Free Apple Apps

2 minute read

I’m starting my app reviews with a bit of a cheat and reviewing all the apps 1 that Apple recommends you install for a better experience. Some were previously paid and some were already free.

Straight in the bin

I have no musical talent so GarageBand is quickly out the door, I bought it for the iPad last year as it looked fun, unfortunately the free version has fewer features and requires in-app purchases to unlock instruments.

iTunes U might have some good content but I don’t have time to take advantage of it right now, I don’t need an app to make me feel guilty so that’s getting punted too.

I listen to a lot of podcasts and I’m still undecided on if I want to continue doing that on my phone, however I certain I won’t be using Podcasts as it doesn’t have the power features I need. It’s good to get you started in Podcasts but you’ll quickly need something better.

Find friends is a great idea - sharing you location with friends so they can find you - but I usually forget to use it and I don’t have enough friends with iPhones. It also hasn’t been updated for iOS 7 yet, so the ugly icon and app has been deleted.

iPhoto

iPhoto continues to improve on iOS and this version definitely feels a lot less cluttered and some of the filters are really easy to use, if you like using them. But as I’m moving my photos towards Everpix I don’t think I’ll use it. Until I find a better app it’ll stay on the phone.

iBooks

I don’t read long form on my iPhone, even with the larger 5S screen I can’t see this changing. It’s good to have iBooks to be able to read PDFs and if there is a book I need to refer to then I can add to the app. So it’s reluctantly staying.

iMovie

I’d forgotten how much fun iMovie looked when it first saw it at the Keynote, I’ve only played with it briefly but the iPhone version is surprisingly easy to use and slo-mo videos open up new creative possibilities.

iWork

Numbers (Spreadsheets), Pages (Documents) and Keynote (Presentations) are all great apps but are too fiddly on the small screen. However, they’re useful to have around to open certain file types.

Find My iPhone

You’ll be able locate all the devices you’ve setup with iCloud using this Find My iPhone. As my phone is most likely to go missing I’m not going to need this app installed on my phone. If I need it I’ll download it.

Apple Store

If you have a local Apple Store this app is essential. Use it to make appointments at the Genius Bar or reserve or buy your iPhone for release day, it much more reliable than using the website. Clearly for occasional use only.

All in all a mixed bag.


  • Apart from the Apple Store App

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