Part two of our a comprehensive list of the best free iPhone apps (part 1 is here). We’ve scoured the App Store, bringing you the best from all categories. Every application you’ll find here was carefully selected and tested.
- Education and Learning
- Health and Fitness
- Maps and Navigation
- Social Networking
A perennial part of Apple’s essentials, this app acts as a DVR for articles you find online, but not have time to read. When you ‘pocket’ an article, it saves it for reading later. What’s more, Pocket will sync your saved articles across all of your devices and computers.
In addition to being extremely useful, this app is beautiful from the icon design to the simple, minimalistic interface. Pocket can help you save articles, videos, recipes and more – perfect for frequent travelers.
Sure you can scour news sites using Safari, but what fun is that? Flipboard compiles all of your favorite content sites to create a beautiful magazine experience on your iPhone.
Flipboard constantly updates its cover tiles, bringing the most important articles, photos from Instagram and even your personal feeds from Facebook and Twitter. With a unique flip interface, hey that’s where the name comes in, it provides for a picturesque way of viewing what’s most important to you.
First off, it’s hard to open this app and not be impressed by the sheer beauty of how it presents news. Timeline is a pleasure to use. It presents news in context, providing more in the way of historical background specific to a story. Not only can you read the current news in a concise format, but you can also backtrack through the timeline to read the entire story. By reading through the articles, you’ll get a better understanding of the news that’s happening today.
Do you use Dropbox? If not, it’s an excellent service that allows you to store photos, pictures, documents and files in the cloud. It’s free to sign up and they provide you with up to 2GB of storage space for free. That’s well below the free 15GB offered by Microsoft’s OneDrive, but it’s hard not to recommend Dropbox for its ease of use. You can earn added free storage by recommending the service and jumping through other social hoops as outlined by the company. If you automatically save your photos to Dropbox, they’ll add 3GB to your capacity automatically.
All in all, 2GB is plenty of space to get started. What’s great is that you can store anything on Dropbox and then access it directly from your iPhone. The new update also provides a timeline view of your photos. You can also share large files using a link to your Dropbox. Free storage in the cloud and a free app to access videos, photos and docs from your iPhone.
Translation couldn’t get easier. The perfect companion for travelers and those who need anything translated. You can dictate in a language and have Google translate to one of 90 languages. Using the camera on your iPhone, a feature called Word Lens lets point the camera at a sign or article and the app will translate. How’s that for cool and useful? It’s simply a first-class translation app and a must-have.
Download Google Translate
The social photo sharing app is easy and fun way to share photos with friends, family and social networks. A free account allows you add a wide array of some of the best photo filters and frames available in an app. The filtered effects transform your photos into beautiful pieces of art. Unlike some apps, Instagram doesn’t lure you in with a free app, only to charge you for filters. They are all 100% free.
Follow your family, friends, other members who take interesting photography or me @meinck. When you are finished with your masterpiece, just one tap allows you to share on Facebook and/or Twitter.
Download Pic Collage
There are over 1 billion Facebook users and chances are that you are one of them. The Facebook app for iPhone hasn’t always been among the best, but it’s seen some updates this year that have won over users. It still remains the absolute best Facebook experience on your iPhone and trumps Facebook apps on other platforms including Android.
Notifications will help you keep up to date on new comments to your posts and more. There is no easier way to interact with the social networking giant. If you are still accessing Facebook using Safari, you owe it to yourself to download Facebook for iPhone now.
Next to Facebook, Twitter is the most ubiquitous social network. If you are just getting started with Twitter or considering joining, it’s hard not to recommend this app. What was once a paid app, and a very good one, is now free. Twitterific is a shining examples of what happens when you take extremely talented developers and task them with creating a pixel perfect app. Oh by the way, I hear this guy is a good follow.
Are you part of the Pinterest phenomenon. What better way to share and organize all of the beautiful things you find on the web, right from the Pinterest for iPhone app. Whether you are redecorating your home, planning a wedding or simply pinning things that appeal to your sense of style, Pinterest for iPhone allows you to pin on the go.
