Best iPhone apps 2022: The ultimate guide
There are thousands of iOS apps to choose from - so many, in fact, that it can be hard to suss out which ones are worth trying.
Whether you're an experienced iPhone user or someone who has recently left Android for iOS, finding the perfect app for, say, sending email or checking the weather or jotting notes or playing a relaxing game is no easy task. You have a multitude of options, and with the App Store serving up ads in some search results, it's even more difficult to discern which apps are the best.
Luckily, we at Pocket-lint have tried more apps than you can imagine and have been using iPhone since 2007. To help you out, we've made this ultimate guide of the best iPhone apps. Download any one of these, and you won't be disappointed. We've arranged everything by category, so it should be easy to digest.
Best iPhone apps
AR and VR (non-games)
Google Cardboard is an app that works with Google Cardboard-compatible VR headsets (also called viewers) and your iPhone. It not only helps you set up a Cardboard viewer but also includes a few VR experiences to get you started.
Try it now: Google Cardboard
This AR-powered app lets you overlay GIFs onto the real world and share your creations with friends. Imagine drawing in the air with cat GIFs.
Try it now: Giphy World
IKEA Place lets you virtually see 3D, true-to-scale IKEA products in your space. It includes most of IKEA's catalogue, like sofas and chairs, and helps you to better understand the furniture’s size, design, and functionality in your home.
Try it now: Ikea Place
Although Apple now offers a Measure app directly in iOS, there are alternatives, likd MeasureKit, which has nine AR tools: Ruler, Magnetometer, Trajectory, Face Mesh, Marker Pin, Angles, Person Height, Cube, and Level.
Try it now: MeasureKit
Star Walk is a popular stargazing app. It's an interactive guide to the night sky, following your every movement in real-time and allowing you to explore over 200,000 celestial bodies and get access to information about anything you find.
Try it now: Sky Walk
Apple iCloud Drive
This is Apple's own cloud storage service. Documents, media, and folders that you store in iCloud Drive stay up to date across all of your Apple devices, so you can access them from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC, and on iCloud.com. You get 5GB of space for free to start.
Try it now: iCloud Drive
Dropbox lets you store files and folders to the cloud and share them, scan docs, and collaborate with others, with everything safely synced across all your devices - so you can access it anytime, anywhere. You get 2GB of space for free to start.
Try it now: Dropbox
Google Drive is similar to Dropbox, only you get 15GB free to start, and it directly supports Google's entire product portfolio. You can see your Google Photos or Google Docs files, for instance, and invite others to view, edit, or leave comments.
Try it now: Google Drive
Dating and relationships
It's a dating app similar to Tinder. Only, with Bumble, women make the first move so that all users can form relationships in a more respectful way.
Try it now: Bumble
OKCupid is all about rich profiles, where you can show off your personality and interests. You can answer thousands of questions about yourself, or just a few, and it algorithm will helps you connect with people who share your passions.
Try it now: OKCupid
Tinder is a really popular dating app. It works like this: Match. Chat. Date. You swipe right on a profile picture/profile to like someone, or use the swipe left feature to pass. If someone likes you back, it’s a match, whom you can chat.
Try it now: Tinder
Grindr is a social networking and chat app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people. It's not as fully featured or pretty as, say, Tinder, but it's still the No. 1 option for the LGBTQ community.
Try it now: Grindr
Acorns is an investment app that automatically invests your spare change. It's for the novice investor who doesn't understand the market.
Try it now: Acorns
Coinbase is one of the most popular cryptocurrency wallets available, as it supports a range of different ones, including bitcoin. For instance, it makes it easy to securely buy, use, store, and accept bitcoin, as well as ethereum and litecoin.
Try it now: Coinbase
Want to see how you spend your money? Mint is the free money management and financial tracker app that bring together your bank accounts, credit cards, bills, and investments and see what you’re spending and where you can save money.
Try it now: Mint
Robinhood lets you buy and sell stocks and exchange-traded funds without paying a commission. You can start a portfolio and invest in your favourite companies. Like Acorns, it's meant for novice investors who want to buy and trade.
Try it now: Robinhood
Venmo is like Square Cash, but with a social layer. You can add notes to your payments for others to see, and like or comment on friends’ stories.
Try it now: Venmo
This is a sequel app to Odyseey Adventure. You play the role of a snowboarder, flying down an endless, gorgeous landscape. While Adventure had players on a cold mountain, Odyssey throws in some pastures and desert landscapes.
Try it now: Alto's Odyssey
Clash Royale is a tower rush game in which you can duel players from around the world in real-time in both 1v1 and 2v2 Battles. The objective (three minutes into the game) is to destroy opposing towers as well as the "King tower".
