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The best free reference apps for your iPhone and iPad

Best communication apps 

Whatever your take on the social network of record, its messaging app is without equal. You do not need a phone number to use Facebook Messenger, you’ll use it on any device without the necessity for your phone to be present as it must with WhatsApp. It works on every platform, unlike iMessage. It also has many cool features, like audio calling and video chatting with AR masks, stickers, and even mobile payments. 



Google’s email app is a wonderful communication tool. Like our other Editors’ Choice, Microsoft Outlook, it now allows you to read mail accounts from Hotmail, Yahoo, and others via IMAP. It doesn’t integrate your calendar the way Outlook for iPhone does, but Gmail does make your entire email database easier to deal with than the pre-installed Apple Mail app. It’s smooth and fast and even gives you five seconds to undo sending.



Many messaging apps require you to offer up your phone number to those that you chat with, but Kik only requires a username. And with a bot store already boasting more than 6,000 bots, Kik beat Facebook Messenger and Skype to the punch in the field of artificial conversationalists. Group chat, photo and video sharing, and gaming increase this youth-focused app’s appeal.


Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook’s light and flexible mobile email app supports nearly every email account you might have, includes an integrated calendar, and provides a Focused inbox that shows you simply important messages. Frequently updated, the app includes an ancillary Apple Watch app and supports 3D Touch. Unlike the rest of Office Mobile, the Outlook iPhone app is totally free.


Best iPhone Education & Reference Apps


The ASL App maybe a free iPhone and iPad app specifically made for learning the basics of American sign language, and it is a welcome introduction. It uses videos to teach you the alphabet, various useful words and phrases, and the required gestures. The free version covers the fundamentals, and in-app purchases add advanced material in 99-cent packs. $9.99 gets you everything the app offers.



People often forget that there’s quite one way to find web pages, directions, videos, and photos on the web. There are actually plenty of good reasons to try out alternatives to plug leader Google, and the Bing app for the iPhone shows several of them. Bing features a design that’s gorgeous, clear, and simple to use. Feature-wise, Bing’s app can continue and adds voice and camera input along with local info. What’s more, the Bing app’s home screen offers local guidance and news suggestions, rather than just a blank search box.


Chegg Books

Every college student is familiar with handing over several 100-dollar bills and lugging many pounds of textbooks from the campus store. Chegg’s goal is to take some of the pain out of that process. The app lets you rent, buy, or sell books. The company offers study apps, too.


Best iPhone Entertainment Apps


Downcast’s iPhone app shines with excellent features, smart downloading options, and a great interface. It’s worlds better than the stock Podcasts app from Apple. Downcast is suited for people who want a lot of control over their podcast listening experience, and it’s that fine level of control that makes it our Editors’ Choice. Downcast allows you to customize not only how often the podcast catcher checks for new episodes, but also where you’re when it does, using geo-fencing



Hulu is the best service for legally streaming new and classic domestic and international TV programs soon after they air, and therefore the service offers up some excellent films as well as a notably extensive anime collection. you’ll even stream live content with a Hulu with Live TV subscription.



Netflix, like many of the other apps included here, has become a cultural phenomenon. Original, exclusive series, such as The Crown, House of Cards, and Stranger Things, is viewed by many as superior to much of what’s available on broadcast or cable. add to those the host of favourite standbys in both television and cinema releases, and you’ve got a must-have service. And now you’ll download much of the content for offline viewing.


Best iPhone Health & Fitness Apps

Best iPhone Health & Fitness Apps



Bicycle-ride tracking app Cyclemeter collects a wealth of data is very accurate and contains several well-thought-out features. Cyclemeter is a free download, but to unlock all its capabilities you will need to pay $9.99 for the Elite in-app purchase. It maps and records your bicycle rides, then compiles all your data into excellent graphs. Despite its name, Cyclemeter doesn’t just record cycling. Other activities, from skiing to running, also come preloaded. And now you’ll control many of this fitness app’s functions from an Apple Watch, and store your workout data in iCloud.



There are other components to fitness than huffing and puffing on the jogging track. Relieving stress is high on the list, and meditation can aid their goal. Headspace offers hundreds of guided meditations that can reduce anxiety and increase mindfulness.



The free health app MyFitnessPal is one of the best all-in-one calorie counters and exercise trackers for the iPhone. An easy design and interface make using the app a fast chore rather than a fatiguing project, which is essential when trying to reach a long-term fitness or weight goal. The selling feature of this app is its exhaustive food and nutrition database, which trounces every competitor’s that we’ve seen. For ad-free use and some additional capabilities,


Adidas Running by Runtastic

Don’t be fooled by the name. This app is for anyone who wants to track activity, including cycling, hiking, skiing, kayaking, or just walking. It spits out a wealth of information about your activities and route. Maps of your route, for instance, have mile markers on them, and you’ll pull up detailed charts to see your speed, pace, elevation, and more for each leg. When you wear a supported heart-rate monitor while using the app, it’ll show you that data in your final outputs, too. Audio feedback, music integration, and much more make this one of the best running (and sports activity-tracking) apps.

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