The popularity of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have more than matched up to the initial expectation levels. Mobile app companies have released many iOS 8-optimized apps, while upgrades of existing applications have also hit the stores. Here’s a roundup of the coolest iOS 8 apps.
The disastrous iOS 8.0.1 update is now behind us. The developers at Apple have ironed out many of the issues in the 8.0.2 update – and a full-blown iOS 8.1 update is also scheduled to be released soon (beta version already available for app developers). With the sales of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sustaining at amazingly high levels, professional iPhone app companies are scurrying to come up with applications that are optimized for the new mobile OS. We conducted a survey a week back, and these iOS 8 apps seemed the most interesting:
- Fleksy – iOS 8 (finally) allows installation of third-party keyboards, and Fleksy is a cool application to take advantage of this feature. Right from the color and size of the keyboard, to its layout structure – everything can be modified with this easy-to-use iPhone app. Keyboard customization at its best – that’s what Fleksy is about.
- Box – If you frequently use the iWork app suite, you will find the Box application really useful. You can access and open any file, picture or other documents stored in your new/upgraded iOS device via this app – and then edit the same on any other application. You can even store music files in Box. 10 GB cloud storage space is available for free – and you can subscribe to the Personal Pro scheme ($79.99 annually) for a storage space of 100 GB.
- iTranslate – iPhone app development experts feel that widget support in the notifications center is a major highlight of iOS 8. iTranslate is a widget application that helps you make the most of this. You can set any language as the default, and the app would instantaneously translate text in any other language written/copied on the phone clipboard. Much like our Stopover app, iTranslate comes in really handy for regular travelers.
- Opak – Feel that Instagram has become just a bit passe? Not a problem! On your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, you can check out the all-new Opak app. It would allow you to make your pictures livelier than ever before – through customizable colors, shades, stickers and photo filters. As many as 30 filters are available in the application, making it an absolute delight for creativity-lovers.
- Post-It-Plus – A free app that literally turns your zillions of post-it notes into convenient virtual files. All you have to do is take a snap of your paper note, and it will be instantly converted and stored in a compatible file format in your device. The virtual post-its can be shared directly from the app as well. A maximum of 50 post-its can be stored at a time in this iOS 8 application.
- Pocket – Yes, the popular Pocket app now has a Safari browser extension – but that’s not all there’s new about it. Mobile app development experts have confirmed that Pocket can now use the ‘Handoff’ feature of iOS 8 – to continue reading across devices. The utility of this ‘read later’ app will get a further lift when the Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) becomes available.
- Hours – If you have multiple timers running on your iPhone, this is a widget app that would definitely come in handy. After installation, Hours displays the status of all the timers in the Notifications center. Since tasks can be color-coded, you will also be able to track how much time is being spent on different activities. Time-management will become a whole lot easier!
- Wunderlist – Contemporary iOS app development companies have launched several task-management applications for iOS 8 – and Wunderlist has got to be one of the best among them. On the app, tasks can be categorized under grocery-shopping, household chores, work-related tasks, and even the television shows you plan to watch. The cool mobile app designing theme implemented in Wunderlist adds to its charms.
- Swype – Android had it for years, and iOS now has it too. The Swype keyboard app is now available at the iTunes store, and it offers a whole new typing/text input experience for users. Once you install Swype, you will no longer have to tap to type. Swiping gestures will be required – and you can become comfortable using it in a matter of minutes.
- Mint – Of course, the official Mint.com app was available for earlier iOS versions. However, for iOS 8, Mint comes with additional security provisions – thanks to the TouchID feature of iPhone 6/6 Plus. Along with the default 128-bit encryption, TouchID support makes Mint one of the most secure finance-based mobile apps.
- App In The Air – Another widget app that is fast gaining in popularity among frequent travelers. As its name suggests, App In The Air provides accurate, real-time information on the arrival and departure times of flights (domestic and international). Users have the option to save their entire travel itinerary in the app, since the latter comes with Triplt support. Check in timings, flight duration estimates, and flight numbers can also be viewed on App In The Air.
