5 essential apps to download for your new iPhone or iPad for 2023

5 essential apps to download for your new iPhone or iPad for 2023

Foldable iPhone

Most important App Store (Image: YouTube/KJMX)

Christmas is here, and if you’ve found a shiny new iPhone or iPad under your tree, you’ll want the best apps to get the most out of it.

The app store has millions of apps on every topic imaginable – but there are a few that should easily make it onto your install list.

The usual ones are a given – we expect you to automatically download the likes of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Maybe even TikTok.

But how about an addictive quality game, an excellent camera app or a useful organizational tool?

These are some of our favorites that you can get started with this Christmas, and into 2023.

Alto’s Odyssey

Alto's Odyssey

An epic journey awaits (Image: Apple App Store)

Very few games have taken advantage of simple game design with such addictive style as Alto’s Odyssey.

A sequel to Alto’s Adventures, Alto’s Odyssey still features a snowboarder trying to survive in dangerous places while performing as many tricks as possible. Unlike its predecessor, the new version has moved its primary location to the desert, giving the game’s visuals a wonderfully warm atmosphere.

The difference with most other mobile games marketed as “addictive”? Well Alto’s Odyssey is more likely to generate calm than it is anxiety. It even has a special ‘Zen mode’, which led some critics to compare playing the game to meditation.

£4.49, download it here.

Obscura 3

Obscura 3

Snap happy (Image: Apple App Store)

Photography can sometimes feel like one of the more gatekeeper hobbies. All the specialized technical terms, all the huge prices, constant requirements to add this hardware or that software for your arsenal.

The Obscura app simplifies the process of taking great photos. Live filters allow you to control your image in real time, not retrospectively in the edit. You can also tinker with exposure, aspect ratio and depth, while a level feature lets you achieve Insta-friendly symmetry in your photos.

OK, so it’s not the cheapest app on this list, but you get a lot of photographic bang for your buck.

£4.49, download it here.



Musical magic at your fingertips (Image: Apple App Store)

If you’re anything like me, you’ve always wanted to DJ, but you’re too shy to put yourself out there to practice in public.

This is where djay comes in. For free you get a very manageable two-deck system with a handful of effects, plus a crossfader and the ability to loop. You can pay more for a wide range of extras and upgrades, but the basic setup should provide plenty for beginners to play with.

A small note: djay’s intricacies can be a bit small and boring on the iPhone, so if possible use the app on an iPad.

Free, download it here.



Get organized (Image: Apple App Store)

The best calendars make your life less complicated, not more. Fantastical has taken this principle and built an app from it.

The app organizes every meeting, task and event in your life into a coherent schedule. If there are clashes, or occasions with several busy invitees, Fantastical works to find the best slots so you can fit it all.

There are also other extras included, such as integrated weather reports, and features that highlight TV schedules and sports matches.

Free, download it here.

The world of demons

The world of demons

Cut to glory (Image: Apple App Store)

If you really want to stretch your new phone or tablet, you could do worse than downloading the amazing World of Demons.

It’s a fairly conventional hack-and-slash game, so if you’re not a fan of that particular genre you might get bored after a while.

But first you get to taste striking and picturesque visuals, inspired by traditional Japanese art, as well as elements of Japanese folklore, reused to add mythic richness to all the battles.

Free, download it here.

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