They’ve been slow to support Apple Pay, but this app still showcases the best of Passbook. Set your favorite location and you’ll receive a notification pop-up when your iPhone near that location. Swipe the notification and you can pay for your coffee directly from your iPhone. Paying for coffee for your iPhone is easy. Whether you enjoy a Grande Pike Place or Chai Tea Latte, the Starbucks app is a great example of the Passbook feature. Starbucks junkies will appreciate tracking of your gold stars and how many are needed to reach your next reward. There is also access to free music, without having to search your local coffee shop for those paper cards. Just select the track of the week and hit download.
The app also provides access to a map of its locations with updated hours and proximity to your current location. Fans of java, this is a must have.
Key Ring Rewards Cards
Reward cards are free, help you save money and often result in some sort of incentive based upon points or usage. It’s surprising when stores don’t have some sort of loyalty card program. That means your keychain or wallet can start to get mighty heavy toting around all of your various memberships. Thankfully, you can manage your reward memberships with your iPhone. The Key Ring Rewards Cards app lets you create a free account where you can add all of your reward memberships. If you add a new iOS device, it makes it easy to sync all of your memberships with the mothership.
As you make the transition for key ring to Key Ring for iPhone, the included bar scanner will scan your existing cards and in most cases auto-recognize them as a particular retailer. If your feeling a little light on rewards programs, Key Ring Rewards provides you with the opportunity to join new programs based upon your location. Keep saving money and earning loyalty points, but do it with your iPhone.
Download Key Ring Rewards Cards
Guess what this app does? If you guessed a stream of news for your favorite teams, you’d be right. It will also drop in major sports news where it sees fit. The great thing about Team Stream is how it finds and pulls relevant tweets based upon your favorites.
As a Dallas Cowboys fan, I appreciate seeing tweets from insiders like @calvinwatkins or @BryanBroaddus who writes for DallasCowboys.com.
Download Team Stream
Track flights from all airlines for free with FlightView. The app interface is uninspiring, but that shouldn’t dull your enthusiasm for this free flight tracker. It provides tracking information, detailed weather for departure and arrival, a map and you can enter your own notes.
The Airports tab allows for quick access to Airport Delays, Current Weather and Directions To Airport for airports nearby based on your location. You can also find a list of airport delays which you can also view as a map. This is a rather comprehensive flight tracking app and at a price that cannot be beat.
Download FlightView Tracker
Most reports claim it’s not as fast as Safari, but there are reasons why it should earn a place on your iPhone. If you use Chrome on the desktop, this app provides you with the option to sync all of your bookmarks. There is no discounting this seamless experience of accessing all of your favorites.
While Safari remains our favorite on iOS, Chrome is the best alternative browser.
Billed as a hyper-local forecast, Weather Underground lets you report and view conditions or hazards. These include flooding, power outages, road debris, high surf, slippery roads, white out conditions and even when a road hasn’t be plowed. This can especially helpful for those in areas that see a fair amount of snow. Using a large network of weather stations, you can view radar, forecasts, temperature trending graphs and more. It’s a lot of information to process, but it’s made much easier in this app. There are individual modules, that can be moved and sorted to your preference. It’s similar to moving widgets around in the Notification Center. This app also includes iOS 8 widgets, so you have even greater access to weather information. The interface might be too busy for some, but it’s hard to argue the utility and information provided by WeatherUnderground.
Download Weather Underground
Yahoo continues to be among the best weather apps, but we’re going to slide it into our Widgets category. It’s simple, clean UI coupled with beautiful photography (courtesy of Flickr) makes it a pleasure to check the weather. Hey, sunny skies do help, but there’s nothing Yahoo can do about that. What they have done is created an widget for their weather app. Why mess with success and that’s the philosophy followed by the developers who authored this widget.
Yahoo Weather is both informative and gorgeous. You get today’s forecast that features highs and lows for the day. It’s also broken up to provide you with a preview of evening and night. If rain is in the forecast, you’ll see the percentage chance, which should be a good indicator of whether you need foul weather gear.
Download Yahoo Weather
There are thousands of free apps for the iPhone, but downloading them takes an investment on your part. There’s the time to take to install and evaluate, not to mention the valuable storage space on your device. The apps listed above were carefully selected, so that if our readers download any of the above apps, they’ll find them to be a valuable addition to their app library. Our plan is to continuously revisit the list and update it on a regular basis. That means adding new apps and also removing those which no longer make the cut. Our goal is to create a resource for selecting the best free iPhone apps throughout 2015 and beyond.
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