These are the 5 iPhone apps I can’t live without
I spend most of my day on my iPhone, and I have the Screen Time reports to prove it. What am I doing in all these hours you ask? Of course I try out new apps.
I use some apps once and forget them. Others become integral parts of my day, be it for training, rest or controlling my smart home. I don’t know if I could call TikTok essential, but scrolling down my For You page is always entertaining and occasionally educational.
My favorite iPhone apps tend to change with the seasons, although there are a few I know I couldn’t live without. You may know some that I have listed below; If not, consider this my official recommendation to check them out. (Maybe on your new iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro Max?) Just note that there are several built into hardware – you’ll see what I mean.
Headspace is one of the newer apps on my iPhone, although it’s quickly become an important part of my day. Finding time for mindfulness has never been easy for me, but the busier I get, the more I have to take care of my mental health. As one of the best relaxation apps and best sleep apps, Headspace makes meditation accessible and painless. I found it very inviting for those who have no prior meditation experience.
I set specific goals when I signed up with Headspace and have since offered guided meditation classes as well as short daily sessions. I feel my profile is really tailored to my progress. While there are free meditation apps out there, Headspace requires a membership ($69.99/year) to use all of its features. Luckily there’s a trial period to see how you like it first.
2. Apple Fitness Plus
My favorite workout app right now is Apple Fitness Plus, which is built into the fitness app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. I’ve been on and off Apple’s $9.99/month (or $79.99/year) fitness platform since it launched in 2020, but I’m using it now more than ever. The course catalog has been expanded to include rowing, Pilates, and audio workouts, in addition to workout collections with specific intentions.
I use my Apple Watch Series 8 to close my Apple Watch rings in Fitness Plus, but the service recently opened up so those without an Apple Watch can work up a sweat. This is great when I want to do a quick yoga pose while charging my Apple Watch.
Download Fitness: iOS (opens in new tab)
Speaking of wearables, my other favorite wellness app on my iPhone is Oura. The Oura app is paired with the Oura Ring Generation 3, a smart ring that tracks my sleep, activity and recovery. The Oura Ring’s skin temperature sensor, SpO2 reader and heart rate monitor are used to provide an extensive collection of health data.
The Oura app also gives me nudges to move and prepare for sleep. And unlike a traditional fitness tracker, the Oura Ring is discreet but still lets me stay in tune with my body when I’m not wearing a smartwatch or activity band. The Oura Ring costs $299, while the full-featured app costs $5.99 per month.
Maybe TikTok is the main culprit of my screen time. The addictive social media app rose to popularity during the pandemic, but I’ve remained a dedicated user. From videos of cute animals and DIY projects to recipe inspiration and travel hacks, TikTok manages to entertain me and occasionally teach me something new.
At this point I mention that I actually record and upload videos on TikTok on a daily basis. On the Tom’s Guide TikTok account, I list the latest tech announcements and go deeper into products like the Apple Watch on my personal profile.
5. Amazon Alexa
When I’m not testing apps, I’m testing the best smart home devices. The way I organize all of these connected products is by pairing them with Amazon’s Alexa smart home platform. With the Alexa app, I can create routines for my devices, control individual devices, and even use the best Alexa skills right from my iPhone.
The Alexa app also comes in handy for managing multiple apartments, allowing me to keep tabs on my Alexa Smart Thermostat and all the other best Alexa-compatible devices in my home.