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Best iOS 8 apps and essential downloads for iPhone 6

James Temperton
24 Sep 2014
Epic Zen Garden iOS 8
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Downloaded iOS 8? Just got a shiny new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus? Here are the apps you should download right now

Apple has finally launched iOS 8 along with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but finding the best new iOS 8 apps isn't easy. Developers have been working frantically to add new features and functionality to their apps in preparation for iOS 8 and we've scoured the App Store to pick out some of the best. Custom keyboards, apps that support Handoff and apps that take advantage of new Notification Centre widgets and iOS 8 extensions are all included.

We'll be regularly updating this article with our favourite iOS 8 apps. If you think we've missed any let us know in the comments. Click the name of the apps below to download them from the iOS App Store.

Swiftkey

Apple has finally added support for third-party keyboard in iOS 8 and Swiftkey is both free and brilliant. Not only can you use gestures to type but Swftkey also uses predictive text (a feature now included in the default iOS keyboard) and learns from how you type so you make fewer errors. You can also connect the app with you Facebook and Google accounts so it can learn even more about how you type and the words you use. SiwftKey also stores everything it learns about you – or you typing profile – in the cloud so you can use the same keyboard on all your devices.

Once download enable Swiftkey on your iOS 8 device by going to Settings, General, Keyboard, Keyboards, Add New Keyboard, tap Swiftkey and then drag it to the top of the keyboard list. You can then launch the SwiftKey apps to change privacy settings and other features.

Swiftkey iOS 8

The Guardian

British newspaper The Guardian has fully embraced iOS 8 with some great new features in its app. The best addition is iOS 8 Handoff, which lets you start reading an article on one device and finish reading it on another so you'll never lose your place. There's also a new iOS 8 widget, accessible via the Notifications Centre so you can view all the top stories at a glance and personalise the news most important to you.

The Guardian iOS 8 app is fully optimised for both iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad and is completely free to use. A premium version with exclusive content and extra features is available for £2.49 per month.

Asphalt 8: Airborne

The hugely popular racing game has been specifically updated for iOS 8. If you've got an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina display then you can enjoy some of the best graphics ever seen in a phone or tablet game. There are also new cars, new multiplayer events and other exclusive iOS 8 content. The game will look great on the gorgeous new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screens.

Asphalt 8: Airborne iOS 8

Epic Zen Garden

Apple boasted that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were the most powerful iPhones ever and Epic Zen Garden is here to test that. It is only compatible with the iPhone 5s and above with visuals that will make your eyes pop. Epic Zen Garden uses the Unreal Engine 4 to show off just what the iPhone is capable of, with stunning visuals running at a steady 30fps. To really push iOS 8 to its limits butterflies float around, thousands of petals fall to the ground and koi float around in ponds. You can interact with the beautiful virtual garden by prodding and swiping at the screen.

Storehouse – Visual Storytelling

iOS has always been a rather closed operating system but Apple is starting to let third party developers in. Extensions in iOS 8 allow for various widgets and other features to be added, making it easier to use apps other than iOS defaults. That's great news for photos and Storehouse has taken full advantage by adding support for photo extensions. Other updates in version 1.5 include the ability to add hashtags to stories, find friends on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and an Explore section where you can see what other users have created.

Storehouse iOS 8

EyeEm – Photo Filter Camera App

EyeEm is another app taking advantage of the new camera and photo features in iOS 8. You can now share photos straight to EyeEM directly from the Photos app without having to fiddle around. Other new features in version 4.3 include the ability to take multiple photos and pick the best one afterwards, access to photos right from the camera screen, live exposure correction and a grid to help you line up your photos. Larger images are also stored in the Camera Roll so you can more easily pick the best shot.

Yahoo Weather

Take your weather obsession to a whole new level with the new, super-sleek Yahoo Weather app for iOS 8. Along with new weather animations for snow, rain, fog and "intense heat", the app also gives you access to current weather information from the Notification Centre. The app can even show information on the Lock Screen, meaning you'll always know when it is about to rain. The app looks great and now it is better integrated into iOS 8 it works fantastically well too.

Yahoo Weather iOS 8

Kitchen Stories Cookbook

The iPad has become an indispensable kitchen aid to many and Kitchen Stories Cookbook is one of the first cooking apps to update for iOS 8. It now supports Handoff, so you can start looking at a recipe on one device and pick it up from the same place on another. New free recipes are also shared every day through the widget in the Notification Centre. The app has also been fully optimised for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

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