Try it now: Clash Royale
This is a Battle Royale game where you squad up and compete to be the last one standing in 100-player PvP. You're supposed to build cover, battle your opponents, and survive the longest to earn your victory.
Try it now: Fortnite
With this card battler, you're the hero who uses cards to "sling spells, summon minions, and seize control" of the battlefield. You can jump right in, build your deck, hone your skills, and fight for glory in the Arena and duel players.
Try it now: Hearthstone
Monument Valley 2
This is a sequel to 2014's Monument Valley. It's an indie puzzle game, where the goal is to guide Ro and her child through mazes, optical illusions, and impossible objects in order to complete the puzzle.
Try it now: Monument Valley 2
This game put mobile AR experiences on the map in 2016. It allows you to be a Trainer who can search for Pokemon in the real-world, as well as do catching, hatching, evolving, and more. You can even compete in epic gym battles.
Try it now: Pokemon Go
This is a Fortnite-like Battle Royal game in which 100 players parachute onto a remote island. Players have to locate and scavenge their own weapons, vehicles, and supplies, and defeat every player to be the last one standing.
Try it now: PUBG Mobile
Sky: Children of the Light
Fly across sprawling landscapes to help celestial beings find their way back to the heavens in this jaw-dropping social quest.
Try it now: Sky: Children of the Light
Threes is an indie puzzle game where the player slides numbered tiles on a grid to combine addends and multiples of three. The game ends when there are no moves left on the grid and the tiles are counted for a final score.
Try it now: Threes
Health and fitness
Clue is a period tracker app that uses science to help you discover patterns in your menstrual cycle, get personalised reminders about your period, PMS, ovulation, and fertility, and track everything from your mood to exercise.
Try it now: Clue
Couch to 5K
Ever wish you were a runner? Then check out the official Couch to 5K training app! It says if you spend just 20 to 30 minutes running - three times a week for nine weeks - you’ll be ready to finish your first 5K (3.1-mile) race.
Try it now: Couch to 5K
C25K is another Couch to 5K program. Like the others, it mixes running and walking, gradually building up your strength and stamina.
Try it now: C25K
Fertility Friend is another fertility tracker. It has an advanced ovulation calculator, menstrual calendar, fertility chart, and period tracker. Its aim is to help you get pregnant, with personalised trying-to-conceive tips and analysis.
Try it now: Fertility Friend
Headspace is a guided meditation app. The basics course is completely free and will teach you the fundamental techniques of meditation and mindfulness. After that, with a subscription, you can access the full Headspace meditation library.
Try it now: Headspace
Synctuition is another meditation app, although it's a little less guided than Headspace. You simply pop in your headphones, close your eyes and enjoy a careful blend of sounds and music for 20 or 30 minutes to relax without any hassle.
Try it now: Synctuition
Lose It! is a weight loss program. You simply download the app, set your goal, and track the foods to lose weight.
Try it now: Lose it!
MyFitnessPal, which is integrated with Under Armour's apps and devices, helps you track food, create goals, log exercise, and get support.
Try it now: MyFitnessPal
Runkeeper helps those of you with an Apple Watch or a wearable like Fitbit track your workouts with GPS, set goals, see progress, and more.
Try it now: Runkeeper
This is another GPS-supported running app that lets you track distance, time, speed, elevation, calories burned, and other stats.
Try it now: Runtastic
Strava Running and Cycling
Strava not only lets you track your run but also activities like swimming, hiking, crossfit, gym training, surfing, yoga, and more.
Try it now: Strava Running and Cycling
Daily Yoga offers over 500 asanas, 200 guided classes of yoga, pilates, and meditation, 50 workout plans, and even coaches workshops.
Try it now: Daily Yoga
This is Apple's music subscription service built into its devices. With it, you can stream practically any tune you've ever wanted to hear.
Try it now: Apple Music
Apple's GarageBand turns your iPad and iPhone into a recording studio, so you can create and mix music - or even be a DJ - while on the go.
Try it now: GarageBand
Pandora is a classic music app that's basically a digital radio. It lets you create stations from your favorite songs, artists, or genres.
Try it now: Pandora
SoundCloud is a music and audio streaming platform, with over 180 million tracks. It lets you upload audio and find new music, all in one place.
Try it now: SoundCloud
Spotify is like Apple Music, only it's not tied to Apple devices, and there is a freemium tier that lets you listen to stations and playlists with ads.
Try it now: Spotify
This is a password manager. It remembers all your passwords for you, lets you generate passwords, and easily signs you in to sites and apps.
