Lifehacker Pack for IPhone: Our List of Essential IPhone Apps

The iPhone has the largest selection of mobile apps, but that also means it’s very hard to find what’s worth it. That’s why we’re highlighting apps to help you stay productive, stay connected, informed, and entertained.

The Lifehacker Pack is an annual snapshot of our favorite and must-have apps for each of our favorite platforms. To keep up with the best iPhone apps, take a look at the iPhone app catalog .


Outlook or Spark

You might not think this is solely based on the name, but our pick as the best email client for iOS is Microsoft Outlook. It includes everything you need in an email client, including a unified inbox, custom swipe options, powerful search, and robust filtering. It knocks Apple’s standard email app out of the water, so if you’re looking for something more powerful, Outlook is the way to go. If you don’t want to do business with Microsoft, Spark is the next logical choice, and a fantastic email application in and of itself. It does everything that Outlook does, but adds a smart inbox that is much better than Outlook and lots of customization options to make the app your own.

Fantastic 2

You have tons of options for calendar apps on the iPhone, but our favorite is Fantastic 2 because it’s the perfect grids of features and usability. Fantastical allows you to enter natural language text, so you can enter “lunch with Alan tomorrow” and Fantastical will automatically create an event. In addition, the app has different view modes, a light and dark theme, integration with reminders and a map view to visually see your day.

Google Keep , Evernote , Simplenote, or OneNote

It used to be easy to choose note-taking apps, but nowadays things are much more complicated and you have many reliable options. If you like a ton of features one by one, OneNote and Evernote are the most comparable , offering you image saving tools, IFTTT integration, tons of folders, special recipe filters, and tons of other options. In fact, the catch is that OneNote is free, while the best features of Evernote are locked down for pay . But these buckets are not for everyone. If you are more into plain text, Simplenote is the app for you. There isn’t a long list of features here, Simplenote just makes text, and it does it very well. If you’re looking for something in between, Google Keep is worth taking a look at . It’s powerful, but still pretty simple. Of course, you get a lot more from Google Keep if you are already investing in the Google ecosystem. Heck, it’s also worth noting that the default Apple Notes app has improved a lot over the years, so if you haven’t checked it lately, take a look at it. It sits somewhere in between all segments of Evernote, OneNote, and Google Keep.


There are so many to-do apps on the App Store that it’s almost impossible to find what works for you, but we love Any.Do because it balances simplicity and versatility. Any.Do has a simple interface that makes it easy to add tasks and organize them, but you can also add tasks with your voice, share lists with others, sync across multiple devices, and even snooze tasks easily.


If This Then That is already one of our favorite web apps, and the iPhone app is just as powerful . Not only can you create any recipes on the go, but you can also directly connect to iPhone contacts, photos, reminders and more to automate everything that happens on your phone.


Dropbox is already a fantastic cloud storage service, but what really sets it apart from the competition is its mobile app. It used to be nothing more than a file browser, but nowadays you can instantly upload all your images, edit files, and easily share anything to Dropbox using a variety of services. Plus it’s very easy to get a ton of free space.

The working process

Workflow is an app that lets you create macros and small apps for iOS. Basically, it’s the Automator for your iPhone. You can do this with the click of a button to download upcoming calendar events, print a PDF page, find lyrics for the current song, and more.

Internet and communications


If you’re using Chrome on your desktop, Chrome’s sync features alone make it a stellar replacement for Safari. Chrome has tons of great things, including a desktop view, full incognito mode, and speed dial for quick access to your favorite sites. If Chrome isn’t to your liking, you have a few more good options .

Google Hangouts or Skype

Skype has been the king of video calling for a long time, but the recently introduced Google Hangouts gives it a money-making opportunity. The reason is simple: almost everyone already has a Google account and that’s all you need to use Google Hangouts. With it, you can instantly make video calls without costing you a dime. However, Skype is still the king of VOIP, and it’s widely used enough that most people have it. Both are great for video chats, so pick whichever works best for you.


The official Facebook app does a good job of providing you with a robust mobile experience, but it’s especially handy on your phone when you need to double check venues, get a friend’s phone number, or simply update your profile while queuing up at the DMV. Of course, if you’re not a fan of the app, the mobile site works even better.


Tweetbot is our favorite Twitter client on the iPhone because it can provide you with tons of options without being overwhelming. Tweetbot also has its own set of navigation options, a powerful interface that lets you control your Twitter experience, and tons of options.

IM +

When it comes to finding a good instant messaging client , you really don’t need much. It has to connect to many different services, support different types of media, and this is useful if it syncs with other devices. IM + does all of this and makes it easy to chat with friends, no matter what service they are using.

