As a proud iPhone owner, it’s pretty hard to keep up with all the best apps available on the App Store. After all, there are “only” 1.9 million apps on the App Store as of writing this article, and picking the good ones from specific categories can be a very time-consuming endeavor. Most users tend to pick the premium apps as their choice for specific tasks but the truth is, a lot of them aren’t even worth downloading.
We decided to take the task of finding the best apps for your iPhone in 2021, by installing and testing them extensively over the course of a week (or more in some cases). The methodology is simple, we picked the best apps suited for specific tasks that will bring a constant utility for the average iPhone user.
That being said, for the sake of simplicity, here are the best iPhone apps of 2021, categorized and ready for download.
Best iPhone Apps in 2021
There’s no denying that Facebook is still the most used social network and even if you don’t use it daily if you’re an active user, chances are you’ll need it. Some people prefer using the web version of Facebook which I find a bit strange since the app is faster, has more features and it’s better organized in many ways. Evidently, since we’re talking about Facebook, I’ll include Facebook Messenger here, you’ll have access to every chat on Facebook (being individual or groups) faster and more organized.
Instagram took the world by storm in the last few years, competing with Facebook for the first spot. The social app lets users post photos or videos to the network while being able to create temporary stories and interact with other users on the platform. Due to its simplicity, its filters, and community, Instagram quickly became one of the most popular social platforms on the planet…after all, a picture can say a thousand words right?
With the exception of some countries that use different apps (WeChat in China for example), WhatsApp is the go-to app for instant messaging for your iPhone. The app is available for every platform, allowing you to chat with your friends on Android or iOS. You can send files, photos, and videos with ease, as well as sharing map coordinates or documents. WhatsApp Messenger also lets you create or join groups, where you can chat with your friends or family, send files and have a good time. Last but not least, you can chat via text, voice or video. It’s a complete app that’s used by millions of people worldwide and if you don’t have it already on your phone, it’s time to download it.
Reddit or the front page of the internet, how they like to call themselves, is the biggest discussion platform in the world. You can find a lot of subreddits for any topic, from news, movies, and politics to games, culture, fun, or weird. There are hardcore communities on the platform full of extremely intelligent people as well as some toxic apples, as you have on any social platform. There’s nothing you can’t find on Reddit that isn’t posted and discussed, there’s a lot of activism, drama, fun or inspiration to be had. You can learn many things, it’s just a matter of how deep you want to look for them. Since we’re daily Reddit consumers ourselves, it’s hard not to recommend this app, if you intend on using the social platform.
TikTok is the new kid on the block, the video social network gained A LOT of popularity in the last 2 years, gaining millions of users in a short period of time. The platform allows users to post short videos, from dancing to movie reactions or reviews while providing the tools to quickly edit and add effects or filters. The social network was quickly adopted by the younger audience and caters more to the creative types. However, even if you’re not a creator, you’ll probably enjoy the millions of videos posted on TikTok. As a side note, if you own a PC and want to use the platform, you can download TikTok for PC from our site.
A while ago, YouTube was a default application within iOS but Apple decided to remove it, along with Google Maps. However, you can install it from the App Store and should be one of the first things you do when you get an iPhone. I don’t think there’s a person in the world that doesn’t know what YouTube is, but for those people, YouTube is the biggest video platform on the planet, with millions of videos uploaded daily. You can find anything there, from recipes and news to tutorials, tv shows, and gaming videos. If you want to learn something, YouTube is probably the best way to do it, since there are a lot of people that create guides and tutorials for different things. We think it’s a must-have!
This is more of a niche app but we still decided to include it in our best iPhone apps list. Twitch is the biggest gaming streaming platform in the world, with millions of users and many game streamers. As it’s the case with YouTube, Twitch has its own celebrities, content creators that entertain the viewers with their gameplay or personas. Even if you’re not planning on watching streamers, it’s useful if you want to get a new game, to check Twitch for gameplays or first impressions. Long story short, if you’re into gaming, it’s worth having the Twitch App on your iPhone.
