Best iPhone Apps 2014: The Good, The Bold & The Quirky

Top 10s Michael Grothaus 11:26, 29 Jul 2014

All the best iPhone apps in one place - what more could you ask for?

Apple’s App Store boasts one of the most extensive collections of apps this side of the sun. Inside you can pretty much find anything – and we mean anything. But what are the best and, more importantly, which are worth having on your iPhone?

In a bid to locate, download and test the best apps for iPhone in 2013 we’ve been tinkering with applications all year to bring you a list of the best apps in the run up to Christmas. We’ll be adding 10 new applications to this list every week as December 25 approaches.

To keep things tidy we’ve decided not to include the big apps that every man and his dog knows about –– Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Mail and the like. Instead, we’re focusing on useful applications that might have slipped under your radar.

So, without further ado, here's our pick of the best.

Google Analytics (free)


After years of cries for this app from webmasters, Google finally answered their prayers last week. This app is the company’s official mobile version of its Analytics tools that until now have been web-only. The app allows users to monitor all their web and app data from their iPhone including viewing real-time metrics, and delving into audience, acquisition, and behavior metrics. There are actually a lot of third-party Google Analytics apps that offer more features, but we suspect Google is only just getting started with this app.

Lingua.ly (free)


Lingua.ly is another app that aims to teach you a foreign language--only this app takes a unique approach to how it teaches you. The app shows you foreign news articles in their native language which you must read. If you don't know what a specific word means, tap on it to see its meaning. Words you tap on are also then saved and made into flashcards and games that are then used to help you commit the unknown words to memory. I love the current news article take as it keeps you abreast of current affairs and works your mind differently than most language learning apps that just ask you to translate generic phrases do. Lingua.ly currently can teach you French, English, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Hebrew.

MapHook (free)


Have you ever been walking around somewhere and seen something cool? That something “cool” could be a beautiful piece of street art or a new cafe or even a shirt in a store window. The premise behind MapHook is we all see many cool things each day but there isn’t a good way to make note of what, where, when, and how we felt about what we saw. That’s where this app comes in. It’s a location-based journal that allows us to take on-location notes, photos, and video of the stuff we see and journal about it within the app. The app also allows us to share these entries with others and browse a collection of public entries, which the makers hope will prod people to explore their cities more and become aware of interesting places they didn’t know existed.

Pocket Drive + (£2.99)


Pocket Drive is the iOS file manager Apple forgot. Put this app on your iPhone and it turns it into a wireless hard drive. Launch the app and your iPhone appears in your Mac’s Finder or Windows Explorer as an external drive, then simply drag and drop your files between your PC and iPhone. There’s no syncing or any kind of connection setup to go through. The app just works. The paid version allows you to use all the free space on your iPhone (or iPad) to store files. But there’s also a free version with in-app purchases that gives you 512MB of space for free and allows you to buy more space as you need it. Pocket Drive is the best file manager for iOS I’ve ever used–and that’s saying something, because I’ve used them all. Download it today.

Sharknado: Go Shark Yourself! (free)


The movie event of the summer starts on July 31st when Sharknado 2 debuts on the SyFy network. Until then you can get your Sharknado fix with this app that lets you take funny pictures of yourself being attacked by sharks in unexpected locations like a New York City subway. But there’s also a gaming element to the app as you can fend off sharks with a chainsaw (Sharknado fans will get the reference).

Pedometer++ (free)


Pedometer++ was one of the first apps to take advantage of the iPhone 5s’ M7 motion coprocessor--and it’s still one of the best. I love the app so much because it does one thing only and does it well: it tracks the number of steps you take in a day and displays your results on a beautiful bar chart. The app will also show you if you’re on track to hitting your step goal each day, which you can configure in the app’s settings. So often fitness apps try to be everything to everyone, but Pedometer++ wisely knows that sometimes people just want a simple fitness tracking solution.

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