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  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
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    Default Ten Great App Store App Alternatives to Stock iOS Apps


    It’s no doubt that Apple has put a lot of time and effort into some of the stock iOS applications; however, some third party app developers just put MORE time and effort into their applications. In this list we will go through ten great App Store applications that you can use as alternatives to your stock iOS applications. Hopefully, you'll find something new that you like!

    Fantastical Makes a Good Calendar Alternative



    The Calendar application is where we can jot down upcoming events, such as appointments or holidays, so we remember them when they come up. Apple has a Calendar application on iOS that works fine, but it just doesn’t wow us with a beautiful interface. It’s just boring. Fantastical fixes this by giving us a colorful interface and gorgeous week or month views. A lot of attention to detail was added into Fantastical, as the color-coded strips that appear on the days in week view are designed to be shorter or longer depending on the duration of the event. Fantastical is $4.99 in the App Store – you can grab it from this link.

    Just Type Makes a Good Notes Alternative



    The Notes application in iOS is good for letting us jot down lists of groceries to remember, or names of songs that we want to download later. It’s not a bad notes application, except for the fact that it’s just lacking so many features. Apple doesn’t give us very many font choices, and no matter what, Notes just looks the same. Just Type tries to make saving notes a pleasurable experience. The application comes with several different fonts, font size options, font style options, background color options, and more. The interface also looks great, as well as offering more features, so it’s a win/win. Just Type is 99 in the App Store – you can grab it from this link.

    Chrome Makes a Good Safari Alternative



    iOS comes with Safari, a mobile version of Apple’s native Web browser. We use the browser to surf the Web on the go. While it’s a good browser that keeps getting improved, it’s still a rather boring-looking Web browser. Chrome is an alternative Web browser with a different kind of user interface, fun animations, and features you would expect from Google. The Web-browsing interface is more minimalistic than Safari's, so you get to see more Web content at a glance than Safari allows in portrait mode. Chrome is free in the App Store – you can grab it from this link.

    Ecoute Makes a Good Music Alternative



    The Music application is a simple application for accessing your music library and playing your music on the go. The application itself was redesigned in iOS 6; however, it still just seems like it has room for improvement. Ecoute attempts to make a better user interface for looking through your music library. The application lets you scroll through large album covers, rather than a list of albums, which makes all the difference in album artwork recognition and visibility. The interface is also very clean, supports gestures, and works well with Podcasts. Ecoute is $2.99 in the App Store – you can grab it from this link.

    Haze Makes a Good Weather Alternative



    The Weather application shows you weather information so you can plan your day accordingly. Unfortunately, it’s such an outdated application and it doesn’t give you very detailed information. Haze is a rather new weather application with a distinct user interface that you’ll recognize from a mile away that includes support for swipe gestures. The application shows you information about the temperature, precipitation levels, sunshine hours, and more. It also comes with a lot of themes and options to configure. Haze is 99 in the App Store – you can grab it from this link.

    Sparrow Makes a Good Mail Alternative



    The Mail application is a great mobile e-mail client; however, like many other iOS applications, it just fails to wow us with an intuitive and eye-candy interface. It looks like any other boring application in iOS with the light-blue header and white space. Sparrow is an alternative e-mail client that brings a sidebar interface to your e-mail experience. Sparrow has support for contact pictures in your inbox, offers a swipe to reveal options feature, and offers an eye-candy user interface. The application does lack push notifications at this point in time, but it makes up for this in other areas. Sparrow is $2.99 in the App Store – you can grab it from this link.

    Google Maps Makes a Good Maps Alternative



    Maps was redesigned in iOS 6 without support for Google Maps, which are arguably some of the best digital navigation maps in the market. Apple’s Maps application gained an Apple-designed appearance backed by navigation from TomTom. If you want to go back to using Google’s Maps, you can grab the Google Maps application. Google Maps offers more information than Apple’s Maps do at the same level of zoom, and the maps are arguably more accurate. Google Maps includes support for turn-by-turn navigation, satellite view, street view, standard view, and traffic. Google Maps is free in the App Store – you can grab it from this link.

    Archimedes Makes a Good Calculator Alternative



    Apple’s Calculator application is a very simple application that includes basic arithmetic and scientific calculator functions. It’s perfectly useable in many environments, except that the interface is just getting old and it doesn’t support very many features. Archimedes makes up for the stock Calculator application’s shortcomings. Archimedes will actually show the math problem you input and the answer at the same time. The application also supports order of operations, includes more support for scientific functions, includes support for solving algebraic expressions, and has an equation history feature. The interface looks better too. Archimedes is $3.99 in the App Store – you can grab it from this link.