Last but not least, the all-mighty Twitter. Twitter is a microblogging social network focused on delivering short messages or stories. It’s still used by millions of people worldwide and most companies and celebrities post frequently on the platform. If you want to stay updated with the latest news in 2021 or talk to your favorite celebrity, Twitter is the place to be.
Worth reading: How to improve the battery life on your iPhone
DuetCam is one of our favorite camera apps for the iPhone. The app allows you to use both front and back cameras at the same time. This is extremely useful when you try to capture a reaction from a special event, a concert or anything really. If you’re an Instagram user, making stories using DuetCam is a unique experience that will enrich your stories even more. For that reason, we decided to add it to our best iPhone apps in 2021 list.
ProCamera is a professional camera app for your iPhone which caters to professionals and amateurs alike. The app sports an impressive list of features that will greatly enhance your photos. ProCamera has an independent focus and exposure control, manual, automatic, or semi-automatic modes (modes that you can find on DSLR cameras), portrait mode for Bokeh depth of field effect (similar to iPhone’s portrait mode, the difference being that you don’t need a person to focus), raw support and AIS image stabilization, to name just a few. ProCamera is THE app to have if you want to have control over your photos and while it’s not free, it’s definitely worth the price ($8).
Spectre Camera is an exceptional app, one that I personally use constantly, which allows you to take gorgeous long exposure photos. The app uses AI to simplify the process and allowing you to take professional-like photos. For those unfamiliar with the terminology, long exposure means a long-duration shutter speed to sharply capture the stationary elements of images while blurring or hiding the moving elements. In other words, if you want to take stunning stationary photos of different landscapes, being nature or cities, Spectre Camera will simply amaze you. The app is not free but once you use it, you can’t use anything else.
There isn’t much to say about Huji Cam other than it lets you take photos just like in the ’90s. If you grew up in that period, it will bring back so many memories while also fooling some of your friends with your “old” photos. No matter the age, Huji Cam is an extremely fun app to use, you can prank so many friends or relatives as well as posting fun pictures on your social media accounts.
Snapseed is one of our favorite iPhone photo editing apps of all time. It comes with 30 tools to enhance and beautify your photos. You can add different types of brushes to your photos, blur them, change their color, exposure, sharpness, and a bunch more. Add the bundled filters and we have a clear winner. What’s ironic is that Snaspeed is made by Google itself and it’s free, so if you’re looking for the best free iPhone photo editing app, you found it. Snapseed quickly became one of the best iPhone apps in 2021 due to its simplicity, features, and well, price tag (0, yes it’s still 0).
VSCO is a powerful photo and video editor that packs a lot of features that will make any photo or video look extremely good and professional. The app brings a lot of pro tools and presets that can transform any video or picture with just a few clicks. Speaking of presets, VSCO comes with more than 200 and a lot of editing tools and tweaks. If you choose to become a member, you’ll have access to all the library as well as tips and tricks from other members and professionals.
Canva: IG Stories, Video Maker
If you want to create awesome Insta stories or videos, Canva is one of the best apps for this. We’ve tested a bunch of them and Canva is what we consider to be the best app for creating great Insta stories. That being said, the app also does a good job editing videos and creating highlight covers, and it’s bundled with a lot of tools for enhancing and personalizing your creations.
Maps and Navigation
There isn’t much to say about Google Maps, everybody knows the app and most love it. While Apple Maps got better in recent years, I still prefer Google Maps for its maps and simplicity, as well as synchronization with my Google account. For those unfamiliar, you can see all the important landmarks on the map or restaurants, gas stations and pretty much everything else that’s added to Maps or Business. Google Maps was part of the core iPhone apps until Apple decided to remove it from the installation, along with YouTube. Fortunately, you can install Google Maps from the App Store and usually, it’s the first thing I do. The app has an Offline option as well, allowing you to download any maps to your iPhone when traveling, to avoid data charges. Google Maps is still an essential app for us and while Apple Maps is gaining ground, it’s safe to say it’s still one of the most used and best iPhone apps of 2021.
