Christmas is here, and if it’s been good enough in 2021 for Santa to bring you a new iPhone or iPad, you might be wondering what are some cool apps to get the most out of your devices. Look no further, we have you covered.
In our list of apps, we will recommend a few options to try and update your iOS device experience. If you’re new to iOS, be sure to check out our guide on how to use iPhone like a pro. Since most apps are now free with optional in-app purchase subscriptions or unlocks, everything should be free to try.
Podcasts are a great way to learn, be entertained, and inform yourself on the go. Overcast is my favorite podcast app and it works on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Silicon Macs in perfect sync. It is a free download and there is an optional in-app purchase for additional features. Overcast pioneered features like Smart Speed and Voice Boost. If Apple Podcast has not served you well, then Overcast is the best podcast app you should try.
If you’re looking to customize your iOS home screen, look no further than Widgetsmith. _DavidSmith has created an app that will allow you to create some amazing widgets and make everything about your home screen unique to you. You can add widgets related to date, time, your calendar, photos, and then change the colors. You can even set timers to adjust the widgets during the day so you can see the weather first thing in the morning, but then your calendar takes over.
If Apple’s built-in weather app doesn’t offer enough functionality for you, you should check out Carrot Weather. It incorporates multiple weather APIs to deliver a robust dataset, but what makes it stand out from the rest is how customizable it is. The user interface can be configured to look exactly how you want it and offers an even better experience on the Apple Watch. Carrot Weather includes a unique “personality” that also makes it fun to use.
Strike is one of the simplest applications out there. It’s integrated with Twitter for the social network’s new tipping service, but it’s also a free way to buy Bitcoin. Strike also makes it easy to send money anywhere in the world via the Bitcoin network and then have it automatically converted to local currency once it arrives. Strike also makes it easy for your employer to pay you in Bitcoin. The service gives you bank account information (routing and account number), and you set what percentage of your paycheck you want in Bitcoin versus USD. Overall, it is a useful app for quickly sending money or buying bitcoins. I also highly recommend Swan Bitcoin for weekly or monthly Bitcoin purchases.
It is no secret that using YouTube on your iPhone or iPad browser is quite an unpleasant experience. And in many ways, the “native” YouTube app isn’t much better. This is where a new Safari extension called “Vinegar” comes in to save the day. “Vinegar” is a Safari extension for iPhone, iPad, and Mac that was released in November with the goal of replacing the YouTube player with a minimal HTML player. I’ve been using it for the past few weeks and can’t imagine going back to the default YouTube experience.
Time on the road
Weather on the Way is a great app for keeping track of the weather while planning a trip. If you haven’t tried the app yet, you can make a difference in the world when deciding when to go out for a business trip, a trip to the beach, etc. By allowing you to see the weather along your route, you can decide to take another route, leave at a different time, etc.
Spike is an all-in-one application for combining email, video calls, audio calls, group chat (similar to Slack), and note taking. It connects to your regular email account, but centers the interface around content, making it a chat app-like experience. One of my favorite features of Spike is how easy it is to respond with a GIF. The priority inbox feature is really useful if you receive a lot of unimportant emails during the day as it can filter them from your main inbox. Spike really rethinks what an email app should look like and what the experience of using it is like.
Spark – spark
For a more traditional email experience with a few more conveniences than Apple’s Mail app, check out Spark. Spark is from the same teams behind popular macOS and iOS apps like PDF Expert, Documents, and more. It supports all the next-gen features you would expect such as snooze, scheduled send, and more. One of the areas it excels at is threading conversations without looking cluttered.
1Password has been a fan favorite for Mac and iOS users for over a decade. I’ve personally been using it since some of the early versions of OS X. Besides password management, there are many features that 1Password supports that make it worth paying for (compared to Safari’s free features). They include support for secure notes with attachments, personal information such as social security numbers, application license information, credit card information, passport information, and more. I also use it for all my two-factor authentication code storage.
If you’re looking to take your iOS calendar experience to the next level, you won’t find a better Calendar app replacement than Fantastical. It’s blazingly fast to create new events, lets you quickly join video conferences, includes the weather, and much more. It syncs with iCloud, Google, Microsoft Exchange, Outlook.com, Office 365, Yahoo!, fruux, Meetup calendars, as well as any other CalDAV account.
While the holiday shopping season is over, Amazon purchases are likely to continue to pop up throughout the year. I’m a huge fan of the Deliveries app. Make it easy to track shipments from a variety of carriers with timely automatic alerts. With an optional subscription, you can forward follow-up emails to a generic email address and it will be automatically uploaded to your database.
If checking your to-do list is on your resolution list for 2022, I’m a huge fan of Todoist. It makes it easy to organize all your tasks, including supporting materials (files, notes, comments, URLs, etc.). If you’re having trouble keeping track of your tasks, Todoist makes it easy to add new tasks, add dates, and organize by project.
These are just a few of my favorite iOS apps. Are there any I need to add? Email me and I will keep this list updated throughout the holiday season. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
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