Another year has past and Apple’s App Store has brought a slew of exeptional apps along with it. In fact, 2014 was a year of maturity for iOS. We saw the introduction of widgets, extensions, and custom keyboards on the iPhone and iPad. Here are our favorite apps that were released in 2014. Take a look and let us know your favorites in the comments below. Missed our picks from last year? No problem, check out our list of the Best iPhone and iPad Apps of 2013. Additionally, you can browse our collection of the all-time Best Apps for iPhone and iPad.
Workflow is an amazing app that will thrill anyone who loves automation. Imagine automatically calling a friend just by tapping an icon on your home screen. How about instantly creating an animated GIF from some photos on your phone? Then there is the ability to compose one email to a bunch of friends with each receiving a personally addressed greeting. Or how would you like to choose anyone’s address in your phonebook and immediately see a Google Street View image of their house? All of this is possible with Workflow. But thats just scratching the surface of what you can do with this app. There are tons of pre-built workflows to use and the app lets you build your own automation creations through a beautiful mix-and-match interface. So Workflow will be a different app to everyone, based on what you want to use it for. Check out more of the Best Productivity Apps.
Scanbot [Video Review]
Scanbot is the new kid on the scanner block. Like Scanner Pro, it can automatically upload to a host of web services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and others. But where Scanbot shines is in its uncluttered design. The developers focused on simplicity and it shows. Just fire up Scanbot, point it at the document you want to scan, and it will automatically find the paper edges, crop, and scan it. It will even correct a distorted perspective. Scanbot will also make scans of papers you’ve taken pictures of in the past too. Once a PDF is created you can share it with contacts, add notes, and add signatures. Now with optical character recognition (OCR), Scanbot is has quickly become our favorite scanner app. Check out more of the Best Scanner Apps.
Have you ever wanted access to more than your last copied item? Clips saves a history of your copied items for easy access from the Notification Center widget. So you can go back and re-paste items you copied earlier in the day. Check out more of the Best Widget Apps.
Yahoo News Digest
Yahoo News Digest is a super cool way to get two small doses of news every day. If you’re not into the news or at least not consuming it regularly, this might be the solution for you. Every day, Yahoo will send you a push notification in the morning and one in the evening. The app then elegantly shows you only the main headlines along with a brief summary of whats going on. Its a great way to quickly get caught up with the world. Check out more of the Best News Apps.
Since the rise of Twitter and the, likely related, death of Google Reader we haven’t been too much into RSS feeds. But if you still follow website by subscribing to their RSS feeds, Unread is the coolest app to feed your need. Its a stylishly minimalist app that presents only the news you want when you want it. So if you haven’t moved on to a newer way of reading the news, give Unread a try. Check out more of the Best News Apps.
JW Language [Video Review]
More than just a tool to memorize phrases, JW Language is built to enhance our preaching and teaching skills in a foreign language. It does so through a wonderful audio/visual environment focused on bringing praise to Jehovah. Check out more of the Best Apps for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Desktop-class photo editing finally comes to the iPad and at a low price! Pixelmator has been renouned for years as a premium Mac photo editor. Now the developers have brought it to the iPad with, what could be called, an even friendlier interface. Open up any of your photos and Pixelmator will let you edit, retouch, and even add layers to them. Its an amazing experience to use Pixelmator on the iPad. One that professionals and casual photogs will love. Check out more of the Best Photography Apps.
Drafts is a sweet app for writers and anyone else who wants to quickly create notes and then get on with life. Launching the apps quickly brings up a blank screen ready for your text input. Jot a note and exit. Drafts will automatically save your text without you having to worry about it. Another great feature is that Drafts can be set to open your text in other apps or web pages. For instance, type in a note and send it to Facebook, Twitter, or Evernote. Create events with your notes in Fantastical or Calendars. Search Google Maps, Amazon, Wikipedia. With these features the possibilities are endless. Think of Drafts as everything from a quick notepad to an app launcher. Check out all that Drafts is capable of in its Action Directory. Check out more of the Best Notes Apps.
Overcast [Video Review]
There is one big reason Overcast matters among podcast apps. It is a free and enormously better alternative to Apple’s podcast app. That means that casual podcast listeners can finally get a beautifully designed, functional app with no initial cost of entry. That being said, Overcast does offer some sweet advanced features like Smart Speed and Voice Boost via in-app-purchase for those wishing to expand the app’s functionality. Check out more of the Best Podcast Apps.
Omnifocus 2 for iPad
Omnifocus has been the premier GTD (get things done) app for years. 2014 saw its complete redesign on the iPad. Sporting the ability to sort your tasks into projects, Omnifocus 2 cleverly sorts your planned week of activity with it’s Forcast view. You can forward your email to Omnifocus 2 and have it automatically generate new tasks. Sync all of them with your iPhone and Mac wirelessly using the Omni Sync server. And the app has a nice Today View widget to easily access and check off items as you complete them. Check out more of the Best Productivity Apps.
Photomath generated a bit of controversy when it was released this year. Thats because the app will solve any math equation you take a picture of. Not only that, Photomath will show you all the steps it took to reach the solution. But rather than being an app to cheat on exams, it is a wonderful tool for anyone looking to learn how to solve complex equations. Just another example of how smart the iPhone is. Check out more of the Best Productivity Apps.
Carousel by Dropbox
Dropbox got the online storage ball rolling back in 2008. Recently though, the cloud wars have shifted to photos. As in, which service provides the best way to backup and grant access to all your photos quickly and easily. The Dropbox app has offered automatic uploading of your iPhone photos and videos for some time now. But there was never a good way to browse them until Dropbox released Carousel. If you have a Dropbox account, Carousel will upload all your photos and videos in the background without you having to worry about it. It will even offer to delete these photos from your device once they’re safely backed up. This will help free up a lot of your precious local storage. Once uploaded, Carousel displays your photos in a beautiful arrangement. You can scrub through your timeline to find a particular memory. Or rely on the Flashback feature to pick a memory for you. If you’re a heavy Dropbox user and have enough storage in your plan, I think you’ll love Carousel. Check out more of the Best Photo Storage Apps.
That’s it for 2014! Did we miss any apps that you’ve found particularly useful during the year? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.