Got an iPad, iPhone, or Apple Watch for the Holidays? Here are my top picks for apps you need.

Image: Apple

Picture this: The holidays have come to a close, and you received that Apple device you wished for, but, you don’t know what apps to download. No need to fear, for I have created a list of my favorite apps for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch so that you can get to downloading them.

1. Procreate — Procreate: $9.99, Procreate Pocket for iPhone: $4.99

procreate-iphone
Image: Procreate, Procreate Pocket on iPhone.

For me, the most powerful creative tool on the App Store is Procreate. Developed by Savage Interactive, Procreate is the most powerful sketching, painting and illustration app ever designed for iOS, built from the ground up for creative professionals.

According to Savage Interactive, “Procreate is a multi-award winning creative app designed to free creative professionals from their desk. Create beautiful sketches, inspiring paintings, and stunning illustrations wherever you are.

kyle-interview-procreate
Image: iMore, Serenity Caldwell.

There are two versions of Procreate: Procreate is designed for iPad users and works with your finger or Apple Pencil (Generation 1 & 2) with the iPad 6th generation, or iPad Pro, and Requires iOS 11.1 or later.

Another option is Procreate Pocket for iPhone. Procreate Pocket brings the power of Procreate on iPad in the palm of your hand. “Create anything you can imagine with the most powerful painting software on iPhone, incredible 64-bit color, massive canvas resolutions, an advanced layer system, and beautiful cinema-quality effects.

According to Procreate, “Procreate Pocket is packed with a studio’s worth of features. There’s advanced selections, powerful transform options, customisable perspective guides, and stunning filters and adjustments, all in the palm of your hand. New Interface Procreate Pocket’s interface has been carefully designed specifically to be easy to use, whether you’re sitting on your couch, at a café, or passing time on the train. Intuitive toolbars stay out of your way, and leave the focus where it should be: on your creations.

You can buy Procreate Pocket here, or Procreate here.

2. Fresh Air – Hyperlocal Weather & NOAA Radar Map — Free, Premium: $2.99

lifestyle-watch-and-phone
Image: Fresh Air, Backcountry Studios LLC.

I will admit, I am a sucker for good design. I would much rather choose something that looks visually appealing than something with a ton of other features. But, in reality, do you really need all those features other weather apps have?

I stumbled upon the app called “Fresh Air—Hyperlocal Weather & NOAA Radar Map” when I was looking at weather apps for my iPad. If you don’t know, Apple does not offer their weather app on the iPad, only for iPhone and Apple Watch, so, you are left with deciding over a number of apps in the app store.

Immediately, I was blown away by how visually stunning the app is, and how the app displays all the necessary information in a minimalistic way.

The app is free to download and is offered on iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch. For iPad, this is a great weather app to have, and on iPhone, it’s a great alternative to the stock weather app.

The app does have Ads if you stick with the free version. You can purchase the Premium version via In-App Purchases for a one-time fee of $2.99.

Fresh Air was named “Top 15 designed apps of the year” by Venture Beat, and “few weather apps are as nicely designed and useful as Fresh Air,” by Gizmodo.

You can buy Fresh Air here.

3. LastPass — Free, Premium: $2.00 per month, $24.00 per year.

Sync-for-free-post
Image: LastPass

We have all been there, we can’t remember what password we used, or which of the dozens of inboxes we have were used. Well, that’s about to change.

Gone are the days of trying to remember passwords or writing them down in a journal to end up losing it. Honestly, most people carry an iPhone or Apple Watch with them every day, so why not store your passwords safely, securely, and within reach at all times?

LastPass simplifies your online life by remembering your passwords for you. With LastPass to manage your logins, it’s easy to have a strong, unique password for every online account and improve your online security, the company says.

LastPass uses strong encryption standards like AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256 and salted hashes, to keep your private information safe. You’ll create an account with an email address and a strong master password to locally-generate a unique encryption key. Furthermore, your data is encrypted and decrypted at the device level, not in the cloud.

For devices, you can add two-factor authentication for increased security, and for iOS device users, Touch ID or Face ID for secure access to your passwords anywhere.

Also, new in iOS 12, LastPass can now autofill usernames and passwords within iOS apps. So you don’t have to exit an app and open LastPass, it will automatically know you’re entering a password and give you access to the vault.

LastPass is free for all users, but, they offer a $2 per month single plan, $4 per month family plan for up to 6 users, and enterprise options. You can view them here.

4. Darkroom – Photo Editor — Free, Pro: $9.99

Responsive-Layouts.jpg
Image: Darkroom

Darkroom is an excellent mobile photo editor for iPhone and most recently iPad. It offers full RAW support, Depth Editing, and full control over Brightness, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Saturation, Vibrance, Fade, Vignette, Sharpness, and Split Tones.

Being that I am a photographer and am usually on the go, I always carry both my iPad and iPhone in my bag, so Darkroom enables me to have a full suite of powerful tools to edit my photos from anywhere.

Earlier this month, Darkroom added support for iPad. Here’s the official press release, “The new iPad interface is designed to take full advantage of the bigger screen real estate and be a first-class citizen on the new platform. With support for multi-tasking and keyboard shortcuts, Darkroom now sports a desktop-grade photo editing experience, in the same mobile-friendly, easy-to-use package you’re familiar with.

Darkroom is free to download, but, you can purchase a Pro version through in-app purchases with Curves and Color tools, Premium Filters, and unlocks the full power of Darkroom. The full Pro package is $9.99.

You can get Darkroom here.

5. Unsplash — Free

Unsplash_iOS
Image: Unsplash

Who doesn’t love great, free, photos to use as wallpapers? Honestly, I spend more time changing the wallpaper on my devices than I do in any app.

Unsplash is a Montreal-based photography sharing platform fueled by a community that has generously gifted hundreds of thousands of their own photos.

What originally started as a Tumblr blog with 10 high-resolution photos in 2013, has quickly grown to over 90,000+ photographers and creators around the globe, over 6 billion image requests per month, millions of users per month, and 550,000+ photos shared so far.

In April of this year, Unsplash debuted their official iOS app to the world. With the largest library of freely usable, high-resolution photos anyone can use for anything, right are your fingertips.

We have used many photos from Unsplash in our articles, and many photographs from Unsplash have even made it to Apple Keynotes. It’s a no-brainer that I love this app, and I love downloading new wallpapers.

You can download Unsplash here.

Conclusion

2018 has been quite the year. Thank you to all of you who have read our articles, visited our website, or followed us on our social accounts this past year. We are grateful to have you be part of who we are. We have a lot in store for 2019, and we can’t wait to show you. Stay in touch by joining our Telegram group here.

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Published by

Sid Ramirez

I usually write stuff, mostly Apple. Photographer, film major, environmentalist, techie.

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