Waze is an app that’s used primarily for getting driving instructions to get faster to different places. The app is one of the most popular navigation apps for the iPhone, it’s extremely accurate and gets frequent updates. Waze also allows you to add different voices for your navigation guide, lets you pin different problems on the road (like potholes, accidents, etc) that other Wazers can see and avoid and evidently, you can see updates from other users as well. Worried about police radars? Well, Waze has that covered as well since most users will pin police radars on the map.
The app also has Spotify integration so if you listen to it in the car, it allows a seamless transition between the two apps without disturbing your driving. Last but not least, Waze’s algorithm gives you the fastest route by getting all the traffic data in real-time and takes into consideration reports from other users. Overall, I think Waze is the go-to app when it comes to navigation so it’s safe to say that’s one of the best iPhone apps of 2021.
Lastly, we recommend MAPS.ME as a navigation app that’s a must-have on your phone. The app itself doesn’t anything spectacular that Waze doesn’t do, however, it has the option to save any country or city offline to avoid mobile data usage. I don’t use this app that often but I always have it on my phone when I don’t want to spend any mobile data or the signal is very weak.
It’s extremely helpful when traveling, you can preload any map you want, and use it as a backup if the internet isn’t your friend that day. MAPS.ME has some useful features as well such as custom bookmarks in case you want to further plan your trips and a bunch of travel guides. All-in-all, since it’s free, it’s clearly we definitely recommend having it on your iPhone.
We’ve already written a guide with the best email apps for your iPhone and I highly suggest checking out that article. However, if you want a quick recommendation, for our day-to-day use, our preferred app is Microsoft Outlook. If you don’t like the desktop client, don’t worry, neither do we, but this iPhone app is something totally different than the old Outlook for PC. It’s extremely fast, feature-packed and you can add a lot of email accounts. Combine this with its simplicity and ease-of-use and you have a perfect email app. Fingers crossed Microsoft will keep it on this track. The default Mail client from iOS isn’t bad, it’s actually a very decent app, but we like our apps a little bit more flexible.
In this category we won’t include booking services such as Booking.com or AirBnb, instead, we’ll focus on travel apps with more features. That being said, if you travel a lot, Booking.com and Airbnb are 2 of the best iPhone apps for booking and we highly recommend having them on your phone.
Also, if you’re a frequent traveler, you probably know that plane tickets are pretty expensive if you don’t plan ahead and look for cheaper options. Fortunately, as the saying goes, we have an app for that. In our case, we recommend 2 apps for finding great deals on flights and car rentals.
Skyscanner is an excellent app when it comes to finding great deals on flights as well as car rentals. The interface is extremely intuitive and simple to use, you can enter your destination and the app will find all the deals on flights to that destination. If you’re looking to rent a car, Skyscanner can help, offering the same range of deals for the given destination and the time period.
With Kiwi.com you can look for cheap flights, bus and train tickets. Basically, with this app you can manage all your public transport ticket needs. The app also sends you push notifications for deals (if you choose) and it’s extremely helpful if you want to plan ahead. Having public transportation tickets at your fingertips is an awesome feature and combined with Skyscanner, these 2 apps are all you need when it comes to booking and looking for cheap plane, train or bus ticket for any given location.
TripIt is an excellent travel planner and organizer. You can plan your trip extensively using the app by adding your plane tickets, hotel bookings, car rentals, bus/train tickets, and even your passport or driver’s license. The app also allows you to add other contributors to your travel plan that can chip-in with details for that trip. TripIt will also send you various notifications or alerts for upcoming bookings, itineraries or changes. What’s extremely useful, however, the main reason we love this app, it’s the ability to share itineraries between family members (or friends), so that everybody can book different parts for the trip. Truth be told, we can’t live without this app, it can manage every detail of your trip, all the documents and trip information – it’s simply awesome.
