50 best iPhone apps 2014: the greatest paid and free apps around

App-y days

50 Best iPhone apps 2014
CityMapper, Storehouse, SwiftKey

26. Citymapper

If you live in one of the supported cities, fire up Citymapper and you'll instantly forget any other travel assistant exists. The app is astonishingly good at getting you from place to place, whether you want to go by public transport or on foot. You get cost estimates for the former and a calorie count for the latter, and you just have to love an app that also estimates your journey time should you be wearing a jetpack.

27. Storehouse

Storehouse is all about telling stories with the help of gorgeous photos and videos. Although you can submit your own tales, you can also just take in other people's submissions, on anything from amazing journeys in the jungle through to meticulously prepared meals.

28. SwiftKey

Most third-party keyboards for iOS are a waste of time, but SwiftKey's definitely worth a look. Rather than you laboriously tapping individual keys, you instead swipe your finger around, whereupon the keyboard figures out what you were trying to say. It's pretty accurate, and it only gets better the more you use it.

29. Dropbox

Plenty of apps exist for transferring content between your computer and your device, but Dropbox is free and easier to use than most of its contemporaries. Dump files you want to sync in a folder on your computer and Dropbox for your device will enable you to access them, download them for offline viewing, and, in many cases, view them.

30. eBay

On using the eBay app, there's a good chance you won't go near the eBay website again. The app is fast, has great saved searches (which flag new finds), and enables you to create listings. The last of those things is also improved by the built-in bar-code scanning.

Evernote
Evernote, Facebook and FindMyiPhone

31. Evernote

Clients to access the popular Evernote service for storing notes and ideas online are available for so many platforms that we half expect a ZX Spectrum app to be announced tomorrow. On the iPhone, Evernote is efficient and usable, enabling you to rapidly scan your notes and also create new ones.

32. Facebook

The world's biggest social network brings a tightly honed experience to the iPhone and iPod touch, but nonetheless still enables you to access your contacts, feeds and other important information. This sense of focus makes it in many ways superior to using Facebook in a desktop browser.

33. Find My iPhone

For the paranoid souls out there (or the unlucky ones who've had their devices pilfered), Find My iPhone is a must-have download. Assuming you've a 2010 or later iOS device, you can set up a free account and locate your devices within seconds. (Note that older devices can also be added to Find My iPhone - you just need a recent one to get things going.)

GarageBand
GarageBand - now free for iPhone

34. GarageBand

Apple's GarageBand turns your iPhone into a recording studio. Previously a paid app, GarageBand now has a freemium model. For no charge, you get full access to its features, including a range of smart instruments, MIDI editing and song arrangement. The only limitation is that relatively few instruments are included, but more are available via IAP.

35. Google Maps

When Apple removed Google's data from its Maps app, seemingly half the internet went nuts. In hindsight, the decision has been beneficial, because it resulted in Google creating its own mapping app, Google Maps. Bar some mildly irritating signing-in nonsense, this is a first-rate application - the interface is straightforward, the mapping is accurate, and it's also a means of getting Street View back on to your iPhone.

36. Groove

If you've a large music collection, it can sometimes be difficult to decide what to listen to next. Groove tries to figure out your listening habits and cross-references your collection with Last.fm data. The result is constantly evolving automatic personalised playlists that might just change your iPhone music-listening habits for good.

37. Instagram

Take a photo, smash a filter into it, and upload it. Instagram's service is now used by millions of people to share nuggets of visual loveliness, and the app itself is a pleasure to use, and also to browse during moments when you're not feeling quite so inspired.

38. iPlayer

Watch live TV and browse featured and recent BBC shows in the BBC iPlayer app. There's a favourites section to get easier access to your top shows, and AirPlay support for firing footage at your Apple TV. (This uses the system AirPlay functionality - start playing a show, double-click the Home button, swipe right twice, then choose 'Apple TV' from the AirPlay button.)

39. Movies by Flixter

Although some aspects of cinema listings app Movies by Flixter are disappointingly US-centric (notably regarding details on upcoming movies and DVDs), it succeeds where it matters. Select a film and the app figures out where you're located, lists nearby cinemas, and displays times your chosen film is showing. Efficiency can be further increased by pinning favourite cinemas to the top of the list.

40. Netflix

Brits might rightly grumble that the Netflix selection leaves a little to be desired, but it's still a very affordable way to get a ton of TV in front of your eyes. The app works much like you'd expect: browse, watch, realise it's three in the morning - again.

50 Best iPhone apps 2014
1Password, InstaPaper and TodoMovies 3

41. 1Password

Although iOS includes iCloud Keychain, 1Password is a better system. It's fully cross-platform and enables you to store multiple identities (such as a full one for payments and a simplified one for forums), secure notes and software licence details. As of iOS 8, 1Password integrates with Touch ID, meaning you can use it with Safari, although the app also retains its own built-in browser.

42. Instapaper

Instapaper was the app that kicked off the whole 'read later' thing, giving you a way to save web pages for later. It's still the best, boasting a fantastic and readable default theme — and now it's free. Perhaps more importantly, it also fully integrates with iOS 8, meaning you can now directly save to Instapaper from any browser that supports Share sheets.

43. TodoMovies 3

TodoMovies is a to-do list for movies. You use it to browse what's on (and, if you like, what's been on — including years ago) and build a list of what you want to see. Cleverly the app also enables you to rate each movie, thereby building up a list of your favourites that you can refer to at any time.

44. Remote

The remote for Apple TV is a bit of a joke when you need to do anything more than play or pause. Remote is a free app which provides much better control and the ability to stop yourself going mad when typing things into search fields. It'll also happily use Home Sharing to pull content from computers on your network to your device, or fire said content at your Apple TV using AirPlay.

45. RunKeeper

The prospect of Nike+ but better and for free might sound unlikely, but that's what RunKeeper provides. Previously split into 'pro' and 'free' versions, the developer now generously includes all the features in one free app.

That means you can spend no money, yet use your iPhone's GPS capabilities to track your jogging and cycling routes, and examine mapping and details of your pace and calories burned. Activities can be shared online, and treadmill runs and other exercise details can be entered manually.

46. Skype

FaceTime is a great alternative to standard voice calls, but it's no good if you're trying to contact someone without a Mac or compatible iOS device. Therefore, Skype remains an essential download. The interface is simple and usable, enabling anyone with a Skype account to make free calls to other Skype users and cheap calls to anywhere in the world. If you're on Pay and Go, this is particularly handy, but the app also enables iPod touch users to utilise their devices for calls.

47. TED

TED is brain food. The app provides access to talks by insanely clever people, opening your mind to new and radical ideas. You can also save your favourite talks locally, for even easier access, or ask the app to inspire you, based on your mood and available time.

TuneIn
TuneIn, Twitter and Wikipanion

48. Twitter

The official Twitter app might lack some of the features found in the likes of Tweetbot, but it does provide a sleek and simple means of using the service. It also rapidly rolls in new features from the website, such as the Connect and Discover views, along with expandable tweets that contain photos and videos.

49. TuneIn Radio

Don't bother buying a DAB radio - just install TuneIn Radio instead and plug your device into a set of speakers. TuneIn Radio has a great interface for accessing over 50,000 digital stations; it also has AirPlay support, and you can use it as an alarm clock.

50. Wikipanion

The Wikipedia website works fine on iPhones, but a dedicated app is a better bet. Wikipanion is a freebie which gives you quick access to article sections, in-article search, viewing options, bookmarking, and the ability to tweet about whatever odd fact you've just unearthed. Also, wonderfully, there are no ads.