Best iPhone apps 2023: From streaming to fitness and everything in between

iPhone 14 Review
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If you've just got a brand new iPhone, then you'll want to get started with apps aplenty to liven up the experience. The best thing about owning an iPhone is the extensive network of apps that are now available to you. 

Whether you've got the new iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, or any other model, it's the best iPhone for you. And a new iPhone means it's time for some new apps. Whether you think of your iPhone as a tool for work and home, or you use it primarily for entertainment, the App Store has plenty in store for you. And if you've made a mistake, we also know how to get a refund on iTunes or App Store purchases.

Social Networking

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Twitter

Twitter Screens

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Twitter may not be quite as saturated as Facebook, but the microblogging site still manages to permeate our daily lives well enough. If you have a Twitter account, you'll want this app. Some will tell you that there are better third-party Twitter clients out there, but if you want access to all of the new features on Twitter, such as polls, Spaces, and more, you'll need the official app.

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Twitter

You'll need Twitter to keep up with just about everything in the world.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Instagram

Instagram Screens

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When it comes to social photography, Instagram is second to none, and definitely one of the best iPhone apps. When you follow your friends, celebrities, and trending topics, you'll be showered with pictures of food, feet, and duck faces. Meanwhile, you'll be able to grace the world with your perfectly poised selfies.

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Instagram

Follow your friends and other people on Instagram and throw them some likes on their images. You can even check out their daily stories.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

TikTok

TikTok screens

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TikTok

This short video platform is the place to be, whether you're a creator, a consumer, or both. 

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Everyone's on TikTok now, there's no getting around it. TikTok, the hottest short video platform, has permeated just about every other social network out there, so you might as well go right to the source. You'll enjoy an endless stream of content in just about any content area that interests you, no matter how niche.

Messaging

WhatsApp

It's fun. It's free. Lots of your friends are already signed up. It's WhatsApp, and it's one of the most popular chat apps around, and another one of the best iPhone apps. You can send chats internationally, start group audio and video calls, plan get-togethers, and it's cross-platform so your non-iPhone friends can join in the games, too.

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WhatsApp

Keep in touch with your friends and family from all over the world easily with WhatsApp.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Productivity

1Password

1password Screens

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If this is your first smartphone, you'll quickly realize just how many passwords you'll need for different apps and websites. 1Password stores those passwords for you, along with credit card information, profile data, and a whole lot more. The best part is, you will only have to remember the one password you use to log in. Even better, if your iPhone has Touch ID or Face ID, you can log in with your fingerprint or face scan. I've been using 1Password for years, so I can definitely vouch that it is one of the best iPhone apps, and probably the most essential.

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1Password

Keep all of your accounts secure with 1Password. It'll keep track of your credentials and help you generate secure, randomized passwords.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Calendar by Fantastical

Fantastical Screens

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Fantastical is our favorite calendar app that also integrates Reminders seamlessly into it. With Fantastical, you get a beautiful and sleek interface that makes scheduling a breeze with natural language input. You can easily switch between the month view to a weekly ticker view, and see your entire agenda at once. It works with your native iOS Calendar, so no additional setup is necessary. It's the best iPhone app for calendars, at least we think so.

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Calendar by Fantastical

Fantastical helps you keep your schedule in check with a beautiful interface and powerful features. It also supports natural language input.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Office (Microsoft 365)

Microsoft Office Screens

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Word, Excel, PowerPoint (plus maybe OneNote and Outlook). These are the basic staples of the average computer-using human. There is a pretty good chance that you use one or all of these programs in your office environment. With Microsoft's Office 365 subscription, you can access all of your essential files on your iPhone with this comprehensive app that includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in one place. Plus, you can create, edit, and share documents on the go. It's a must-have for most of us.

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Office (Microsoft 365)

The Microsoft Office app contains Word, Excel, and PowerPoint all in one place.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Apple's iWork bundle

Iwork Screens

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If you're throwing out everything you knew about anything non-Apple, then iWork is your replacement productivity bundle. It's the company's answer to Microsoft Office. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote will get you the same results with a different interface. And, if your working companions are on Microsoft, it's no problem. You can export your documents to their counterparts. With iCloud, you can store all of your work in the cloud for easy access from any iOS device, or on the web, whether you use a Mac or PC.