Lastly, we really love PackPoint. Why? Because it’s the best app that tells you what to pack for your upcoming trip. Just tell the app how many days you’re planning to travel and what exactly are you planning on doing there (the app will offer you the choices). After all, you don’t want to go to the beach with all your winter clothes right? It’s extremely easy-to-use and can help planning your luggage as well, which, in my opinion, is pretty important and time-saving.
Priority Pass is an app we discovered not so long ago and since we had some flight delays, the app was a lifesaver. The app offers you access to more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide and grants you a lot of meal discounts to select restaurants all over the world. The app is not free however and comes with several membership tiers but if you travel constantly you might find the price pretty decent compared with its offerings. Overall, we really like this app, it saved us multiple times, making our delays a little sweeter.
Uber is the most popular ridesharing app in the world, present in most countries around the globe. It’s extremely easy to use, just create an account, add a payment method and you can call a car within minutes to any location. It’s like having your personal taxi at your fingertips. Uber is an extremely useful iPhone app to have for daily use as well as for traveling since you’ll get into situations when you need a ride fast or you just can’t find any public transports. What’s more awesome is that if you get an Uber with a friend, you can share the ride by paying both for it, from the app. Evidently, Uber is one of the best iPhone apps of 2021 and it shouldn’t be missing from anyone’s phone.
Lastly, language translators are apps that well, help you translate most languages. I always like to have them on my phone, they saved my behind more than a dozen times when looking for directions or trying to buy random things. Of course, these types of apps have multiple uses but they’re a must if you travel. We only use 2 apps here, the old mighty Google Translate app and TripLingo. Google Translate allows you to translate from any language to any language, as well as using the iPhone’s camera to translate various signs or labels. TripLingo teaches you how to talk like a local, by providing you with common phrases, accents, and local details. It’s a fun app to use and helpful in many situations.
Personal Assistants are apps aimed at helping you manage your day-to-day life easier, from expenses to shopping. There are a lot of apps in this category and while there are a lot of good choices, as always, here are the best ones.
Expenses OK is a simple yet very handy application that lets you write down all your daily expenses. The app then provides you with different charts and reports of your daily expenditures and you can see clearly, by category, what expenses you had in a given time period. You can track all your expenses with ease, the app has an appealing interface that makes everything a breeze to submit and track. The app’s not free, but for the price (0.99$) you get an extremely useful expense tracker with synchronization and export capabilities.
Bring is a newer app that’s aimed at organizing your shopping lists. I can’t express enough how much I love this app, no more writing my shopping lists in Notes or other text applications. With Bring, you can create a list easily, add groceries or other items with just a few taps. What’s simply awesome is that Bring! lets you share your list between your family members of friends and everybody can add or remove items from the shared list. For a family, it’s a lifesaver, wife adds things to the list, I chip in with my things, and off to the shop. You can check all the items you buy in real time so it’s easier to track everything. Going to a party with some friends? Create a list, share it, and let everybody add things to buy to that specific list. Should I say more? Bring is definitely one of the best iPhone apps of 2021.
As you probably know, there are tons of weather apps on the App Store and if you test them as we did, you’ll find that most of them give you different real-time weather and forecasts for the same location. That being said, we think it’s pretty useless to have more than 2 weather apps on your iPhone and fortunately, we tested and found the best ones.
Yes, that’s right, the native iOS weather app, Weather, is extremely good and accurate. All the data is pulled from The Weather Channel and in all my travels, it was rarely wrong. Don’t be afraid to use it, it’s very good and it also comes with a widget for your iPhone.
WU is our favorite weather app, we used it on Android and on iPhone as well and we plan on using it in 2021. It complements Weather perfectly, you can check both iPhone apps for any given city and can give you a very accurate idea about the real-time weather and the forecast. Also, if you want to find out weather conditions for different ski resorts, WU never failed me. What makes Weather Underground so powerful is that it aggregates data from more than 300,000 personal weather stations around the globe. You can’t get more accurate than that, don’t you agree? WU is one of the best iPhone apps that you can use, hands down.
