Stream music without commercials, keep family calendars in sync, turn your phone into a flashlight, and much more with these amazing apps -- most of which are free!
One of the earliest -- and still best -- locator apps for iOS, AroundMe makes it a snap to find all kinds of businesses and services near you. Among them: banks, coffee shops, gas stations, and pharmacies. Just tap the category you want, then choose an entry to see its location on a map, get a route, or call it directly. There's also a map view that shows all the locations relative to where you are.
If you're reading this slide, it's because you want to stock your iPhone with apps. Appsfire helps you find the latest and greatest freebies, most notably those apps that are "on sale" for free or have a temporarily reduced price. Better still, it can track the apps you're interested in and notify you when there's a price drop. Thankfully, Appsfire itself is a freebie as well.
I can't remember life without Cozi Family Organizer, and I don't want to. The app provides a shared, synced calendar that's color-coded for each member of your family. Thus, you can see at-a-glance who's going where, and when. How my wife and I managed before Cozi, I have no idea. Amazingly, it's a freebie.
Weather apps are a dime a dozen. Heck, the iPhone comes with one, though it's pretty anemic. I prefer Dark Sky, which tells you not only what to expect for the next 24 hours, but also what's coming in the next 60 minutes -- great if you're about to go for a run or want to avoid a snowy drive. If you're a serious weather junkie, this is $3.99 well spent.
If you use Dropbox, you need Dropbox for iOS, period. It not only gives you access to all the documents, photos, videos, and other goodies stored in your personal cloud, but also lets you back up your iPhone photos (which, incidentally, earns you extra free space on top of the 2GB you get for signing up).
This comprehensive food- and fitness-tracker just keeps getting better. With a few taps you can log every food you ate for the day (and any exercise you performed), thereby keeping a running tally of your calorie intake. Tired of tapping? Scan a food's bar code label. And the app is social, of course, so you can keep tabs on friends' activities (and vice-versa). Best of all, MyFitnessPal is free.
Carrying an iPhone means you never have to be without good reading material. With Pocket, anything you find in your desktop Web browser can be synced with and formatted for your phone in a matter of seconds. Just add the Pocket bookmarklet to your browser. When you happen upon something you want to read later, one click adds it to your Pocket library. Awesome.
Pandora and Spotify get all the press, but if you want the ultimate music-streaming app, check out Songza. It streams music based on the time of day and whatever you happen to be doing -- say, waking up, working out, driving home from work, cooking dinner, and so on. And it's not only free, but also commercial-free. Songza has replaced Pandora as my go-to app for listening to tunes.
Podcasts rock. Apple's Podcasts app? Not so much. If you're looking for an excellent replacement, try Stitcher Radio. With it you can build a playlist of the latest episodes from your favorite shows, thus making those long commutes something you might actually look forward to. Amazingly, Stitcher costs nothing.