We'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment, and we might add your suggestion during our next update. We didn't forget Android users either; we have a separate roundup of the best Android apps , as well. Whatever your take on the social network of record, its messaging app is without equal.
You don't need a phone number to use Facebook Messenger, and you can use it on any device without the need for your phone to be present as it must with WhatsApp.
It works on every platform, unlike iMessage. It also has many cool features, like audio calling and video chatting with AR masks, stickers, and mobile payments. You can even play games through it with your contacts. Oh, and all of that's free. Google's email app is a wonderful communication tool.
Gmail doesn't integrate your calendar the way Outlook for iPhone does, but it makes your entire email database easier to deal with than the preinstalled Apple Mail app. It's smooth and fast, and even gives you five seconds to undo sending. Many messaging apps require you to give up your phone number to those who you chat with, but Kik only requires a username.
Featuring a bot store boasting more than 6, bots, Kik beat Facebook Messenger and Skype to the punch in the field of artificial conversationalists. Group chat, photo and video sharing, and gaming add to this youth-focused app's appeal. Microsoft Outlook's light and flexible mobile email app supports nearly every email account you own, includes an integrated calendar, and provides a Focused inbox that only displays important messages. Frequently updated, the app includes an ancillary Apple Watch app and supports 3D Touch.
Unlike the rest of Office Mobile, the Outlook iPhone app is totally free. Skype is one of the best free communication tools for the iPhone. The app lets you make video calls, and supports rich texting with animated emojis. A good bot selection delivers info you can use, as well as entertainment. As with other Skype versions, this iPhone app lets you call or chat with other Skype users at no charge, or buy credit to call any other phone number, landline, or mobile.
You can even get a phone number that lets anyone call your Skype account using a regular phone. Sexting and security worries aside, the visual chat app Snapchat can be a lot of fun to use—if you can figure out its very nonstandard interface. Snapchat should not be used as a private and secure messaging app. Rather, it's a simple app that you can use to swap funny, ephemeral visuals with your friends.
Messages sent through Snapchat disappear from the receiver's phone after a short time. Snap a picture, draw or write on top of it if you like, choose the amount of time the recipient can see it, and send away. Just bear in mind that all digital media is reproducible. Spark sports a slick interface and organizes your email into logical categories like Personal, Newsletters, and Notifications, though you can switch to a more standard full inbox view if you like. It handles multiple accounts, but doesn't combine categories for them as Outlook does. The app is configurable, with customizable swipe actions.
It also lets you pin important stuff and snooze emails to tackle later. The ability to seamlessly transfer calls from mobile to desktop and vice versa was an early differentiator for Viber, an app that lets you exchange sticker-emblazoned texts, make calls, engage in video chats, and place calls to standard phones for free. It encrypts communications, despite requiring your phone number. It uses videos to teach you the alphabet, various useful words and phrases, and the required gestures.
The best iPhone apps (April 2021)
The free version covers the basics, and in-app purchases add advanced material in cent packs. People often forget that there's more than one way to find webpages, directions, videos, and photos on the Internet. There are actually plenty of good reasons to try out alternatives to market leader Google, and the Bing app for the iPhone shows several of them.
Bing has a design that's gorgeous, clear, and simple to use.
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Feature-wise, Bing's app can keep up, and adds voice and camera input along with local info. What's more, the Bing app's home screen offers local guidance and news suggestions, rather than just a blank search box. Every college student is familiar with handing over several dollar bills and lugging many pounds of textbooks from the campus store.
Chegg's goal is to take some of the pain out of that process. The app lets you rent, buy, or sell books. The company offers study apps, too. Could your learning a new language somehow add value to other people all over the world? It's a strange idea, but one that's playing out when you use the free language learning app Duolingo. As far as free, language-learning apps go, the Duolingo iPhone app is easily the best.
A recent update makes your next lessons available offline, so you can continue learning even when you're not connected to the Internet.