- Epic Zen Garden – Months before the September 9 iPhone 6/6 Plus launch event, Apple had given a preview of the iOS 8 graphics with Epic Zen Garden. It was a masterstroke, for this app indeed highlights all that’s good about the graphic interface and interactive UI features of the new mobile platform. There are butterflies, flowers, blossoms and a host of other fun elements in the tranquil virtual environment of Epic Zen Garden. You’ll enjoy the visual delight!
- MyScript Stack – This one is for all those who love sending personalized messages (instead of regular keyboard-created text) to their contacts. MyScript Stack lets you trace out letters with your fingers (the touch features of iOS 8 are excellent). The personalized script can be attached with images and sent. Why bother tapping on a keyboard?
- Asphalt 8 – Hardcore gaming addicts will be familiar with this game – and they will be delighted with its iOS 8 update. Those in charge of creating Asphalt 8 have made this racing game more competitive and exciting than ever before – with nearly three times the number of virtual fellow-racers. The visual elements of the game have also become richer, detailed and more vibrant.
- 1Password – The app that has already received the thumbs-up from iPhone/iPad app developers from the world over has its iOS 8 update ready as well. Now, you can store your login credentials from other installed iPhone applications, as well as from the Safari browser. 1Password is a free app – but if you wish to make secure in-app purchases, you will need to go for the premium/paid version. AgileBits has definitely done a great job.
- Sky Guide – Interested in celestial movements? This iOS 8 application is just the thing you need. Sky Guide makes use of the iPhone camera viewfinder – to help you get crystal-clear views stars, constellations, galaxies, planets, etc. Notifications about eclipses, cosmic showers and other such events are sent by the app, while you can also get sunrise/sunset information, planetary cycles, and other interesting trivia.
- PCalc – Yes, the app costs $9.99, but it is also the most comprehensive and multi-featured phone calculator currently at stores. Practically all types of complex mathematical functions can be performed with this virtual calculator – making it a must-have for finance and statistical analysts (in particular). The layout is simple and user-friendly, and till date, there have been no reports of any bugs in it.
- Mr. Crab – As far as mobile apps for kids on iOS 8 devices are concerned, Mr. Crab is one of the finest. Players have to jump along to the top area of the screen, and rescue as many of the little crabs as possible. The controls are simple, ensuring that children can operate the app on their own. Mr. Crab is extremely engaging, and it can keep kids hooked on for hours!
- Yahoo Weather – The iOS 7-optimized version of Yahoo Weather became pretty popular – thanks to the option of importing images from your Flickr photostream. The update for iOS 8 has even better animations and illustrations to depict weather conditions (for instance, fog). However, the standout feature of the new Yahoo Weather app is its ‘Today’ view – which has an animated widget in the notification center. The option of pinning local weather conditions is also worth a mention.
- Wdgts – Instead of downloading and installing separate currency converter, calendar, and calculator apps – you can go for the Wdgts application. It comes with a wide array of built-in widget tools – right from time zone information and currency conversions, to calculator and picture frames. Wdgts stays unobtrusively in the notification center of iPhones (that’s right, it is itself a widget app), and is a classic example of how smart mobile application development techniques have currently become.
- PopKey – Yet another app that makes full use of the third-party compatibility feature of iOS 8. Popkey offers users a fantastic range of animated GIFs to choose from, and include, in their messages (directly in iMessage). The ‘trending’ GIFs can be viewed, and there is also the option of searching for GIFs by using keywords.
- Paper Camera – This iOS 8 app is meant for adding hand-painted sketch effects and cartoons to the photos stored in your device. Extra lines can be added to pictures, brightness/contrast levels can be adjusted, and there is an additional ‘Sketch Up’ option as well. The overall layout of Paper Camera offers an interesting blend of elegance and playfulness. It can become really popular as an iPhone app for kids too.
The iOS 8 extension of iMovie, Evernote and Tumblr have enhanced the usability of these apps by several notches. For those who love to take pictures with their iPhones, Camera Plus would be a lovely application. 2Do performs well as a task-management app. By the time Apple has completely ironed out the flaws of iOS 8, there will be many, many more upgraded mobile applications at iTunes – that’s for sure!