Whether you've just got a new iPhone 6, 6 Plus or have one of the older models you'll be wanting to ensure you have some of the most essential apps before you do anything else. And with more than a million apps available on the iTunes App Store, it's a daunting choice.

You might not have the cash to splurge on apps you know little about. Or the iTunes App charts seen to just have the same games and utilities in the top 20 week in and week out.

Hopefully though, the following nine free applications will give you a head start on what sort of thing you should ensure you have on your device. All of these apps are not the most obvious to download (such as Twitter and Facebook, for example) but are still likely to be used often, if not daily.

You can find them all on the App Store now, so when you've got a moment, get downloading.

Amazon Kindle

An alternative to Apple's own iBooks service, the Amazon Kindle app is perhaps the best eBook reading software available for the iPhone today. Linked to your Amazon account, it enables you to read the digital books, magazines and even listen to audio books you've bought through the online retailer.

Admittedly, you can't buy books through it - you'll need the separate Amazon app for that - but it's incredibly handy if you're away or stuck on a train without your Kindle to hand.


Of all the cloud storage solutions out there Dropbox is the one we find ourselves using the most. It's simple and effective. You can also use it to open files stored in the cloud in additional third-party apps if they aren't standard. And you can set your phone to automatically upload every picture you take, ensuring you won't accidentally delete them.

Users get 2GB of storage by default and for free which can be upgraded to 1TB for a £7.99 a month subscription.


Owned by Twitter, Vine is a fun yet odd little video sharing application in that it doesn't let you post long, detailed footage, just clips of up to six seconds in length. However, the restriction has prompted some of the most inventive short storytelling imaginable. And a lot of silliness to boot.

It's a quick and easy way to share moments with friends and the Twitter integration means it works across platforms well.


The first of two communications apps we're featuring here is Viber. It enables users to make calls and send texts to other Viber members over Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G mobile connections, eliminating the use of telephone minutes. Sound quality is also better than a conventional phone call and if you're in a foreign land, it can save you a healthy slice of money (especially when used in a Wi-Fi hotspot).

It differs from some other services, such as WhatsApp, by offering fun and friendly means of adding more to your communications, such as stickers to express your mood. And you can also make video calls, offering a great alternative to Skype or FaceTime.


The king of internet-based chat apps is WhatsApp Messenger and we find it's the most widely used by far. You can send video and picture messages as well as call friends and family who also have the app, thus reducing MMS network fees.

The app has recently redesigned a touch for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus especially, with a smaller font and slightly tidier layout.


Of all the photo taking and sharing apps Instagram is by far the most popular. We really love Hipstamatic for our retro picture taking needs, but as that costs and Instagram is free you should check out this one first and perhaps progress if you want to try something a bit more advanced.

The beauty of Instagram is that as well as offer a number of retro-inspired camera filters it is a social network in its own right. Owned by Facebook, the service has grown dramatically in little over a year and it is used by many to keep an eye on what celebrities are up to.

Google Maps

The first Google application you need to download for your iPhone is Google Maps. While Apple's own Maps application has significantly improved since its disastrous launch, Google Maps is unsurpassed. It can seemingly do everything, from tell you walking directions to your local Greggs bakery to telling you if your train has been delayed.

It is also a very capable satnav replacement. And it's free. Amazing.


The other Google app we recommend is the Chrome browser. There's nothing specifically wrong with the Safari browser that comes with iOS, but Chrome remembers bookmarks and passwords across devices, meaning you can instantly carry on browsing sites using your phone that you would normally access on your desktop PC.

We also find it's a little faster and more compatible with a greater number of websites.


Lastly, Feedly is a must-have app. It is basically a news aggregation tool which draws stories from sites you visit constantly throughout the day, providing you the most recent and relevant stories based on the subjects you want to read about. It will also send you to the website of the story you choose, making it easier to find content.

We find it's even more important to our daily lives than search engines these days and it's one of our most often used applications.