If you’re not happy with the stock apps your iPhone came with, Aashu Anshuman tells you just how to make your phone more fun.
With the latest iOS upgrade, you pretty much have a choice between lapping up everything that Apple doles out or use others app that work harder and better for you.
Map it up
We’re told good things came to those who wait and guess what? Google Maps finally appeared on App Store last week. With this app Google delivered more than what was expected of it with turn-by-turn navigation and cleaner viewing options. This one’s a no brainer.
You have to use the default app at times. But if you have a Gmail account, why not shift to the Gmail app for iOS. It can be configured to use Hotmail or other email services if you know your way around the settings or can Google a few simple instructions.
The stock app is simple and syncs with iCloud. But to be honest, it is a little too simple and unimpressive. The best alternative is Evernote (free). With all sorts of formatting options and the option to add multimedia into your notes, you can even organize them into various notebooks.
Add to this the fact that you can also add audio clips to notes and you might never use anything else. It also syncs across all your devices, including your PC.
Any.Do (free) is very simple to look at, yet is loaded with features. It syncs with Google Tasks and has a Chrome extension making it easy to update anywhere.
Any.Do doesn’t have location-based reminders and if that is something you cannot live without, look up Checkmark (Rs 270).This spunky little app has everything anyone would expect to find in a reminders app and is incredibly straightforward to use.
Call me, maybe
If your iPhone is your first phone ever, stick with the stock app because it just works. If, however, you have been using smart phones for a while, chances are you might want a little more.
Addappt which promotes itself as ‘the up-to-date address book maintained by your friends’ is a new app, which helps you stay connected easily. It syncs with Facebook and throws in new features like allowing friends to edit and add contact information, we wonder why it took so long for an app to introduce it.
The stock Calendar app, like most stock iOS apps, is a barebones experience. We say why settle for the bare minimum when there are much better options around. Fantastical (Rs 220), which allows you to add events through dictation (on iPhone 4S and 5) and even without it adding events is really easy to use and intuitive. Manage your Facebook events through this app and check out the Day Ticker, which is an efficient way to see your schedule.
If you’re tired of the limited features on the stock app, try Camera+ (Rs 55). It has a number of built-in photo editing options and filters. Some basic features like timers and advanced ones like a like focus lock are all here.
Safari is a perfectly usable browser. It is fast and syncs with iCloud. Not everybody uses iCloud though. Chrome (free), meanwhile, syncs your bookmarks, history and much more across all your devices. It even allows you to view the tabs currently open on your other devices. If you use Chrome on your PC, it makes a lot of sense to move to Chrome on your iPhone too. If you fancy a nifty, gesture based UI, try Dolphin (free).
The suggestions made above are exactly that – suggestions, experiment and explore the App Store on your own and leave us a comment if you chance upon something fun.