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.)

Escape emails and get work done with Slack [50 Essential iOS Apps #45]

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Slack iOS app on iPhone in front of computer
Slack helps you get work done by opening up direct lines of communication.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Slack Email can be a total productivity bottleneck. Following conversations between multiple participants gets confusing. The unfortunate result of all this email chaos? Important tasks get lost in long email chains.

Luckily for collaborators everywhere, messaging app Slack replaces the need for internal email, allowing for real-time productivity and communication for teams. Instead of redundant threads and signatures, Slack strips away the cruft of the email inbox. It turns your communication into what it was meant to be — a conversation.

Documents is the files app iOS deserves [Essential iOS Apps #42]

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Documents app main screen
Documents offers mobile access to all your files, across your servers and cloud storage products.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: DocumentsFor the last few years, discussions about whether you can do “real work” on iOS have circled the internet. One of the most commonly cited issues with iOS was the lack of a file browser. In iOS 11, Apple gave us the files app, but it suffers from some major limitations. Documents by Readdle takes the file management on iOS to the next level.

Take control of your schedule with Fantastical [50 Essential iOS Apps #30]

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Fantastical Ticker view upcoming events
Understanding your calendar, reminders, and events is fast and easy with Fantastical
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: FanstasticalManaging a busy schedule is something we all deal with from time to time. Relying on a calendar app makes it easier, but entering every meeting, project, or appointment can be a hassle. Fantastical is the best calendar app for adding events to your calendar and managing your schedule.

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

How to compare and restore previous versions of your Dropbox files

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revisions app
Revisions revises Dropbox's versions.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Did you know that when you make changes to a file you have in your Dropbox, the cloud service actually remembers those changes? In fact, Dropbox retains unlimited versions of your files for 30 days.

That means you can go back and recover a single deleted sentence from a text file, for example, but this feature also has the potential to radically change how you work. With a free Mac app called Revisions for Dropbox, you can really dig in and use this Dropbox feature properly.

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Mind mapping with Mind Vector
Mind mapping, a classic technique for visualizing ideas, is getting a digital makeover.
Image: Mind Vector

Learn like a brainiac with this note-busting app [Deals]

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CoM - MarginNote Pro for Mac
MarginNote lets you visualize and interact with your notes like never before.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Our devices are just as powerful as tools of distraction as they are for productivity. One way to return your devices to helpful status is to stuff them with apps like MarginNotes, a handy mind-mapping app that comes with a suite of tools that make it easier to organize and retain information while reading or studying.

It’s amazing the insights that emerge when you can see your thoughts and information laid out visually and interactively. MarginNotes is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, lawyers or anybody curious — no wonder it was named a Top 10 iOS app for 2016 by AppSo, and got 4 out of 5 stars from App Review Central. And right now you can get MarginNotes Pro for just $24.99 at Cult of Mac Deals.

Last chance: Get 10 Mac apps for a tenth the price [Deals]

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CoM - The World's First Lifetime Mac Bundle
Instantly upgrade your Mac with this massively discounted bundle of 10 Mac apps.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Whatever you use your Mac for, you’ve got to get the right apps first. It can be tough to know what software you’ll need or where to get it, and that’s why The World’s First Lifetime Mac Bundle is exciting. It offers lifetime access, including all updates and upgrades large or small, to 10 super-legit Mac apps for about the price of a single standard app.

The apps are spread among categories of productivity, security and creativity. There is password management and tools for optimizing Wi-Fi networks, apps for photo and PDF editing, and lots more. This is your last chance to get this bundle at a whopping 96 percent discount, meaning you can get all 10 Mac apps for just $39 at Cult of Mac Deals.

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Setapp Mac apps subscription service
Mac apps subscription service Setapp saves you time, effort and money.
Photo: MacPaw