There are thousands of iPhone apps, but when it comes down to it there are only a handful of apps that are the most important ones on your new iPhone. These important iPhone apps can save you time, save you money, save your sanity and maybe even save your life — and this is not an exaggeration.
Everyone who owns an iPhone should have these apps installed on their iPhone whether it is a new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus or an older iPhone 5. All of these apps serve an important purpose and can make your life simpler, safer and saner.
For users looking for a longer list of our favorites, you can check out the best iPhone 6 Plus apps or the best iPhone 6 apps as well as previous roundups including the best iPhone 5 apps. These represent a larger look at our favorite iPhone apps and include games and entertainment options that don’t make this list.
Most of these apps are free, but for the few that you need to pay for they are well worth the small price thanks to the value that they offer.
Find My iPhone
The Find My iPhone app is one of the most important apps you can install on your iPhone, because it allows you to track the location of all of your other devices and to track a friend’s lost or stolen iPhone. You’ll need to turn on Find My iPhone for this to work, but it is on as part of the iOS 8 setup process so you should be good to go. You can also set it to send the last location to make finding a lost iPhone with a dead battery easier. The app can track a lost iPhone and play a sound so you can locate it, as well as lock or wipe one you cannot recover.
Find My iPhone – Free
Red Cross First Aid App
The Red Cross First Aid app could literally save your life. This free app includes the information you need to handle medical emergencies in the palm of your hand. This is not a substitute for a doctor or a trip to the hospital, but it can help you take the right steps in the first 10 minutes of an emergency, potentially saving a life. The app stores the information offline so that it will work even when you don’t have a cell phone signal, like after a disaster that knocks out cell phone towers. Do not delay, download this app today.
Dark Sky or Local Weather App
Dark Sky is the best iPhone weather app you can find with alerts for rain or snow and hyper local forecasts that are eerily accurate and tell you how much rain or snow to expect in the next hour. The alerts deliver enough time to quickly take a dog out or to leave early to avoid really bad weather.
We also recommend downloading a local weather app from a TV station where you can quickly get information about road safety and weather alerts. The local option often provides information that is missing from apps like Dark Sky including if your roads are safe to drive and potential problems arising from severe weather.
Dark Sky – $3.99 & Local Weather Apps – Free
Google Maps isn’t just better than Apple Maps because it includes more search results and actually lists addresses that Apple Maps is still trying to find years after it arrived on the iPhone.
The main reason you need to switch to Google Maps for iPhone is that it supports offline maps. You can save parts of a map to the iPhone so that you can keep using the map even if you cannot connect to a cell tower to get new data. This is important when traveling in the middle of nowhere and after a disaster or emergency when cell reception may be poor. Learn how to use Google Maps offline on the iPhone today.
Google Maps – Free
There are many banking apps on the iTunes App Store, so you will need to find the one for your bank to make the most use out of this suggestion. Adding the right bank app to your iPhone will help you get alerts to avoid overdraft fees and easily move money between accounts without using a computer or going to the bank. Many of these apps also let you remote deposit a check by taking a photo of the check and uploading it so you can cash a check without leaving home.
Bank Apps on iTunes – Free
Evernote is the best app for tracking notes from all over your life and it can help you keep all of your important information at your fingertips. Use the Evernote app to keep copies of important documents that you can search for at any time and open up on your iPhone. When you scan in a document, take a photo or email a link the actual information is searchable, even sloppy handwriting on a handwritten note — so you can always find it later. If you need more storage or faster processing of OCR, the service that detects characters in scanned documents and photos, you can upgrade to Evernote Premium.
Evernote – Free
We all need to deal with passwords, and more often than not increasingly complex passwords that are very hard to remember. Instead of remembering dozens of passwords or re-using the same password across many websites, you should use LastPass.
LastPass is free to use online, but to use the mobile app you need the $12 a year premium subscription that syncs your passwords to your iPhone. You only need to remember one password to log in and it also supports Touch ID, so you can login with a tap on the iPhone 5s and up. Safari even supports using LastPass to login to websites you are visiting with Touch ID.
LastPass – Free