Cult of Mac’s 50 Essential iOS Apps [The complete list, sorted!]

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50 Essential iOS Apps
The best and most useful apps for iPhone and iPad
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

With our 50 Essential iOS Apps series, the goal was to help you find some of the best apps for iPhone and iPad. Picking the finest offerings from the more than 2.2 million iOS apps in Apple’s App Store proved challenging. But we highlighted apps that offer excellent features or make life easier in various ways.

To wrap up the series, we’ve sorted the apps by category to make the list easier to browse. We’re also showcasing Cult of Mac readers’ alternatives to our picks.

(You’ll find reader faves linked at the end of this post. That’s especially helpful since one of our must-have apps is about to die an unceremonious death.)

Understand your sleep patterns with Pillow [50 Essential iOS Apps #35]

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Pillow on Apple Watch report
Pillow users your Apple Watch or iPhone for sleep tracking and reporting your sleep quality.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: pillow sleep tracker appDo you ever wake up feeling exhausted, even though you are sure you slept well the night before? Or do you find yourself getting that 2:30 feeling a few hours early without any clear explanation? With the Pillow sleep app for iPhone and Apple Watch, you can get detailed analysis of your nightly slumber. Even better, you can gain insight into your body’s ideal sleep and wake times.

Apple Watch can detect serious heart problem

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Apple Watch heart-rate monitor
The heart-rate monitor in the Apple Watch can also diagnose an irregular heartbeat.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch can accurately detect atrial fibrillation, a serious heart condition that is a leading cause of stroke.

This advanced feature remains in testing. However, a new medical study offers proof that wearables can do far more than simply track fitness. In fact, they could actually keep the wearer alive.

iPad app could make cancer screening as easy as ordering from Amazon

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The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is a real screamer.
Forthcoming iPad app will remind people to regularly screen for cancer.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Researchers have developed an iPad app that makes setting up lifesaving colon cancer screenings “as easy as booking a hotel room online.”

Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Early screening can dramatically reduce mortality rates, yet more than one-third of Americans who fall within the most likely age bracket go unscreened every year.

Cool new HealthKit gadgets can measure practically anything

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Cool new HealthKit-compatible gadgets at MWC
New HealthKit gadgets make health and fitness easier than ever.
Photos: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Mobile World Congress 2018 BARCELONA, Spain — Smart sperm testers, body cavity inspectors, Bluetooth pillows, holographic jump ropes and contactless thermometers. It’s all just another day at Mobile World Congress, where more and more companies show off their new HealthKit-compatible gadgets.

If you want your iPhone to know absolutely everything about what’s going on with your body, these handy medical devices are for you. Here’s what they do — and why they’re cool.

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Withings Body Cardio smart scale
The Withings Body Cardio smart scale adds crucial cardiovascular insights to your health data mix.
Photo: Withings

Aetna is going all-in on Apple for help with health care

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Apple Watch Nike Plus
Your insurance company might subsidize your Apple Watch.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Aetna, one of the largest U.S. health insurance providers, revealed today that it will subsidize a major portion of Apple Watch costs for customers as part of a new initiative.

The company will combine its own wellness and care-management programs with the power of iPhone and Apple Watch to create new iOS apps that it says should significantly improve customers’ ability to manage their own health.