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.)

Dark Sky weather app gets a complete redesign

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Some weather.
Some weather.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Another day, another new weather app. Dark Sky was already a big favorite, thanks to its hyper-local forecasts that tell you when it will rain outside your door, down to the minute.

Well, the app just got updated to version 6.0. According to the Dark Sky developers, it’s a completely new app — an update in name only. Let’s take a look.

Hello Weather is my favorite weather app on iPhone and iPad [Review]

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You don't need a weather app to see what's going to happen here.
You don't need a weather app to see what's going to happen here.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

There are roughly a billion weather apps on the App Store, and several them are very good indeed. But my current favorite is Hello Weather, which was just updated to get some great international features, as well as some awesome radar maps. It’s so great-looking, and so easy to use, that it’s been my go-to weather app since I discovered it.

Add some personality to your forecast with Carrot Weather [50 Essential iOS Apps #32]

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Carrot Weather forecast says its hot hot hot
Carrot weather tells it like it is... rain or shine, frigid or inferno.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Carrot Weather app Weather can be exciting, but checking the weather rarely is. Regardless of what’s going on outside, Carrot Weather makes checking the forecast hilarious and fun. Better than that, Carrot Weather offers an Apple Watch app that is best in class for the platform.

Stay ahead of the storm with Dark Sky Weather [50 Essential iOS Apps #2]

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Dark Sky app on iPhone
The Dark Sky app provides a useful look at the next hour.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Dark Sky Weather app Weather is something we all deal with, and an accurate idea of what’s coming can help inform your day-to-day decisions. With the Dark Sky Weather app, you can know exactly when to expect a change in weather conditions.

Unlike many of its competitors, Dark Sky goes deeper than a simple high-level summary of the day’s forecast. It offers hyperlocal forecasts for your exact address, with down-to-the-minute notifications about changing weather conditions. Uncannily accurate, it’s a shining ray of light in the storm of weather apps.

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Today Weather app is an ideal fit for iPhone X's OLED display.
Today Weather is a simple, sleek app that's an ideal fit for iPhone X's OLED display.
Image: Today Weather

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The WeatherBug free weather app serves up lightning alerts and other real-time info.
The WeatherBug free weather app serves up lightning alerts and other real-time info.
Photo: Pixabay CC

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Today Weather Smaller
Today Weather presents some smart new features in a slick design, and we dig the result.
Photo: Today Weather

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Four apps that make checking the weather on your iPhone quick and easy.
Four apps that make checking the weather on your iPhone quick and easy.
Photo: Ally Kazmucha/The App Factor