Superior third-party replacements for default iOS 6 apps
There's no doubt that Apple as kitted its iOS mobile platform out with a decent selection of default apps. But, as with any operating system, there are better apps available from third-party developers that not only better and easier to use, but also add a whole raft of new and powerful features.
Here is a list of the default iOS apps that can be kicked to the curb, along with the third-party app that's taken its place.
Replace Mail with Sparrow
While here's no doubt that the default Mail app has improved significantly over the years, but there's still room for improvement.
My favorite replacement for the Mail app is Sparrow. Despite having been bought by Google, which has put an end to any further development of the app, for now this continues to be the best email client for iOS out there.
A few of the features of Sparrow that are notable:
- Smart contacts that give quick access to people who you talk to the most;
- Excellent search;
- Simplified thread view to keep conversations organized;
- Mark all as read, a feature that lets you clear your inbox with one click.
Replace Maps with Google Maps
I'm not a big fan on Apple's iOS 6 Maps app. I don't have anything against the app itself, but the mapping data leaves a lot to be desired, especially since I don't live in a big city. While Apple, with its billions of dollars in the bank, will eventually solve the problem, for now it should still be kicked to the curb in favor of something better.
And the something better is what we had before iOS 6: Google Maps. Without a doubt the best, most fully-featured mapping app for iOS.
Replace Safari with Google Chrome
As so many use Google Chrome on their desktop and notebook systems, it makes sense to use it on your iPhone and iPad.
Google Chrome brings a full-blown browser to iOS, with features such as:
- Simple-to-use privacy mode;
- Ability to send pages from Chrome from the desktop to iOS devices;
- Single URL/search box;
- Tab recovery following a crash.
Replace Calculator with PCalc
If all you expect from your calculator is a bit of adding and subtracting, then the built-in Calculator app is fine, but if you want a little more you need PCalc Lite.
PCalc Lite gives you all the power of a scientific calculator on your iPhone or iPad, including unit conversions and constants. If you want more features -- such as multi-line, engineering features, or programmer features -- they can be purchased separately.
Replace Camera with Camera+
I've taken more photos with my iPhone than any other camera I've ever owned. While I find the default Camera app to be acceptable, there's one app that can transform the iPhone -- or iPad -- from good camera into a great camera.
My favorite app is Camera+. Along with being able to activate the camera shutter, Camera+ has the following features:
- Quality settings allow you to take high, medium and low quality photos based on your need;
- Continuous flash;
- Advanced shooting modes, including burst and timer;
- Filters and effects.
Replace Photos with Exif Wizard
The default Photos app annoys me for a number of reasons. Specifically, I can't understand why the app doesn't show me the date or time when a picture was taken, and refuses to give me access to the EXIF information stored with the photograph which contains detailed information relating to the photo.
The best app for this purpose is Exif Wizard. This can access photos from your photo rolls and show you all the hidden data saved along with the image.
If you want more features -- such as the ability to access photos stored on iCloud or work servers with images up to 13 megapixels in resolution -- you can upgrade to the Pro version for $1.99.
Replace Contacts, Calendar with Pocket Informant
Why have data spread across three apps when you can have it in one: Pocket Informant.
Having all your data in one place not only makes getting to it faster because you don't have to constanty shuffle apps, but you can also makes organizing and backing up your vital data a lot easier.
Pocket Informant is packed with dozens of features that allow you to take control of your busy schedule. Highly customizable, Pocket Informant comes highly recommended, despite the premium price.
Price: $9.99 for the iPhone version | $14.99 for the universal version.
Link: iPhone | iPhone/iPad.
Replace Notes/Voice Memos with Evernote
Remember anything you can record digitally -- photos, voice memos, notes, etc. -- in a single place with Evernote. Again, not only does using a single app do away with the app shuffle, Evernote is packed with powerful features that allow you to take control of your life.
Evernote has far too many features to list, and for $5 a month or $45 a year you can get access to even more powerful premium features.
Replace Clock with Start
Start is a gesture-driven alarm clock and stopwatch app that allows you to do everything with flicks, swipes, slides, and pinches. It's a powerful app with a fresh, interesting interface.
Replace Stocks with Stock TickerPicker
For real-time stocks information, try Stock TickerPicker. Just enter a ticker and get price, simple moving average, Bollinger Bands, volume, and much more.
The app is very powerful tool, and goes way beyond scrolling ticker information.
Replace Weather with Weather Underground
Get access to actual local weather conditions by tapping into more than 24,000 personal weather stations with Weather Underground. You also get access to radar and satellite imagery, along with everything you need to keep you ahead of the bad weather.
Replace Music with OnCue Pro
My absolute favorite mobile music player. Not only does it let you find and play the tracks I want, you can create queues of tracks that you can interact with on the fly. OnCue Pro also has a nifty features such as advanced crossfade control, sleep timer, gesture control and much more.
Very power replacement for the Music app.