The best starter apps for your new iOS device (pictures)
If you're one of the lucky people to receive a new iOS device over the holidays, I have put together a great collection of iOS apps to get you started.
Great starting apps for iOS
If you're one of the lucky people who received a new iOS device over the holidays, we have a great collection of iOS apps to get you started. There are both free and paid apps here, but all are tried and true selections for everything from gaming and movie making to photography and cooking. Without further ado, make sure your Apple account is set up with the App Store first, then get your iOS device ready for downloading and browse some of my favorite apps for new devices in this slideshow.
This is in no way a definitive list of the best or most essential apps to download, but simply a collection of great titles to get you started with your new iOS device.
Looking for apps for a new Android device? Sarah Mitroff has a great starter collection for Android apps here.
(free) is one of the best on iOS for swiping through the news. It's
fully customizable, so you can just view the news categories you want,
and you can even add social networks like Facebook and Twitter to read
the latest updates. If you want an elegant way to swipe through the news
on your iOS device, Flipboard is a great option.
Food Network In the Kitchen
($1.99) gives you tons of recipes you can browse and even categorizes
recipes by the star chefs on the Food Network. Obviously, you'll need to
be careful not to spill on your new iOS device, but if you like cooking
(or want to learn), this app is excellent, with step-by-step directions
and big colorful photos.
($2.99 | £1.99 | AU$3.99) is a weather app for iOS, which probably seems redundant when
you already have a weather app that comes with your device. But Haze
takes checking the weather to a whole new and more elegant level with
tons of weather info, flowing bright colors that symbolize the current
conditions, and a delightfully touchable interface. While this app isn't
a necessity, think of it as a luxury item to check the weather in
Jasmine (free) is a client designed to make it easier and more fun to browse YouTube. You could always download the official YouTube app,
but with Jasmine you get a much sleeker design with more features to
help you find the videos you want to watch. I particularly like how easy
it is with Jasmine to use the hierarchical navigation menus to quickly
browse featured, trending, and popular videos.
(free) is a third-party texting app that gives you unlimited free
texting with anyone. But, you might be wondering, why wouldn't you just
use the Messages app that comes with your iOS device? The problem is,
Messages is only free when chatting with other iOS users, otherwise,
you'll be eating into your texting plan every time you chat with someone
with a different type of smartphone. Whatsapp Messenger makes it
possible to text with anyone and you'll never pay for individual texts.
The only catch is training yourself (and your friends) to reach for the
Whatsapp icon when you want to send a text instead of using Messages.
While you could use the Maps app that comes with your iOS device, Google Maps
(Free) is a joy to use with neat features like Street View and often
has more information about locations than Apple's offering. You can also
enter certain stores and restaurants and look around.
(free) needs little in the way of introduction, but is an excellent way
to turn mundane images and video into cool-looking projects you can
share with friends. Longtime Instagram fans will probably download this
app right away, but even those who have never ventured into this social
photography site should definitely check it out, even if just to browse.
The Google Search
app (free) gives you access to many of Google's apps and lets you have
the worlds most popular search engine at your fingertips. What's really
impressive with the Google search app is the voice search, where you can
say "OK, Google" and the app immediately starts listening while you ask a
question. The app returns lightning-fast results and will speak the
answer back to you.
While Siri (included on all new iOS devices)
is an excellent search assistant in many of the same ways, Google search
is free to try, and I think once you try it, you'll like the
While your new iOS device comes with a great streaming radio service with iTunes Radio, you might also want to check out Pandora
(Free), which creates stations of similar artists and songs using an
algorithm based on the Music Genome Project. Just search for your
favorite song or artist and you'll get great playlists of similar music.
Perfect for both general listening and music discovery, the one
drawback to this veteran streaming service is the advertising in the
free version. Still, it's worth checking out for the spot-on playlists
that seem to magically know what you'll like.
($2.99 | £1.99 | AU$3.79) is a longtime favorite of mine for adding effects and filters
to photos, simply because of the sheer number of things you can do to an
image. Once you take a picture, you can browse through several effects
and filters by category, or use digital-camera-like scenes to apply
common camera effects in specific situations like simulated flash,
sunset, backlit images and portraits.
(free) brings a sizable library of television and movie content you can
stream directly to your iOS device as long as you have an account.
Though the digital offerings are not on par with the company's
DVD-by-mail library, you can almost always find something you want to
watch. And when you're away from home and just want to catch up on a few
TV episodes or watch a movie, this app can be a savior.
($2.99 | £1.99 | AU$3.79) helps you organize your notes for work meetings, college
classes, or even just ideas you want to jot down. The interface is dead
simple, and lets you categorize notes so you can quickly get back to
them when you need them.
($1.99) offers some unique features to make it a handy shopping
companion when checking prices. The app lets you use your iPhone camera
to "scan" a bar code then view the item and prices from various
locations giving you a chance to save some money. Shop Savvy also has
featured items for big discounts within the app and seasonal features
for smart shopping during the holidays.
Real Racing 3
(free) is probably the best racing sim in the App Store, with real
world cars and tracks as you compete through several racing series. This
app is free-to-play with in app purchases, but the freemium model stays
mostly out of your way once you get a little bit into the game.
Kingdom Rush: Origins ($2.99 - iPhone|$4.99 - iPad)
is the latest version of one of the best tower defense games and makes
for an excellent time waster. Build defensive towers along the edges of
the road and try to defeat wave after wave of enemies to complete the
level. With tons of different monster types, complex maps with unique
challenges, and several tower upgrades, this strategy game requires both
careful planning and quick reaction times to keep the enemies at bay.
Modern Combat 5: Blackout
($3.99) is the latest installment from Gameloft's hit
first-person-shooter franchise, and while it borrows heavily from the
Call of Duty games, you can't beat the nonstop action and smooth,
realistic graphics. Play single-player campaign mode or try your luck
against other players in a fully fleshed-out online multiplayer mode.
Watch out, though, some of those guys are good.
(99 cents) is an escape game that has you shooshing down a powdery
mountain to avoid an avalanche. To keep a fast pace, you'll need to ride
the mountain's various wildlife including penguins, eagles, and
Ski Safari has received numerous major updates
since its launch with several new themed mountains, new wildlife, new
vehicles, and more that give the game an enormous amount of
replayability. Be careful though, this game is extremely addictive.
Minecraft Pocket Edition
($6.99) brings the mega-popular building, mining, and survival game to
the touch screen. Create your home base, craft tools, mine the depths,
and watch out for monsters when traveling at night. Great for both kids
and adults, this game is truly a classic, and gets more and more
features with frequent updates.