Try it now: 1Password
Traveling to a foreign country? Or just want to browse in peace at home? With this app, you can enjoy safe and private internet access and secure your Wi-Fi connections against various cyber threats. There's a free trial to start.
Try it now: NordVPN
Onion Browser is the original free and open-source Tor-powered web browser that helps you access the internet with more safety and privacy.
Try it now: Onion browser
We all know what Amazon is - and with this app, you can easily shop it from your mobile device. It even lets you access Alexa and scan products.
Try it now: Amazon
The ASOS app claims to be home to more than 850 brands and over 85,000 products (mostly clothing). It offers free delivery and return options.
Try it now: ASOS
Interested in buying or browsing handmade, vintage, and one-of-a-kind goods? Then you need to use Etsy.
Try it now: Etsy
Want to browse IKEA's latest product catalogue, create a mood board, and test out IKEA furniture in your space? Look no further.
Try it now: IKEA catalogue
If home goods is your thing, Wayfair claims to house the world’s largest selection of home goods - with prices ranging from cheap to wow. It also has a new 3D View in Room feature that lets you see virtual items in your space.
Try it now: Wayfair
Love eBay? Then you’ll love the eBay app. It lets you use your camera to search for items, scan barcodes, and manage your account.
Try it now: eBay
Own an Alexa device? Then you need this app to set it up, manage your profile, find skills, and do just about anything Alexa related.
Try it now: Amazon Alexa
What the Alexa app is to Alexa devices, the Google Home app is to Google Home and Chromecast devices. It's a must-have for Assistant users.
Try it now: Google Home
This is Apple's smart home app, built directly into iOS. Use it to control all your accessories, put your smart house on autopilot, and more.
Try it now: Apple Home
IFTTT is less relevant now that Apple has the Shortcuts app, but with it, you can essentially connect and automate all your online services.
Try it now: IFTTT
Shortcuts is Apple's built-in iOS tool that lets you easily get more tasks done with your apps. For example, Apple said you can build a “Surf Time” shortcut that grabs the surf report, gives an ETA to the beach, and launches your music playlist.
Try it now: Shortcuts
Books, audiobooks, and podcasts
This is Apple's built-in iOS Podcast app that lets you discover audio stories. It offers over 550,000 shows with nearly 19 million episodes.
Try it now: Apple Podcast
Audible, an Amazon company, claims to be the largest selection of audiobooks. You can buy and listen to them with this app.
Try it now: Audible
Want to explore over 100,000 digital comics and graphic novels? This app has titles from Marvel, DC, Image, and more.
Try it now: Comixology
Google Play Books
Google's Play Book app lets you browse millions of book titles, from audiobooks to ebooks, and enjoy them, all in one central place.
Try it now: Google Play Books
Amazon's Kindle Reader lets you turn your iPhone into a Kindle. It allows you to download and carry all your ebooks with you, wherever you go.
Try it now: Kindle Reader
If you're looking for an app that's for learning new languages, Duolingo is a great option. There's a free version, as well as a Duolingo Plus tier, for $9.99, which cuts the ads and gives you the ability to download lessons for offline studying.
Try it now: Duolingo
This is an easy-to-use language learning app with an entertainment layer. Learn everything from French to Norwegian.
Try it now: Memrise
Designed to "feed your curiosity and expand your world", this app has over 3,000 free videos from the world's most remarkable people.
Try it now: TED
Whether you need to perform high-level mathematic computations or search for facts and statistics, WolframAlpha is worth trying. It's essentially a powerful tool for finding information on math, science, and other topics.
Try it now: Wolfram Alpha
Film and TV
Apple TV app
The Apple TV App lets you browse content from over 100 video services. You’ll find movies and shows, live sports, and news. It is available on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV - so you can watch at home or while out and about.
Try it now: TV app
With HBO Now, you can watch our favourite episodes of HBO’s series (think Game of Thrones and Westworld) for a monthly subscription fee.
Try it now: HBO Now
Hulu offers up an entire library of movies and shows (including Seinfeld, South Park, and Fear the Walking Dead) for a monthly subscription fee. For an additional cost, you get over 50 live channels, like ABC, NBC, CBS, and ESPN.
Try it now: Hulu
IMDb, an Amazon company, is the an authoritative source for all-things Hollywood. Explore popular movies and TV shows and their casts, and get access to trailers, behind-the-scenes clips, and showtimes (plus buy tickets) near you.
Try it now: IMDb
Netflix is the king of streaming services. For a monthly subscription fee, you get access to Netflix Originals, plus many more movies and shows.
