As millions of people get their hands on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on Friday, many will no doubt be looking for new apps that take advantage of the new phones’ capabilities.
Chief among them is a bigger screen. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch display, while the 6 Plus checks in at a whopping 5.5 inches.
But they’ll also have better graphics and faster processors, as well as features that give app developers freedoms they’ve never had before.
For the first time, Apple is letting developers create widgets, mini-programs that are often designed to be quick and easy to use. They can tinker with the iPhone’s keyboard for the first time as well, giving iOS users access to some apps that Android users have enjoyed for the past couple of years.
Apple’s iPhone 6 goes on sale, and the lines are insane
A slate of those keyboard tools are ready to go now. But the front-runners in categories from productivity tools to photography tools to games are also raring to go.
Here’s a look at some must-have apps for the new phones.
#1 – Vainglory
While initally only for iPad, Vainglory, with its massively multiplayer gameplay designed specifically for touchscreens, will be a natural on the sizable iPhone 6 Plus when it rolls out. In fact, Apple used the forthcoming game to demo the iPhone 6’s graphical capabilities at the rollout earlier this month. It will begin its rollout in October in southeast Asia, New Zealand and Australia and is expected to be available globally by December.
#2 – Snapseed
The iPhone 6’s 8-megapixel camera doesn’t have the big numbers of some of its competitors, but it’s getting high marks from early reviewers for new features like faster auto-focus and the ability to take high-resolution panorama shots. Snapseed is a great photo editing tool. It has all the fun Instagram-style features like funky filters and frames, but combines them with an extensive, easy-to-use set of tools for brightness, sharpness, cropping and other editing.
#3 – Kindle
OK, odds are you’ve already got the Kindle app for your phone and tablet book-reading. But Amazon has jumped on the iOS 8 bandwagon quickly with a list of new features. The Kindle Today widget lets you keep up to three books front-and-center for easy reading. They also added the ability to copy and paste text from books you’re reading and a quick translation app.
#4 – Swype
For the first time, Apple is allowing apps that retool the keyboard on the iPhone, and there are several good ones to choose from. Among other customization tools, Swype is best known for letting users drag their finger from letter to letter to type instead of hunting and pecking, and it’s been a big hit among Android users. Apps like Fleksy and Swiftkey also are worth a look — all three are either free or offer free trial periods.
#5 – Asphalt 8: Airborne
While you’re waiting for Vainglory, you can get your gaming fix with the latest version of what’s widely considered among the best mobile driving games around. Developers have already optimized “Asphalt 8” for iOS 8 (appropriately enough), taking advantage of the new phones’ added graphics and processing power. It’s mighty pretty and is going to look great on the bigger phones.
#6 – 1Password
It’s getting harder and harder to keep up with all our passwords, not to mention to ignore news about big data breaches by hackers. 1Password tries to help by creating really tricky passwords for your various accounts, then letting you access them with one, presumably simpler one, via the app. It’s already been updated for the new iOS 8 operating system, including integration with Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint security. The basic version is also free now.
Are there other apps you’re excited about, or already enjoying?