15 apps to get more out of your iPhone
Hopefully, like me, you love your iPhone. But what makes our iPhone so beloved? The camera? The design? iOS? iMessage? Probably all of the above. But among the top reasons, I’d also say the apps.
There are many Apple-built apps that I adore and use regularly. Reminders for its integration with Siri, Fitness for Apple Fitness+, Home for HomeKit control, and Wallet for completely replacing not only my physical wallet but also my keys.
Excitingly, the iPhone has a vibrant platform of third-party app developers making absolutely incredible apps. Each app makes our lives better and our iPhones more functional in their own way. Previously I’ve written about iPad apps for students, Apple Watch apps to improve your health, and iPhone apps for editing photos and improving your financial health.
Continuing with app discovery, here are 15 apps to get more out of your iPhone.
It’s surprisingly challenging to find a reliable delivery tracking app that is also well-designed. Thankfully, we have Parcel. Parcel is pretty straightforward — it tracks your packages. Parcel offers daily notifications, home screen widgets, and an Amazon integration to automatically add your orders.
Parcel is free and ad-supported to use for up to three packages. I highly recommend upgrading to the annual subscription for only $4.99 annually to track unlimited packages, remove the ads, and much more.
Timery for Toggl
Toggl is a free time-tracking service to help you visualize where your time goes! However, Toggl’s iOS app isn’t the most well-designed or feature-rich. Thankfully, Toggl offers a robust API allowing Timery to create an excellent front-end while using Toggl’s time-tracking service.
Timery lets you save timers, view time tracking reports, and integrate with Siri Shortcuts. I wrote a piece on Siri Shortcuts if you want to learn more about it! Timery is a subscription service priced at $1.29 per month or $13.49 per year.
The Apple Podcasts app is the most popular podcast app available today. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the best one. Overcast is a popular indie-developed podcast app with a simple user interface and several customizable settings not available in more mainstream podcast apps.
Some top features include custom theming, Siri Shortcuts support, and a unique audio feature called Smart Speed. Smart Speed works to intelligently skip pauses in the podcast you’re listening to while protecting your preferred listening speed. Overcast is free to download with ads, or you can subscribe to Overcast Premium for $12.99 per year.
Cryptomator is an app for my fellow security-focused friends out there. Cryptomator is an open-sourced application that allows you to create encrypted, password-protected folders called “vaults” and store them in the most common cloud services such as iCloud Drive, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox.
Cryptomator is free to download with a one-time in-app purchase of $16.99 to unlock additional features.
For many of us, the default Apple Calendar app meets our needs. However, if you’re looking for a more feature-rich calendar experience, consider checking out Fantastical! Fantastical is a gorgeous calendar app featuring widgets, Siri Shortcuts support, live activities, support for the dynamic island, and focus filters. One of my favourite Fantastical features is generating a video call URL from Zoom or Microsoft Teams directly in Fantastical while creating an event.
Additionally, I love being able to create URLs where people can book meeting times with me through calendar sets I make. Fantastical also has a neat feature called proposals. You can send people a group of possible meeting times and have them select what works best for them, preventing the need to go back and forth to pick a meeting date. Fantastical is free to download and offers a premium subscription plan for $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.
If you aren’t currently using a password manager, you should be. While Apple’s built-in iCloud Keychain is an excellent choice for most people, just like all of Apple’s first-party apps, it lacks many useful features. 1Password has been my password manager of choice for years. Not only does 1Password have a spotless security track record, but they are also always at the forefront of the latest Apple features.
1Password is available on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS. Some of my favourite features include shared vaults with my family, sending temporary 1Password links, and saving basically any form of data, including credit cards, notes, and personal information. 1Password 8 is a subscription service costing $4.99 per month or $43.99 per year for an individual and $8.99 per month or $73.99 per year for a family plan.
MyFitnessPal is likely the most popular calorie-tracking app on the App Store. However, I’ve found that since UnderArmour acquired the app many years ago, the overall experience has really collapsed, with the app being plagued with ads and fitness recommendations. Thankfully, I discovered Calory. Calory is intended to be a simple meal-tracking app that can log water, carbs, fat, proteins, and calories. Calory features Home screen widgets and a super simple user interface.
Calory is free to download and use with a subscription to unlock a more extensive food database. The subscription price is $3.99 per month, $21.99 per year, or $39.99 for life.
