Every new iPhone comes with a new iOS release, so getting a new iPhone is always more than just getting new hardware. It’s like stepping into a whole new world that, in some cases, nobody else in the past can experience. Now that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have more or less settled in, it’s time to take stock of the apps that can best take advantage of the iPhone 7’s new, and some old, features. Here are top picks, crossing all categories, from entertainment to productivity to Pokemon stickers!
The camera was one of the biggest changes in the iPhone 7, and especially the iPhone 7 Plus which got not one but two of them. So, naturally, any “best iPhone 7 apps” list will have to start off with a camera app. For the sake of fairness, we’re going with one that works on both iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
While iOS’ own camera app is OK for amateurs and instant captures, photography nuts will prefer one that takes them as close to DSLRs as possible. In that realm, ProCam 4 remains the crowd favorite.The app features all the knobs and buttons you can have in a digital camera and then some, with that “some” referring to the ability to shoot in RAW. And for iPhone 7 Plus owners, the app can also do 3D photos!
Download: ProCam 4
Two camera apps in the same list? Well, why not? While Obscura Camera does have some of the basic features of ProCam 4, particularly manual controls RAW image format, it has one over the ProCam 4. Of the two, Obscura is the only one that can capture Live Photos. That goes hand in hand with iOS 10’s new ability to edit Live Photos.
So if that is important to you but still want the trappings of a pro camera app, then Obscura Camera might fit your bill better.
Download: Obscura Camera
Each iPhone is a multimedia powerhouse, and the iPhone 7 isn’t going to buck the trend. Aside from the removal of the headphone jack, of course. While everyone probably has their favorite video player, VLC is the name that resounds strongest across all platforms. Which practically means you get the same experience, and same support for nearly all formats, anywhere you have VLC installed.
One nice feature that VLC has over many other video players is Wi-Fi sharing. This allows users to add videos to the app even without iTunes or a USB cable, as long as the iPhone and the source computer are sitting on the same Wi-Fi network.
Built-in Music app
This might be a cop out, but for anyone who has already been sucked into Apple’s music empire, this is the only place to be. From locally stored files to music streaming to online radio, the iOS Music app offers it all. It’s almost perfect, really, save for one flaw that is, ironically, most obvious on the iPhone 7. The Music app still lacks a landscape mode, which is a shame considering the iPhone 7 practically has stereo speakers, one at the bottom and one at the top.
Launch Center Pro
iOS has had notification widgets since version 8, but iOS 10 really puts the spotlight on them, especially in how they’re now available right from the lock screen. With that new focus, it’s time to give widgets some serious thought.
Among power users, Launch Center Pro is thrown around the most. It practically gives you a mini launcher right on your notification panel. Paired with even more powerful apps like Pythonista, you can almost launch anything from anywhere. But don’t worry, Launch Center still respects security settings, so you won’t suddenly find your iPhone unlocking just because you launched an app from the lock screen.
Download: Launch Center Pro
Notification widgets are a great way to access functionality from anywhere, whether you’re browsing a web page or watching a video, without having to first hop back to the home screen, look for the app, and then launch the app. And when it comes to quick actions like that, making quick, short notes, like a phone number or a name, is probably the most common use case.
Quick Notes is just as the name says. It’s a very quick way to take down notes. While such apps are a dime a dozen on iOS, Quick Notes is laser-focused on one thing and one thing alone. In fact, it doesn’t have a concept of multiple notes. It has but one single page that you can edit, and its contents are automatically displayed in its notification widget. A simple tap on that widget will take you straight to the note for editing. It’s like a digital clipboard that’s always at your beck and call.
Download: Quick Notes
Not all widgets need to be serious. Poncho offers a delightful twist on the oh so many weather apps and widgets. It uses stylized, cartoony artwork and comical text to convey its message or wake you up with a smile on your face, even if the weather will be getting you down soon. It provides those tidbits right on your notification widget. Besides, who can resist a poncho-clad cat?
Words with Friends
iOS 10 has finally jumped into the whimsical messaging bandwagon and, unsurprisingly, everyone can’t wait to have some fun with friends. So why not have some words with them as well. Words with Friends has been one of the classics (it’s that old!) games on the Web and mobile and it has finally landed in its most natural environment: inside a chat app.
No longer will you have to turn to a separate chat or thread just to have some words with friends. Now you can have words with friends while having a word with them in iMessage That’s like having your cake and eating it too!
Download: Words with Friends
Stickers: All of them!
Of course, who can forget about stickers? Actually, some might be dying to forget them. But, for now, they’re too novel and too ridiculous to pass up. So what’s the best iMessage sticker pack? Why all of them, of course!
There are stickers for every occasion, theme, and taste. And you can bet that some tastes can be pretty darn weird. So don’t stick to one and try them all. As long as your wallet can support them, of course. From Mario to Disney to Trump and Hilary, there’s an iMessage sticker for everyone. So gotta catch ‘em all!
Jade Empire Special Edition
Tired of the old cookie cutter mobile game? Burned too many times by titles that promise deep plots and engaging gameplay or, better yet, the old school experience? Well, you can’t really say old school without really getting old school, and while Jade Empire is hardly that old, it’s definitely your grandpa’s RPG.
A plot that actually makes sense, characters that aren’t there just to sell you crystals, and kung fu! Those are the promises that Jade Empire has delivered on the PC and consoles and now on iOS as well. Don’t worry, your iPhone 7 can definitely handle it. And while those who have played the original version may bemoan the less than excellent mobile port, mobile gamers will probably appreciate the change of pace, quality, and execution.
Download: Jade Empire: Special Edition