Apple recently gave out its 2021 App Store Awards, which its App Store's editorial team gives out to apps that deliver "exceptional quality, innovative technology, creative design, and positive cultural impact." Admittedly, it hands out a lot of these awards across its big five devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV) and there are different winners for apps and games, as well as those that are free and paid for. The winners of best "free iPhone apps" is admittedly a bit boring (populated by the likes of TikTok, YouTube and Instagram), while the paid iPhone apps hold a little more intrigue. They're more niche and, well, they're good enough that a helluva lot of people are spending their hard-earned dough on.
Procreate Pocket is digital art app that gives artists and illustrators (both professionals or enthusiasts alike) access to copious tools and brushes to match their painting or drawing style, as well as high-res canvases. Available for iPhone and iPad.
HotSchedules is a scheduling app for the hospitality industry (like hotels and restaurants) that gives employees a seamless and streamlined way of communicating with each other, as well as lets bosses manage peoples' hours, breaks and time off.
The Wonder Weeks is a baby-monitoring app that helps new parents keep track of their baby's various developments and milestones, give them insights and explainers, and even teach them new tips and tricks. There are also features like audiobook and music to help the baby sleep.
TouchRetouch is a photo-editing app that allows smartphone photographer to quickly and easily remove unwanted objects (including photobombing people) from photos. It also allows you to remove "blemishes" like freckles, pimples or scars from your face.
Facetune is a photo-editing app that's specifically designed to make you (or anybody in the photo) to look more beautiful. You can do things like erase wrinkles, sharpen your chin, whiten your teeth or color your hair. It's basically Photoshop but for selfies.
Shadowrocket is an advanced proxy client utility for iPhone and iPad. If you're the kind of person who needs it, then you'll know what that means.
75 Hard isn't your average fitness app — it's more intense. It's designed for people who want to transform their lifestyle and their bodies in just 75 days. The app puts you on a serious fitness regime, as well as provides tools to help encourage you, keep you updated on your progress, and document your fitness journey.
Dark Sky is the beautiful and beloved weather app that gives you an incredibly detailed forecast. It provides you with detailed graphs and charts to show things like precipitation, humidity, wind speed, and even the UV index. It also lets you create custom alerts, and there's a social aspect as people can self-report the weather for more realtime information.
AutoSleep is one of the most popular sleep-tracking apps out there because it's automatic and incredibly detailed. It also integrates well with the Health app and even uses the familiar "rings" system to show metrics like sleep duration and sleep quality.
SkyView is a fun app for stargazers and budding astronomers. It's easy interphase and advanced augmented reality capabilities help you locate and identify things like stars, constellations, planets, distant galaxies and other celestial objects. It can be used day or night.