Last Friday, I preordered the iPhone 13 mini. This was because I have absolutely no interest in the Pro models anymore.
Their lofty price, lack of any meaningful differentiating features, and a design that is nigh-on identical to that of my current iPhone 12 Pro left me wanting more.
Or less, as it turns out.
The other reason I’ve opted for a smaller iPhone is that my usage doesn’t really demand a screen much bigger than the 5.4 inches offered by the mini.
That got me thinking: what apps do I actually use every day on my iPhone?
As it turns out, there are exactly ten, which makes for a lovely listicle article.
Thanks to my sieve-like memory, I need a brilliant to-do list app, and that’s exactly what I get from Things.
I was an Omnifocus user for many years, but always knew I was only scratching the surface of precisely 3.4% of its capabilities. So, after a bit of deliberation, I decided to head back to an old flame: Things.
On the iPhone, I use Things to check the current day’s tasks each morning and occasionally add new to-do items. Simple.
There’s nothing wrong with the built-in calendar app on the iPhone.
It just isn’t Fantastical.
I’ve not experimented with many others, to be fair, but that’s because Fantastical is so damn good; it keeps you hooked. Simple event entry, a considerately designed interface for quickly glancing at what’s coming up, and a genuinely useful widget complete the package.
I love Medium. You may even be reading this article on that very platform.
I use the Medium app on the iPhone for two things – checking my stats and occasionally reading articles.
It’s not perfect (the community management is inherently broken and certain features are unfathomably reserved for the web app), but my stat addiction ensures I constantly open the Medium app throughout the day.
4. YouTube Studio
I run a YouTube channel. I check my stats regularly. Any YouTuber who suggests they don’t do this is probably telling porkies.
This is why the YouTube Studio app is easily the most used app on my iPhone. It’s also the most common tool I rely on for replying to comments.
I’m a bit picky about which email client I use. And I’ve tried loads.
However, I always come back to Spark. For my admittedly dreadful approach to email, it works wonders; I can’t find anything that comes remotely close.
Spark is actually at its best on the iPhone. As good as the desktop client is, the iPhone version makes email triage a complete piece of cake.
I rarely use it to compose or reply to emails, but if I have to, it’s just as capable of helping me bash through a busy inbox.
I listen to a lot of podcasts, and I’ve hopped back and forth between Overcast and Apple’s own Podcasts app.
The latter is dreadful and seems to get worse with every new version of iOS. I stuck with it for as long as I could (and no, I have no idea why, either), but recently returned to the brilliant Overcast for my podcast listening needs.
If you’re fed up with the Apple Podcasts app and want to support a brilliant independent developer, go grab Overcast. Trust me.
I debated whether to include WhatsApp on this list, but it is an app I use constantly each day.
Most of my friends and family members rely solely on WhatsApp for communication. Therefore, I have no choice – as much as I’d rather use iMessage.
8. Apple Music and Spotify
Yes, I’m conscious that having more than one music streaming service is probably overkill.
Spotify remains king of the playlist, as far as I’m concerned; I always turn to it when I simply want a large collection of themed tracks to soundtrack my runs or writing sessions.
Apple Music is now my go-to source of high-res music, thanks to the recent update. It’s also a window into the world of Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos – something I still need convincing is right for music.
This year, I created a Discord server. I wanted to build a little community of like-minded nerds who enjoyed talking about tech.
It has grown into something I’m massively proud of, and for which I simply cannot take all of the credit. The members themselves have turned it into the community I had envisaged, and I’m still blown away by how busy it is each day – I can’t keep up with it! Friendships have been formed, tech conundrums have been solved, and the Eight or Sixteen podcast found its co-host.
It’s therefore no wonder that Discord is one of the most-used apps on my iPhone.
If you want to join us on Discord, it is now part of my Patreon membership.
What would I do without Notion? It single-handedly runs my business and I genuinely couldn’t operate without it.
I’ve been surprised by how comprehensively I use the iPhone version of Notion. It’s not the best app in the world by any stretch of the imagination and feels a little cumbersome on my 12 Pro (that doesn’t bode well for the mini, I know), but it enables me to check my upcoming blogging and video schedule, add new ideas, tweak existing ideas, and quickly find older pieces of content or details about review units.
You can’t really place Notion within a specific app category – it can be so many things. Go check it out if you fancy tinkering with an approachable database-driven life and business management app.
What are your most-used iPhone apps?
Will the iPhone 13 mini change the apps I rely on daily? Will that screen turn out to be too small for specific tasks? Stay tuned.
More importantly – do we share a similar list? Or have you got a bunch of apps you think I’m missing out on?
Get involved in the comments!