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Best iPhone and iPad apps UK 2018: Photography, dating, social networking and more on iOS

Emma Sims Daniel Ostanek
6 Aug 2018
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We survey the best in (app) store for your iPhone and iPad, so you don't have to

Apps have been around for over a decade now, and they’re not going anywhere by the looks of it. Their applications are manifold (that is their namesake after all); you can do everything and anything, from tuning your imperfections out of a photo to consulting with an online therapist via video chat. And with new apps being developed all the time, the possibilities are endless.

We’ve rounded up the best the app store has to offer, and categorised them to save you the hassle. Appy days!

We'll be updating this page periodically with new app recommendations, so be sure to check back in. 

Best apps for iPhone and iPad in 2018: Social

Reddit (free)

Reddit finally bit the bullet and created an app back in 2016, and while there are other novel apps for reading the site, it’s still a good way to navigate the site if you’re a newbie. Self-proclaimed “front page of the internet” Reddit has a interface that’s notoriously difficult to get to grips with, but the mobile app is surprisingly surmountable. There’s inbuilt infinite scrolling for hardcore Redditors, autoplay for GIFs, and a propensity for breaking news that’s second only to Twitter. Download to become a connoisseur of “dank memes”, dubious news sources and all things viral.

Instagram (free)

Instagram, despite being owned by Facebook who have been in hot water lately, is faring comparatively well, and it’s easy to see why: the interface is simple and, if anything, too engaging. Instagram stories has imbued the app with Snapchat’s primary functionality, namely content with an expiry date, ensuring things are always kept fresh. What’s more, you can “save” Instagram stories, meaning flashes of memory can be permanently ensconced on your profile; this is no doubt how Generation Z will experience nostalgia. Not to mention everyone’s on it, from celebrities to journalists to politicians.

SnapChat (free)

The communication app for millennials isn’t just for millennials anymore. As well as keeping up with what your friends are doing, you can also follow celebrities and sportspeople, and a number of large publications joining the fray means you can log on to Snapchat to keep track of news too. And despite Instagram coming up with their own version of Snapchat’s stories, this is still the original.

Best apps for iPhone and iPad in 2018: Health and fitness

MyFitnessPal (free)

It’s in the name, really. MyFitnessPal is an all-in-one fitness app that lets you track what you’re eating, register your exercise and sync with apps you love. It’s got some impressive functionality to boot; for example, you can quickly scan barcodes of products to add their relevant nutrition facts.

Once you’ve entered your height, weight, profession (does your job necessitate a lot of moving about, such as waiting tables or running around a hospital ward, or are you in a more office-based role?) and your target weight, MyFitnessPal will calculate the calories you’ll need to consume to reach your goal. The more exercise you do, the more calories you’ll be awarded. Once you’ve logged your food, you’ll get a proportional breakdown of its makeup in carbohydrates, protein and fat. It’s easy to use and the results – if you stick with it – are excellent.

Strava (free)

Strava has long been the go-to app for tracking your runs and your rides – with good reason. The app will analyse your performance over time and lets you digitally convene – or compete – with friends. There’s a social platform too, allowing you to see posts and photos from other athletes, and to share your own content. The only caveat is that the app may use your location even when it’s not open, which can cause battery life to deplete fairly quickly. Nevertheless, that’s a small price to pay for a free app (its Premium option costs a modest £5.99) with excellent and reliable functionality.

Best apps for iPhone and iPad in 2018: Communication

WhatsApp (free)

A great choice of app as an alternative to text- and picture-messaging, Whatsapp is a great choice for anybody who still doesn’t have unlimited messaging. It’s a fantastic all-in-one application, letting you send basic text messages, images, audio or video messages, as well as video and voice calls.

Best apps for iPhone and iPad in 2018: Music

Spotify (free)

An obvious choice, but an essential one, Spotify lets you shuffle a world of music on your phone or tablet. Not only that, but it’s replete with great features. For example, Spotify will make you a daily playlist of music based on the songs you’ve streamed in the past. Plus, you can download entire playlists to your phone, meaning you don’t need internet connectivity to play it. If you’ve ever frequented the London Underground – or any subway system for that matter – you’ll know how much of an enormous blessing this is. There’s a free 30-day Premium trial available (sans adverts), and after that it’ll cost you £9.99 per month (or £4.99 if you’re a student; or £14.99 for a family plan, which permits five other people to share). An oldie but a certified goodie.

SoundCloud (free)

Among the world’s largest music and audio streamers, SoundCloud is a great place to find new music. With a library consisting of over 150 million songs and growing, the app also includes thousands of live sets, mixes and full albums. In addition to all this, there are also paid versions – SoundCloud Go, and Go+ – which sees more money go to artists while giving you an expanded catalogue, no adverts, and offline listening.

Best apps for iPhone and iPad in 2018: Photography

VSCO (free)

VSCO is one hell of an editing app, transforming not only photos but videos too, with advanced presets to emulate film and a handy mobile editing tool. It’s not simply a platform for creating, either; content is curated by the VSCO team itself, as well as by the online community. In a world in which “influencer” is a bonafide career, and not something you’d be reprimanded for at parents’ evening, knowing the secret to a decent Instagram edit is vital. VSCO is your answer – those filters are flattering as hell.

Imgur (free)


Memes and GIFs are the communication format du jour. Mark my words. Soon, they’ll be seeping into the workplace – a lot of my millennial chums tell me they already are. Imgur is the best app on which to amass and curate such content. It’s eminently customisable as well; you can follow the things you love and make the app your own. What’s more, it’s simple to operate multiple accounts – you can flit seamlessly between novelty, serious, personal and professional accounts via settings. Nobody sums Imgur up better than the platform itself: “We’re proud to have a community where anyone can post a picture of a corgi butt and be internet-famous the very same day.”

Best apps for iPhone and iPad in 2018: Dating

Bumble (free)

Women have to speak first on Bumble, which nicely inverts the historic dating convention that they should wait to be asked out. On here, it’s the men who wait, with bated breath no doubt, to see if their admirer sparks up a conversation before the 24hr time limit elapses. It’s a good one if you’re an introverted heterosexual guy; shyness is quelled by the knowledge that your connection necessarily has to make the first move. Meanwhile, same-sex connections also need to make the first move within 24hrs, but conversation can be started by both parties. If you’re not looking for something romantic but you’d love some friendly company, there’s a BFF option which suits people looking for pals perfectly.

Tinder (free)

The world’s most popular dating app, Tinder generates 26 million matches a day. It’s simple too – just swipe right and left to match and meet people. Chat, date, get married and live happily ever after! Ok, we don’t have the stats on that, but still, it’s number one for a reason. In-app purchases give you more ‘super likes’ and ‘boosts’, both of which improve your chances of a match while premium options Tinder Plus and Gold.

Best apps for iPhone and iPad in 2018: Food

Yelp (free)

Restaurants, shops, businesses, services and more – Yelp has it all. It’s a great way to discover new places to eat out or shop. With filtered search results by distance, rating, price and area, it’s easy to find somewhere great. In-depth reviews from Yelp users also help you make your choices.

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