Elevate offers training in writing, listening, speaking, reading, and math. You can set your goals, and after you've completed some engaging exercises, it graphically shows your performance in each of these categories. Go ahead: Make yourself smarter! Flipboard is an app that curates content from your social networks and web partners think periodicals and blogs based on your interests and turns it into stunning magazine-like digital pages.
The app is free to download and requires a free user account. Flipboard absolutely shines on the iPad, taking advantage of swiping gestures with both visual and interactive grace, but it's still elegant on the iPhone despite the smaller screen. However, this is the space agency's flagship app, and, in that role, it aggregates a wide range of NASA content. Space enthusiasts and curious minds will love how it packs a wealth of news stories, features, images, video, and information about the space agency's activities into this one mobile app.
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Rosetta Stone, our top pick among advanced language-learning programs, offers a mobile app that mirrors the lessons available online. When you log into the mobile app, you're able to pick up your learning from the place you left off. Its simplified interface is easy to navigate and effectively lets you keep up your practice while on the run. It's not cheap, but it's the best way to learn a new language. Half the fun of having a smartphone is looking things up when you're in the middle of a bar bet—and hopefully being right. Wikipedia is the go-to source for fact-checking in the mobile age, and the Wikipedia app usually returns results faster than a mobile search engine.
WolframAlpha is like Wikipedia, but focused on math and science. It's an outstanding source of knowledge and computation about virtually anything, from basic algebra to the depths of the universe. As you might expect, the app requires an Internet connection to work.
If you love anime or live-action Asian TV , Crunchyroll is the ad-free streaming service for you. It offers tens of thousands of episodes, shows simulcast from overseas, and numerous services fans crave, including social interaction features. We do wish, however, that it had a Netflix-like recommendation feature. Like podcasts? Downcast shines with excellent features, smart downloading options, and a great interface. It's worlds better than Apple's stock Podcasts app, and suited for people who want a lot of control over their podcast listening experience.
Downcast lets you customize not only how often the podcast catcher checks for new episodes, but also where you are when it does, using geo-fencing. For example: "Check for new episodes when I arrive at work. ESPN's free app lets you check the game quickly, and discreetly when necessary that is, with your phone under the dinner table , for your favorite teams in more sports than most other apps.
Get scores, news, and a live Twitter-like feed from top analysts.
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It covers baseball, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, ice hockey, cricket, racing, rugby, WWE, and more. Hulu is the best service for legally streaming new and classic domestic and international TV programs soon after they air, and the service offers up some excellent films as well as a notably extensive anime collection.
You can even stream live content with a Hulu with Live TV subscription. Netflix, like many of the other apps included here, has become a cultural phenomenon. Original, exclusive series, such as The Crown, House of Cards, and Stranger Things, are viewed by many as superior to much of what's available on broadcast or cable.
Add to those the host of favorite standbys in both television and cinema releases, and you've got a must-have service. And now you can download much of the content for offline viewing. There are plenty of fantastic podcasts you can listen to on your iPhone. Unfortunately, Apple's own podcast app hardly does them justice. Good podcast discovery and rich settings and options, including the ability to sync your listening experience across multiple devices, make Pocket Casts one of the best podcast catchers and players on the iPhone. Slacker Radio is now LiveXLive. It always seems to pound just a few beats harder than the rest.
The revamped app combines the company's live music and video streams with Slacker Radio's knowledgeable DJs and deep music well to produce one of the most complete streaming music services on the market today. SoundCloud has become an audio phenomenon.
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The app provides a gorgeous and clear interface to the tunes. If you want more than the mainstream or want to upload your own music, you can't ignore SoundCloud. All of earth's music-on-demand! Spotify offers a massive catalog of every conceivable genre, and even creates playlists based on your listening history. Now you can use it to listen to podcasts as well as music, and download content for offline listening. Easily switch between your listening devices from any other device.
Television watching is a lifestyle choice that's indulged by more than a few. This app makes it easy to find out what's on, when it's on, and what channel it's on.