Best apps to download now for your new iPhone or iPad


Best apps for new iPhone or iPad 2020
Five awesome apps you shouldn't be without.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Got a new iPhone or iPad for the holidays? Make the most of it by getting your hands on some of the best, most useful iOS apps. We’ve rounded up five of our favorites that we think every iPhone and iPad owner should be using.

We’ve left the usual suspects off this list. You’re already aware of (and probably already using) the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, so we’re not going to mention them. Instead, we’ve chosen five terrific apps you may not have heard of before, but should download right away.

These are apps that make owning an iPhone and iPad even sweeter by helping you keep fit (even during a global pandemic), sleep better, remember everything that’s important to you, and more.

Seven app for iPhone
Get fit without leaving the house.
Photo: Seven


With gyms closed thanks to coronavirus and the cold weather closing in, it’s not easy to get out of the house and keep fit. But who says you need to go outside? Seven is a brilliant free download that helps you achieve your fitness goals with quick workouts that you can do at home.

Seven has a whole library of more than 200 workouts to try out, whether you’re getting fit for the first time, looking to burn body fat, or getting a head start on your beach body. Each exercise is clearly explained with detailed descriptions and 3D models, and achievements help you stay motivated.

The app lets you join workout groups filled with other members who share similar goals, and if you have a competitive side, you can even compete in online leagues. Seven is also available on Apple Watch.

Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

Dark Noise app for iPhone
Use Dark Noise to sleep, focus, and relax.
Photo: Dark Noise

Dark Noise

Struggling to sleep, focus, or relax? Use Dark Noise to listen to one of more than 40 high-quality ambient sounds that can help declutter your mind and calm your brain. It features dark noise, as its name suggests, as well as soothing rain, crackling fires, crashing waves, and more.

What’s really great about Dark Noise is that it lets you create your own sound mixes. Mix rain with fireworks or freight trains to find a sound that settles you, and then use AirPlay to send it to HomePod and other supported devices. Dark Noise also works well on M1 Macs since its last update.

Price: $5.99

Dashlane 6 identity protection dashboard
Everything you need to stay safe online.
Photo: Dashlane


Dashlane is a password management app, which doesn’t sound very exciting until you consider the alternative — remembering passwords in your own human brain. Dashlane integrates wonderfully well with iPhone, iPad, Mac, and anything else you might use (even Windows PCs).

Dashlane can fill out passwords inside Safari and other browsers, and it also remembers other important information, like credit card numbers, receipts, documents, and more. Dashlane is a Cult of Mac sponsor.

Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

Halide app for iPhone
Take control of your iPhone’s camera.
Photo: Halide

Halide Mark II

Want to get more out of your iPhone’s camera? Halide Mark II is a pro camera app that gives you complete control over your pictures. Use it for greater control over things like ISO, shutter speed, and white balance. And shoot RAW images that you can tweak to your heart’s content when it’s time to edit.

Halide also gives you manual control over focus and is great at shooting Portrait photos, and it has a terrific user interface designed for one-handed use. If you want to know what your iPhone’s camera is really capable of, Halide is a great place to start.

Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

Duolingo app for iPhone
Leaning a new language is easier than you think.
Photo: Duolingo


When you’re ready to start learning a new language, do it with Duolingo. This outstanding app makes learning simple, fun, and fast. It starts you off with the basics and then works you up using quick, bite-sized lessons that really work. It also lets you hear the language you’re learning, and encourages you to speak it.

Duolingo supports a whole bunch of different languages, including Spanish, French, German, and Japanese. And it’s designed by language experts who know how to create effective, easy to use lessons. It’s by far the best language-leaning app you’ll find anywhere.

Price: Free (with in-app purchases)


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.