20 of the best apps for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
Got a shiny new Apple smartphone? Then you'll want to fill it with these 20 essential apps
So you’ve got your new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus. It’s got a big screen, more raw power than you can shake a stick at, and all of iOS 9‘s goodies awaiting your digits. Great!
But unless you’ve got the right apps, you can’t take full advantage of all this lovely technology.
We’ve therefore scoured the App Store to find 20 of the best. You can thank us later.
(Many thanks to Pixeden for the fabulous iPhone mockups)
1) Dropbox (£free)
You might question Dropbox being in this list. But while it’s admittedly not the most exciting app in the world, the cloud file-manager is a really great way to play with some of your iPhone’s new toys, entirely for free.
3D Touch on the Home screen icon gives you Quick Actions to search, upload a photo, view offline files, or get at your most recently edited document. Within the app, Peek and Pop gestures, respectively, offer fast previews and quick subsequent access to files.
2) Instagram (£free)
Much like Dropbox, Instagram’s a good bet for playing around with 3D Touch. Quick Actions let you quickly get to direct messages and new activity, make a new post, or start a search.
Within the app, Peek proves excellent for viewing photos within feeds, but without opening new pages. This kind of browsing becomes second-nature so quickly that you’ll feel lost on a device without it.
3) Hipstamatic Camera (£1.49)
The latest update to Hipstamatic Camera has proven controversial and divisive. The virtual hipster camera has now gone conventional, with a typically iOS camera view and the means to add filters after you’ve taken and saved a clean image. Horrors!
Never fear, though, because the classic view remains. Even better, there’s full-resolution processing for the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus cameras, and 3D Touch for quickly getting to your last photo, or shooting a portrait, sunset or some food. Yes, food. So not entirely hipster-free, then.
Download Hipstamatic camera for iOS here
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4) Sky Guide (£2.29)
When it comes to stargazing with an iPhone, Sky Guide is unquestionably the most usable and beautiful app of its kind. The interface is elegant, and the app is packed full of information, enabling you to dig deep into the facts, or just meander about the night sky.
It also takes full advantage of Apple’s latest kit: the app is fully optimised for larger iPhones (now including widescreen support); there’s a Today view Notification Center widget (rise/set times for the sun, moon and planets); you can search using Spotlight; and there are Quick Actions for favourites, search, and satellite passes.
5) Documents (£free)
In iOS 9, you now get an optional iCloud Drive app (Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive > Show on Home Screen to activate it), for delving into your cloud documents. But we’ve long used the free Documents app for this, because it gives you access to other online storage locations as well, along with enabling you to manage, archive and share files with ease.
With the latest iPhones, you get Quick Actions for speedy access to recent and favourite files, or for starting a search; and for any iOS 9 user, files can be searched for in Spotlight.
6) Transmit iOS (£5.99)
Before now, file management on iOS was a major pain, and overly reliant on Dropbox, given that many apps integrated with it to some extent. With extensible Share sheets on iOS 8, however, the entire OS was opened up like never before.
Transmit brings the smarts from Panic’s OS X app to the iPhone, merges it with a beautiful and minimal interface, and also makes use of the iPhone 6 Plus in landscape by giving you a dual-pane view.
FTP, SFTP WebDAV, and S3 are supported, giving you the ability to use compatible apps to create your own virtual cloud storage in seconds.
7) iMovie (£3.99; £free with new device)
A year ago, Apple updated iMovie to make use of larger displays, giving you more room for editing and previewing your content. But this year’s biggest shift is in taking advantage of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus being able to shoot 4K video.
Now, iTunes can create and share films at 3840 x 2160, or dial things down to a more modest 1080p — but at up to 60fps. So, rather madly, this means you can shoot and edit 4K video in a device that fits in your pocket, and all without squinting at edit points. Just avoid 4K on a 16 GB device, unless you want to run out of storage space very fast indeed.
8) Workflow (£3.99)
Workflow’s a perfect app for tinkerers. It’s jam-packed full of actions that you can combine into workflows that save you time by automating processes. These can then be added to your home screen, or accessed from Share sheets. If you’re feeling especially lazy, you can pilfer what others have done instead from a handy online repository. With larger screens, you get the benefit of seeing more at any given time, potentially making crafting those workflows a whole lot easier.
Download Workflow for iOS here
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9) Shadowmatic (£2.29)
Shadowmatic is a fairly noodly, ambient game, reminiscent of iOS classic Zen Bound. But instead of wrapping rope around objects, here you spin levitating abstract shapes to form recognisable silhouettes within projected shadows. It’s one of the most visually striking games on iOS, and this kind of tactile experience simply feels so much better on a larger screen.
