Top 10 Best Apple iPhone and iPad Apps

Apple App Store


There is much debate over which mobile platform is better. Normally the argument is between Apple and Google with Blackberry and Windows trailing behind both in terms of installed users and quality of apps.

Apple’s biggest strength is its unified mobile operating system, iOS, which has around 750,000 applications with many of them suitable to both phone and tablet devices. In total, there are more than 400m Apple iOS devices so picking the top 10 apps is a daunting task. Let’s assume that you are a working professional in the UK technology sector. Your goal: To make your smartphone or tablet more useful for both work and social activities without breaking the bank!

1 Google Maps by Google

The best map utility for iOS

Last year, to coincide with the iPhone 5 launch, Apple shipped its own built-in mapping software and removed the Google equivalent. However, following mass complaints from users, Google Maps is now back on iOS devices and is easily a clear winner. Although the firms are clear rivals, the Google Map system is simply better with more accurate outdoor maps, indoor mapping for well-known buildings and turn by turn navigation that makes the sat nav somewhat obsolete. If you’re still using Apple’s mapping system, it’s time to change.

2 CamCard by IntSig Information Co. Ltd

Bye, bye paper cards

The exchanging of business cards is a pretty standard corporate activity. However, trying to find that elusive contact from that conference last June can become a nightmare. Instead, CamCard allows you to simply snap a picture of the card with the build-in iPhone camera which is then automatically filled away into a searchable format. Simple, quick and all for less than a fiver!

3 Citrix Go To My PC for Ipad by Citrix

Revisit the old PC from your Apple device

This nifty software app allows you to control your Windows PC from your iPad. It is pretty basic, but the ability to remotely grab a critical file or even start up a native Windows application from an Apple device can be a real lifesaver. The basic version is free and it works pretty flawlessly assuming you have Wi-Fi. 3G access is fine for simple file management but don’t expect much performance from visually complex apps over the mobile network.

4 OfficeTime by OfficeTime Software

Do it, bill it and get paid!

If you are a small business, half the battle is getting those invoices out on time and chasing up payment. For freelancers delivering professional services, the key is billable hours. However, keeping track of each client, job, status and invoice is a chore. What would be great would be an iPad app designed especially for the task – complete with a whole host of reports to justify that whooping great bill. OfficeTime is just the app. Although not alone in its category, it has a clean and easy to navigate user interface and the reporting is pretty comprehensive. Not cheap at £40 but worth every penny!

5 Intuit Pay by Intuit

Process credit and debit cards on the move

The ability to accept card payments is the cornerstone of modern commerce. Fixed card readers are great for a retail premises but what about the highly mobile salesperson? Well Intuit Pay is a great app that allows independent retailers and merchants to hook up a Bluetooth-based Chip and PIN reader to an iPad and take payments on the move. The system is accredited by both Visa and MasterCard, although Amex is missing.

6 Skype for iOS by Microsoft

Phone calls on your tablet!

Many Apple aficionados own both phone and tablet and in an effort to not cut off this lucrative double revenue stream, the iPad does not have the ability to make traditional telephone calls. But with the addition of the Skype iPad applet, headset and Skype number; tablet users can now make and receive calls on any WiFi connection. Although in theory calls can be made over the 3G data channel, call quality can be unpredictable.

7 iTunes U by Apple

E-learning for free

In a list dominated by third party Apps, Apple deserves an honourable mention for one of its less well-known apps. iTunes U allows universities, colleges and other teaching groups to provide course notes and materials for students. The material can even include lecture recordings as video or audio files and students can use the same software to take notes. Users can subscribe to a course which will add content on a scheduled basis and notify them upon delivery. At the moment, courses are free so if you fancy learning Quantum Mechanics for beginners, don’t delay.

8 Dragon Dictation by Dragon Software

Siri has a big brother

Many of the Apple adverts showcase Siri, the built-in digital assistant which although more mainstream now, is still rather amazing. However, if you want to write a long letter or notes on an iPhone, it can be a slow and painful process especially for the less nimble among us. Dragon, a long time player in the speech recognition space, has launched a dictation software application that has surprisingly high accuracy and the ability to adapt and learn your style. The only downsides are the constant use of American spellings and the inability to type directly into applications.

9 Quickoffice Pro HD by Google

Need access to Microsoft Office documents? This will do in a pinch!

The best office productivity suite is clearly Microsoft’s Office in all its various iterations. But Microsoft, as of the time of writing, has shunned making a version for Apple devices. Politics aside, this has left a gaping hole for business users that want to use an iPad as a “proper” business tool. Instead, Google has sunk a load of resources into developing Quickoffice, a lightweight productivity suite that is available on almost every mobile format. The basic app has gone through many iterations and the current generation sports word processing, spreadsheet and presentation. The new version adds track changes, improved file conversion from standard Office formats and built-in cloud storage – although it does not support iCloud yet. Until Microsoft gets it act together to produce Office for iPad – Quickoffice is good enough!

10 Spotify

Free music feeds the soul

Although essentially a list of business-focused apps, it is hard to not love Spotify. Type in a name of a song or artists and 95 percent of the time, the tune will come up and stream from the internet to your ears. The “premium” Spotify service for mobile users requires a monthly outlay but that is less than buying an album. For the frugal, desktop PC users can run a free service with radio style ads for no monthly outlay.

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