Chances are, your iPhone is already loaded with favorites like Facebook, Spotify and TwoDots, but there’s a wealth of exciting software to be found when you dig a bit deeper. The App Store is loaded with gems that will upgrade your iPhone for free or just a few bucks, whether you want to turn your handset into an intuitive filing assistant or a powerful camera. Here are our picks for the 15 best iPhone apps you’re not using yet.
Insomnia is a vicious cycle — you become stressed when you can't get to sleep, and that stress, in turn, prevents you from ever falling asleep. Sleepio is your own personal sleep coach, helping you break through those sleepless nights and wake refreshed. The advice is personalized to your needs, using the app's own sleep questionnaire paired with any available sleeping data from trackers such as UP, Fitbit or Bodymedia. Your own program is then generated, helping you overcome your sleeping roadblocks and get a full night's sleep.
Language barriers can make international travel intimidating, but Google's Translate app will have you naturally conversing with the locals in seconds. The app can listen to two different languages and translate in real time, allowing you to set your phone on a table and simply chat with a foreign-language friend. Point your phone's camera at a billboard or sign, and the new Word Lens feature will instantly translate the text to your language — no Internet connection required.
Day One is a beautiful and intuitive journaling application that makes it easy to keep a personal record of your day. Simply tap to create a new entry and start typing, then attach an optional image and save. Day One automatically adds the time, weather and other pertinent information such as location and music playing at the moment of your entry. You can sync your data among devices, view previous entries or instantly publish your content to a beautifully designed website. There's also a privacy passcode lock for those who want to keep their diaries to themselves.
Podcasts are radio reinvented, with the buzz causing water cooler talk about Adnan Syed's innocence or guilt to overshadow the latest episode of The Walking Dead. To join the fray of loyal listeners, you'll need a full-featured podcast app to access all your favorite shows. Overcast is the latest app by Tumblr co-creator Marco Arment, and it offers features such as Smart Speed, Voice Boost and cross-device episode syncing.
EasilyDo is your own virtual personal assistant, helping you manage your entire digital life. Simply attach your calendar and email account, and EasilyDo will monitor for upcoming trips and events, new contacts, shipment notifications, and other useful information. This smart app will auto-dial you into conference calls and bring up LinkedIn profiles of attendees, or RSVP to invitations. It'll show you directions and weather forecasts. You can even get daily recaps of the top Instagram and Facebook content from your feeds, making sure you never miss an important post.
Breeze is a free app by RunKeeper that helps you stay active by tracking your activity using your iPhone's A7 chip. But unlike competitors, Breeze customizes your daily goal based on your previous week's activity, giving you encouragement to constantly break your own records rather than achieve some arbitrary pre-set step number. You can view your daily activity level against the current time, so it's easy to tell if you've been slacking on a particular day. Breeze strips out all the unnecessary charts and graphs, leaving you with just the motivation to keep on moving.
Take better pictures than ever on your iPhone, thanks to VSCO Cam. With the updated app for iOS 8, you'll be able to manually tweak settings such as focus, shutter speed, white balance and exposure compensation. Separate the focus and exposure rings for better photo composition. After the shot, edit your image with the app's tools and adjust the strength of each fix with a slider, and share your masterpiece with VSCO's community or Facebook and Instagram.
Wish your iPhone was as customizable as Android phones? Iconical is for you. This $1.99 app allows you to create custom app icons for all of your software, leading to a home screen you can truly call yours. One of Iconical's neatest features is the ability to make home-screen shortcuts for your app so you can get right to Create Tweet or Compose Email with a single tap of the screen.
Dark Sky uses state-of-the-art weather forecasting to predict when it will rain or snow. Most weather apps provide an hourly breakdown, but Dark Sky takes that even further by making weather predictions down to the minute. The app also displays a real-time radar emission to show exactly where the storm is moving, and sends a notification alert just before it's about to rain at your location. This handy companion has gained some new features for iOS 7, including extended 24-hour and 7-day forecasts, and new global maps.
It's like Tumblr for your phone but prettier. Record snippets of your life by taking a photo, video, sound clip or jotting down some notes. Then, publish it to a site made for you by Dayre, which also gives you a personal URL so your friends can follow your exploits. The built-in stickers and beautiful designs make blogging a simple, happy affair.
If vertical iPhone videos make you cringe, Horizon ($0.99) is a must-download. This camera app allows you to record horizontal videos in portrait mode, using your iPhone's gyroscope to keep your camera parallel to the ground at any angle. You can use Horizon to shoot in three aspect ratios (1:1, 16:9 or 4:3), and the app packs eight filters for a dash of customization. In case you're especially excited about your always-horizontal videos, Horizon supports sharing via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
While most carriers offer unlimited texting, sending messages over your smartphone's stock app is usually a plain and limiting experience. The free WeChat app offers a sleek all-in-one portal for sending texts, making video and voice calls, leaving voice messages, and partaking in group chats. It doesn't end there, as WeChat packs loads of animated emoticons and a walkie-talkie feature that lets you tap to talk with up to 40 friends. WeChat uses your phone's data plan, but you can enjoy all of its features for free over Wi-Fi.
Sick of your boring old iOS keyboard? Fleksy will not only add a refreshing new look to your type pad, but it will help you type faster than ever too. In addition to swipe typing and gesture shortcuts to add punctuation or special characters, Fleksy's deck is also resizable to give you more screen space while you type. The keyboard's next-word prediction and autocorrect engines are so accurate that you can even type without looking at the screen - your gibberish will be intuitively fixed.
Thanks to Wikitude, you'll never be bored in your city again. This augmented-reality (AR) app pulls up information on bars, restaurants and landmarks based on what your camera sees. With Wikitude's filters, you can set the app to only find you the best pubs or most interesting events going on in your area. And in case you get bored strolling around town, the app packs a variety of AR games, like "Alien Attack" and "Bubble Tap," that let you have some fun with your surroundings.
Touted as Tinder for real estate, this app is a savior for those looking for a new apartment or house. Houses or rooms are presented in a deck of cards and you swipe left or right to save or pass respectively. Even if you're not in the market for a new place, Doorsteps Swipe can give you a good idea of what is available. It also studies your swiping behavior to tell you what kind of houses you have tended to pick. Search houses in your immediate vicinity based on your location, or draw up a region on the app's map.