10) GarageBand (£3.99; free on new devices)
GarageBand hits that sweet spot in being surprisingly powerful for musicians, but also extremely accessible for newbs. So whether you favour plugging in a guitar to blow up your ears through crazy distortion, tinkling digital ivories, or dragging and dropping loops, you’re covered. On the iPhone 5s, though, you needed to file down your fingers to a point, to get at all of the interface; on a larger iPhone, even the banana-thumbed can attempt to trouble the charts in no time.
11) Drafts 4 (£7.99)
The notion of writing on an iPhone once seemed really quite mad, but larger models — and especially the iPhone 6 Plus — aim to become your ‘everything’ device. What you need, then, is a fully-optimised app that can cope with jotting down quick ideas, help you fashion long-form structured copy with Markdown, and then fling whatever you’ve penned to pretty much any conceivable service or app. In short: you need Drafts 4.
12) Fantastical 2 (£2.99)
It doesn’t matter how big Apple makes your iPhone, the Calendar and Reminders apps are still going to be rubbish. You’re better of replacing them with the far superior Fantastical 2, which boasts a straightforward list view for appointments (which you can see more of on larger devices), excellent natural-language input for events, and the kind of usable week view you just want to tape to Jony Ive’s forehead, to show him how it should be done.
Download Fantastical 2 for iOS here
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13) 1Password (£free)
Although iCloud Keychain enables you to share login and payment details across Apple kit, 1Password’s a better bet. It’s cross-platform, stores way more info (including secure notes, software licences and multiple identities), and allows you to easily edit all your information right on your iPhone. For the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the interface is optimised to make it more generally usable, and you can see far more entries at any given time — handy when managing dozens of logins or editing your notes.
14) Twitterrific 5 (£free)
Elegance is also the watchword of Twitter 5. While Tweetbot is awesomely powerful, Twitterrific has an unparalleled sense of design, with beautiful themes, typography and a lightness of touch that works perfectly with Apple’s larger iPhones. That’s not to say it’s lacking in features, though: Twitterrific has live streaming, list management, gestural controls, filtering and muting, timeline sync, and more. It’s also a free download, with some affordable IAP available to those who want push notifications and no adverts.
15) Day One (£3.99)
Journalling app Day One’s had a bunch of rewards thrown in its general direction by Apple, and that comes as no surprise when you start using it. This is a sleek, beautifully designed app that’s very usable and ensures your content shines through. For the new iPhones, you get a properly optimised interface that simple shows more stuff; for iOS 8, you also get integration with Touch ID, Share sheets and Today view in Notification Center.
16) PCalc (£7.99)
First and foremost, PCalc is a great calculator with a very long heritage — the original Mac version appeared way back in 1992. On the iPhone, it’s the platform’s best traditional calculator by far, and this latest update is fully optimised for Apple’s new iPhones. It also rolls in a handy Notification Center widget and the means to edit the button layout, including the means to create dedicated buttons for performing conversions or running functions.
17) Asphalt 8: Airborne (£free)
There’s more than a whiff of freemium grind about Asphalt 8, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the best arcade racers on the platform. It’s fast, furious and a little bit bonkers, with you zooming through surreal takes on real-world cities. With iOS 8’s Metal, you get suitably over-the-top visual effects — Flames! Air-drag! — but iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners also enjoy an exclusive season that pits you against three times as many opposing cars. (iPhone 5s and iPad Air owners are also grudgingly invited.)
18) Deliveries (£3.99)
If you order a lot of things online, as we imagine quite a few Stuff readers do, it pays to keep track of them as they slowly work their way towards your home. Deliveries has long been our favourite app for doing this. You get a list of what’s on the way and expected delivery times, along with a map if locations are known. In iOS 8, there’s a Today view widget, and if you’ve an iPhone 6 Plus, there’s an iPad-like landscape two-pane view.
19) Infuse 3 (from £free)
If you have a bigger iPhone, video starts to become a more interesting prospect. Of course, many of the major players (such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix) now offer apps optimised for newer iPhones, but Infuse 3 gains an entry in this list through enabling you to watch pretty much any format on your iPhone without conversion, even streaming footage from a networked PC or NAS.
20) MindNode (£7.99)
OK, so we’re doffing our ‘business’ hat a bit for this one, in that the idea of mind-mapping evokes thoughts of conference rooms and wanting to drown yourself in coffee just to escape from endless meeting hell. But wait! MindNode is lovely to use, and is really fantastic for sketching out ideas for just about anything. Export options are plentiful, and you get loads of room to work on a larger iPhone.