Lucky 13: Our Favorite Free iPhone® Device and iPad® Tablet Apps
Part of the fun of having an iPhone device or iPad tablet is the great apps you get access to for everything from planning and organizing your life to playing games and communicating with colleagues, family or friends. Of course, not all apps are free and some even have a monthly fee. But thanks to some kind developers and businesses, there are a good amount of really great apps that cost nothing for us to use and enjoy. We have compiled a list of some of our favorite FREE apps available to you in the Apple® App Store.
Free Game Apps
1. Draw Something
In late 2011 and most of 2012, Draw Something spent a total of 38 weeks as the number 1 free app in the App Store. This Pictionary-like drawing app encourages you to doodle a representation of a word that another user (friend or stranger) can try to decipher.
2. Trivia Crack
Trivia Crack has been on the number 1 free app list for well over a year. The fun game lets you challenge your friend’s knowledge of a wide range of subjects or create your own questions too.
If the kids love it, there has to be something they are doing right, right? Fortnite has become a craze amongst young adults and kids, spawning dance moves, and lots of pop references. The app is free to download but users can purchase V Bucks which they can spend on mods and other upgrades to the characters and other character resources. You may not want to play it but we bet you there is a kid in your life who already is.
Free Time Management and Organization Apps
4. Google Calendar, Docs, and Email
Google offers several apps in the App Store that you can sync your existing Google accounts to for easy management. Google Docs makes it easy to update documents, manage spreadsheets, and more. With the Google Docs app, you can go from desktop to mobile with ease and little interruptions. You can easily send yourself an email from Google Docs and then update it on your iPad tablet or iPhone device without having to start over. It really makes you wonder, how did we do business before our phones?
Evernote is a great app for taking notes, sharing lists, and just keeping track of what you have going on. Sitting in a meeting and want to make sure you capture any next steps or follow-ups? Evernote is a great place to manage that. The app itself is free but there are a few premium options that you can purchase too.
Slack is a message sharing tool that works well for teams and businesses. But as Slack has gained popularity, it is being used more and more for personal or community communication. While Slack promotes itself as the communication tool for teams and that really is where their bread and butter is, there is a subset of devoted Slack users who are using the free tool for non-work-related communication. Families have joined Slack to manage conversations and share updates or even send out reminders to the kids such as “do the laundry” or “get ready for baseball practice”. We have also heard of an uptick in usage for Fantasy Football leagues or even book clubs and as a replacement for Facebook Groups. Slack is free to use for small groups.
Free Social Media Apps
At this point, most of us understand what Facebook is, why it’s as popular as it is, and may even be regular users of the platform. Each day, 1.5 billion people around the world check Facebook and more than 989 million of them do it via the mobile app. Within Facebook, a regular user can upload pictures, send comments, read articles, and do all the things that social media lovers enjoy doing. For a business, you can launch ads, view your business page, make changes to your company profile, and so much more. The biggest issue that most users find with Facebook is that you can no longer send messages within the Facebook app. Instead, you have to download Messenger as a companion app to the Facebook app.
Snapchat rose to popularity a few years ago as a great tool to share quick stories of your day with filters and stickers. Snapchat posts only last a day and can be sent in private messages or added to your public snap which is essentially a sequential feed of videos and photos.
In late 2010, Instagram launched in the App Store and quickly became a popular photo sharing app. Instagram began as strictly an iOS® application with an Android version that was released a year and a half later. The current version of Instagram allows image and video uploads along with Stories and their newest addition, IGTV. Instagram has been owned by Facebook since 2012 and with this acquisition, Instagram and Facebook are able to work together to post ads, share posts, and so much more.
Free Entertainment Apps
While a membership to Netflix is not free, the app certainly is. A lot of people use the Netflix app on their iPad tablets to watch favorite TV shows and movies and to make updates to their account. The app works well, hardly has issues with lag or buffering and makes it easy to binge watch favorite shows from anywhere.
Spotify is a music streaming app that offers both free and paid versions of its products. The free version of Spotify lets you play the songs of an artist or genre. The Spotify sound is good quality and the library robust with both classics and new favorites.
Free Map and Directions Apps
Feeling lost? Not sure how to get from your office to the nearest coffee shop for a donut and coffee? Waze will show you the smartest route to get from point A to B based on what other Waze users are seeing. Waze lets you know when there is an accident on your route and will help reroute you to a quicker option. Waze will also tell you if there is a hazard on the road or if there are police officers parked up ahead. Waze relies on their users to feed information to the app so that they can update local Waze runners on what is happening. Waze is free to use though you will see a decent amount of pop up ads throughout. One feature that Waze has that we find a lot of value in is planning out trips. If you need to be somewhere by a certain time, Waze can tell you the best time to leave in order to avoid traffic and arrive on time. Always Waze responsibly.
13. Google Maps
Google Maps is a great tool to use for getting detailed directions, sharing directions and planning trips. Google Maps is really intuitive and will learn your habits and let you know how long it is going to take to get home after work. Google Maps can also take directions from the desktop app and share it with your phone seamlessly.
As we become more reliant on our iPhone devices and iPad tablets to help us lead more organized and documented lives, the more apps we will see come up in the marketplace.
Did you know that Experimac offers certified pre-owned iPhone devices and iPad tablets in our stores at great prices? Stop by your local Experimac today and check out our selection of devices. Our tech team can even help you download apps that will improve your busy lifestyle.
Business hours are Monday – Sunday 10 AM – 8 PM. Experimac is located at 1865-106 Carl D. Silver Parkway, Fredericksburg, VA 22401.
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