The App Store is filled with free apps and we’ve created a comprehensive list of the best free iPhone apps. While that list provides some great, great apps, there are some app categories that for some, aren’t of interest. Apple provides a handful of stock apps, with the intention of provide the core basics that will have wide appeal. What if Apple asked for five apps that could be pre-installed on every new iPhone? What are the absolute must have free iPhone apps that everyone should install?
Find My iPhone
It’s criminal that Apple does not include this on every iPhone and iPad. While you don’t have to install the app to track your iPhone, it makes sense to have this installed to track other iOS devices and those of your friends and family. The service is completely free and will track your iPhone if it should get lost or stolen. I’ve personally used Find My iPhone to track a misplaced iPad. I don’t care how much storage you have or don’t have on your iOS device, this is worth setting up and downloading the free app, even more so if you own multiple iOS devices or Macs.
I cannot stress how important it is to install this app and setup find my iPhone. If you lose your iPhone 5 out of contract, it would be upwards of $650 to replace. Installing this free app isn’t necessary to track your iPhone, but it can be used to track your other devices. Find My iPhone becomes even more powerful when iOS 7 gets released, as it requires the person who initiates a restore to enter a password. It’s yet another layer of security, but only comes when you install this app.
When Google got the boot as the de facto Maps application, there were literally cries in the street for them to release a standalone app. While Apple’s very own Maps app is better than the press clippings of late, it still suffers from inadequate data.
When you use a Maps app, you want to the comfort of knowing that you are going to get to your location. With support for public transportation, reliable data and a fresh new UI, Google Maps is the original Maps app for iPhone and deserves its place back on your iPhone.
Apple has built-in support for the social networking giant into iOS, but they forgot to include the app. Unlike Twitter, there is only one king of the hill when it comes to apps for Facebook and it’s the official app. It wasn’t always smooth sailing for this app. In the early days, complaints of crashing and instability were commonplace.
Facebook has had a renewed focus on mobile and the Facebook app for iPhone reflects these moves. Not everyone is on Facebook, but I still feel pretty comfortable that we’re dealing with high percentages when it comes to iPhone owners who are also Facebook members. This app is a natural extension to iOS and provides for a robust and throughly enjoyable way to enjoy the social network.
We had previously profiled eight beautiful weather apps, but we missed one. Yahoo! Weather had just recently undergone a makeover. The app uses local Flickr photos as the background to your local weather. This isn’t just about beauty. Swipe up to reveal a treasure trove of weather related information including updated satellite maps.
Sure it’s pretty, but it’s the incredible amount of information presented in a way that won’t overwhelm that has me recommending Yahoo! Weather.
Regardless of where you live, power outages are often a hard, cold reality. As someone in the Northeast who has experienced 10 day outages from both Irene and Sandy, I’ve actually managed to rely more on my iPhone. Each year I tell my wife that I’m going to order a Hurricane preparedness kit. While I do have a generator in place now, that won’t help much for short-term outages. What will help is having a trusty Flashlight app for iPhone. Anyone will do, but I’m particularly fond of this one from Surpax Technology.
It has over 44,000 reviews and has a 5-star rating, so I’m not alone. When iOS 7 hits later this fall, the new control center will include a built-in flashlight. It won’t feature fancy strobe effects, but should provide quick and easy access. Apple’s inclusion of a flashlight in Control Center in iOS 7 only reaffirms our suggestion of adding a Flashlight app to your arsenal of iPhone apps.
If you are new to iPhone or longtime user, these apps are worthy of a place on your iPhone. All of them are available for free and represent the best in class in their respective categories. If there is any downside to the vast selection in the App Store, it’s being able to find the must have apps. These are a strong five. If you are looking for a more in-depth list, check out our recently compiled list of the best free iPhone apps. Is there an app that you rely on that we missed? Let us know in the comments.