6 best alternatives to Apple apps
The best replacements for native iOS apps
Every iOS device comes with several built-in Apple apps, but that doesn’t mean that these are necessarily the best options on offer. Some of the third-party alternatives available on the App Store are definitely worth checking out and may be more suited to your needs than the standard Apple applications. Here we’ve rounded up six of our favorite replacements for Apple’s Mail, Calendar, Photos, Camera, Notes, and News apps. Best of all, four out of six of our suggestions are free, and the other two cost under $6, so there’s really no reason not to download them and have a play.
Spark Email Client Free Made for iPhone, iPad
Spark is a great solution if you have multiple email accounts you want to access from your iPhone. Its smart inbox can sort incoming emails across your connected accounts into helpful categories, enabling you to filter notifications and newsletters from your personal messages. Thanks to its customizable swipe gestures, cloud storage, and email scheduling, you won’t miss Apple Mail anytime soon.
Fantastical 2 $4.99 Made for iPhone, iPad
Fantastical makes adding events and reminders to your calendar a breeze, thanks to its natural language recognition. But its best innovation by far is the DayTicker, which lets you view upcoming events and reminders in a list that scrolls vertically as you swipe across the calendar strip above. If you prefer to see your schedule the old-fashioned way, a pull down on the strip makes it turn into a convenient month calendar.
Feedly Free Made for iPhone, iPad
Feedly isn’t new, but it remains one of the best news aggregators out there, and certainly gives Apple News a run for its money. It allows you to subscribe to news feeds, organize them into folders, mark content for later reading, share posts across social media, and tag articles for future access. Not only that, Feedly’s Boards feature makes it really easy to track and organize stories about particular topics and interests.
Halide camera $5.99 Made for iPhone, iPad
So much thought has gone into this camera app, which has been beautifully redesigned for iPhone X. The interface is packed with intuitive shooting tools that are optimized for one-handed operation, while innovative swipe gestures adjust exposure. It even packs a Portrait mode with built-in tools for adjusting depth information. Other features include quick review of your latest shots, and newer iPhones with iOS 11.3 can shoot in Raw.
Bear Notes Free (IAPs) Made for iPhone, iPad
This plain text writing app’s simple UI hides a plethora of tools for crafting short notes or in-depth essays. Bear’s innovative use of hashtags mean you can organize your notes into themes or projects, while cross-note links let you reference other notes and build a body of work. With word counts and reading times on hand, not to mention an advanced markup editor, Bear blows Apple Notes out of the water.
Google Photos! Free Made for iPhone, iPad
If you take lots of photos on your device, sooner or later you’ll hit a storage limit. You could always pay for an iCloud subscription, or you could try backing up your snaps to Google Photos, which offers unlimited and free cloud storage. The app also uses advanced artificial intelligence to suggest photo collections to share, and includes a neat Photos Assistant that generates collages, animations, and movies from your library.