Apple are very good at what they do, but if you are looking to get more out of your iPhone, you can find alternatives to the stock apps. Apple are sometimes a little slow to update their own apps and this is where other developers create improved versions to monetise on the company’s flaws. Check out this list we have put together:
Non Apple: Mailbox – Free
Mailbox is one of the most anticipated apps of 2013, created by a team of 13 people and recently bought by Dropbox for a rumoured $50m, they certainly have done well. The email client uses gestures to control your inbox and can quickly get your inbox to zero if you like to do so.
One of our favourite features is the “Later” option, which allows you to ignore an email when it comes in and pushes it to another time of your choice. You can delete emails and even move them up further in your inbox to prioritise them, all via gesture control. Another good feature (which improves on Apple’s Mail app) is replying back to an email and attaching a photo, a simple feature which Apple seem to ignore. The only issue with Mailbox is that you need to go onto a reservation list as the app was so overwhelmed with downloads, but, we can assure you….it is worth it!
Non Apple: Week Cal – £1.49
You can find a lot of apps to replace Apple’s Calendar as this has stayed relatively the same since it started. Week Cal has vastly improved the views, allowing you to “drag-n-drop” events at any point, linking contacts/places to events and even colour coding individual events to show on your calendar. You can even add entries into multiple calendars which is a great feature for the business user.
This app works well, has many modifications and options for the user to toggle which make it personal and is very easy to get the hang of. If you are a serious calendar user…it’s a must-have.
Non Apple: WeatherPro – £2.49
The stock weather app does the job, but it doesn’t excite in any way. WeatherPro is amazingly reliable, has seven day forecasts and even drills that down to 3 hour sections. You can save favourite locations which will show you wind direction, air pressure and temperature (with the important “feels like” approach to temperatures). This app also supplies sunrise and sunset times with lovely high res weather maps and also can show you satellite/radar imagery of your location.
If you are looking for the more detailed weather app that you can trust, this is well worth the money.
Non Apple: OPlayer – £1.99
The main problem with the Video app is its lack of playback format options which are quite limited. Unless you download from iTunes, you will struggle with some of the newer formats. OPlayer deals with this brilliantly, playing almost anything thrown at it with no real issues, allowing you to even choose between language options (if the video you have has multiple audio) and subtitles. If you have a NAS at home, you can even stream videos direct to your phone from the NAS over a WIFI connection (Streaming support HTTP/MMS/FTP/SAMBA) or through Dropbox.
This app does its job well, but be warned, the developers have recently run into licensing issues with AC3 (audio) but promise to get this fixed promptly.