with a little slice of magic, and Google Translate is no exception. The app will happily translate between over 100 languages (and can handle over 50 of those offline), and translate bi-lingual conversations on the fly.
The best bit, though, is when you’re ambling about somewhere, looking at strange signs and menus, and then point Google Translate’s camera at them. In an instant, it translates everything, like a Babel fish for your eyes. And although some live translations can be a little, um, fishy (sorry), it’s a much more efficient way to translate than laboriously tapping out words, or hiring 50 translators to follow you about wherever you go.