Hottest free IPhone apps 2016/2017

There are now hundreds of thousands of apps available for your iPhone 7 or iPhone 6S and, surprisingly, many of the best are free.

The following list showcases our pick of the best free iPhone apps, and includes iPhone applications for social networking, travel, news, photography, productivity and more. Most of these apps are also compatible with the iPod touch.

If your top free iPhone apps aren’t covered, tell us all about them in the comments.

 

1. Instapaper

It’s so easy to click links you plan to get to later, and at the end of the day realize you’re left with dozens of unread tabs. With Instapaper, such problems vanish.

The app is effectively time-shifting for the web. You load articles and it saves them for later. Even better, it strips cruft, leaving only the content in a mobile-optimized view ideal for iPhone. The standard theme is very smart, but can be tweaked, and there’s text-to-speech when you need to delve into your articles eyes-free.

Should you end up with a large archive, articles can be filtered or organized into folders. Want to find something specific? Full-text search has you covered. It’s all great – and none of it costs a penny.

 

2.  Adobe Photoshop Fix

Although creative giant Adobe doesn’t seem keen on bringing its desktop software to iPhone in one piece, we’re nonetheless getting chunks of its power reimagined as smaller, more focused apps. The idea behind Adobe Photoshop Fix is to enable you to rapidly retouch and restore photos on your iPhone – using the power of Photoshop.

Some of the features aren’t anything outside of the ordinary: you get commonplace tools for cropping, rotation, and adjustments. But Photoshop Fix has some serious power within its straightforward interface, too, as evidenced by excellent vignette, defocus, and color tools.

The best bit, though, is Liquify. Using this feature, you can mash a photo to bits or make really subtle changes, depending on the subject matter. And if you’re facing a portrait, you can specifically fiddle with features, in a manner usually associated with high-end PC software.

 

3. White Noise+

If you need some ambient noise around you, White Noise+ proves an excellent app for blocking out distractions. The free version offers a small selection of sounds to soothe your soul – white noise, rain, wind, thunder, and wind chimes.

To create some ambience, you simply drag one or more noise icons to an on-screen grid; the items towards the top play at a higher volume, and those towards the right become more complex in nature. Happen upon an especially pleasing combination and you’re able to save your mix for later use.

The app smartly includes built-in mixes to provide a little inspiration – and to showcase a wider range of sounds that’s available via IAP. A single $2.99/£2.99/AU$4.49 purchase also removes the ad bar, unlocks a sleep timer, alarm, and dark mode, and allows you to fiddle with the 15 additional sounds – in both the bundled mixes and also your own creations.

But whether you pay or not, the combination of excellent sounds and a modern, usable interface make White Noise+ a best-in-class product on the iPhone.

 

4. Filmborn

Many apps attempt to emulate film stock, but most go for an over-saturated, larger-than-life take on old-school photography. By contrast, Filmborn is all about realism, arming you with tools to make you a better photographer.

The icon-heavy interface takes some getting used to; but once you know where everything is, Filmborn quickly replaces the stock camera app – or any other app you had previously favored. Much of this is down to features such as manual controls and a superb blown highlights preview, which covers problematic areas of your potential snap in red.

But it’s the filters that will most wow anyone keen on real-world stock. They’re few in number but extremely realistic, and Filmborn also assists regarding when to use them, thereby adding educational clout.

Beyond that, there’s an editor for making post-capture adjustments, and some pro-oriented features you can unlock using IAP, such as curves and multiple set-up slots. But even in its free incarnation, Filmborn is an essential download.

 

5. Round Health

You might not associate taking medication with a hip and cool iPhone, but technology can be a boon to anyone with such requirements. Round Health offers great pill tracking and dosage notifications – and it doesn’t do any harm that the app also happens to be gorgeous.

It’s split into three sections: in My Medicine, you add medications, and for each you can define a name, strength, individual doses, and schedules based around reminder windows of up to three hours. In Today, you view and log the day’s medication.

Flexible preferences enable you to set up cross-device sync, push notifications, and to export data – and reminding users to refill will be a real help too.

That the app is free is generous, given the job it does – and how well it does it. Also, the system is flexible enough that Round Health might work as a reminders system for other repeating tasks, albeit one in which jobs are labelled as ‘taken’ rather than ‘done’!

  • Firefox Focus

There are two sides to Firefox Focus – and both make it worth installing on your iPhone. The first is in providing you with an idiot-proof private browser, for when you don’t want to be tracked.

You type in a URL, visit whatever pages you like, and then tap erase to eradicate your session. (This is also suitable if someone else wants to quickly use your phone, negating anyone first having to sign out of services.) If you at any point want to jump over to Safari, you can do so by tapping a button.

However, Firefox Focus can also – with permission – integrate with Apple’s browser. What this means is you can block trackers that follow you around the web, analyzing your browsing history and serving ads. And if you’re on a poor cellular connection and finding sites loading slowly, Firefox Focus can block web fonts to improve performance.

It’s all very effective and simple to use.