Try it now: Netflix
Prime Video is included in an Amazon Prime subscription. With it, you get access to Amazon Originals, plus many more movies and shows.
Try it now: Prime Video
Like Hulu's Live TV offering, YouTube TV offers cable-free live TV, so you can stream major broadcast and networks, from ABC to ESPN. It also has cloud storage, and is a monthly pay-as-you-go membership you can cancel anytime.
Try it now: YouTube TV
YouTube is the original source for online video. Use it to watch beauty tutorials, game streams, music videos, and more - for free, with ads.
Try it now: YouTube
Get food delivery (for a fee) from your favorite local restaurants and access more than 110,000 menus across 800+ cities in the US.
Try it now: Doordash
Grubhub is like Doordash, though it promises to have "the largest selection of restaurants" - from KFC to your local burger haunt.
Try it now: Grubhub
This app has more than 43,000 restaurants around the globe. It's the perfect travel app for finding local restaurants and booking a reservation.
Try it now: OpenTable
For a small subscription fee, you can order food from any supported restaurant nearby - and even merchandise from a local store.
Try it now: Postmates
Hungry? Get the food you want, from the restaurants you love, delivered by an Uber, and you can even track your order in real-time.
Try it now: Uber Eats
If you use Facebook, you definitely use Messenger. But it can be tied to your number, allowing you to text anyone in your friends list or contacts. You can also do video chats, complete with filters, play games, access biz chatbots, and more.
Try it now: Facebook Messenger
Discord is a chat app that's fully cross-platform, so you can use it from your phone or your computer, and it has all the features you expect from a chat app, including voice chat. You can join groups through a link, too. The entire app is geared toward gamers, specifically.
Try it now: Discord
With Signal, you can communicate instantly with all of your friends at once, and even share media and other files, with complete privacy. Signal uses an advanced end-to-end encryption protocol for every message.
Try it now: Signal
Slack is a communication and collaboration app. Designed primarily for businesses, it's a must-have messenger for teams.
Try it now: Slack
WhatsApp is a free messaging app that uses your phone's internet connection and is tied to your number. You use it to send and receive encrypted messages and calls. You can also send photos, videos, and voice messages.
Try it now: WhatsApp
Photo and video
Clips is Apple's app that allows you to easily splice together a polished video without a lot of effort. Apple already offers several video creation tools, from the high-end Final Cut Pro to iMovies. Clips is an alternative, free option.
Try it now: Apple Clips
Without all the complicated tools of say, Adobe Photoshop, FaceTune basically lets you retouch selfies from the convenience of your iPhone.
Try it now: FaceTune
Google Photos is an app that lets you store and view all your photos and videos, and even create custom animations and GIFs.
Try it now: Google Photos
PhotoScan is an app from Google Photos that helps you to perfectly and easily scan printed photos using your phone’s camera.
Try it now: Google Scan
Adobe has several photo-related apps, but we think Photoshop Mix is interesting because it has some of Photoshop's most powerful tools. It still appeals to a broad range of users, however. You can create simple collages or do more hardcore Photoshopping, whichever you prefer.
Try it Now: Photoshop Mix
Premiere Rush CC
This is Adobe's answer to Apple Clips. It lets you shoot, edit, and share online videos, and is designed for short-form clips versus longer ones.
Try it now: Premiere Rush CC
Prisma is a photo editor app that creates amazing photo effects by transforming your photos into paintings using so-called art filters.
Try it now: Prisma
Apple's iMovie app is available for iOS and Mac. It lets you browse your video library and create movies in a fast, fun, and easy way.
Try it now: iMovie
This is Apple's built-in Mail app. It's far from perfect, but it's still one of the best options out there. It even beats the Gmail app, in our opinion.
Try it now: Apple Mail
Pages a free word processor made by Apple. It's available on all Apple devices and syncs to iCloud, so you can continue editing on any device.
Try it now: Apple Pages
Apple's own version of Microsoft Excel is a beautiful spreadsheet app that's designed for a mobile device experience and is free to use.
Try it now: Apple Numbers
Next up is Apple's version of Microsoft PowerPoint. It's a free app built from the ground up for mobile. And it makes creating a professional presentation - complete with animated charts and cinematic transitions - very simple.
Try it now: Apple Keynote
Word is the gold standard of word processors and is often used in the workplace. But it does require an Office 365 subscription on the iPhone.
Try it now: Microsoft Word
Excel is probably the most popular spreadsheet app in the world - used in businesses and schools worldwide. But it requires an Office 365 sub.
