Tom’s Top Ten Favorite Apple IOS Apps – UPDATED FOR 2018
I’ve been using Apple IOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and HomePod) since their initial releases. I’ve downloaded and tested hundreds of IOS Apps from the Apple App Store. While some of the apps were inexpensive, most were free.
In most cases I’ve tried several different apps that all perform basically the same function. I’ve searched for the one app in each category with supposedly has the “best” features, performance and reliability. All of these apps work on iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches. Some also work on the Apple Watch, Apple TV and Apple Mac.
Here is my list of Tom’s Top Ten Favorite IOS App’s (in no particular order)…
1. Day One Journal 2: Perhaps the ultimate app for keeping a journal, as well as a personal or business diary. The app allows you to use either a single journal or multiple journals. You have the ability to add weather conditions, up to 10 photos, location (via GPS or a typed-in address), time, tags, and over a dozen other attributes. Day One Journal 2 for IOS sells for $4.99 on the App Store. The app is also available on the Apple Mac App Store for $29.99. Here is a link to the Day One Journal 2 app: Day One Journal 2 IOS App Here is a link to my complete review: Day One Journal 2 Review
2. CBS All Access: If you are looking for a way to “cut the cord” on your monthly cable TV bill consider putting the CBS All Access app on your IOS device (including iPhone, iPad and Apple TV) and watch almost all CBS local and national programming. The cost is just $4.99 per month and you can watch “live” local and national CBS programs as well as go back and stream CBS prime time episodes of all your favorite shows. The app is free and offers a free trial programming period, followed by a $4.99 monthly charge after the trial period is completed. Currently NBC and ABC do not offer such an app. Here is a link to the CBS app: CBS Interactive IOS App Here is a link to my complete review: CBS All Access Review
3. Adobe Photoshop Express: This is a great app for giving you additional photo retouching powers without overwhelming you with features that you will probably never use. PS Express is definitely my “goto” app for making subtle or sharp changes to my digital photos. It provides a more precise cropping tool, a “band-aid” blemish removal tool, a photo enhancer with tools like clarify, defog, sharpen and more. Thematic tools like spring, cinematic, haze and others allow you to preview a before and after (comparison) of the effects. The Apple IOS share sheet menu lets you share the finished photo to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and over a dozen other places. It also lets you open the photo in other apps like Adobe’s great (and FREE!) apps like Adobe Fix and Adobe Mix for more creative options and magic. Here is a link to the Adobe Photoshop Express app: Adobe Photoshop Express IOS App
4. Flipboard: In the Apple IOS App Store there are hundreds of news apps. My first choice in catching up on world, national, regional, local, and special interest (Apple, gadgets, science, photography) news is Flipboard. This clever app is similar to looking at a magazine in that you can customize the design filled with the photos, videos and articles you are interested in seeing. There are dozens of pre-made magazines for almost any news source, company, hobby or special interest group you like. Consumers have also created hundreds of their own collections into magazines about cooking, travel, watches, fashion, photography and more. It’s easy to use and as basic or advanced as you want to build it. It’s also incredibly easy to read on smart phones and tablets. Save interesting articles to pocket, Instapaper, or share with a friend or coworker using email or messages. The app and services are all free. Here is a link to the Flipboard app: Flipboard IOS App
5. Bible+: My wife is a United Methodist Pastor, and believe me I’ve tried dozens of bible reading apps. Without a doubt, this one is the best. And better yet, you can download it in several versions for free, and other versions (there are dozens) are around $9.99 each. This app makes bible reading and bible study a joy. It has extremely easy navigation, text formatting changes, highlighting, notation, bookmarks, split-windows (for comparing one version to another, or one version and then a research book in the other window). The Bible+ app is produced by Olive Tree Software (now part of Harper Collins). This app is updated often and fully supported on all IOS devices. Here is a link to the Bible+ app: Bible+ IOS App
