By Brad Jones
You may not have heard have these apps, but they all deserve a spot on your home screen.
There are many apps that the majority of us have installed on our iPhones: the Whatsapps, Instagrams, and Ubers of the App Store. But iOS is also home to a bevy of lesser-known apps that are no less useful.
1. Flic (Free, In-App Purchases)
Do you constantly find yourself running out of space on your phone? Here’s an app that can help you take care of that, by making it easy to sort through your photos and videos.
It’s easy to end up with a huge library of images on your iPhone, most of which you might never look at again. Flic uses a Tinder-style swipe right/swipe left mechanic to let you tear through your photo collection and free up some space.
You might be surprised by how many out of focus, blurry, or otherwise undesirable shots you’ve taken and forgotten about. There’s no point in using up space with these images, so download Flic and take out the trash.
2. OverDrive (Free)
OverDrive is an absolutely essential app for bookworms based in the U.S. By registering an account and adding a valid library card, you can “borrow” digital copies of a whole host of ebooks and audiobooks. There’s even film and television content that you can stream via the app.
It’s even more handy if you make regular trips to the library in person, as you can place a hold on items and go pick them up at your leisure.
3. Flush (Free)
We’ve all been there. You’re in an unfamiliar place, you need the bathroom, and you just can’t find one. Thankfully, there’s an app that can ensure that this will never happen again.
You’ll be able to know ahead of time whether you’ll have to pay for the luxury, for instance. There are even reviews, although it can be somewhat disconcerting to find that your chosen bathroom is rated 1/5 if there’s no other option.
4. Forest ($1.99)
The goal of the app is to grow a tree — but to do so, you’ll need to leave it open, and refrain from switching to any other apps on your phone. Basically, the longer you can go without touching your device, the more success you’ll have.
This is a great way to maintain your focus, but you can do some good at the same time. If you earn enough credit, the team behind the app will donate to Trees for the Future to have a tree planted in the real world.
5. Fog of World ($4.99)
When you first start out with the app, all you’ll see is a thick fog. It’ll track your movements and remove this fog as you travel to new places, keeping a record of everywhere you go.
Looking at the portion of the map you’ve uncovered is satisfying in itself, but Fog of World records this information is several very cool ways. You can see which countries you’ve ticket off by continent, and even chase achievements linked to world geography and historical events.
6. CamScanner (Free, In-App Purchases)
Just take a photograph of the document you want to scan, and the app will enhance the image to make sure its as legible as possible. It’s great if you need to submit a form online, or if you’re a student and you want to share study materials with a friend.
The scanning functionality is the star here, but there are several other features that will appeal to power users. It’s possible to annotate your documents, search the text contained within, and even share and collaborate with others inside the app.
7. Tab (Free)
One diner simply takes a photo of the bill, which everyone can then access by inputting a one-time-use code. From there, everyone can claim the items that they ordered, and see what they owe.
Tab is lightweight, minimalist, and it gets the job done. Don’t expect it to solve the argument that breaks out when someone wants to tip less than 20 percent, though.
8. Tunity (Free)
That’s where Tunity comes in. Point it at a TV screen, and it’ll detect what’s being broadcast. Then it’ll pump out the audio from your phone, meaning that you can keep up with whatever is being said.
Bars are obviously the biggest use case here, but the app can also come in handy in the gym, in the waiting area at an airport, or in countless other scenarios. It’s especially useful for anyone with troubling hearing that would benefit from having a personal speaker.
9. Grid Diary (Free)
As the name suggests, the app lets users keep a diary in the form of a grid. Each section of the grid features a different prompt — you can either write your own, or select from a varied library.
Grid Diary makes sure that keeping a record of each day is fun, by splitting the writing process into smaller questions that are easy to complete. Give it a try, and you might surprise yourself with how easy it is to squeeze into your daily routine.
10. Dark Sky ($3.99)
While other options might just give you facts and figures, Dark Sky attempts to do more with this data. For instance, you might be told that light rain is likely to start in a few minutes time, which gives you a better hope of avoiding unpleasant conditions than a more traditional percentage chance of precipitation.
The app’s slick design presents a lot of information without every seeming overly complex or difficult to navigate. If other weather forecasting services haven’t met your needs, this is a good one to consider.
The biggest hits on the App Store generally top the charts for a reason, but that doesn’t mean that less popular apps are somehow inferior. Some of the best software for your iPhone might be almost unheard of, but it’s well worth hunting down.
Do you have another addition to our list? Or do you have a review of one the apps in this article? Either way, why not join the conversation in the comments section below!