Try it now: Microsoft Excel
With PowerPoint, you can quickly create, edit, view, present, or share presentations quickly. Again, you need an Office 365 subscription.
Try it now: Microsoft PowerPoint
Simply put, Docs is a cloud-based alternative to Word. Use it to create, edit, save, and even collaborate on documents while on the go.
Try it now: Google Docs
Sheets is a cloud-based alternative to Excel. Use it to create, edit, save, and even collaborate on spreadsheets while on the go.
Try it now: Google Sheets
Slides is a cloud-based alternative to Powerpoint. Use it to create, edit, and collaborate with others on presentations from your iPhone.
Try it now: Google Slides
Google is a powerhouse in the productivity and collaboration space, and Calendar is a prime example. It lets you view, edit, sync your schedule across platforms and devices. You can also create a team Calendar to share with others.
Try it now: Google Calendar
If you hate Safari, consider trying to Chrome, especially if you use the desktop app. It's a powerful browser that syncs across all your devices.
Try it now: Google Chrome
Evernote is a popular note app. You can input typed notes or scan handwritten notes. You can also add to-do’s, photos, images, web pages, or audio, and it syncs across your devices, so your information is always with you.
Try it now: Evernote
If you don't want to use Apple Mail, consider Spark. It lets you discuss emails privately with teams in a thread, schedule emails, access integrations like Dropbox, use a built-in calendar, and create links to a specific email or thread.
Try it now: Spark
Todoist is like a reminder app that helps you to keep track of everything, anywhere. Even when you’re offline. It also offers access to over 60 app integrations, including Dropbox, Amazon Alexa, Zapier, IFTTT, and Slack.
Try it now: Todoist
Facebook almost needs no introduction. It's probably the most popular social network in the world. Use it to connect with friends, old and new. Or, use it to view hidden ads and memes from meddlers spreading propaganda.
Try it now: Facebook
Instagram, a Facebook-owned app, is a social network that's all about sharing photos, videos, and stories. And having the most amount of followers.
Try it now: Instagram
LinkedIn is the social network for professionals. It helps you build an online resume, find jobs, network, and more. It's also owned by Microsoft.
Try it now: LinkedIn
This is the mecca for DIYers. Want to make a lip scrub? Check. Need Halloween party ideas? Check. You can explore over 100 billion pins for every part of your life, and create mood boards to look back on for inspiration.
Try it now: Pinterest
Discover top trending topics, breaking news, viral video clips, funny jokes, and hot memes with the official Reddit app.
Try it now: Reddit
Snapchat is similar to Instagram in that it has a stories feature, but it's meant for sending quick snaps to friends that delete forever once they're viewed, though the sender can always save them to their locker for later viewing.
Try it now: Snapchat
The basic function of TikTok is that users can film videos of themselves lip-syncing or acting out sketches. Their videos can be up to 15 seconds long, and they can pick from a library of songs, effects, and sound bites to add to their videos.
Try it now: TikTok
Ah, the toxic armpit of the internet. Want to see what the US President is tweeting? How about Kim K or your favourite CNN anchor? It's all here, in real-time, with basically no filters in place. Bring on the alt-right trolls!
Try it now: Twitter
Travel and transportation
Forget hotels. They're expensive and price rigged. Instead, use Airbnb to find an affordable vacation rental, or start earning money as a host.
Try it now: Airbnb
Google Maps is the only maps app you need. With over 220 countries and territories mapped and hundreds of millions of businesses and places on the map, you can get real-time GPS navigation, traffic, and accurate transit info.
Try it now: Google Maps
Need a lift? Try Lyft for a ride. It's a cab service or carpool, where the drivers can be anyone from a lawyer to cop trying to earn extra on the side.
Try it now: Lyft
Uber is just like Lyft. So, if you can't find a nearby driver with Lyft, open up Uber and try that as an alternative.
Try it now: Uber
If you're travelling, you need to use TripAdvisor to find reviews, photos, and maps about destinations. It has over 500 million reviews and opinions.
Try it now: TripAdvisor
Google-owned Waze tells you instantly about traffic, construction, police, crashes, and more, thanks to its cool crowdsourcing technology.
Try it now: Waze
Yelp lets you find local food, businesses, and services, with over 135 million reviews available to help you make an informed decision.
Try it now: Yelp
With the Weather app, Apple's own app, you can look up the weather by city name, postal or zip code, and airport code.
Try it now: Apple Weather
Speaking of Dark Sky, it claims to be "the most accurate source of hyperlocal weather information", with down-to-the-minute forecasts and beautiful weather animations and actual storm tracking.
Try it now: Dark Sky