There are a wealth of great free applications for the iPhone, but with the App Store offering hundreds of thousands of apps, selecting the cream of the crop can be a daunting task. We’ve scoured the App Store, bringing you the best from all categories. Every application you’ll find here was carefully selected and tested. Free apps still require time on your part and we value your time. Our goal with this article was simple. Provide our readers with a comprehensive list of the best free iPhone apps, bar none and then update it on a consistent basis. This year, we’re adding a table of contents with categories, making it easier to find apps in a specific category. Also new this year is the Widgets category, a feature introduced with iOS 8. It’s our largest and most comprehensive list ever. These are the best free iPhone apps for 2015.
- Education and Learning
- Health and Fitness
- Maps and Navigation
- Social Networking
Do you own a Kindle or books from Amazon’s popular book format? Thanks to the official app, you can access and read all of your Kindle e-Books or magazines on your iPad or iPhone. Have a book that you can put down? Now it’s within reach on any iOS device. The Kindle app offers access to over 1 million books. Using Amazon’s Whispersync, the app will automatically sync your last page read along with any notes or bookmarks, providing for a seamless reading experience.
So whether you still love your e-ink reader or have moved on, the Kindle app is a perfect companion for book lovers.
Reading can get expensive if you are buying books with any regularity. If you love to read, but would like to save a few bucks, you need to grab Wattpad. It provides access to over 20 million free stories across all genres. You’ll find new stories from aspiring writers and also the classics like Romeo & Juliet, Moby Dick and Alice In Wonderland. A social aspect lets you connect with readers and writers.
Wattpad features a beautiful UI that’s also functional. When you navigate to a book, you can use related tags to find books on similar topics. This isn’t simply about finding great books. It doubles as a wonderful reader. You can choose the font type, change sizes, adjust the background and more.
Education and Learning
Feel like learning a new language, in your spare time, for free. Duolingo lets you choose the language and the pace of your learning. You can select from ‘Casual’ which is 5 minutes a day up to ‘Insane’, which is still a manageable 25 minutes per day. Each lesson uses words, audio and pictures to help guide you through the process. As you progress, there are short tests to confirm that you’re making progress.
Duolingo starts with the basics. If you’re not sure, you can take a placement test. Once you’ve mastered basics, you’re on to Phrases. For those planning a vacation, the all important Food test is a must. All of you progress is available on a chart and the app can be setup to notify you if you’ve missed a class.
I’m well on my way to learning Swedish. What’s your next language?
If you’re brain isn’t overworked from learning a new language, fire up this app for some serious brain training. Billed as ‘games’, this will never be confused with Flappy Bird. Each day, you’ll get daily workouts for your brain using cognitive games. The app is designed by neuroscientists to train memory, attention and more.
The games are short, playful and become progressively more difficult. Games tested were fast, fluid and well thought out. The app will track your progress, so over time you can see if you are progressing. This starts with a free trial, but it can quickly become expensive . A one-year subscription is $59.99, which is actually a deal compared to the monthly subscription rate of $11.99. A small price to pay to keep your brain sharp?
Download Lumosity Mobile
Looking to binge watch your favorite TV shows like Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad or Grey’s Anatomy. Netflix is the number service for streaming movies, TV shows, documentaries and so much more. Though it requires a paid subscription, the free companion app lets you stream content to your iPhone or iPad. It also supports Google’s Chromecast, so you can cast to any HDTV. It supports multiple profiles, so each member of your family can have their own list of shows, recently watched and recommendations.
Netflix gets all the press, but a good number of us like the convenience of picking up a DVD from the corner grocery of 7-11. The Redbox app allows you to search for movies near your location. Find a movie you like, there is no need to do 60mph in order to grab The Avengers before it goes out of stock.
The Redbox app allows you to search and reserve movies, right from your iPhone.
The ultimate companion app for movie and TV fans. IMDB is your go-to app for information for movie, TV and celebrity information. It’s incredibly useful for finding details about a TV season, episode or movie. The app lets you search for a celerity and see their complete filmography categorized by their role (actor, producer, director, etc.) and see related photos. IMDB lives up to its name as the Internet Move Database.
When it’s time to go to the movies, you’ll want Fandango on your iPhone. It’s a one-stop app for movie times, reviews and theater information. You can buy tickets for pickup at the theater or use Passbook. There is direct integration with Yelp, so you can pair dinner with a movie.
The latest release features ‘Spotlight’. It displays movie art in a parallax view, with upcoming movie times, rating, run time and the trailer in an amazing 3D-like view. Flick up or down to quickly move
This app has a short setup process. You sign up for a free account, followed by adding your credit card accounts. You’ll need your login information handy, as it goes off and captures pertinent data. The app uses bank card level protection, so your information is always secure. The app itself is also password protected.
Once you download your information, you can see your balance and amount spent this month. The analytics option creates a instant chart comparing month to date expenditures vs last month. The ‘Inbox’ feels like the Mailbox app, but with your transactions. You swipe right to confirm. There is built-in ID protection, backed by Experian. You’ll also receive notifications if there has been a relevant data breach or if a merchant you’ve shopped with has been flagged by a large number of BillGuard users. You can also setup notifications, should your card be used at a location that is away from your phone’s location.
