The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

The iPhone comes with a bunch of apps you never use. Some of them are poorly implemented. Others are lacking important features. Fortunately, there's a whole world of developers offering some very viable third-party alternatives. You still can't delete the apps your iPhone comes with, but here are some alternatives that will free you from their boring grips.


Phone/FaceTime - Skype

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

Google Voice is very close to being merged into Google Hangouts, but in the meantime, Skype is just about the best alt-phone app you can find. The VOIP app lets you make domestic and international calls, it's just about the best cross-platorm video chat app around, which means you can do a face-to-face with people other than your Apple friends and family. Skype is very widely used at this point, so call away! Free


Messages - GroupMe

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

This is hands down one of the best ways to text, especially amongst different groups of friends or colleagues. The best part is it's totally free, on any platform you can think of, and compatible with SMS. Free


Mail - Mailbox

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

There's a strong chance you have either a Gmail or an iCloud account, in which case Mailbox is a very good say to whip your inbox into shape. It's fast, easy to navigate, and it learns which crap emails you're more inclined to delete off the bat. The point is to get you to the white whale of inbox zero, which is a very good thing. Free




iCal - Sunrise

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

Sunrise pulls in your Google and Facebook Calendars, shows you the weather for the day, and gives you directions to scheduled events using Google Maps. It even lets you wish someone a happy birthday via text without leaving the app. Also? It looks beautiful. Free


The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

Camera - VSCO Cam

The stock camera app isn't bad, but there are better camera apps out there. Our resident camera expert Michael Hession likes VSCO because it has a simple UI with quick access to iOS 8's manual controls, its adjustments are familiar to photographers and its preset (though they cost money), are subtle and varied. Free (with in-app purchases)


Video Player - GoodPlayer

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

Never run into a video format that your player won't support. GoodPlayer works with everything from AVI to Xvid to Dvix to FLV to pretty much anything else you can throw at it, so you can watch whatever you want without having to convert it first. $3




Notes - Evernote

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App Like Apple notes, Evernote syncs your jots across devices. But it also lets you do extra things like record audio, search for text in images, save tweets, and so forth, all across multiple platforms. Free






Weather - Yahoo Weather

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App


You have a full cornucopia of choices when it comes to weather app, but per our Lifehacker friends, Yahoo Weather is number one because it has a ton of features without being overwhelming. Radars! Forecasts! Satellites! Heat mats! The Yahoo app will make you into a regular Al Roker. Free


Clock - Alarm Clock Pro

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

Waking up to a harsh, incessant buzzing sucks. Instead, you can use an app that lets you wake up to your favorite songs from you iTunes library, pick new themes, and just get up a little bit happier in the morning. $1





Reminders - Any.Do

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

Any.Do is great because it toes the line between simple and stocked with features. It syncs to the cloud, has a desktop client, and includes time- and location-based reminders in a clean, pro-productivity interface. Free


Calculator - QuickGraph

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

Say for some reason you need to do some higher-level computations. No need to dig up your old, expensive TI-84—you get all of the same graphing calculator functions in QuickGraph. Free






Stocks - Real-Time Stock Tracker

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

This gives you more than just basic data. It pulls from more than 50 different exchanges and markets and gives you real-time data, before- and after- market hours. It presents data in different charts and graphs, and even includes BitCoin price-tracking. Free (with in-app purchases)


iTunes - Spotify

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

I don't even use iTunes anymore. I just pay Spotify's flat $10 monthly fee to stream all the music I want from my iPhone. Trust me, it's worth it. Free download, $10/month subscription







Contacts - Brewster

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone AppThere are about a dozen ways you can get ahold of someone, which makes for a messy address book. Organization on your own is tedious, but Brewster pulls together all of your contacts from Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, your address book, and more into one place. Free


iCloud - Google Drive

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

iCloud is an okay service, but as recent celeb news would show, it's not that secure. Also you can get a lot of storage for not a lot of money from Google Drive. You have apps that work across platforms, and chances are, you're already using Gmail and other Google products already. Synergy! Free




iBooks - Kindle

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

Amazon just has a better, cheaper book selection, plain and simple. And if you aren't exclusively using Apple devices, this reader app will work on whatever you're using. Free


Voice Memos - iTalk Recorder

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

This app is a little more advanced than what you get pre-loaded. You get more control over editing the audio and you can make longer recordings, and it will also pick up sounds the stock app won't. I use it regularly to record interviews. Free





Maps - Google Maps

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

Here's an absolute no-brainer. Apple Maps has gotten better but when compared with Google Maps, it's still not great. Google Maps is wonderful and reliable. Free


Browser - Chrome

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

Safari certainly leaves something to be desired, but Chrome is terrific. It's fast, it syncs with Chrome on the desktop, and it's pretty much the browser you know and love in mobile form. Free






Compass - Compass°

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

Do you use the compass app? Nope, didn't think so. But in the event you get lost in the woods with no cell service, you might need some help finding your true north. This compass is insanely simple for getting yourself pointed in the right direction. Free



Podcasts - Pocket Casts

The Best Alternative for Every Pre-Loaded iPhone App

Lifehacker digs Pocket Casts to organize your podcasts because it's both easy to use and full of features. It automatically syncs your 'casts across iOS and Android, backs everything up in the cloud, and plays nice with both AirPlay and Chromecast. It also comes with a nice playlist-making feature so you can listen to a mixtape's worth of your favorite podcasts. $5