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.)

Explore the depths of Reddit with Narwhal [50 Essential iOS Apps #19]

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Narwhal FrontPage of Reddit
Diving into Reddit is intuitive and fun with Narwhal.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Narwhal reddit appReddit isn’t something that is typically associated with the modern features and design of iOS. While much of the platform calls back to the days of user forums, it is indispensable as a source of news, conversation and entertainment for many. With Narwhal, you can make the most of your Reddit experience on iOS — and find the latest trends or the dankest memes.

iOS 10 hands on: Everything that’s new in Apple Music and Apple News

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News and Music ios10
Apple News and Apple Music get much-needed redesigns in iOS 10.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iOS 10 brings much-needed design overhauls for the Apple Music and Apple News apps.

The big iOS update, which is currently in beta but should hit iPhones and iPads this fall, brings huge changes to the Apple Music UI as well as minor improvements to navigation in the music app. To see all the changes in action, watch the Cult of Mac video below.

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The built-in Apple News app won't cut it for many. Try these awesome news and RSS apps instead!
The built-in Apple News app won't cut it for many. Try these awesome news and RSS apps instead!
Photo: Ally Kazmucha/The App Factor

Apple TV news app keeps you plugged in from the couch

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Get all your news, sans cable package, right on your Apple TV.
Get all your news, sans cable package, right on your Apple TV.
Photo: Watchup

Watchup wants to replace standard TV news with a personalized multi-channel news aggregator that runs right on your Apple TV.

The developer promises that you’ll get a customized, on-demand news app right on your big TV, letting you lean back and learn what’s happening in the world.

All that without a cable subscription; sounds pretty great to me.

What Apple News gets wrong that Twitter Moments gets so right

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moments_2
Twitter Moments is the news of the future and Apple News will get left behind.
Photo: Twitter

The way we consume news is changing at a rapid pace, and both Apple and Twitter are trying to cater to readers’ need for speed and convenience.

iOS 9’s new Apple News app and the recently launched Twitter Moments both exist because millennials aren’t reading the newspaper every morning or watching news broadcasts in the evening. We get our news primarily from the Internet, often without having to click on articles or read hundreds of words for context.

Online media’s big push toward keeping news relevant and immediate caters to our ever-shrinking attention spans. For better or worse, we’ve gravitated toward bite-size information and entertaining listicles.

Twitter figured that out long ago. Apple still hasn’t.

Flipboard adds rating system to head off Apple News

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Get more of what you like and less of what you don't with Flipboard's new rating system.
Get more of what you like and less of what you don't with Flipboard's new rating system.
Photo: Flipboard

Seminal magazine-style news aggregation app Flipboard is aiming to compete with Apple News by introducing a system that lets users rate stories and ultimately adjust the mix of their home feed.

“No matter where you are on Flipboard, if you see something you like and want to get more of it in your Cover Stories, tap ‘More like this,'” says the Flipboard website, “If you’d rather see less of something, tap ‘Less like this.’”

The best Apple Watch apps you probably haven’t heard of

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Time to download some apps. Photo: Apple

There are already more than 3,000 apps for the Apple Watch, which makes it difficult to find all of the hidden gems. How do you find the best Apple Watch apps?

Luckily, there are plenty of third-party Watch apps that deserve attention, whether they tell you when it’s going to rain or help you get stuff done. Apple is promoting Watch apps heavily in the App Store, and while the big players (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) are obvious downloads, we’ve been on the lookout for some of the other apps for the Apple Watch you might not know about.

Here are some of the best Apple Watch apps to trick out your wrist.