January 16, 2013 / IST / Tech News.

If you are an iPhone owner or someone looking to join the part, there are a few things you need to do before you can really start getting the best out of your iPhone. Apple fan boys and gals call these the fundamentals.

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iPhones revolve around three basic things for ultimate enjoyment and these are accessories, games and apps. In this article we’ll be covering the last ones since iPhone apps are always in high demand and there are so many to choose from. The last thing you ant to do is get bogged down selecting an app. To that end let’s explore the 10 best iPhone apps you can download for 2013. Did I mention that they are all free? Without further stalling, then, here are the 10 most important apps you’ll need to create the perfect iPhone experience. And do note that it doesn’t matter if you are on the latest iPhone or the older versions; so long as you are running iOS 6 you should be fine.

1. Maps (from Google)

Maps is perhaps the most important app you can download for your iPhone but make sure you get the Google variety. Apple made a big mistake when it ditched Google Maps for iOS at the release of iOS 6. This caused some anxiety among users but thankfully (after about 3 months) Google came to the rescue and released its own native maps app for iOS. With Google Maps you get all the benefits of finding your local restaurant or bar quickly; you also get driving directions and some of the best location data on the planet. And of course you get all of this at the super best price of FREE. And when you download Maps you become a big part of a growing crowd of 32 million users.

2. Facebook

Facebook and the iPhone are run by two different companies but really they should be under one roof. The world’s most sought after smartphone isn’t complete without an app for the world’s largest social network and so shortly after you load up Maps, next on your download list should be Facebook for iOS. With this app you get to do all the great things that Facebook for desktop offers and you are able to update your status, check-in, message friends, post pictures and videos—even poke people. Facebook for iOS is a must-have if Facebooking is important to you. The app like everything on this must-read list is free and you’ll join a staggering 28 million people in using Facebook for iOS. Enough said.

3. Youtube

Videos, videos, videos—what would your iPhone be without the fastest growing media consumption type right now? Simply put if you are on the go, you’ll need to consume media that is rich and dynamic and no other platform provides video content like Youtube. This is the second offering we are covering from Google of course, but the good thing about getting the Youtube app is that you can rely on it working. Rather seamlessly too. Youtube for iOS allows you to watch and upload videos on the world’s largest video sharing website.

4. Weather

Will be sunny, partly cloudy or rainy for the day? It helps to have this information before you set out into the world each day. Thankfully the weather app provides all that information and more. Never leave home without an umbrella again; the weather app will clue you up on what is going on locally. You can even see how your dad is doing whilst he’s on his little trip to Peru. The weather app is an iPhone must-have.

5. Twitter

Twitter like Facebook is a big part of every social networker’s toolkit and the native micro-blogging app for iOS is must-have for any serious iPhone owner. With the Twitter app you can send tweets, retweet your favorite updates from people you follow as well as follow and unfollow people. You basically get to do all the things you do when logged into Twitter via your laptop or desktop computer. Twitter is light on resources and as social networking platforms go, Twitter you could say is the first truly ‘mobile’ social networking app.

6. Pandora Radio

Online radio is hip again and there are several competing services that all want your attention. Pandora Radio is the best of the lot and its native iPhone app offers all the joys of listening to your favorite online radio station. There are premium and free channels of course but the app comes loaded with some of the best stations you can find without paying out of pocket. Spotify is also another choice but it is more for general music consumption rather than radio streaming—and its dear!

7. Instagram

If you are on the go then you’ll probably want to take a few snaps of as you go through the day. The iPhone as you may already know takes stunning photos; but sharing those photos in a seamless and functional way requires a dedicated app. Enter Instagram, the photo sharing app which too the iPhone by storm. The photo sharing app allows for tagging, sharing across multiple social networks and you can edit each snap with some rather cool effects. More than 100 million people use it so you’ll be in good company.

8. Dropbox

If you are like most iPhone users, your smartphone is used for all its ‘smart’ capabilities, many of which involve work. Where there’s modern work there are files and nothing gives you the flexibility of accessing your files on the go like Dropbox. The cloud storage service offers 2 GB of free storage which is enough to keep your important PDFs and Word documents for perusal when you are sat on the train on your way into work. The Dropbox app for iPhone gives you both syncing access and cloud access, so you need not worry too much about the built-in storage space on your iPhone. There are other alternatives of course, most notably Google drive which offers a massive 5 GB of free storage before the charges kick in. Dropbox is our recommendation because it talks to a lot more devices and platform than Google Drive and with its incentive program you can earn up to 20 GB of free storage by just referring friends.

9. Pulse

RSS used to be that really cool way of keeping up with the latest news headlines and musings from your favourite blogger. Unfortunately keeping up with RSS on the go hasn’t been as glamorous which is why Pulse was created. The really nifty app gives you all the updates you need from your favourite RSS feeds but instead of providing reams and reams of text, you can see all your updates in a cool pictorial layout.

10. Skype

Skype has become the number one VOIP provider for free PC to PC as well as direct-to-phone calls. On the iPhone it is your ticket to saving on talk time because the native app allows free video to video calls provided you are connected to a Wi-Fi hot spot. This isn’t too hard to find if you are roaming about a busy city like New York or London so as a download Skype is one of the most important ones you’ll make. As long as you are careful not to use the video calling feature on your data plan you should be fine.

That’s our top 10 list of best free apps for 2013 but here is a short list of apps that we felt cannot be ignored—if we could squeeze them into the top 10, we would have.

Evernote: if you regularly dream up new ideas on the go then Evernote is the app to get those thoughts out of your head and onto paper—digital paper that is. Evernote is 100% free though there is a paid upgrade needed to unlock certain features. For 99% of people though, the free Evernote does the trick wonderfully.

Wikipanion is Wikipedia on the go and my is it handy? Minimalist but with all the important titbits you need when researching something, Wikipanion is the ideal solution for keeping vast swathes of information at your fingertips.

Movies by Flixter: this app gives you a listing of movies based on your location and is very handy for choosing the next spot to watch the latest movies. Movies that pique your interest can be tagged and pinned to the top of the app for easy reference.

So, if you haven’t already downloaded these apps, head on over to the iTunes store and grab them—at least the top 10. You’ll find that your iPhone experience will be greatly enhanced by having them installed and best of all you can have all these apps without having to fork out any cash. As usual make sure that when you are downloading you are in fact downloading official apps from official developers and take care to keep your apps updated often. This will keep out glitches and any exploits that work their way into Apple’s iTunes store from time to time. Also don’t forget that some of these apps, though free, are heavily dependent on bandwidth so try at all times to use them whilst connected to Wi-Fi.

That is pretty much all you need, happy downloading.