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Pages

Apple's word processor app can help you get any document prepared in a professional manner.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

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Numbers

Create, edit, and view spreadsheets with ease.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

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Keynote

Create beautiful presentations easily, right from your iPhone.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Music

Apple Music

Apple Music Screens

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Now that you are a part of the Apple ecosystem, it is time to maximize your benefits. One of those choice bonuses is Apple Music. With it, you have access to Apple's wealth of tunes. You can listen to full albums in their entirety, create your own playlists with your favorite tracks, and listen to brand new music without having to buy it. You can also download everything for offline listening.

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Apple Music

Browse through a large database of music and music videos. You can also listen in Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio, and Lossless formats.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Spotify

Spotify is similar to Apple Music, but basically just isn't Apple Music. If you are new to the Apple ecosystem, chances are you are a Spotify user. In that case, keep all of your history and playlists nearby with the official app. The benefit of having Spotify around is that you can still stream music without having to pay for it, you just have to listen in shuffle mode. It also has a variety of podcasts to listen to as well. If you aren't an Apple Music subscriber, then Spotify is the best iPhone app for music. You can even listen to the iMore Show here.

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Spotify

Spotify gives you access to a massive collection of music and podcasts. Create playlists, play albums, and discover some new podcasts in one place. 

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Streaming media

Hulu

Hulu Screens

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You can get your on-demand fix of thousands of TV shows and movies with Hulu. On the iPhone, you'll need a paid subscription. But, that means you can watch the latest and greatest of Hulu's catalog whenever you want. If you have a subscription to Hulu, you'll want it on your Home screen.

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Hulu

Hulu has a vast selection of TV shows and movies to watch from the comfort of your iPhone.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Netflix

Netflix Screens

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Similar to Hulu, Netflix lets you stream thousands of TV shows and movies right on your iPhone. But, you'll need a subscription to the streaming service. If you are already watching Netflix shows and movies on your computer or set-top box, you'll be happy to have the same great content delivered right to your mobile device. We watch so much on Netflix, it's definitely up there as one of the best iPhone apps.

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Netflix

Netflix is full of popular shows and movies, but they're also well-known for original content. Now with a new ad-supported tier, it's more affordable than ever.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

YouTube

Youtube Screens

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The YouTube app almost belongs in the social networking section because it is much more than just a media streaming service. It is also a place where nobodies become famous, and everyone has a chance at their five minutes of fame. With YouTube on your iPhone, you can film your next mini-movie, edit it, and publish it without having to switch over to another screen. Or, you could just watch cat videos all day. YouTube is one of the quintessential best iPhone apps that everyone should have.

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YouTube

YouTube has videos for pretty much anything you would want to watch or learn. Plus, you can upload your own creations too.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Apple TV

Apple TV plus screens

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Apple TV Plus has some incredible original content, such as Emmy award-winning Ted Lasso, uniquely chilling Severance, out of this world drama For All Mankind, and Best Picture Oscar winner Coda, to name a few. Want to watch on your iPhone? You'll need the Apple TV app.

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Apple TV

Get all of that fantastic Apple TV Plus content and more, right on your iPhone.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Disney+

Disney Plus app screens

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Get everything Disney on your iPhone, including all of the latest Disney, Pixar, National Geographic, Marvel and Star Wars content right here. You'll need to pay a monthly subscription, of course, but it's a must-have for families and fans of all ages. You'll get exclusive new original content you can't get anywhere else.

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Disney+

Watch all of your favorites from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic, and Star Wars right on your iPhone.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Cloud storage

Dropbox: Secure Cloud Storage

Dropbox Screens

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When it comes to keeping important files close by without taking up storage space on your iPhone, Dropbox is tops. You can store anything, movies, music, photos, PDFs, e-books, whatever, and even share it with others without having to give them access to your account. Thanks to cross-platform compatibility, everyone can use Dropbox, as long as they have access to the Internet. If you have a Dropbox account, get this app. You will need to pay for storage increases, however. I've been using Dropbox for years for pretty much everything, and it's one of the best iPhone apps on all of my devices.

