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7 must-have iPhone apps I can’t live without

Updated Sep 28th, 2022 10:34AM EDT
Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Image: Maren Estrada for BGR

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Impressively, the App Store today boasts nearly two million apps. It’s a large but daunting figure. And with so many apps, there is certainly no shortage of quality apps that get lost in the shuffle. In light of that, I thought I’d go through my iPhone and pick out a few of the best iPhone apps that I simply can’t live without. While some might be obvious, hopefully there are a few gems in here you aren’t aware of.

Incidentally, Apple’s App Store has come a long way from its humble beginnings back in 2008. Whereas the original incarnation of the App Store was filled to the brim with games and an endless stream of gimmicky apps like iFart, the App Store today is filled with helpful and intuitive apps that some people use every day. And sure, there’s no shortage of fun to be had on the App Store, but at the same time, there’s no denying that the App Store has unequivocally changed the way many people go about their day-to-day lives.


Living in a major metropolitan city, I’ve tried and sampled any and every public transit app you can think of. And sure, Apple Maps and Google Maps are decent, but they’re no substitution for a transit app with a singular focus. These days, the best iPhone app for figuring out transit directions has to be Transit.

If you’re in a new city and trying to figure out public transit directions, Transit should be at the top of your list. The interface is intuitive, helpful, and simple. The app is free to download. Users also have the option to pay $4.99 for additional features.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is amazing. There’s no getting around it. If anything, YouTube TV embodies everything that Apple’s rumored but non-existent TV service should have been.

YouTube TV is a genuine cord-cutter and I can’t recommend it enough. Aside from the luxury of saying goodbye to exorbitant yearly cable contracts, YouTube TV’s features are a breath of fresh air.

Even if you enjoy cable, I’d recommend looking into YouTube TV. The ability to watch TV on your iPhone on the go, in addition to unlimited cloud DVR storage, helps make YouTube TV one of the best iPhone apps on the planet.


Scam calls on the iPhone are nothing short of a nuisance. Now sure, there are ways to silence spam calls on the iPhone. But even so, sometimes you just want to keep your private number, well, private.

The solution? Burner.

Burner is an awesome iPhone app that I’ve used for years. It essentially allows you to create temporary disposable numbers. You can field and make calls from within the app. The app also allows you to text. Personally, I use it anytime a business or service demands my phone number.

With spam calls still an ongoing problem, it’s always a good idea to limit the avenues in which your number is exposed in the wild. After all, does a place like Buffalo Wild Wings really need your phone number?

Apple iPhone 12 ReviewImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR


It’s hard to describe what Quora is, but I’ll lead by saying that it’s incredibly informative and addictive. Quora is essentially a question-and-answer website where you can find expert answers from around the world on almost any topic imaginable.

What makes Quora great, and completely different from the mess that was Yahoo Answers, is that it attracts users with expertise.

For example, on Quora, it’s perfectly normal to ask a question about space and have it be answered by a NASA engineer. Or to ask a question about history and have it answered by a Ph.D. with expertise in the exact same subject matter of your question.

Quora has been one of the best iPhone apps for years and I can’t recommend it enough.


This iPhone app has a funky name, but it’s short for “mirror mirror” which makes sense once you try it out.

As far as fun video filters go, this is the best iPhone app on the market. If you have kids, or even if you have nieces or nephews, this app can keep kids occupied for hours. The selection of filters is exhaustive and the implementation is top-notch.

MRRMRR, I should note, is pricey. You can try out a free 3-day trial but after that, the cost jumps to $9.99 a week. A one-year subscription is available for $75.99.

It’s hard to justify the cost if you don’t have kids, but if you’re into a top-of-the-line filter app, this is a no-brainer.


I love taking photos and Prisma simply has the best photo filters out there. This iPhone app isn’t free anymore and now relies on in-app purchases. Still, if you’re keen on using inventive and creative photo filters, you definitely have to give Prisma a spin. Whereas the video filters on MRRMRR are funky and fun, the photo filters on Prisma have a more artistic bent.

Google Maps

Image source: Google

This is nothing of a no-brainer. Sure, Apple Maps has made a lot of strides over the past few years, but if you’re on a trip and can’t afford any mistakes, Google Maps still reigns supreme.

I remember once, en route to a wedding, Apple Maps directed me to an empty school parking lot instead of the wedding venue. So yeah, I still toy with Apple Maps from time to time, but if time is of the essence, Google Maps is a must-have.

More coverage: The best iPhone widgets you can have on your phone.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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