The new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus aren’t just the best smartphones Apple has ever made, they’re the most powerful smartphones the world has ever seen. While Android phone vendors reply on more cores, faster clock speeds and tons of RAM to help smooth out the Android experience, Apple has focused on optimizing its software and its components in the iPhone line and as a result, the dual-core A9 chipset and 2GB provide more than enough oomph to power the 6s experience. Add in great new features like 3D Touch and a new 12-megapixel camera, and you’ve got a total package that is unrivaled for the time being.
In my iPhone 6s review, I covered a number of key hardware and software features that are impressive right out of the box, but the beauty of modern mobile platforms like iOS is that the out-of-the-box experience is only half the story. Third-party apps dramatically enhance the user experience and in the case of the iPhone 6s, there are a few apps in particular that every user needs to try.
There’s a whole lot to cover when discussing the new features on Apple’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but a few new additions in particular always seem to bubble up to the top of every conversation. Among them are 3D Touch, of course, and the great new camera features.
3D Touch uses software and hardware to measure the amount of pressure a user applies when tapping, pressing and swiping on the iPhone’s display. As a result, the phone is able to perform different functions based on that pressure. Then, where the camera is concerned, a great new feature called Live Photos complements the phones’ new 12-megapixel shooter by saving a short 15 fps animation with sound each time a still image is captured.
They’re both important new features but as is the case with everything else on the iPhone, they’re greatly improved by third-party apps. If you own an iPhone 6s or an iPhone 6s Plus, here are six apps that you absolutely need to try, along with links to download each one.
Live Photos are great, but you can’t share them with people unless they also have an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus. Using this nifty app, you can quickly and easily convert any Live Photo into an animated GIF or a standard video file that can be played on any mobile device or computer. The app also makes it very easy to share your GIF or video to social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
About those Live Photos… they’re great when they come out well but when they don’t, they serve precious little purpose other than to hog precious storage space on your iPhone. Storage is always at a premium — even if you have a 128GB phone — so Lean is a must-have. The app lets you select Live Photos and then strip off the “Live” part while still maintaining all of the EXIF data from the original photo. The video portion is deleted, and the space it occupied is recovered.
Last but not least where photos and videos are concerned is Replay. Some users think that Live Photos are just a stripped down version of HTC’s Zoe montages on the HTC One series of phones. They’re not, of course, but Zoes are pretty neat indeed. If you want the ability to quickly and easily make similar montages complete with music and smooth transition animations, Replay is just what the doctor ordered.
Hipstamatic is one of the most popular third-party camera apps out there and no the Hipstamatic camera roll supports 3D Touch. As long as you’re using the latest version of the app and you have an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, you can press and hold firmly to Zoom in on a photo, You can also then swipe up to favorite or trash it.
Evernote is the go-to notes app for millions upon millions of people around the world, and it’s my personal favorite notes app as well. Now, Evernote has great 3D Touch support baked into it thanks to the Quick Actions menu accessible by pressing firmly on the Evernote home screen icon. Then, inside the app, you can Peek at notes from the main menu or Peek at links inside notes. Then, of course, you can press harder to pop them open.
News360 is a well-known app that provides personalized news from a wide range of sources, and now it includes 3D Touch support. 3D Touch on an article’s headline or image to Peek at the article, and then you can slide your finger up to reveal a menu that gives you options to like it, share it or save it for later. Of course, you can also simply press harder to Pop the article open.