To be fair and honest, there are some non-Apple iOS apps on my iPhone and iPad that replace the stock, built-in apps. Compared to Downcast or Overcast, Apple’s Podcast app on the iPhone is anemic. Ditto the Weather app.
Which apps we choose to use on our iPhones, iPads, and Macs are based on a variety of factors; money, ease of use, sync, personal preference, hatred of Apple. The last one seems to come up regularly among critical tech writers who relish throwing mud on Apple’s logo. Recently I came upon one such list of apps which the writer said we should replace Apple’s apps.
No. That’s crazy. Here’s the list. It’s lame.
Group Me – It’s group messaging for those who don’t want security. Messages does groups. So why use one that doesn’t have security? Fail.
Chrome – It’s a browser. It’s Google’s browser. It tracks you better than Apple’s browser. It’s not as fast. Why bother. Other browsers have more features than Safari, but it becomes a matter of choice. But not Google. Lame.
SAFE – F-Secure’s VPN can help safeguard your iPhone or iPad on public Wi-Fi but what iOS app does it replace? VPNs are not really free anyway. Bah humbug.
PCalc Lite – It’s free and it’s a little better than the built-in Calculator. I use PCalc and love it, but in the end it’s a calculator. It has an Apple Watch, though, so it’s a good replacement.
Quick Graph – It’s a graphing calculator. Who uses those? Ultra Nerdy Geek Alert! Again, what iOS app does it replace? Sigh.
Start – It’s an alarm, timer, and stopwatch app. The claim to fame here is that it can also be used to open various iOS apps– Facebook, Fantastical, Instagram, Music, Pandora, Path, Reeder, Rdio, Safari, Sparrow, Spotify and Tweetbot. OK, if you must.
Alarm Clock – Plenty of cool little features including built-in weather and music. I can’t bring myself to use my iPhone as an alarm clock. YMMV.
Fantastical – Obviously, it doesn’t replace Calendar on iPhone or iPad, but if you’re bored with Calendar’s vanilla look and feel, Fantastical is fantastic but it doesn’t really do anything different and it comes with a price tag.
Things – iOS Reminders is very basic and if you need more Things is a good choice, but it’s more of a project manager than a simple list of reminders. And there’s that hefty price tag to replace Reminders.
Evernote – No, please. Evernote is free but if you use it much there’s a price tag. Almost everything Evernote does can be done in the built-in Notes app which has improved remarkably and syncs well between devices. Tie.
SimpleNote – I like this one. It’s free. It’s not as noteworthy as Notes except for the option to share notes and it doesn’t use iCloud (so where does it store all your notes?). Tie.
Dark Sky – No, do not use Dark Sky to replace Weather. The fact is you need more than one weather app. Nothing is better at micro-forecasts than Dark Sky but where’s the radar?
Google Maps – By far the reigning champion of maps apps on iPhone and iPad is Apple’s own Maps. Is it perfect? No. Neither is Google Maps. Each has pluses and minuses but Google Maps is just an alternative, not necessarily better. YMMV.
Stocks TickerPicker – Use this to replace the stock Stocks app on iPhone. It’s not free, though, but you’ll get far more information. If you need it, great.
Technology websites love to compare and contrast features on Apple’s various devices, then compile lists of what you should do instead. I don’t mind alternatives. I do mind someone telling me what I should do who then gives me a list of alternatives that are not all that great in the first place.