Finding a good email client is challenging. Apple Mail is likely the default for many. The Gmail and Outlook apps are also quite popular for their respective service. However, Spark is a powerful mail client available on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS. My favourite Spark features include the modern UI, “snoozing” emails (hiding from your inbox) until a specific date, scheduled send later, and reminders for when someone doesn’t email you back.
Additionally, Spark syncs your accounts across your devices, preventing the need to sign in on every device you own. You can even specify which accounts send you notifications on specific devices or are a part of your unified inbox. Spark is free with most features but offers some premium features for $9.99 per month or $76.99 per year.
If you’re anything like me, you find it challenging to sit in silence. Dark Noise is developed by another indie developer, Charlie Chapman. The concept of Dark Noise is simple; it has a bunch of tracks ranging from white noises to public spaces to the environment. I’m a big fan of playing the fireplace track as I go to sleep.
Dark Noise features iCloud sync between devices, a timer to stop playing after a specific duration, and Siri Shortcuts support. Dark Noise is a one-time purchase for $13.99.
If you’ve heard of Slack at all, it’s likely because a company you currently or previously worked for uses it as an internal instant messaging platform. What a lot of people may not know is that anyone can set up a free Slack instance and have others join to communicate. Personally, I created two Slack instances, one for my university group projects and another for some small business client work. Another great use is for clubs and volunteer groups.
You might be thinking, why not just use a “normal” instant messaging platform? Well, first, Slack allows you to set separate do not disturb settings enabling you to create a barrier between your personal life and other activities. Second, Slack allows for emoji reactions, file uploads, pinned files, and user profiles. Slack is cross-platform and is downloadable for free, with professional paid plans offering additional features.
Have you ever wanted a sassy weather app? You probably never thought about it. But once you download one, you’ll probably love it. Carrot weather is a powerful yet hilarious weather app. Carrot weather features adjustable snarky remarks while delivering hyper-accurate weather. The app is fully featured, including Widgets, Apple Watch complications, and a beautiful UI. However, my favourite features are setting the temperate to display “feels like” instead of the actual temperature and selecting Weather Canada as the weather data source.
CarrotWeather is a subscription service starting at $6.49 per month or $26.49 per year for the Premium tier, $13.49 per month or $52.99 per year for Premium Ultra, and $19.99 per month or $79.99 per year for the family tier.
Understanding your credit score can be really daunting. One of the many perks of technology entering the financial space is more accessible access to your financial data. One of those areas is your credit score. Credit Karma is a simple, well-designed app that shows your credit score from TransUnion. Credit Karma features passcode protection, credit monitoring, and feedback to help improve your credit.
Credit Karma is free to download and is supported by providing you with tailored credit card, loan, and mortgage offers. If you’re interested in also getting insight into your credit score from Equifax, download Borrowell. Borrowell is nowhere near as well-designed or as feature-rich as Credit Karma. Still, it’s another free resource to help you gain insight into your financial health.
Just as your financial health is important, so is your physical health. Healthcare is another industry being dramatically improved with technology by granting people more accessible access to their data. CANImmunize is a Canadian-based company that makes it easy for users to track their immunizations.
Users can manually enter their previous immunizations and be alerted when they’re due for new ones. CANImmunize makes it much easier to have a complete immunization conversation with your doctor by having all your immunizations in one place! CANImmunize is available for free.
Are you tired of the chaos that is Twitter? Maybe you’re like me and are frustrated with the state of social media in general. Well, an RSS reader may be an acceptable alternative for you. Personally, I have always used Twitter as a news aggregator. I stayed off of other social media platforms to avoid unhinged comments. However, once Twitter axed support for third-party clients, I wanted to find a way to leave the platform but still get all the news I was after.
Enter Reeder. Reeder is a beautiful RSS reader that you can download for a single purchase of $6.99. Once downloaded, add the URLs to your favourite news sites and blogs, including MobileSyrup, of course. Reeder features a wide range of customizations and is also available on iPadOS and macOS with full iCloud syncing. However, the macOS app is an additional purchase in the Mac App Store.
Watch app for Tesla
Admittedly, the Watch app for Tesla is, by far, the most niche app on this list. After all, you must be a Tesla driver to get any use out of it. However, as a Tesla driver, this app has been fantastic for expanding the functionality of my car. What the app lacks in an intuitive user interface makes up for in functionality.
The watch app for Tesla has wide-ranging support for Siri Shortcuts and allows you to use your Apple Watch as your car key. Watch app for Tesla is a one-time purchase of $27.99 and is developed by indie developer Kim Hansen.