Photo: Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
One of our biggest pet peeves with the iPhone is that we can’t choose the third-party apps as the default for email, web browsing, etc.That’s a shame, since there are a bunch of apps out there that are a lot better than Apple’s own built-in iPhone apps.
If Apple’s apps aren’t cutting it for you, we put together this handy list of our favourite alternatives.
Sparrow is the Gmail app for iPhone that Google should've made. The app is a complete re-imagining of email for your smartphone. Sparrow's design is much more thoughtful and easier to use than Apple's Mail app. The only drawback (and it's a BIG one) is you can't get a push notification whenever you get a new email. However, that feature is coming soon.
Apple's Notes app is pretty basic. That's fine if you need to jot something down quickly, but what if you want to remember absolutely everything, no matter what device you're using?
That's why we think Evernote is the superior option. It lets you store your notes in the cloud, so you can access them on your PC, web browser, tablet, and just about anything else that connects to the Internet.
Notes will sync to iCloud once the new version of Mac OS X launches this summer, but the app still isn't nearly as robust as Evernote.
Evernote also lets you record audio clips and save them to your cloud account. That's a lot more useful than Apple's built-in Voice Memos app on the iPhone. Voice Memos will let you email your recordings, but that's not as good as having them automatically uploaded to the cloud.
Remember the Milk is a handy reminders app that stores all your tasks in the cloud. Unlike Apple's Reminders app, you can sync your tasks to other services like Outlook and a bunch of other common apps.
Although Clear doesn't sync with a cloud service, we still prefer it to Apple's Reminders app. Clear's design is simply gorgeous. You can add new tasks with a simple pull-down gesture, and get rid of them with a satisfying swipe.
Pro tip: You can set the app to display the number of tasks you have left as a notifications badge under settings.
Dolphin's excellent browser for iPhone has been out for a while now, but the company keeps making it better. In addition to a fresh browsing interface, you can search for stuff with your voice, assign gestures to bookmark pages, and easily share links on Twitter and Facebook. This powerful browser outdoes Safari in almost every way.
Since the beginning of the App Store, The Weather Channel app has been one of the most popular apps of all time. That's because it provides a lot more insight than Apple's stock Weather app. The Weather Channel just got a massive overhaul with a new look, sharing options, maps, and more.
Panamp gives you a lot more control over your music than Apple's Music app. You can easily make new playlists on the fly, plus there are a ton of useful gestures for organising your music. We also love the handy 'now playing' bar that stays at the bottom of the app.
Don't worry, Panamp still syncs with iTunes, so all your music and playlists will be there.
Planetary is the coolest way to listen to your music on the iPad. You get a stunning cosmic visualisation of each album and playlist with the artist as the sun, album as a planet, and tracks as separate moons. Cool!
The latest version of Safari has a button called 'Reader' that strips out all the extra junk from web articles and displays plain text. From there you can email the article, save it for later, print it, etc.
But we think Instapaper is a much better option. Instapaper lets you add a 'Read Later' button to Safari. With one tap, your article is stored in the cloud so you can read it offline from your computer, iPhone, iPad, or Kindle later.
The built-in Camera app for iPhone is incredibly basic. That's probably why Camera+ has been one of the most-downloaded apps in the photo and video category since it launched. This app has more features than we could possibly list here, so we'll just name a few: image stabilizer, cropping, borders, high-quality digital zoom, social media sharing options, and much more.
If you use your iPhone as your primary point-and-shoot camera, then you need this app.
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