    Camera+ Makes a Good Camera Alternative



    Apple’s Camera application is well designed and perfectly useable, but it just lacks so many necessary photography features. Camera+ attempts to build off of the Apple-styled Camera interface and just adds more features to make photography better on iOS. For example, Camera+ lets you split the exposure from the focus, and choose points for each on the photograph. A zoom slider has been added so you don’t have to pinch to zoom. Camera+ even adds a timed photograph feature, a burst photograph feature, a stabilizer feature, and filters to your photography options. Camera+ is 99 in the App Store – you can grab it from this link.

    Timer Makes a Good Clock Alternative



    The stock Clock application comes with a useful timer, however it’s really lacking a good-looking and intuitive interface. Timer attempts to offer a more usable timer interface, by allowing the user to simply tap on a button with a pre-set timer duration. The application comes with many common timer durations, and even includes three buttons that the user can set custom timer durations for. In addition, the user can even start more than one timer at once. The interface's nice appearance is definitely a plus, but the user can also pick between several different themes, glyphs, and alarm sounds. Timer is free in the App Store – you can grab it from this link.
    Last edited by Anthony Bouchard; 02-22-2013 at 05:46 PM.

  2. #2
    iPhone? More like MyPhone
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    Good one but I would like to see same article on Cydia apps Top 10 I mean

  3. #3
    MMi Staff Writer Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godfred212 View Post
    Good one but I would like to see same article on Cydia apps Top 10 I mean
    Here are two recent ones like the one you requested. Already done:

    Ten Great iOS 6-Compatible Tweaks You'll Want to Try When the iOS 6 Jailbreak Debuts

    Ten Wonderful iPhone 5-Compatible Jailbreak Tweaks We Love

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    iPhoneaholic buggsy2's Avatar
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    Only google maps is worth the trouble. Camera+ doesn't offer true HDR (which makes a big improvement to pic quality) unlike other camera apps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bouchard View Post
    Here are two recent ones like the one you requested.
    Yeah but they're mostly just more eye candy enhancement. Truly useful tweaks like Clever Pin seem scarce.
    Last edited by buggsy2; 02-22-2013 at 04:53 PM.

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    MMi Staff Writer Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buggsy2 View Post
    Yeah but they're mostly just more eye candy enhancement. Truly useful tweaks like Clever Pin seem scarce.
    How so?

    In the iPhone 5 tweak article, 5/10 of the tweaks are functionality-based tweaks.

    In the iOS 6-compatible tweak article, 9/10 of the tweaks are functionality-based tweaks.

    They're mostly functionality-based tweaks, and a minority are eye-candy tweaks.

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    iPhoneaholic novadam's Avatar
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    I like calcbot for a calculator replacement.

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone
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    I don't get the whole "Boring" / Anti Apple Campaign. Your not comparing Apples to Apples (pardon the pun).
    mod edit, comments removed
    Last edited by blkcadi; 02-22-2013 at 06:34 PM.

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    My iPhone is a Part of Me thevmax's Avatar
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    RE:SPARROW "The application does lack push notifications at this point in time, but it makes up for this in other areas. "
    NOT TRUE! If you use Hotmail and need PUSH, then Sparrow is USELESS! Waste of money for me!

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    Is there a way to replace the music app icon in the app switcher next to the controls with an Ecoute one?

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone ohthatguyagain's Avatar
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    Should have had "Cydia makes a better App Store" as the first thing on the list dude.

  11. #11
    MMi Staff Writer Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohthatguyagain View Post
    Should have had "Cydia makes a better App Store" as the first thing on the list dude.
    Lol I kind of wanted to, as a joke.

    But nah, it wouldn't be relevant because Cydia isn't from the App Store.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thevmax View Post
    RE:SPARROW "The application does lack push notifications at this point in time, but it makes up for this in other areas. "
    NOT TRUE! If you use Hotmail and need PUSH, then Sparrow is USELESS! Waste of money for me!
    I find the Sparrow/Hotmail combo a little weird for another reason - there seems to be no way of permanently deleting emails from the server, but only from the local Sparrow client. Anybody find a way around this?

    Otherwise, nice list Anthony - thanks. I would also add that the Weather Channel app has much more detail than the stock Apple weather app. TWC app includes real-time and projected radar maps, which is very useful if you're planning some outdoor sport and want to know when & where to avoid the rain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thevmax View Post
    RE:SPARROW "The application does lack push notifications at this point in time, but it makes up for this in other areas. "
    NOT TRUE! If you use Hotmail and need PUSH, then Sparrow is USELESS! Waste of money for me!
    I agree. Nothing can make up for lack of push notifications for email. I'd rather the most boring app that alerts me the second I get an email than one I have to check every few minutes but looks really nice.

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    My iPhone is a Part of Me PokemonDesigner's Avatar
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    I cared for almost none of the listed apps.

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