12 Great Free Apps for Your New iPhone


So you got a new iPhone this Holiday Season. So after you check off the 10 Things To Do First With Your iPhone 5, you’re going to want some apps. Here are our picks for not only great apps, but great, free apps that you can pick up now to start enjoying your iPhone.

With hundreds of thousands of apps to choose from in the App Store and all your iDevice toting friends suggesting apps to you, you might be a little blown away with where to start. Here are some of our picks that will get you going and help you enjoy all that your iPhone has to offer.

iBooks/Kindle: Essentially bookstore apps. Believe it or not Apple doesn’t pre-install iBooks on iDevices, so you have to do it yourself. If you already have books on a Kindle, then install the Kindle app instead…or install both! I have several eBook reading apps on my devices so I can pick up free books and offers on lots of different stores.

Find My iPhone: One of the first steps in our list of first things to do with your iPhone is to turn on Find My iPhone, if you also have a Mac or iPad or iPod touch, then you want to have the app as well so you can locate your other devices. You know need Find My iPhone on your iPhone for it to be found, just to be able to find other devices.

WhatsApp Messenger: Sure Messages/iMessage can send instant, SMS-like messages over the Internet (saving you messaging charges), but iMessage only works with other iPhones (or iDevices), WhatsApp works on lots of different smartphones so you can message more of your friends as long as you’re connected to the Internet.

Google Maps: We waited a long time for an official, native Google Maps app for the iPhone, and while Apple Maps is getting better, it’s nice to have the full suite of Google Maps tools at hand like transit directions. You can get a feel for Google Maps with the video walk-through and Google Maps Tips.

Zite: I know everyone is ga-ga over Flipboard, but I think Zite gives you a better balance of new news sources you discover and news from your social networks.

Pandora/Rdio/Songza/Spotify: The choice of Internet radio you listen to has a lot to both with what you like to listen to and where you are. Pandora isn’t available in many locations, but Rdio, Songza, and Spotify are great alternatives. My favorite is Songza, for no other reason that it’s free (ad supported) and offers a wide range of play lists. Pretty much something to fit any listening mood I’m in at the moment.

Dropbox : An unusual choice, for sure, but I hold that Dropbox is the fastest and easiest way to get pictures from your iPhone to your computer (or any other Dropbox-connected device for that matter). Just sign up at Dropbox.com, download the app, and you’re off and ready. You’ll soon find that there are a myriad other apps that sync with Dropbox so you’ll be glad you started using it in short order (by the way, this post way written on my iPad and synced through Dropbox so I’ll have it when I’m back at my laptop later).

Facebook and Twitter: Part of our first things to do with your iPhone is set up Facebook and Twitter on it. Both social networks are deeply ingrained into iOS 6, so it pays to have both default apps installed and at the ready.

Evernote: The default Notes app is okay, but Evernote is the king of synced notes and notebooks. Even if you just use it to sync your to do, grocery, and quick thoughts, it will save you time and frustration. Of course, once you get started using Evernote you’re going to find a ton of ways you can use it.

Your Bank’s App: These days pretty much all major banks have apps, take advantage of begin able to stay on top of your money on the go with your new phone.

Snapseed: Snapseed was a great deal at $5 before Google bought it, but now it’s free and it’s an amazing deal. Snapseed, hands down, is the best photo editor you can get for free on your iPhone or iPad. Lots of customizations, lots of power editing tools, and even the hipster filters to make your 8 mega pixel iPhone camera look like a cheap toys camera from the 1970s.

Letterpress: The only game on this list, but if you’re going to start off with a game, pick something that lots of people are playing! It’s a fun word game that, unlike Scrabble or Words With Friends, has more to do with seeing patterns of letters than being able to make new words from words already on the board.

YouTube: Last but not least, the official YouTube app. Heck, I could have put all the official Google apps down here, but of all the ones Google offers (except for Google Maps) YouTube is almost essential so you can watch YouTube videos on your iPhone.

These are my bakers dozen starter apps for you. Let me know if you think I’ve missed any obvious one.

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