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Dropbox: Secure Cloud Storage

Dropbox integrates with many third-party apps and services and offers different amounts of storage to suit your needs.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Google Drive

Google Drive is another great cloud storage service, but it requires a Google account. If you are signed up with Google, you can save documents, videos, pictures, and more. You can also work in Google Docs within the cloud storage service and collaborate in real-time with others. A lot of companies use Google Drive because it is so easy to share information with employees. If you are already signed up with Google, you'll appreciate having Google Drive on your Home screen.

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Google Drive

Keep all of your Google Docs and other files safely in Google Drive for access across multiple devices.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft's cloud storage service is not just for Office. You can store documents (non-Office ones, too), photos, music, videos, contacts, and more. You can easily share documents with others, and because OneDrive is cross-platform, you can access your account from any device. If you have a Microsoft 365 account, your features grow exponentially.

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Microsoft OneDrive

While you can store all of your Office files in OneDrive, it's also great for non-Office files too.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Google Maps

Apple's Maps app has grown into its own over the past few years and works incredibly well on the iPhone. But there are still a few missing features or tools that don't work in all areas. That's why you'll need Google Maps as a backup. Google Maps has just been around a lot longer, and so has a more polished feature set that works in more locations. Again, this is one of the best iPhone apps to have around for directions.

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Google Maps

Google Maps has many powerful features that will help you get where you need to go with turn-by-turn directions for driving, transit, and even walking.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Waze Navigation and Live Traffic

When it comes to beating traffic, nothing compares to Waze. It's part social, part magical. Using real-time data from drivers currently on the road, Waze can determine traffic conditions right where you are. If an accident just happened a few minutes ago, it'll be reported in Waze, and alternate routes will be determined to help get you through the traffic jam the best way possible.

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Waze Navigation and Live Traffic

Waze is like Google Maps, except that the information it gets is crowdsourced from other users. So you have up-to-the-minute traffic info to help you get to your destination faster.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Rideshare

Lyft

Having a rideshare app on your phone is always going to come in handy, especially when traveling to a new city or if you can't get a ride from family or friends. Lyft offers cheaper rates than Uber (slightly, but it does make a difference), and they do offer quite often. I prefer using Lyft whenever possible, and there are different levels of rides to suit your needs. Lyft is one of the best iPhone apps to have around if you travel a lot.

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Lyft

Lyft has pretty reasonable fares, and lets you get a ride from anywhere. There are also different tiers of Lyft for everyone.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Uber - Request a ride

If Lyft is not available, you can always go for the one that started it all — Uber. The rates may be a dollar or so more than Lyft, but there may be more drivers available. There are also different levels of Uber rides available, and Uber has a reward system that rewards you the more you use it. Plus, they have their own credit card with decent bonuses, and if you use Apple Card, you get 3% Daily Cash with Uber and UberEats.

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Uber - Request a ride

Uber is the rideshare service that started it all. Get an Uber from anywhere, and you can also get 3% Daily Cash when you use your Apple Card through Apple Pay.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Reading

Apple Books

Apple Books Screens

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Apple has its own Books app, which comes with your iPhone, though you can always download it again if you deleted it. With Books, you can browse through all of Apple's offerings from iTunes Books collection, and even import your own ebooks as well. The reading experience is pleasant, as you can customize the appearance to your liking and flick through pages quickly. The Books app also lets you set reading goals to help motivate you to read more too.

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Apple Books

Apple's own Books app lets you browse through the Books collection and purchase what you want, or you can import your own ebooks. The reading view is customizable.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Amazon Kindle

Kindle Reader Screens

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Just because you are not using a Kindle, doesn't mean you can't read your Kindle books. Amazon makes it possible for you to download and read your purchased Kindle books on your iPhone. You can even listen to your Amazon audiobooks. You have to buy books through Amazon, but once purchased, you can download them right onto your iPhone and read whenever you want. The versatility of the Kindle Reader app makes it one of the best iPhone apps.

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Amazon Kindle

The Kindle app lets you enjoy all of your Amazon Kindle books from your iPhone.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Fitness and Health

Fitbit: Health & Fitness

You're going to need some way of counting those steps you take every day and logging them into Apple's Health app if you don't also own the best Apple Watch. Fitbit's fitness app is great because you don't have to have any additional equipment for basic walk and run tracking. But, if you own any of the company's many wearable fitness trackers, you can store all of your data on your iPhone. If you don't already own an Apple Watch, or you are leaning more toward FitBit for your health and fitness needs, you'll enjoy the features that the Fitbit app has to offer.

