At the time of writing, there are over 1.5 million apps in the iOS App Store.  With the release of iOS 9, (and my recent contract renewal which resulted in a new iPhone 6s), iOS is a part of my daily life and workflow.  Currently there are 65 applications on my iPhone, some of which I use everyday, others I haven't touched in months, though with the Deep Linking Search available in iOS 9, even if I haven't opened the app, there are some that come in handy when using Spotlight on the iPhone.

These apps are listed in no particular order with an explanation on why they are awesome.

5. Flipboard

Flipboard first app I open when drinking coffee every morning.  Marketed as "Your Personal Magazine" it collects content from websites, blogs, and social media and presents it in an easy to read magazine format.  It provides articles based on chosen interests, and improves as you like, mute, and follow more topics, the "Daily Edition" and "Cover Stories" the app curates become relevant to your tastes.  

I've used this app for years, it was originally founded in 2010.  Apple has come out with a News app that does the same, though I haven't spent as much time with it yet, Flipboard has been curated to always offer me interesting content to start my day.

4. LastPass

Albeit a boring choice, LastPass is an essential to have on any device.  Like locking your front door when you're away, and avoiding the urge to scribble your bank account information down every sidewalk, password protection makes the long run easier.  Enter the username and password once, and then forget it (just don't forget your Master Password). 

With their cross-platform (read: runs on everything, Windows/Mac/iOS/Android/Web) protection, it doesn't matter where I need that auto-generated 36 character bank password, on the iPhone, it's as easy as resting my finger on the iPhone's Touch ID sensor, and off I go, transferring money so that I can use my 37 digit Amazon password just as fast to purchase that new Limited Edition Star Wars [ insert latest item here ] this week.

3. HaystackTV

The YouTube app has gotten progressively worse, and I finally deleted it off of all of my devices.  HaystackTV makes viewing YouTube videos far better than the current native app provided by Google.

This app allows you to favorite topics and hashtags (much like Flipboard) and creates automatic playlists based on your choices.  It does get content from YouTube (like, 90% of it), but it checks other content sites as well.  As an added bonus, it has a great autoplay feature, and has just been updated with Picture in Picture mode on iOS 9.  It runs most of the time while I'm working in the office.

2. Yahoo! Weather

Winter is coming, and I want to be prepared for it.  The Yahoo! Weather app is well made, simple, comes with really nice iOS widgets, and an Apple Watch app.  Being notified it's going to rain in 15 minutes is pretty nifty.

This app doesn't get in the way, bog the interface with a bunch of options or anything like that.  It's pleasantly accurate, and simple.


1.  Stop, Breathe, & Think

Just as important as our physical health is, our mental health is even mores.  The Stop, Breathe, & Think app is a simple tool to guide you through meditations for mindfulness, compassion, and well-being.  There is a self-meditation timer, as well as guided meditations that go from 3 to 20 minutes on topics ranging from dealing with anxiety to falling asleep.

I really like this app because it offers a lot of options for very little.  It tracks the days you meditate, your top feelings, and you even earn stickers along the way.  Developing a compassionate mind is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and others.  This app helps make it a part of our every day lives.  It is developed my Tools for Peace, a non-profit organization, so all in-app purchases are donated to support emotional and academic success in schools.