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The best alternatives to Apple’s stock iPhone apps, as chosen by iOS users

September 3rd, 2015 at 2:26 PM
Best Apple Stock App Replacements

Apple makes some of the best hardware in the smartphone market, but the software isn’t always up to snuff. That’s not to say that the stock apps on the iPhone and iPad aren’t effective, it’s just that other developers have taken the basic concepts and run with them to the point that better alternative exist for nearly every app on the iPhone.

DON’T MISS: 10 of the best iPhone widgets in the world

This week, the Apple Reddit community banded together to answer this question from user Alimoose: “What Apple apps have you replaced with a better alternative?

You should check out the thread if you’re interested in replacing all of Apple’s apps on your iOS device, but we’ve collected a few of the best answer below for the most popular app alternatives:


The community is split on whether or not Apple’s default Maps app is the best option, but with more than 50 mentions of Google Maps in the thread, I think it’s safe to say that the most popular Maps alternative is probably the best. Plus, chances are that Google Maps won’t direct you on to an airport runway.

Winner: [Google Maps, Free]
Runners-up: [Waze, Free], [Citymapper, Free]


The stock Weather app is serviceable, but it’s also extremely simplistic. If you’d prefer a beautiful user interface with detailed forecasts, Dark Sky seems to have been mentioned in the thread more often than any other weather app. It’s also compatible with the Apple Watch, so if that’s a priority, it should be at the top of your list.

Winner: [Dark Sky, $3.99]
Runners-up: [CARROT Weather, $3.99], [Weather Underground, Free]


Personally, I don’t have any major issues with Apple’s Podcasts app, but I also haven’t really given any of the alternatives a fair shake. The consensus from both the Reddit thread and from anecdotal evidence throughout my own life has been that Pocket Casts is the ultimate podcast app.

Winner: [Pocket Casts, $3.99]
Runners-up: [Downcast, $2.99], [Overcast, Free]


Apple has made strides in improving the functionality of its Notes app, but at the end of the day, it’s still laughably bad compared to the third-party options available on the App Store. You probably already have everyone’s favorite, but if not, I’m here to confirm that Evernote will change your life if you use the Notes app with any regularity.

Winner: [Evernote, Free]
Runners-up: [Simplenote, Free], [OneNote, Free]


Another totally functional app on Apple’s roster, the Mail app will do pretty much everything you need it to. But sometimes even that isn’t enough, which is why there are so many alternatives listed in the thread. It will probably come down to personal preference for many of you, as they all have strengths and weaknesses, but Mailbox is my personal go-to.

Winner: [Mailbox, Free]
Runners-up: [Gmail, Free], [Inbox by Gmail, Free], [Microsoft Outlook, Free]


This one’s almost too close to call, as both Sunrise and Fantastical are receiving a ton of recommendations. If it makes the decision easier, Sunrise is free and Fantastical isn’t, so at the very least, give Sunrise a try before you decide to replace your Calendar app once and for all.

Winner: [Sunrise Calendar, Free]
Runners-up: [Fantastical 2, $2.99], [Google Calendar, Free]

Agree? Disagree? Let us know your favorite stock app alternatives for the iPhone and iPad in the comments below.

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.

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