When you are using an iPhone as your daily driver, there are plenty of free and premium apps to choose from the App Store. However, from an end-user perspective, it is difficult and time-consuming to find the best apps that suit your needs, considering that the App Store has thousands of apps that offer the same feature and functionality.
It’s our job to help you try out new apps on your iPhone, and we do it every month. This list of top 5 best iOS apps for July 2020 consists of apps that can improve your photography skills, secure your privacy, and boost your mobile productivity on the go.
1. Spectre Camera
Spectre Camera is a camera app developed by Lux Optics LLC. Its goal is to take computational photo processing on another level. With Spectre Camera, you can take long exposure photos on the go, with stunning results in different scenarios.
Spectre Camera utilizes Apple’s Core ML API to stitch and process dozens of photos in real-time. The powerful system-on-chip on the newer iPhone helps the process. In addition, the app uses Apple’s in-house Metal graphics acceleration technology for the rendering process.
When you tap the shutter button in Spectre Camera, it takes hundreds of photos in different exposures and stitches them into a composite photo. With the use of AI and deep learning, the camera app also provides digital image stabilization to eliminate unsteady hand movements.
With Spectre Camera’s ability to take long exposure photos, you can erase the crowds from tourist locations, capture traffic light trails at night, and blur the waterfalls, fountains, and the ocean waves like a memory. A tripod is recommended for the best quality possible.
Spectre Camera also uses the DCI-P3 color gamut for the images you capture so that you get the best out of your iPhone’s camera module. You can also enable Automatic Scene Detection for the best results. You can even capture live photos with Spectre Camera, with the same long-exposure effects you get with still images. The app allows users to set captured live photos as wallpapers.
The minimal and dark user interface of the camera app is quite intuitive to use, and the adjustment sliders are also a delight to work with. You can also add various Siri shortcuts for the app. Spectre Camera also supports a vast range of iPhone models, starting from the iPhone 6 to the latest 2nd-gen iPhone SE. It’s worth mentioning that the app captures photos in a lower resolution on older models to compensate for a smooth experience.
2. Dashlane – Password Manager
Dashlane is a secure password manager that helps you manage hundreds of your account credentials and payment details on your iPhone and other devices.
You can practically store an unlimited amount of usernames and passwords from different accounts and access them anytime you want. Dashlane automatically syncs your data to its encrypted servers, which means you can access your data on other devices that are logged in to Dashlane. Users can even generate secure passwords for their new accounts with Dashlane’s password generator.
One of the best things about Dashlane is the auto-fill feature, which fills up the log-in fields with the correct username and password in every app and website you visit. Biometric authentication is also available, and you can use either Touch ID or Face ID to log in. Along with passwords, Dashlane can even fill up required fields with your credit card details, addresses, and more with one tap.
Dashlane itself uses 2FA (2-factor authentication) to keep your passwords and credit card safe, as well as military-level, patented encryption methods to protect your sensitive information from the prying eyes. In case any of your accounts are compromised, Dashlane alerts you to change your password immediately. The app even has a VPN built-in so that you can browse the web anonymously and go through secure transactions.
Dashlane doesn’t have access to any of your data, and it has received commendations from top-level security firms. Users also get the option to securely export their data anytime they want. The password manager is built to keep your privacy in check, and it is used by over 14 million users worldwide.
Dashlane does have a yearly subscription model, which ranges from Premium ($59.99) to Premium Plus ($119.99). It is a small price to pay for Dashlane’s vast list of privacy tools for your iPhone, as well as other devices. You can download Dashlane from the App Store and use it for free as well, albeit with limited access to Dashlane’s features. Your first month starts with a free trial of Dashlane’s Premium subscription, and won’t have to add your credit card for it.
3. Spark – Email App by Readdle
Spark is the best cross-platform email client for your iOS device. You can not only configure the email app to your preference but also manage multiple personal and enterprise email accounts with ease.
Spark has a smart inbox feature that lets you clean up junk mails and leave the important ones quickly and efficiently. Emails that you receive are also smartly organized into different categories. In an office environment, you can also collaborate with your colleagues to compose professional emails in real-time. The inbox uses a threaded design, making it much simpler for users to check relevant emails.
Spark gives users the option to schedule emails for individual recipients, even when you are offline. In case you want to notified about an important mail later, you can choose to snooze it from your inbox. To search for a mail, you can even type a specific keyword in the search option. Spark will find it instantly and show it to you. Spark does have a calendar, which you can use to create events and send invites over email, as well as manage your schedule.
With Spark’s “Smart Notifications,” you can prioritize email notifications as per your preference, and disable alerts for unimportant emails. The email client even has Dropbox, iCloud, and Google Drive integration so that you can sync your configuration across other compatible devices.
With Spark, you can create secure links to the emails you receive, and share it on remote communication platforms with your teams to collaborate around it. It does also have a “Quick Replies” feature, which intelligently suggests the appropriate words and phrases when you compose an email.
If you have an Apple Watch, you can check your inbox on your wrist, as well as reply, snooze, archive, and delete emails directly from the Spark app on your Apple Watch. Spark is also available for iPad and Mac devices, and it does support cross-platform synchronization.
While Spark is a free email client, you can also choose to pay $7.99/month for the Premium subscription for more file storage, unlimited email templates, removing the limit on delegation and collaborators for shared drafts, plus team roles and administrative controls.
4. Dark Sky Weather
Dark Sky Weather is the #1 weather app in the App Store for iOS devices. With Dark Sky, you get access to your hyperlocal weather forecasts, with accurate minute-by-minute coverage for your current location.
Unlike the disjointed radar animation on other weather apps, Dark Sky offers a smooth and visually pleasing radar animation in several different weather variables. During stormy weather, the app can show you the actual path of the storm, with a timeline to check the past movements and future predictions.
Dark Sky can also notify you about severe weather conditions, such as thunderstorms, floods, cyclones, and hurricanes. You can also schedule custom notifications for temperature, wind, and precipitation in intervals. Furthermore, you can add a Dark Sky widget to your Notification Center to keep yourself updated with hourly and weekly weather updates so that you won’t even have to open the Dark Sky Weather app for a while. From the app, you can also check detailed statistics of historical weather data on-demand, as well as weather predictions based on seasonal weather information in your area.
Dark Sky Weather isn’t a free app by any means. It has been recently acquired by Apple and is sold for $3.99 in the App Store. However, you can now add a medium or large-sized Dark Sky weather widget on your home screen with the iOS 14 update, which is quite convenient.
5. Microsoft Office Lens
Microsoft Office Lens lets you take a picture of documents and whiteboards and turn it into a digital copy. Using AI and software trickery, the app trims unnecessary parts from a picture, removes glares and shadows, then enhances the clarity of the end result for a usable copy of the document or whiteboard. You can also create digital versions of business cards and posters with the app.
Microsoft Office Lens also uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to turn handwritten texts into printed ones in a document. You can even use the search option to search for a specific copy just by typing a keyword.
You can instantly share the digital copies over OneNote, OneDrive, and additional options from the app, as well as extract contact information from a particular document and save it to your contacts list. With the app, you can even convert images to .pdf, .docx, and .pptx editable file extensions.
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