6. WordPress: If you’ve got an ounce of creativity – and you want people to know what your passionate about – then start your own blog or web site. WordPress makes blogs and small web site easy to create and maintain. Blog hosting (on WordPress.com) is free, and web hosting (using WordPress software and WordPress domains) is reasonably priced. The WordPress app works on all IOS devices and there also is a version for the Mac. Pick from hundreds of free and reasonably priced templates and then add your own text and photos. Press the “publish” button for instant changes to your blog or web site. You’re viewing my site right now and I use the WordPress app software and web hosting services. Pretty nice right? Not only can you publish with this tool, but you can communicate with people who leave messages on your blog and also see daily, weekly, monthly, and annual statistics about your visitors. Here is a link to the WordPress app: WordPress IOS App
7. Microsoft OneNote: Probably my favorite app hands down. OneNote operates as your digital brain. Imagine your high school or college three-ring binder. Now fill the binder with as many of those colorful section tabs as you want to. Better yet you can add unlimited pages to each section. You can also add text, photos, drawings, Word/Excel/PowerPoint documents, videos, audio, PDF’s, screen clips and the list goes on and on. Use the new Apple Pencil on either size of the new Apple iPad Pros to draw, annotate, or highlight. You can have one binder notebook or dozens. Notebooks are automatically synced and available on all IOS, PC, Android and Mac devices. How cool is that? Some folks think it is similiar to Evernote (which is free-form), but OneNote is more structured and, in my opinion, organized. There are also many third party hardware and software extensions for OneNote. Pages, sections and whole notebooks can be password protected if you need them to be. Pretty much instant searching lets you find that receipt you scanned in a couple of years ago. Pretty much the ultimate app for extending your digital brain! Plus it’s free. Here is a link to the OneNote app: OneNote IOS App
8. Magzter: If you like magazines you will love Magzter. Especially if you have a 9.7″ or 12.9″ iPad Pros. Magzter lets you easily read any of over 4,000 magazines digitally. If you subscribe to Magzter “Gold” for $49.99 per year – about $4.17 per month (after a free 30 day trial) you and up to four family members can share from a single selection. Although you can (with a little effort) read the magazines on an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad Mini, where the app really shines is on the full size iPads and the new iPad Pros. On those devices you can see and read a full page (or a two-page spread on the 12.9″ iPad Pro) without zooming or scrolling. All magazines can be read in horizontal or vertical orientation. You can pick which magazines you want to read, download them, and read them off-line. You’re able to easily delete (and reload) any magazine. Past issues are also accessible. You can bookmark, add parental control, search, sync between devices and more. This service is so good that I cancelled all of my paper magazines subscriptions. NOTE: If you want to get the best price purchase the annual $49.99 subscription directly from http://www.magzter.com rather than from Apple. Here is a link to the Magzter app: Magzter IOS App
9. PDFpen 2: There are dozens of really good PDF apps. My favorite is PDFpen 2. It’s feature-packed and pretty easy to use. This all-in-one PDF app lets you read, fill in forms, annotate, highlight and do dozens of other modifications. PDF documents can be electronically signed and retuned. You can make text corrections, add photos, add security (or not), organize pages, duplicate pages, and re-order pages. The app works with many Bluetooth pens including the new Apple Pencil and supports palm rejection. Save to iCloud, Dropbox, and other cloud services and sync so that the PDF documents are available anywhere and on different devices. PDFpen 2 integrates with Smile Software’s other IOS app Scan+ that adds the ability to scan and, OCR (converts printed text to editable text). Here is a link to PDFpen 2: PDFpen 2 IOS App
10. Accuweather: There is a never ending list of weather apps, and some people (myself included) use several weather apps. The weather app that I use consistently and on a day-to-day basis is Accuweather. It is free with ads, or for an in-app one time purchase of $3.99 without ads. The app tracks weather from around the world and does it well. It provides the ability to save cities for quick updates. It provides a widget for the IOS device Control Center and also provides an Apple Watch app. Accuweather also syncs all your settings and cities between IOS devices. Detailed weather forecasts are provided for the next 72 hours and day-by-day for the next 15 days. Here is a link to the Accuweather app: Accuweather IOS AppThanks for reading my Top Ten Favorite Apps!
I hope you find my list useful. Comments are always welcome.