When you buy an iPad or iPhone, you’ll find an overwhelming number of apps in the App Store, both from Apple itself and from a multitude of third-party developers.
Elsewhere we’ve rounded up some of the best free apps for the iPhone and iPad, but here we’ve picked out our favourites, both paid and free, that are essential for an iPhone or iPad user.
TV catchup and streaming
We’d recommend downloading the main TV catchup apps for your iPad or iPhone. We’re talking BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5, which pretty much covers mainstream TV in the UK.
We particularly like BBC iPlayer, as it offers a huge range of content that you can stream or even download for offline viewing, and most TV shows are available for 30 days or more.
If you’ve got a subscription, you might also want to download Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video, and there’s also the likes of Sky Go, Virgin TV Anywhere, and NowTV, which offers most of Sky’s content, including the sports and movies.
Travel and weather
Feature rich and visually attractive, Citymapper offers detailed information to get you around a growing number of big city destinations, including London, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin and New York.
Street savvy urban dweller and tourist alike, the app does a great job of collating lots of information, including travel and weather news, into one app that gets you from A to B safely and efficiently.
We’d also recommend downloading a really good weather app such as Accuweather or Met Office, as you’ll find much more detailed and accurate information than that provided by Apple’s default weather app.
Read about more weather apps for your iPhone or iPad here
While Apple’s native Camera app has been significantly improved in the most recent versions of iOS, Camera+consistently sets the standard for camera apps.
Camera+ offers a range of manual shooting modes and controls to take your iPhone photography to the next level, including those for adjusting the focus, exposure, white balance and shutter speed.
You’ll also find macro-style close-ups, artistic filters and borders for extra creativity options too.
It’s Lab feature offers access to even more editing tools, including the opportunity to adjust the clarity and refine detail in your image.
Other good camera and photography apps include Snapseed and Enlight, and you’ll find even more in our best photography apps round-up.
You’ll also want to download all of your social media apps. Our picks are Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, but you might want to install messaging apps like Whatsapp too.
Take a look at our picks for the best messaging apps for iPhone for more inspiration.
Most major banks in the UK have companion apps that let you manage your finances online. We find it incredibly useful to be able to log in and move money around, pay bills and repay friends wherever we are using an online banking app. Follow the links below to find the app designed for your bank.
Barclays Mobile Banking
Lloyds Banks Mobile Banking
Royal Bank of Scotland
HSBC Mobile Banking
Halifax Mobile Banking
Santander Personal Banking
For you bargain hunters out there, we’d recommend the Voucher Codes app. There you’ll find vouchers for restaurants, shops and more so it’s always worth a check before you get the bill or reach the checkout in your favourite store.
We’ve seen it include vouchers like 25% off Dorothy Perkins, 30% off Body Shop, 25% off La Tasca, and £15 off for new Uber customers.
We love using our iPad and iPhone for gaming, too. It’s particularly great for staying entertained on the commute, for example.
Our favourites right now include brain training game Peak, Plants vs Zombies 2 and puzzler Rop.
Let’s not forget the all-conquering Mario though – Super Mario Run is only £7.99 and is a full game with no in-app purchases necessary. Here’s our review.
If you want more gaming inspiration, check out our round-ups of the best iPad & iPhone games, best free iPad games, and best free iPhone games.
What are your favourite essential iOS apps? Let us know in the comments section below.