The best iPhone apps of 2021

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If you have an iPhone, you want the best iPhone apps – these programs are still the thing that sets it apart from Android phones, as iPhone apps are not the best in class.

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But you may have noticed that opening the App Store can be an exercise in navigation — sure, they’ve got great curation from in-house editors, but figuring out what’s right For you Sometimes a little work can be done.

This is where we come. Every week we’re downloading, testing, and evaluating tons of new apps that really stand out and make us feel like we’re on an expensive iPhone 13 (or older models, as most of the apps work). are) increasing. A large part of the iPhone range – though not all, so check) – and if you need more information, check out our list of the best iPhones too.


Our lists make the best use of the iPhone, whether using your iPhone for photos, videos, drawing, music, office tasks, reading, maps, the weather forecast or to keep the kids entertained.

This round-up compiles our favorites, from high-quality creative tools and video editors to the best productivity kits and social networking clients.

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In addition to our ongoing list of the best, each month we’re adding our picks for the latest and greatest new or updated apps, so keep checking back.

First up is our app pick from last month, then click through to the following pages for the best iPhone apps across a range of categories.

  • If you have a newer MacBook or Mac, here’s how to use the Mac App Store.
  • Need an upgrade? Consult our guide to the best iPhone deals

Best iPhone App of the Month: Fair

  • $4.99 / £4.49 / AU$7.99

fair RSS is a recipe app by the creator of App Reader – and it brings all of that app’s source tracking and interface smarts into one very tasty package. So although you can use a built-in browser to find recipes and then add them to Fair with a single tap, you are encouraged to subscribe to feeds of favorite websites. In doing so, you’ll never miss a new recipe from a favorite source.

When you add a dish, it sits in your Recipes tab and can be edited, shared and exported later. There isn’t a fully-baked tag system, but recipes can be added to a ‘Cook Wants to Make’ list or user-defined categories.

Plus, there’s a groceries list that integrates with reminders, and which can be populated with a tap from any recipe. With a mouth-watering interface, Mela is the most delicious premium recipe app for iPhone.

Best iPhone Photo Editing and Camera Apps

These are our favorite iPhone apps for editing snaps, capturing photos and videos, and applying filters that really make things look good.

Halide Mark II – Pro Camera

  • Free Trial + IAP

Halide Mark II – Pro Camera Not circling. It’s seriously priced – $11.99/£11.99/AU$19.49 per year or $39.99/£38.99/AU$62.99 ‘forever’ – but then it’s a serious camera, designed to get the most out of your iPhone.

The app’s layout doesn’t shower options on newcomers, yet keeps powerful functions within easy reach, with gestures mimicking what you’d do with real-world cameras. Manual focus keeps you in control, while peaking and similar tools ensure you never take a dumb shot.

Best of all, the app can optionally smartly combine Apple’s processing with the needs of pro photographers, making the RAW format accessible and instant. In short, Halide is a better camera app for your iPhone’s camera.

ink work

  • $2.99 ​​/ £2.99 / AU$4.49

Inkworks is an app designed to instantly turn a photo into a work of sketch-based art. And, yes, we’ve all seen this before — but few filter apps catch the eye quite like Inkworks.

The interface is sleek and polished. You can quickly change the background and ink colors, and stroke sizes, making your virtual sketch more detailed or abstract, but it’s really the filters themselves that you’ll be spending the most time with.

There are a lot of them – maybe a few too many, as the choice can be a bit overwhelming initially – but for anyone who loves black and white art, there’s everything from scratchy pen hatching to stylish comic-book fare. . The selection is instant and without the need for the Internet, cementing the app’s place in our list.


  • Free + IAP

RTRO is a vintage camera app from the guys behind Pro Camera. But while that app is a serious type attempting to turn your iPhone into a DSLR, RTRO is a wee bit more fickle.

That doesn’t mean the app isn’t stylish, though; RTRO has a minimalist retro vibe which sits well with its various vintage looks which you apply to your movies. These range from distressed VHS fuzz to subtle color changes and film grain. Each filter has its manufacturer’s notes explaining what they were aiming for.

Shooting is simple, and you can capture up to 60 seconds of video in multiple shots, before sharing your miniature masterpiece with the social network of your choice. Neatly, though there’s a subscription fee, you can optionally opt for outright looks at a couple bucks a pop.


