20 Essential iPhone Apps You Need On Your Phone


Whether you’ve had an iOS device for years or just took the shrink-wrap off of a holiday present, these apps should find their way on your gadget as soon as you can tap. My entire life is in my phone – where it belongs.

Duolingo – Learn any major language on the go with this fun, scientifically backed, learning app. It’s not just educational, it’s also fun and social. It syncs with the desktop website and the other apps to track your progress as you learn. Asombroso!

ScanBot – Scanbot takes any physical document and digitizes it into a PDF using your device’s camera. From there you can search within the document, using its text recognition features, and convert it into a variety of formats. Dead simple, super useful.

Netflix/Hulu+/HBO Go/Amazon Prime/etc. – All these apps do essentially the same thing. Log in with your cable TV account or pay a monthly fee for access to thousands of TV shows and movies. They don’t all have the same content though, so choose wisely (or let’s be real – just get them all). An essential for couch huggers like me.

Wunderlist – An app that just makes lists seems sort of silly… “Isn’t that what my Notes app for is for?” you ask. No, no it is not. This amazing app lets you make a variety of collaborative lists with the people in your life. You can even assign tasks to specific contacts and add details about each item. I’ve never been more organized.

iTV Shows 3 – There are many TV tracking apps out there but I prefer this one. It keeps track of when your shows are on and notifies you if you’d like to watch them live. It also keeps track of which episodes you’ve seen and which you haven’t, so you can stop checking the episode descriptions and spoiling yourself.

Reeder 2 – I about died when Google Reader shuttered. I use RSS to keep up with all my favorite blogs and news outlets and I depend on it as a way of keeping up to date on current events. This gorgeous and feature rich app lets you do RSS the way it was intended.

Venmo – Venmo is the dead simple way to make money social. Sending a friend the cash you owe them is now as easy as sending a Tweet. Just hook it up to your bank account and cards and you’re good to go!

Horizon – Nobody should be watching video shot horizontally. It’s a nightmare. This app lets you hold your phone any way you like (even turn it while recording) while still capturing a gloriously widescreen shot. It’s awesome and it should be mandatory in the official Camera apps of the world.

Instapaper – Reading long form pieces sitting in front of a desktop screen is insane. So is keeping a thousand tabs open so you remember to read things when you get a chance. In steps Instapaper! With a simple bookmarklet (or a copy-and-paste-the-link job) a copy of the article’s text is saved in the cloud for a gloriously uniform reading experience on the go.

Seamless/Grubhub – These apps replace finding menus for restaurants and calling them to place an order for delivery. Instead, you just tap away and food shows up in approximately 45 minutes. After a long day at work this is a godsend.

Day One – Day One works like a social network where you post things only you will ever see. It’s the 21st century version of the old pen-and-paper diary, except now it keeps your photos/videos, audio recordings, location info, etc. with your entries and is password protected. Keeping a diary is never a bad idea.

RunPee – RunPee tells you when to go to the bathroom during movies and gives you a short synopsis of what you missed to read on the way back from doing your business. It’s fucking genius.

Spotify/Beats Music/Xbox Music – Almost all the music in the world (not Taylor Swift) available all the time to anyone for only $10 a month? That’s a major step forward for music education and culture… not to mention a killer deal. I prefer Spotify, but that’s just me.

Perfect365/Facetune – A lot of factors go into taking a good photo. Lighting, makeup, overall health, perfect angles, and more can determine whether you look like a bloated sewer demon or a red carpet starlet. Well, here’s your chance to cheat a little and do some minor Photoshopping on your pics. As they say, all’s fair in love and selfies. Pro tip, though: When it comes to retouching less is always more.

Shyp – Take a picture of the items you want to ship and type in wherever you want to ship them. Wait for the delivery person to arrive. Hand them your stuff. Be done with it. Super cheap service from super friendly people. They even gift-wrap!

Uber/Gett/Lyft/HailO – Uber is an evil company (if you haven’t been keeping up on the reports just trust me here) that provides an awesome service. There are alternatives though! Download the competitors and give them your money instead. Use Uber only when you have a coupon/have to.

iA Writer – Hands down my favorite word processor to use on the go. It keeps all your work in sync and backed up for you and its minimalist design means you can focus on what’s actually important.

Instagram – Instagram is Twitter for people who aren’t funny. I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram but it’s definitely a must-have if you wanna show off your cool outfit or the gorgeous view you came across.

Monument Valley – The only game that made this list for a reason. It’s beautiful, poignant, complex, and both exciting and calming. Definitely worth the sticker price.

First Aid – This is just a smart idea. In case you forgot when you learned in health class, this app has the basic first aid anyone might need in an emergency. Just get those fingers working as fast as possible and thank me later.