In order, as they appear on my home screen:
Vesper – $2.99
I don’t take a lot of notes, but I love Vesper. Any app that has Typographic controls catches my attention, and Vesper has some of the best settings section I’ve seen. While this app came out June 2013, I only started using it in 2014. If you write on your phone, I highly suggest Vesper. This app combines great design and functionality. You can tell the team at Q Branch spent a lot of time testing this notes app.
Tile – Free, but need to buy the trackers
If I can pay for piece of mind, I will. Tile lets me put a tracker on anything and find it with my iPhone over Bluetooth. The little tile device will play a tune to help you find it. The app is simple and I haven’t lost my keys since. It’s a great conversation starter, too.
1Password – Free
During the Heartbleed panic I decided to get very serious about my password security. I’ve used 1Password for a while, but this app really helped me track down security issues with my own passwords, like reused or overly simple phrases, and change them. The reason this app is on my list for 2014 is the addition of TouchID for apps. As soon as Apple announced this feature, I, and lots of other people thought of the potential for 1Password. As soon as I got my iPhone 6[footnote]I upgraded from a iPhone 4s, so TouchID was new to me.[/footnote] I loved how simply TouchID worked and how well 1Password handled the feature. I recommend the Mac app as well.
Paper – Free
If you still have a Facebook account, this is the best app to use. It’s an official app from Facebook and it looks wonderful. It’s mostly gesture based navigation is intuitive and snappy.
Overcast – Free, recommend the in-app purchase
I listen to podcasts all the time. This is by far the best app, and I’ve tested nearly all the podcast players for iOS. The $4.99 in-app purchase to unlock Smart Speed and Voice Boost[footnote]Smart Speed speeds up silence and Voice Boost acts like a dynamic compressor and equalizer to make voices sound louder which is especially helpful while listening in the car[/footnote] are well worth it. So far, the app has saved me 14 hours of playback time, and I don’t use the overall speed setting.
Forecast.io – Free Web app
This is a web app, but it’s a great one. I have a few weather apps, but over half of the time I check this one. It has a lot of information, the layout is simple, and it is stunningly accurate. There are plenty of times where I’ve forgotten this is a web app. It’s made by the same group as Dark Sky.
SKRWT – $1.99
I love taking photos of architecture, but this app is a useful tool for any photography type. SKRWT helps you keep straight lines straight without introducing needless features into the app. If you have a GoPro, this will help remove the fisheye distortion from those photos, too.
Space Age – $1.99
I didn’t think I’d like this game at first, but I’m glad I gave it a shot. Space Age balances story, action, and puzzles very well. The soundtrack is great, too.
What a great year for iPhone apps.