Apple is very good at making phones, computers, and tablets.
But it doesn’t make the best apps.
If you have an iPhone, you know this. You’re stuck with certain apps — like Stocks, Tips, Game Center, Calendar, Weather, and Newsstand, among others.
You can’t delete them from your phone — the best you can do is hide them in a folder, far, far away from your homescreen.
But there’s some good news. Apple may soon let you delete some of those pesky apps, which would free up storage and screen space on your phone. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook told BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski the company is working to “figure out a way” for you to delete some of the apps that come with your phone.
In the meantime, however, here are 10 great apps to use instead of the ones that come on your iPhone.
Replace Safari, Apple's browser that comes with your iPhone and iPad, with Google's Chrome, especially if you use Chrome on your PC. The browser syncs with Chrome on your other devices, so your history and recent searches from your laptop or desktop are available on your phone.
Apple's brand-new music service, Apple Music, is pretty good, but Spotify has Apple beat when it comes to finding new music. This summer, Spotify has unveiled a host of new features to help you find new artists and songs -- Discover Weekly is one of them. It gives you a new two-hour playlist each week filled with music the company thinks you'll like, and Spotify's new 'Now' feature, which tries to deliver the perfect song for the moment.
Spotify also has a free version that allows you to listen to music on-demand, while Apple Music only allows people who don't pay to listen to its 24-hour per day live radio station.
Dark Sky isn't free, but it's definitely worth $US3.99. The app tells you what the weather will be like throughout the day, giving you the exact time it's supposed to rain, snow, or be clear. It aggregates data from multiple sources, and even from other Dark Sky users, making the forecasts super accurate.
It also sends you alerts when it's about to rain, so you'll never walk out of the house of office without an umbrella.
For those who want a great free option, check out Yahoo! Weather, which is visually nothing short of stunning.
Google's new Photos app is great. It automatically backs up high resolution versions of your iPhone photos to the cloud, and makes them searchable by what's in them, who's in them, and where they were taken. As FastCo's John Brownlee wrote when Google announced it over the summer, it's 'basically the Gmail for Photos we've wanted for years.'
It's free, and gives you unlimited storage for photos under 16 megapixels, which is more than adequate for the photos taken on your iPhone. As I've written about before, the biggest downside of using Google Photos, at least for me, is handing over all of my photos to the search giant.
Apple Maps has gotten a lot better since it was first introduced 2012, when it was filled with errors, unlabled roads, and other huge glitches.
But Google Maps is still the standard when it comes to mapping apps. The public transit directions continue to improve, the traffic conditions are very accurate, and the interface is simple to use.
There are many email apps that are better than the Mail app that comes with your iPhone, like Outlook and Mailbox, but Gmail is my favourite. Gmail works especially well on the iPhone if you use Gmail as your email provider, separating your inboxes into 'Primary,' 'Social,' and promotions.
The search function, as you'd expect, also works very well.
Wunderlist, which Microsoft bought this summer, is the best to-do app. It's great not only for organising your life outside of work -- you can create to-do lists for the grocery store, what to pack for an upcoming trip, etc. -- but also for keeping you and your colleagues on task at work. You can assign tasks to anyone, including yourself, and share lists with others who have the app.
It doesn't matter if they have an iPhone, Android phone, or even a Windows phone. Wunderlist's desktop app is great, too.
FaceTime is a really great app that allows you to make video calls. You can also use FaceTime's voice calling feature to call other people who have iPhones if you're travelling, so you don't rack up huge roaming charges.
But the issue is that it only works with Apple products. So if you want to make a video or voice call to someone who doesn't have an iPhone, iPad, or a Mac, you should use Skype.
Sunrise and Fantastical are both better calendars than the Calendar app that comes with your iPhone. Both recognise natural language, so you can schedule an event by typing 'lunch with Alex tomorrow at noon.'
Sunrise, which Microsoft bought earlier this year, is free, while Fantastical costs $US2.99.
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