Based on location

Google Maps

Simply put: Google Maps is the best turn-by-turn navigation app for iPhone . It’s free, has a fantastic location finder, and offers a wide variety of routing options. It even includes public transit and walking routes right in the app, so you don’t have to worry about switching between apps. If you live in a popular city, Waze is also an excellent choice for determining driving directions, but its usefulness is limited by the number of other users around you.

Find my iPhone

Find My iPhone has been a staple of iOS for a long time, but that doesn’t make it any less useful. With it, you can track your iPhone if it is stolen or if you just lost your phone. If you are the type of person who leaves their phone idle, Find My iPhone is a must.

Dark sky

For some reason, there are tons of different weather apps on the iPhone. However, we chose the best – Dark Sky. The main idea behind Dark Sky is “hyper-local weather,” and it does this by pinpointing your location and showing you what it really is like where you are. The real luck lies in its forecasting, which allows you to know exactly when rain or snow will start and end with an accuracy of the minute. This makes it much easier to ride out the storm if you know it will subside in a few minutes. It’s not perfect, of course, but all things considered, it’s superbly accurate.

Music, Photo, Video

Overcast weather

Listening to podcasts on iPhone is a great way to pass the time, but Apple’s option is far from ideal. We’re big fans of Overcast because once you set it up, it automates pretty much everything for you. It downloads all of your podcasts directly to the app, works over the air or Wi-Fi, or you can set it up to just stream content. Overcast can also intelligently amplify audio in podcasts and has a smart speed option that speeds up your favorite podcasts without making them look weird. It’s also free, which automatically makes it attractive.

Pandora or Spotify

Pandora is a great app that does exactly what it’s supposed to do: give you a stream of music that you don’t have to think about that much. Spotify beats iOS as well. Even if you’re not a paid Spotify subscriber, you can still stream artist radio stations similar to Pandora. Plus, you can do a ton of interesting things with it that you never knew existed .

Camera +

Camera + turns your boring old iPhone camera into a multifunctional compact camera. It is fast and takes great photos. In addition, you can also enhance images, get rid of red eyes, add special effects, and more. It costs $ 2 if you take a lot of pictures with your phone.

Films and videos


We’ve all been in a situation where we sit and talk and can’t come up with an actor or a movie title. IMDb saves you the guesswork and gives you quick answers to your weird movie questions.

Netflix , Amazon and Hulu

If you want to watch TV shows and movies on your iPhone, you have a variety of options, and most of them are very similar. It really depends on what you’re paying to watch on your TV for, because for the most part, the apps for Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu are very similar. Once you download them to your iPhone, you can finally get over that lag .

Reading and news

Kindle or iBooks

It is difficult to distinguish between any iPhone reading apps because they are all very similar. All of them allow you to read books on your phone, and most of them are tied to an account at the store of which they are a part. So, if you are using iBooks on another device, this is a logical choice. It’s the same with the Kindle app, with the added benefit of great for students . Choose the ebook app that works best for you.

Instapaper or Pocket

Bookmarking services are good for desktops, but really good for mobile devices. Save articles wherever you find them and have access to them on your phone so you can read when you’re bored. Each service has its own advantages and disadvantages , but they are all amazing in their own right. So pick one and run with it.


Google Reader may be dead, but Reeder for iPhone is still our favorite RSS reader . In a recent update, Reeder added support for several third-party RSS readers, including Feedly . Reeder is incredibly clean and you can quickly save articles for later viewing, sync everything, or just browse your feeds in its simple interface.

Health, food and fitness

RunKeeper / Strava

You have an amazing amount of options when it comes to launching apps, but when it comes to the end, RunKeeper and Strava are our favorites. Both apps track your runs, show what your friends are doing, and make it easy to customize your training regiment for whatever goals you may have. Strava has the added benefit of being more cyclist-focused, so the app works great if you happen to be running or cycling during your workouts.


If running and cycling isn’t your thing, Fitocracy is great for keeping track of just about any other workout. It turns your workout into a game , encourages community participation, and connects to a web app so you can track your workout wherever you are.

Sleep cycle

Waking up is tricky, but Sleepcycle does it a little better . Launch the app, lay it on your bed, and Sleepcycle monitors your sleep patterns to wake you up at the right time. He’s not a miracle worker, but waking up with him does a little better.


If you eat out quite often, then the Yelp app is pretty much a must-have on your home screen. If not his reviews, then at least up-to-date information on opening hours, happy hours and much more. You can now also place orders directly from the app across multiple restaurants, eliminating the need for other apps on your phone.


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