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Replacing your built-in iPhone apps

The apps included by Apple are great, but they don't fit every user's preferences. If you're looking for something more powerful, let us help you take your device to the next level with these apps to take over those iOS defaults.


by Dropbox

Email is a tricky beast because everyone has a different workflow. Personal email is handled differently than corporate email. If you're looking to achieve Inbox Zero on a daily basis, Mailbox may be for you. This app not only handles the normal mail client duties, but takes management in an innovative direction. Messages can be 'snoozed' so they are removed from your inbox for a set period of time. Like magic they come back when you requested. You can snooze, delete, or archive messages all at once with a single swipe. While support is currently limited to only Gmail accounts, its integration with Dropbox for attachments is yet another killer feature.

SwiftKey Keyboard

by SwiftKey

With the release of iOS 8 and third party keyboards, options can be endless. If you are looking to replace your Apple keyboard with a third party keyboard that is feature-rich but isn't cheesy-looking, give Swiftkey a try. The keyboard learns from you, allows you to swipe out words instead of tapping them in by each letter. It could even pass for the default keyboard.


by Evernote

Evernote continues to be a must-have notes app. It beats Notes because you can put anything into an Evernote including text, images, and media files. It is instantly backed up to the cloud for access anywhere, from any mobile device or computer. Evernote will recognize text in images, so searching is quite powerful. You can also tag notes for quick reference. Reminders were recently added and that makes this great app even better.

Fantastical 2 for iPhone - Calendar and Reminders

by Flexibits Inc.

Yes, Siri has you covered when creating quick calendar entries, but your voice needs a more powerful tool when working with your calendar. Fantastical 2 takes natural language input to easily add items to your schedule. By using the voice dictation feature of iOS, you can say "Mow the lawn every other Saturday" and Fantastical 2 will know exactly what that means, then schedule it. Its innovative horizontal timeline keeps a minimal interface for the days while a list of events neatly scrolls underneath. It also has a powerful search and a companion Mac client if you want the full experience.

Wunderlist: To-Do List & Tasks

by 6 Wunderkinder

The Reminders app is not terribly exciting. Yes, it can get the job done, but it could be so much more. Wunderlist is a great task manager that allows you to get more in-depth with your tasks by adding photos, PDFs, and more. You can also share your tasks with others and delegate who needs to get what done. And don't forget to set reminders so that you never forget another errand again.


by tap tap tap

Looking for a pro level Instagram? Camera+ is more than just a camera app. Created by photography lovers, Camera+ boasts incredible features such as grids, separate white balance locking, a self-timer, stabilizer, and tons more. You can store snaps in Camera+'s lightbox or have them copy to the camera roll. Once you snap that photo, Camera+ has a wealth of editing options. Scene modes correct the lighting and you can flip or rotate your image. Once it's cropped you then have 27 different filters with another 18 available as in-app purchases. Once you're done you can share to all the major social networks. Sharing also exists for Flickr, Email, SMS, or just upload it to their servers and share the direct link.


by Songza Media, Inc.

Sure, the iPhone music app is all about your music library. Apple now has iTunes Radio and it works great. If you're looking for more than an automated radio service, Songza is tops. This app features a concierge service. Pick your mood or current activity. Songza will suggest categories and then present playlists. The app lets you rate songs and it will tweak what future playlists are suggested. The curation is amazing; I particularly enjoy the 90's One Hit Wonders selection. Songza will also customize its sound by the brand of headphones you use. That alone makes it head and shoulders better than the Music app.


by La Camera et Compass

Compass+ offers many great additions over the built-in compass app. You can choose from six different themes, tag locations, switch from miles to kilometers, see distance and heading info, and view the built-in Google maps. The location tagging makes navigating back to a certain spot very easy. If you are looking for a compass replacement app, this is a great option.

Google Maps

by Google, Inc.

Apple has caught a lot of flack for their Maps app. Inaccuracies can cause you significant pain if you're sent to the wrong place. Google's gold standard app may no longer be built-in, but should be a staple on everyone's iPhone. Once Google Maps is open, just enter your destination. Select a route and you are on your way. Google provides travel times with live data, multiple route options, and it integrates with your Google account to quickly find places in your history. The speech is much improved over Siri. The only down side is a lack of night mode.

Weather Live Reloaded

by Apalon Apps

Weather Live Reloaded is an excellent weather replacement app. The built-in one is not terrible, but this app is downright gorgeous, bringing the weather to life on your iPhone screen. Know what the temperature is outside at this very moment or check on the weather status in another city. Weather alerts, satellite maps, and many more in-depth weather details are included.


by Google, Inc.

FaceTime is amazing, but only if the person you want to see has an iOS device. Grandma still using last year's Samsung? You're covered with Hangouts. When Google launched their Google+ social network, Hangouts were a killer feature. Now they've broken Hangouts out into a standalone app. Video conferencing is simple. Hangouts can support up to ten people at a time. This can make family calls a lot of fun. The focus of the chat automatically changes to whomever is speaking. Want to go text-only? Hangouts can instantly change to a group chat app. Whether on an iPad, iPhone, Android, or using a PC, Hangouts has you covered.

Real-time Stock Tracker +Alert push notification /w etrade,mbtrading,google&yahoo import

by W. Tang

The Stocks app is vital to those who need to track the market. Real time data is important and you may need something more powerful. Real-Time Stock Tracker includes a slew of features. Live stock quotes are at the center of this app along with a portfolio monitor. Need to know when Apple's stock is back on top? Set the app to notify you when that happens. This app packs a major punch with tons of features and it's something every investor should try.

WhatsApp Messenger

by WhatsApp Inc.

Text messages can be anywhere from unlimited to zero depending on your plan. If you want to save some cash, WhatsApp is your replacement. This is a full featured text messaging app with zero catches. When you open it for the first time you are asked to input your phone number and then confirm it via SMS. Once set up, you are ready to go. Just input a phone number and WhatsApp fires off a message complete with delivery and read indicators. You can also send voice messages, group messages, video, and photos. Your recipient must use WhatsApp as well, but its popularity and reliability make that an easy hurdle to overcome. WhatsApp can be a great replacement for Messages.