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12 apps to make your iPhone work smarter

gadgets Updated: Mar 05, 2013 02:12 IST

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The chances are, if you’ve bought an iPhone, that you think pretty highly of Apple – or at least highly enough to opt for its iOS software over rivals Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.

With that in mind, filing lots of Apple-made apps that come preloaded on an iPhone into a junk folder and replacing them with those made by other companies may sound counterintuitive. But that’s what an increasing number of iPhone owners are doing.

Why? In some cases, the alternatives are better. For example, 10 million people downloaded the Google Maps app in the first two days after its release in December 2012, which followed earlier publicity about problems with Apple’s own Maps application.

De-Appling an iPhone isn’t just a response to big problems, however. Apple tends to release a major update of its iOS software once a year, and then minor updates throughout the year which rarely tinker with its preloaded apps.

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That annual update cycle means plenty of room for clever developers to come up with apps whose features go beyond what’s available in Apple’s software.

Apps such as Mailbox and Haze have brought slick swipe-based controls to email and weather respectively; Camera+ has features that keen photographers love; Sunrise Calendar is a cleverer take on diary management; and Opera Mini will save you lots of money on roaming data charges, for example.

People are also choosing alternatives to Apple apps because they’re using devices from other companies, and want the stuff they buy to be available on those too.

An ebook bought from iBooks store will work on iOS devices, but one bought from Kindle store will be readable on a range of devices through that firm’s apps. Buying MP3s from 7digital reduces the pain of porting music collection to non-Apple devices. Guardian News Service