If you’ve just downloaded iOS 8 to your iPhone or iPad, you’re probably getting used to some of the brand-new features that Apple has added to its mobile operating system. To help you get accustomed to some of these features, we’ve picked out five apps that have been designed specifically to take advantage of some of iOS 8’s best new additions, including its support for widgets, third-party keyboards and Touch ID support. While these apps are only the tip of the iceberg, we hope you’ll find them to be a useful first step to help you explore other great iOS 8 apps on your own.
We’ve already talked about 1Password a lot today but it’s worth mentioning again because it’s just a terrific app for managing all the passwords you have to keep track of on your smartphone. With 1Password you literally only need to remember one master password that will give you access to every other account that you use online. 1Password will create unique, strong passwords for you for every site you log into and will keep them stored for you in a secure locker.
With iOS 8, the app has gotten even more useful as it’s added support for Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner so you can now unlock the app using only your fingerprint. The app is available to download for free right now and 1Password announced on Wednesday that you’ll have to make a one-time in-app purchase to get access to its premium features. If you’re tired of trying to remember lots of passwords for your iPhone, this app is not to be missed.
There are plenty of great third-party keyboard apps out there right now, but many longtime Android users will swear by SwiftKey, a fantastic app that lets you quickly zip through words by sliding your finger over different letters instead of having to peck at them one at a time. The app also gets better the more you use it because it adapts to your swiping style and comes up with autocomplete suggestions based on words and phrases that you use more often than others.
SwiftKey is great for iOS fans around the world as well because it not only supports English but Portuguese, French, German, Italian and Spanish. And the best part about SwiftKey is that it’s completely free while offering in-app purchases to help you customize your experience.
Clear has always been a terrific productivity app and now it’s getting even better with its own Today screen widget in iOS 8’s notification center. Because these widgets allow for interactive notifications, you’ll be able to view and manage your tasks right from the notification center without having to open up the app.
What makes Clear great is its simplicity: It lets you create different lists for all of the most important tasks that you have to do on a given day and can be used to send you reminders when a time-sensitive task needs to be done soon. You can also organize your tasks into different lists that will help you keep your personal tasks separate from your work tasks. In all it’s a great app that’s well worth its $2.99 price.
Given iOS 8’s additional new fitness features, we couldn’t leave out Routie, a GPS-enabled sports tracker that will help you keep track of and share details about your daily workouts.
Like with Clear, Routie has also added a Today extension that will let you interact with the app in your notifications center without having to open it up. Routie says that using the interactive widget will let you view the current distance and duration of your workout and also let you start and stop tracking. You can use Routie for all sorts of fitness activities that involve traveling, whether it’s walks, runs, bike rides or even rowboat outings.
The app costs $4.99 but it seems like a really good option for fitness fanatics.
And finally, we’re going to go with Box, the popular cloud storage application that will let you keep all your important documents, pictures and data safely online. We’ve decided to highlight Box because its latest update takes advantage of iOS 8’s new extensions feature that will let apps interact with one another in ways that weren’t previously possible on iOS.
In Box’s case, that means it’s added a Document Provider extension that will “allow you to access your Box files from other applications” and also increase “the number of things you can do with your Box content.” Before extensions came along with iOS 8, Apple greatly restricted the ways you could share data between apps. Now that it’s opened the floodgates with its newest release, we can expect to see other popular cloud storage apps release similar extensions very soon.