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Fitbit: Health & Fitness

No Apple Watch, no problem! The Fitbit app lets you track steps just on your iPhone, or you can use it with the wide selection of Fitbit trackers.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Nike Run Club: Running Coach

If you are an avid runner, or even if you are just starting out, the Nike+ Run Club app is a personal trainer that will help you reach your goals. It tracks and stores your runs and coaches you along the way, no matter what your level. You can compete with other members of the Run Club to help motivate you to get moving. It connects to Apple Music for inspirational beats. You also can share your activities with friends so they can encourage your success.

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Nike Run Club: Running Coach

Get your own personal trainer with Nike Run Club and set your own goals to achieve. The app also can adapt to your skill level.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Weather

CARROT Weather: Alerts & Radar

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If you want a weather app that is more fun, then CARROT Weather is worth a download, as it is one of the best iPhone apps. It has a beautiful and colorful interface that matches the current weather conditions, and CARROT is a fantastic AI that provides you with a daily dose of snark and sarcasm. If it's too much, you can customize the personality settings to tone it down a bit. CARROT Weather has a customizable widget and an Apple Watch app as well.

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CARROT Weather: Alerts & Radar

CARROT Weather provides a side of sarcasm and snark with your daily weather forecast.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Finance

Venmo

These days, no one really carries cash with them anymore. Peer-to-peer payment services have gained in popularity, because they're so much faster and easier to send and receive money from each other. Venmo is one of the most popular options available, and it connects to your bank account so you can send money instantly, and get money too. Just say, "Hey, mind Venmo-ing me that money?"

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Venmo

Venmo is one of the most widely-used peer-to-peer payment apps around. Just connect your bank account and start sending money in an instant!

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Square Cash App

Another popular option, and one that I use more myself, is Square's Cash App. It's from the same company that does Square POS payments at many businesses, and it makes it super easy to send and receive money. Just connect it to your bank account, and you just input the amount you want to send or request someone pay you back. Square Cash also has its own physical card that you can request and use just like a regular debit card. A more recent addition is the ability to buy and sell stocks, and you can invest in Bitcoin directly from the app as well, making it one of the best iPhone apps to download.

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Cash App

Square's Cash App lets you connect your bank account or even credit card to send money to other people. You can also purchase Bitcoin, as well as invest in stocks for no fees.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Entertainment

Yelp: Food, Delivery, and Reviews

If you are looking for a place to eat, shop, drink, get gas, or practically anything that's open to the public, you can find out more detailed information from others who have patronized the business with Yelp integration in Apple Maps. It is the easiest way to learn from real people about a business you may want to visit soon.

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Yelp: Food, Delivery, and Reviews

Get the latest info on local businesses around you, and check out user reviews and menu items right from Yelp.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

OpenTable

After you've found a place to eat using Apple Maps, you can then make reservations, right from the app thanks to OpenTable integration. Find a restaurant you want to visit. If it takes reservations and is set up with OpenTable, you can find a date and time while still on the map. If there are no reservations available, you won't have to switch between apps to go back and search for something different. OpenTable also works with Siri now, so you can have the digital personal assistant do the work for you.

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OpenTable

OpenTable lets you make reservations at your favorite restaurants with just a few taps. You can also check out restaurant info directly from OpenTable.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

Fandango Movie Tickets & Times

Find out what movies are playing in your area and share them with the crew. Fandango shows movies that are playing locally, plus, you can add a show time and pick a specific theater. If you and your friends are ready for a movie, just purchase your tickets directly in the app and head on over. It doesn't get easier than that.

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Fandango Movie Tickets & Times

Fandango makes it easy to check local movie showtimes and get tickets to what you want to see without leaving the app.

Download here: App Store (opens in new tab)

The best apps for every iPhone

The App Store can be a bit overwhelming for someone new to Apple's ecosystem, but hopefully we've narrowed it down to some of the top options for you here. Many of them are free or "freemium" so you can try them out without spending a dime. And since you'll want to keep up on all the latest Apple news, rumors, reviews, and accessories, be sure to bookmark iMore and visit us regularly.

Karen S Freeman
Contributor

Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.

With contributions from