In this category, we only have the 2 streaming services that we use, Google Play Music and Spotify. Both are hands down the best music streaming apps for your iPhone. We didn’t really got deep into Apple Music, for some reason, we like Spotify more, maybe we’re more used to it. Google Play is free if you have a YouTube Premium subscription but if we’d have to choose between the two in 2021, we’d pick Spotify. We tried Tidal as well, and while the high-quality streams is a nice thing, the real-world difference is minuscule and their exclusives aren’t that appealing, for us at least. Google Play Music and Spotify are, in our opinion, the best music streaming apps for your iPhone in 2021.
Well, we reached the elephant(s) in the room, the video streaming apps. We all know Netflix and I’d probably recommend it due to the number of original shows and movies they have, but to be honest, the choice is pretty biased. It’s important what do you want to see since most shows are bound to a network. Some people swear by Hulu, others like Disney+ for The Mandalorian and all the Disney exclusives. Evidently, there’s also HBO GO with a bunch of great shows as well so basically, it’s all up to you here. If you’re new to the streaming world, we advise starting up with Netflix and go from there but if experience thought us anything is that you’ll end up with 2-3 different subscriptions. Again, as we said earlier, including one or two video streaming services in our best apps for iPhone in 2021 wasn’t really fair, we decided to list some of the most popular streaming services.
Password Managers are apps that help you store all your passwords, for any app or site that you use your login credentials with. I personally can’t live without a password manager, I have so many apps and website logins that, unless I use the same password (which I strongly advise against), it’s impossible to memorize them all. We can’t talk about the best iPhone apps in 2021 without choosing a strong password manager right? That being said, we tested a lot of apps over the years and we have 2 recommendations.
This was our go-to password manager for years and some of us here still use it, myself included. LastPass is a powerful manager that handles all your app and website logins with ease. Everything is encrypted and protected by a master password, making your password database pretty safe. The app comes for all platforms and browsers, and your iPhone is no exception. It’s pretty convenient to use it on your PC or Mac then autofill your logins on your iPhone when needed or vice-versa. I haven’t had any problems with LastPass over the years and I strongly recommend it. If you’re looking for the PC version, you can download LastPass for PC from our software section.
Bitwarden is another top password manager and some of us here use it daily. The major difference between Bitwarden and LastPass is that Bitwarden is free and open-source. Other than that, the app comes with the same powerful features, cross-platform apps, and compatibility. You can’t be wrong with either of them, but if you want a free password manager, Bitwarden is the best free password manager for your iPhone.
Other awesome apps
If you have problems managing your time or simply don’t have time to read books, Blinkist is an awesome app that lets you read a book in 15 minutes (or less). Evidently, the experience is not the same but the service offers you a short version for each book that you can read or listen to. Or maybe you prefer to learn something by reading a business book? It’s pretty awesome that you can carry such a powerful tool on your iPhone in 2021, isn’t it?
Airly lets you monitor the air quality around you or where you travel. The iPhone app is extremely useful when you go to more polluted cities or you just want to check the pollution level in your neighborhood. It will also make you move to the moon and stay there to avoid it any of it, but that’s a topic for another time 🙂
Deepstash is an app that I personally love, which lets you learn something new every day. The app also lets you discover ideas or things to read, learn skills, get productivity tips and discover life hacks. I always find a reason to open the app and find myself “lost” in it for some time. And when I say lost, I don’t mean the bad kind of “lost”, I just enjoy myself finding and learning something productive. Can’t recommend it enough, you should give it a spin.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of iPhone apps in the App Store for almost everything and while it’s hard to curate the good ones from the bad, we’ll update it as we find and test any apps that we think are worth including in our 2021 list.