Download Bill Guard
Goodbudget Budget Planner
Having a budget is only half the problem when trying to achieve your financial goals. Following through on that budget is the difficult part. Enter Goodbudget Budget Planner. It lets you create envelopes for each of your monthly expense categories. If you make a payment to a utility company, add it to your utility envelope. You can create as many envelopes as you need to meet your personal budget. Based on your monthly income, the app will automatically alert you of your current spend. As you make entries, the app creates a nifty chart that shows you where your money is being spent.
If you’re serious about setting and following a budget, this app will help you manage your money.
Download Goodbudget Budget Planner
What typically happens to your spare change? Does it live for an eternity in the cup holder in your car or a jar at home that rarely gets cashed in. Acorn is a radical new app that lets you invest your spare change from purchases. With it, you can create a portfolio that is managed by a team of expert financial advisors. The next time you buy a grande coffee from Starbucks, the spare change can help build a portfolio. Let’s face it, spare change won’t exactly become a retirement fund, but it can help you do more with your money.
Once you invest, Acorn charges you a small $1 per month fee, which seems like a bargain for professional portfolio management. They use the Modern Portfolio Theory to diversify your risk. And if you decide to cash out, there are no withdrawal fees. You can also add money, either on a one-time basis or recurring transaction.
Notable Finance Apps:
Mint Bills & Money
Yummly Recipes & Grocery Shopping List
Finding great recipes isn’t hard with Yummly. It culls recipes from popular food blogs and recipe sites. Based on your taste and diet preferences, you’ll discover personalized recipe recommendations. Just tap Yum to save to your digital recipe box. It’ll help you make lists for the grocery store, but it goes further. Find an item on sale? Scan it and the app will serve up some great recipes that use it as an ingredient.
Download Yummly Recipes & Grocery Shopping List
Hungry and looking to order take-out? GrubHub shows you open restaurants. You can view popular items, read reviews, map their location and see a current menu. Tap to add items and special instructions if necessary. When you submit, you can check your order status. Have a good meal, add a restaurant to your favorites. If you’re a repeat take-out offender (and who isn’t), you can view past orders, making it even easier to order.
All Recipes Dinner Spinner
A fantastic recipe is always in reach with this app. Using a database of over 30 million home cooks, AllRecipes crowdsources awesome recipes that are sure to delight. Recipes include photos, ratings and reviews from the community and you can take part. See how your Apple Walnut Salad stacks up! Share your awesome recipes and post about your success stories. The Recipe Box saves your recipes with cook time and ingredients. There’s also a shopping list to makes sure you get everything you need from the store. Do you find yourself getting in a rut of preparing the same meals. The ‘Spinner’ lets you shake things up.
Download All Recipes Dinner Spinner
Put your knowledge to the test against your friends or random people. There are six categories (Science, Entertainment, Art, Geography, Sports and History). Each time you win a category, you are awarded a corresponding character. The first person to get all six characters is the winner. This is more than a trivia game. By collecting coins, you can gain special advantages like PowerUps and extra spins.
There are over 100 thousand questions and there are constant updates, so it’ll never get dull. Test your knowledge, take on friends and so much more in the App Store’s number one trivia game.
Download Triva Crack
Every so often, we see a game come along that captivates the casual gaming crowd. If you are looking for this year’s Flappy Bird, look no further than Crossy Road. The premise of the game is reminiscent of the old arcade classic Frogger. The developers have delivered a fantastic, modern take that’s highly addictive. It also boasts some wonderfully done artwork and sounds.
Being a freemium game, there are ads in the free version, but you aren’t forced to watch them. If you do watch the ads, the payoff is in-game currency which you can use to unlock skins, characters and more. It’s free, fun and easy to pickup and play. This one is a no-brainer.
Download Crossy Road
If you recall Dots, the game that took over many lives, thanks to its simple, addictive flair for fun. The developers are back, bring much of what we loved about the first version. The game is still largely about connecting things, with dots, yetis, squids and more. Couple the gameplay with a brilliant minimalistic design and relaxing music, which sets the tone for hours of fun.
Two Dots brings a story line, without our lovable dots on a mission. You’ll embark on an adventure that includes 85 levels. You’ll connect dots, make bombs, extinguish flames and other new features found in the sequel. The game is free, but in-app purchases are there for those who need that extra power up, lives or bomb.
Download Two Dots
Health and Fitness
What if you could make better food decisions when grocery shopping? That’s what Fooducate aims to accomplish, by allow you to scan foods and view their associated grades based . It will attempt to provide healthier alternatives.
So if you really want to guilt yourself into leaving that Double Movie Theater Buttered Explosion Popcorn on the shelf, this app will do just that. In all seriousness, Fooducate will help you make better decisions for a healthy lifestyle and do so for free. It also supports the new Health app in iOS 8 and will sync basic information at your request.
Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker
If you are looking to lose weight, this app from MyFitnessPal will help track your calories. Boasting the largest food database of over 5,000,000 different foods, you can find and enter foods with ease. The app will help you manage your calorie intake and your daily exercise. The app produces some excellent charts to show the nutritional breakdown of your meals. If you have an iPhone with a motion processor, the app will track your steps. There are 30 apps and devices that also work with MyFitnessPal to help you on your fitness journey.
Download Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker
Run With Map My Run
Runners will want to run to the App Store and download MapMyRun. Using the active GPS on your iPhone, you can track the details of your run including duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation and calories burned. Your route is automatically saved, where you can share to social networks and your account. You can also see the exact path on your iPhone. With access to historical data, you’ll be able track your progress on your path to achieving your fitness goals.
Download Run With Map My Run
Rain, Rain Sleep Sounds
If you have trouble sleeping or simply want to create a more soothing environment, than you need Rain, Rain Sleep Sound. You’ll enjoy 25 tracks in six categories. These include rain, storms, water, nature, transportation and appliances. The sounds are looped, but a sleep timer can gently fade out the sounds as your iPhone whisks you to a peaceful sleep. Though you’ll be busy trying to sleep, the visuals are equally high quality and support for AirPlay means you can easily listen on a supported speaker or your Apple TV.
Download Rain, Rain Sleep Sounds
Kids Puzzles Puzzingo
Puzzingo is filled with professionally illustrated interactive puzzles. The free version offers numerous puzzles with over 50 pieces to enjoy. In addition to matching shapes, kids will learn core concepts like shapes, colors, food and the alphabet. The developers also use professional voice actors, providing clear, accurate pronunciation of words. There are no advertisements and in-app purchases require parents answer a question.
Download Kids Puzzles Puzzingo
21 Puzzles for Kids
These are simple puzzles that help kids learn colors and animals. The large puzzle pieces are easy to move and the placement is somewhat forgiving, so kids don’t end up discouraged. When they finish the puzzle, they can tap on the animal to hear its name. A second tap lets you hear the sound the animal makes. As your child completes puzzles, they’ll receive encouragement on how well they are doing. Given the British accent, this game may have been developed with the UK market in mind, but will appeal to all kids under 5.
Download 21 Puzzles for Kids
Houzzz Interior Design Ideas
Finding great ideas and inspiration is big part of any interior design or renovation project. Houzzz provides you with incredible access to photos for every room in your house and also the exterior. You’ll find work from professional contractors, architects and interior designers. You can ask questions and find out details on everything from materials used to paint color. There’s no need to purchase expensive print magazines, when you’ve got Houzzz.
Download Houzzz Interior Design Ideas
Okay, some apps I can’t test fully. Being happily married, Tinder is one of them. That being said, it’s hard to ignore the buzz surrounding this app, which caters to singles.
Maps and Navigation
A light, airy interface is a fresh take on GPS navigation apps on the iPhone. Waze uses 30 million users to provide up to the minute community-based traffic. Using Waze, you can save on gas, save time and avoid road hazards. It will also alert you of police traps.
With voice guided navigation and continuously updated maps, Waze offers a refreshing break from other maps apps. With over 10,000 reviews in the App Store and a 5-star rating, Waze will help you find your way.
The defacto standard for restaurant reviews is indispensable and a must-have on your iPhone. When you ask Siri for restaurants, you can go straight from Siri into the Yelp app, where you’ll find a wealth of information about restaurants, bars, nightlife, coffee houses, shopping and so much more. Apple thought so much of Yelp that they integrated it into iOS and that’s enough for us to call it a must have free app for your iPhone.
Back when it was a purely paid service, we crowned Spotify king as the best streaming music app for iPhone and iPad. Some of the services still require a membership, but Spotify now offers the ‘Radio’ feature for free. You can select one of the preset radio stations based on genre and Spotify will provide a steady stream of music.
If you add an artist, followed by a favorite track, you can create custom radio stations. Between the preset stations and custom radio stations, Spotify will fill your life with music and it’s completely free.
A surprising find this year has been Songza. This brings a fresh new take to finding music. Instead of specific genres or custom radio stations, Songza brings you music based upon your mood or time of the day. On Sunday morning, you’ll find 60’s French Pop, perfect for enjoying coffee and crêpes. If you find a station you like, just add it to favorites.
Songza stands apart from a crowded field of music apps in their ability to deliver fantastic playlists, with little effort on your part. The service is free and so is the app.
Pandora is a music app which allows users to setup ‘stations’ based on a band, song, or combination of both and multiples of your choosing. Not only does it give you access to music, it gives you access to free music. Not only does it give you access to free music, it gives you access to free music you love, but may have never heard of! This is truly a great app for any music lover. It goes without saying that Pandora is just plain awesome.
The best way to identify music and TV around you, with a single click. Shazam has an uncanny ability to identify music and provide you with a quick way to preview and buy with iTunes. The addition of TV shows, lets you find the cast, soundtracks and more. It also has direct integration with all of the major streaming services including Beats Music, Rdio, Spotify and Google Play All Access. Despite its age, Shazam continues to be a must have free app.
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