Christmas is here, and if you’ve been good enough in 2021 for Santa to bring you a new iPhone or iPad, you might be wondering what apps are cool to try and get the most out of your devices. Look no further, we’ve got you covered.
In our list of apps, we will recommend a few options for you to try and improve 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 unlocks or subscriptions, everything should be free to try.
Podcasts are a great way to learn, have fun, and stay up-to-date on the go. Overcast is my favorite podcast app and works on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Silicon Mac with seamless syncing. It’s a free download, and there’s an optional in-app purchase for additional features. Overcast pioneered features like Smart Speed and Voice Boost. If Apple Podcast hasn’t worked out well for you, Overcast is the best podcast app you should try.
If you’re looking to personalize your iOS home screen, look no further than Widgetsmith. _David Smith has created an app that will let you create amazing widgets and make everything about your home screen unique. You can add widgets related to date, time, your calendar, photos, and then change colors. You can even set up timers to adjust 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 uses multiple weather APIs to deliver a robust dataset, but what sets it apart from the rest is its customization. The user interface can be configured to look exactly what you want, and it provides an even better experience on the Apple Watch. Carrot Weather includes a unique “personality” which also makes it fun to use.
Strike is one of the simpler apps. It’s integrated with Twitter for the social network’s new tip service, but it’s also a free way to buy Bitcoin. Strike also makes it easy to send money anywhere in the world through the Bitcoin network, and then automatically convert it to local currency when it arrives. Strike also makes it easy to get paid in Bitcoin by your employer.
Strike gives you information about your bank account (routing and account number) and you set the percentage of your salary you want in Bitcoin versus USD. Overall, this is a handy app to have for quickly sending money or buying Bitcoin.
If you sign up using my referral link you will receive $ 5 to get started. Strike also makes it easy to send bitcoin to a hardware wallet.
I also highly recommend Swan Bitcoin for weekly or monthly Bitcoin purchases which you can then offload to your hardware wallet.
It’s no secret that using YouTube in your iPhone or iPad browser is a pretty nasty experience. And in many ways, YouTube’s “native” 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 a few weeks now and can’t imagine going back to the default YouTube experience.
En route weather
Weather on the Way is a great app for tracking the weather when planning a trip. If you haven’t tried the app yet, it can make all the difference in deciding when to go on a business trip, a trip to the beach, etc. By allowing you to see the weather forecast along your route, you can decide to take an alternate route, leave at a different time, etc.
Spike is an all-in-one app for combining email, video calls, audio calls, group chat (similar to Slack), and note taking. It connects to your regular email account but focuses the interface around the content, turning it into a chat app-like experience. One of my favorite Spike features is how easy it is to respond with a GIF. The Priority Inbox feature comes in handy if you receive a lot of unimportant emails during the day, as it can filter them out of your primary inbox. Spike is really rethinking what a messaging app should look like and what the experience of using it looks like.
If you want a more traditional messaging experience with a bit more bells and whistles than Apple’s Mail app, check out Spark. Spark is on the same teams behind popular macOS and iOS apps like PDF Expert, Documents, and more. It supports all the next-gen features you’d expect like snooze, scheduled send, and more. One of the areas he is good at is having conversations without looking cluttered.
1Password has been a fan favorite for Mac and iOS users for over a decade. I’ve been using it personally since some of the early versions of OS X. Aside from password management, there are a lot of features that 1Password supports that make it something worth paying for (by compared to the free features of Safari). They include support for secure notes with attachments, personal information such as social security numbers, app license information, credit card information, passport information, and more. I also use it for all of 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 creates new events at lightning speed, lets you quickly join video meetings, includes weather and more. It syncs with calendars from iCloud, Google, Microsoft Exchange, Outlook.com, Office 365, Yahoo !, fruux, Meetup, as well as any other CalDAV account.
As the Christmas shopping season is over, you’ll likely continue to see Amazon purchases popping up throughout the year. I am a huge fan of the Deliveries app. It makes it easy to track shipments from various carriers with timely push alerts. With an optional subscription, you can forward the follow-up emails to a generic email address and it will automatically load them into your database.
If mastering your to-do list is on your 2022 resolution list, I’m a huge fan of Todoist. It makes it easy to organize all your tasks, including media (files, notes, comments, URLs, etc.). If you’re struggling to keep 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 should add? Email me, and I’ll keep this list up to date throughout the holiday season. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
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