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10 essential free apps for iPhone

Want to get more from your iPhone? We’ve picked 10 free apps we can’t live without.

The right apps can unlock the true potential of your iPhone, making it more versatile, useful and fun, but sifting through the millions of apps available to find them can be a test of patience.

So, we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled our list of the 10 apps we think no iPhone user can do without. What’s more, they’ll cost you absolutely nothing.

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1. WhatsApp 

Why are mobile networks so happy to give you unlimited texts? Could it be because everyone is using WhatsApp instead?

WhatsApp uses small amounts of data or a wi-fi connection to send messages and make calls. It’s great for sending picture and video messages – something networks charge extra for.

This app is now completely free so there’s no reason not to try it out.

2. Find my iPhone

Hopefully this is one app you’ll never need to use, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it on your phone.

If you’ve lost your iPhone you can log into the service on a computer and it will show you your phone’s current location on a map. Unfortunately, though, it can’t tell you which sofa cushion it’s under.

If you suspect your phone’s been stolen you can use the service to lock it remotely so no one can gain access. To be doubly sure no one gets their hands on your personal information you can completely wipe your phone remotely as well.

3. Kindle

With iPhone screens now bigger than ever, reading an ebook on your phone is a worthwhile proposition. The Kindle app gives you access to the huge Amazon book library. Many titles are free, including classics from the likes of the Brontë sisters and Dickens.

Simply download the book to read it whenever and wherever you want. Don’t worry about ebooks using up all your phone’s storage – the files are tiny.

4. SwiftKey

You might think you’re stuck with your iPhone’s default keyboard, but there are several alternatives out there that are much better at predicting which word you’re going to use next.

SwiftKey is one of them. One of Britain’s most successful tech startup companies, SwiftKey adapts its dictionary and auto-correct feature based on your writing style. It learns from your common mistakes and preferences to make it easier to type. You can even change the look of your keyboard with a range of colours and themes.

5. Skype

Video chat is a brilliant tool for anyone who wants to talk face to face with friends, relatives or colleagues far away. The app only requires you to sign up for a free membership to get started.

Better still, Skype can be used across devices so you can use your iPhone to chat to an Android phone user or someone on their laptop or tablet. Make sure you’re connected to wi-fi so you don’t use up all your data.

6. Google Translate

This app is a must for anyone travelling abroad who is keen to try using the local lingo. The app can translate one language into another and vice versa. Speak or type anything you don’t understand into your phone to get an English translation.

Better still if the country you’re in uses a different alphabet the app has it covered – you can take a picture of the phrase to a get a written or spoken translation.

7. Ted

If there was ever an app for the curious mind this is it. Ted compiles thousands of video seminars knows as ‘Ted Talks’ on a wide variety of topics pitched to beginners and experts alike.

The charismatic, knowledgeable presenters make the seemingly mundane fascinating. The talks are concise too, never lasting longer than 18 minutes.

8. Brushes Redux

If you’re feeling creative this app is perfect for you. Even if you’re more van driver than Van Gogh it doesn’t matter – the simple painting tools can be used to create attractive images whatever your skill level.

If you do have an artistic bone in your body, Brushes Redux is capable of creating beautiful paintings. And you won’t even need to wash your brushes afterwards.

9. TuneIn Radio 

If you’re a fan of listening to the radio this app turns your phone into one. TuneIn is capable of picking up thousands of digital radio stations and podcasts for you to enjoy at home or on the move.

The app will use your data when you’re out and about so be sure to keep an eye on your usage.

10. 1Password

We now have so many accounts and passwords it can be hard to keep track and using the same password for each one isn’t a safe option.

1Password is a simple, secure solution for anyone who has too many passwords, or too few.

By creating a master password, 1Password generates a secure, totally random password for each of your accounts. Everything from email to shopping sites can be accessed with your 1Password and the app works across your devices so you can access your accounts whether you’re using your phone, tablet or computer.

Keep your phone secure

When you download an app, remember to check its permissions to see what areas of your phone it can access.

We’re in the process of looking at how app companies are using your data and how secure it is but, as a rule, if you’re not happy with what an app can access, don’t download it.

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