You asked for an iPhone as a holiday gift and you got one. Now what? Apple’s stock apps are good to get you started, but there’s a wide world of alternatives waiting for you to download. From email apps to apps for the weather, here’s what you should download once your iPhone is setup.


Even if you haven’t used Wunderlist, chances are you’ve heard the name. The Microsoft-owned to-do list and task manager is a simple and powerful app that’s free to download. In addition to adding and organizing to-dos, you can set due dates, use subtasks, and more.

The best part? You can share lists and collaborate with friends and family. My girlfriend and I use Wunderlist for grocery lists, items we need for our apartment, and bills we need to pay. And it all syncs to the cloud, so you can pick up on your computer or whatever other device you use.

Price: Free; $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year for a premium subscription (link)

Google Photos

Before you fill your phone with selfies, do yourself a favor and download Google Photos. It’s the perfect solution to the low storage epidemic faced by iPhone users around the world. Google Photos offers free high quality photo and video backups—and it’s all unlimited.

There’s even a “Free up space” feature that will remove original photos and videos from your device that have already been backed up, giving you more storage for apps and movies.

Not only is Google Photos great for backing up media, it offers powerful search and an assistant feature that will automatically create movies, GIFs, and collages from your images. And there’s a wonderful “rediscover” feature that highlights pictures you took a year ago.

Price: Free (link)

Email by Easilydo

It may not have the most creative name but don’t let that fool you. Email (by Easilydo) is far from a boring email experience. Beyond its bland name, Email is a deceptively powerful client that offers features such as “unsubscribe with one tap,” the ability to snooze messages and more.

Beyond that, Email also sports an assistant that curates all your subscriptions, travel, packages, and more into individual feeds. Think of it as Google Now in your email.

There are too many features to list—it supports a unified inbox!—but trust when I say this is the email client to get, especially if you’re keeping track of multiple accounts.

Price: Free (link)

Password manager

There are many reasons why you should use a password manager, especially in this day and age. Whichever one you choose, a password manager will help you keep track of the many different passwords you use, and even generate strong random passwords for you, which is something you should do.

I use 1Password but there are several other options, such as LastPass and Dashlane. The Wirecutter recommends LastPass because it supports a lot of popular devices and is one of the more affordable options out there. Bottom line, get a password manager and make sure your passwords are strong.

Price: Varies depending on platform


Pocket is a wonderful app for saving articles, links and videos for later. If you spend your days cruising the web (guilty), Pocket is the easiest way to keep track of and organize the growing list of content you think you’re going to check out later.

In my case, I have an obscenely large cue of articles that are still waiting to be read—and the list grows larger every day.

Not only does Pocket save links for later, but it offers a beautiful reading experience that’s free of distractions. You can even customize the reading experience to best match your preferred style.

Price: Free; $4.99 a month or $44.99 per year for a premium subscription. (link)

Square Cash

Square is without a doubt the easiest way to send friends and family money. It offer no fees when cashing out and standard deposits show up the next business day. There’s even a new feature that allows users to quickly spend their money with a built-in Visa virtual card.

What I find most appealing about Square is that it’s not trying to be a social network like Venmo. Simply type in the amount you need to pay a friend, type in their name, and hit send. You’re done. It’s fast, simple, and best of all free.

Price: Free (link)

Pocket Casts

If you regularly listen to podcasts (we have one!), then you should be using Pocket Casts. It’s the most beautiful, customizable podcasting app available, offering powerful playback options such as cutting silence from episodes, variable speeds, and sleep timers.

Pocket Casts also supports CarPlay and the Apple Watch, along with the ability to easily AirPlay stuff to your Apple TV. Podcasts are serious business, which means you need a serious app to access them. Pocket Casts is the podcast app every iPhone user needs.

Price: $3.99 (link)

Partly Sunny

I’ve always been a huge fan of Dark Sky but never liked how it looked. Partly Sunny offers the same features and information in a much more attractive package. I’ve been using it since its launch a few weeks ago and haven’t looked back since.

Partly Sunny uses the Dark Sky API, which means you’ll get the most accurate forecasts, along with plenty of hyperlocal details. There are hour-by-hour and day-by-day graphs, a light and dark theme, and probably more information than is necessary, including precipitation, humidity, wind speed, and more.

It beats the snot out of the stock Weather app for iOS and bests Dark Sky, often considered the best weather app in mobile.

Price: $2.99 (link)


Waze is a community-based traffic and navigation app that helps keep drivers ahead of the curve. If there’s an accident ahead, Waze will reroute you so you’re not stuck in traffic. Waze can even send an alert ahead of other road hazards, such as construction and if there’s a police speed trap up ahead.

In addition to turn-by-turn voice guided navigation and community based reporting, you can easily send your ETA and real-time drive updates to whoever it is you’re meeting. Best of all, Waze is free, offering drivers the best way to get ahead of hazards before it’s too late.

Price: Free (link)


This time of year can get hectic, which is why apps like Headspace are so important. When you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, meditation can make a huge difference. Headspace’s genius is that it makes practicing mindfulness more accessible.

I know, meditation sounds weird. But it’s a useful way to relieve stress and take a break from busy work and home schedules. Once you start, you’ll be amazed at how calm and rejuvenated you feel.

Price: Free; in-app purchases range from $12.99 to a lifetime subscription that costs $399. (link)

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