  • $2.99 ​​/ £2.99 / AU$4.99

Apollo enables you to apply new light sources to portrait mode photos. This kind of photo records depth information, and can be shot on any relatively recent iPhone (iPhone 7 Plus / 8 Plus / any ‘X’ iPhone). In Apple’s Photos app, you can add studio-style lighting, but Apollo takes things further.

The interface is usable, and provides scope for creativity. It’s easy to add multiple lights, and then define distance, hue, brightness, dispersion, and mask effects for each one for simulating effects such as shadows being cast by light coming through a window blind. .

Apollo is probably not an iPhone app if you want an immediate fix. It demands you to delve into the details and fine-tune your settings. Also, it does not always produce a realistic result. But when it works, it’s a little piece of magic, which enables you to apply complex lighting to a photo after the fact.

touch retouch

  • $1.99 / £1.99 / AU$2.99

TouchRetouch can rid photos of unwanted elements. Such tools are common – even in free apps like Snapseed – but having TouchRetouch dedicated to the task keeps it’s focus; More importantly, the equipment you get is really good.

Facial spots can be removed with a tap. Larger objects can be painted, after which the app fills in the gaps. Alternatively, you can clone from one part of the image to another. There’s also a line remover, which cleverly makes short work of power lines and thus otherwise works its way onto your picture.

Obviously, this kind of automation has some drawbacks – TouchRetouch can’t match desktop apps where you run into painstaking, time-consuming, pro-level retouching. But for the average iPhone owner looking to remove annoying things from photos, it’s well worth the small outlay.

dark room

  • Free + Various IAPs

Darkroom is yet another photo editor for the iPhone, but in a matter of minutes, you’ll probably decide that it should be welded to your home screen forever.

The app is efficient, usable and sleek. Immediately, it invites you to delve into its on-device images. There is no mess around. The cropping tool and adjustment sliders bring out the best of what you shoot. Splash out on some IAPs and you get access to pro-oriented curves and color tools.

Edits are non-destructive, and you can save your work directly to your Camera Roll (in a way that can be reversed later), or export copies. the process feels comfortable

across, but hold on for a moment and you realize just how powerful Darkroom is. Only to avoid this, if you for some reason don’t want your photos to look better!


  • $2.99 ​​/ £2.99 / AU$4.49

camera+ There is a combined camera and editor. Despite the wealth of options available, the interface is initially quite lackluster, with a mode strip, a zoom slider, and shutter at the top of the screen. But tap the + button and you reveal further modes including timer, stabilizer, and smile detection.

Similarly, tap the viewfinder area and Camera+ enters a ‘Pro’ mode with manual controls and scene options for shooting under specific lighting conditions. The interface is finer compared to the Obscura 2, but the Camera+ is undoubtedly powerful.

After shooting, you can edit with adjustment tools, filters, and frames in the lightbox. It’s all impressively friendly and straightforward, and although the range of tools isn’t comparable to that of Snapseed, it’s more than enough to keep you within one app for the most part.


  • $2.99 ​​/ £2.99 / AU$4.49

oilist is a generational art app. You feed it something from Photos, choose a style, and it works, constantly repainting your image. It’s like someone stuck a little Van Gogh in your iPhone.

In fact, it’s as if multiple artists are strapped to your device, as Oilist has a huge range of styles to choose from, covering everything from classic oil painters to modern art. Although the app can be left alone in a dock, you can capture images for posterity to redirect the virtual artist, or fiddle with settings (including brush strokes, mood, ‘chaos’ and gravity) Huh.

Whether you converse or just sit and watch, the oillist is mesmerizing – like a painted lava lamp, only what you see is based on one of your own cherished photographs.


  • free

Snapseed is a free photo editor with a feature set that rivals even the best premium apps. It’s geared towards any level of users, anyone who likes to apply quick filters to anyone who wants to dig deep into adjustments and powerful editing tools.

The range of options is dazzling, and the interface is cleverly conceived. You can crop, make adjustments, and edit curves with a few swipes and taps. Often, vertical drag determines the parameter, and horizontal drag defines the strength of an impact – tactile and intuitive. Even better, edits are non-destructive, and can be removed or changed at any time by accessing them in the edit stack.

As a final sign off, the app allows you to…

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