Here are the best replacements for Apple's default apps

IPhone6SAppsLisa EadiciccoThe home screen of the iPhone 6S.

Apple provides around 30 apps with a brand new iPhone.

These range from messaging to stocks to finding your friends. All are designed to work perfectly with Apple’s handset.

But many have not changed much over time and, because they cater to everyone, aren’t very good in some scenarios.

Luckily, Apple also has the App Store: a one million strong selection of apps made by third-party developers that can fill in any gaps and, in many cases, do a better job than Apple’s default apps.

Of course, it’s impossible to delete a default Apple app but you can always create a folder hidden deep in the fifth home screen.

Here are the best replacement apps.

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Google Chrome

Max Slater-Robins / BI
Apple's Safari (left) and Google Chrome (right).

Google Chrome is one the most popular browser on desktop but Apple's insistence that you can't change the default on mobile has halted its progress.

However, Chrome for iOS exists and is a good alternative to Safari that syncs with the desktop client, can handle multiple tabs easily, and -- if the app developer chooses to -- can almost be the default browser.

Price: Free


Max Slater-Robins / BI
Apple Messages (left) and WhatsApp (right).

WhatsApp has one key advantage over iMessage: Both Android and iOS users can download the app and talk to each other, over the internet, for free. Anyone with friends who use Android know how annoying the green text bubbles can be, and WhatsApp solves this problem.

Price: Free


Max Slater-Robins / BI
Apple Music (left) and Spotify (right).

Both Apple Music and Spotify cost £9.99 ($US9.99) a month to use, but Spotify works across a myriad of devices -- including Windows, Android, iOS, and so on -- making it the better option for streaming music.

The app is also slightly less confusing, especially if you have a selection of random albums on Apple Music that just won't go away (like me).

Price: Free


Max Slater-Robins / BI
Apple Movies (left) and Netflix (right).

Apple doesn't have its own streaming service and while Netflix doesn't replace the 'Video' app per se, I've found that it rarely gets used thanks to the content available on Netflix. Buying a film on iTunes for £7.99 ($US10) when it's also available on Netflix for free (well, £5.99/month) isn't very appealing. Just don't get too into The Office.

Price: Free

Google Mail

Max Slater-Robins / BI
Apple Mail (left) and Google Mail (right).

Apple's Mail app is one of the iPhone's worst default apps. Luckily, Google has built its own app for Google Mail. It's free, neat, and syncs seamlessly with the cloud and desktop versions. For anyone who cares about email, ditching Apple Mail and switching to Google Mail is a must.

Price: Free

Google Maps

Max Slater-Robins / BI
Apple Maps (left) and Google Maps (right).

Thanks to an increased amount of data, Google Maps is better than Apple's own, and default, version.

Apple Maps is no longer as bad as it was two years ago, but Google's offering is more polished with greater amounts of data -- including public transport -- making it a clear first choice. It even works with Google search in Safari.

Price: Free


Max Slater-Robins / BI
Reminders (left) and Wunderlist (right).

Apple's Reminders app is useful but doesn't come close to Wunderlist in terms of power, syncing, and various other features. Microsoft bought the company behind Wunderlist for around $US150 million (£100 million) earlier this year and the service keeps on getting better and better.

Price: Free

Dark Sky

Max Slater-Robins / BI
Apple Weather (left) and Dark Sky (right).

For anyone who cares about coordinating their outfit to the weather, Dark Sky is the app for you -- and it easily beats Apple's own Weather app.

Dark Sky knows -- potentially through magic -- what the weather is like at any given moment and, most importantly, what it will be like in the coming minutes. If rain is imminent, Dark Sky gives you a notification so you can prepare.

Price: £2.99 / $US3.99


Max Slater-Robins / BI
Apple News (left) and Digg (right).

When it comes to discovering interesting content on the web, nothing is better than Digg. Relaunched by Betaworks, Digg has become a go-to destination for articles, videos, and news from around the world, many of which you wouldn't come across otherwise.

The Digg's iPhone app is excellent and Digg Deeper, the notification-based feed that spots trending links on Twitter, keeps you well in the loop.

Price: Free


Max Slater-Robins / BI
Apple Calendar (left) and Sunrise (right).

Sunrise offers a lot of benefits over Apple's own Calendar app, including the option of adding pre-made calendar events, including TV schedules. Visually, Sunrise is fairly similar to the iPhone's default app but functionally the two are far apart with the former coming out on top.

Price: Free

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