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Best iOS apps: The top free & paid iOS apps of 2015

Every year there are a handful of new apps that really stick out in our minds and most of them also wind up on millions of user’s smartphones because they do or facilitate something awesome. Here’s our list of the best new apps to have appeared on iOS in 2015.

Periscope

When Twitter buys a company before its first product has even launched, it the sort of thing that makes you pay attention – and that’s effectively what happened with Periscope. The company’s app of the same name arrived on iOS back in March, pushing out a similar service by the name of Meerkat.

Periscope has gone on to become one of the most well-known live streaming apps on a mobile device, letting you broadcast from anywhere and interact with viewers directly. Since launch, new features like landscape, web and Apple TV support have been added and it continues to move from strength to strength.

Cortana

Over the past couple of years Cortana has grown from being known as the Chief’s AI companion in the Halo series to a full-featured digital voice assistant for Windows Phone to call its own. It came out on top in our Siri, Cortana, Google Now grudge match and more recently made its way to a host of other platforms including Windows 10, Android and iOS.

It’s a pretty competent all-round voice assistant and a superior option to Siri if you’re looking for something that’ll be able to remember your important information across devices. It has a particular talent for making reminders, finding sports scores, recognising music and finding out when your favourite band is next playing, but like its rivals, there’s a lot more you can ask it about too.

Layout

Instagram is still one of the biggest social photo sharing apps out there and whilst its own skill set has continued to expand, in 2015 the development team also created a pair of companion apps to augment what you could do on the network, one of which is Layout.

Whilst Instagram’s square aspect ratio is no longer a prerequisite of using the service it’s still the most prominent way of doing so and users have taken to creating collages to squeeze more photographic goodness into their posts. There have been a number of third-party collage apps out there, but Layout boasts tight integration with Instagram and a simple slick interface, letting you easily pick, scale and arrange your snaps before pulling them back into Instagram.

Outlook

Microsoft’s willingness to make its signature apps and services available across multiple operating systems has proved to be a huge plus for users and its mail client – Outlook, really shines on iOS.

The experience centres on the focused inbox, which filters out grey mail (messages that aren’t pressing), helping you cut through the noise and catch the important emails first. You get calendar integration, file management and customisable gesture controls so you can quickly swipe to archive, delete or mark a message as read. Outlook on iOS presents email in a clear, concise manner, with great management tools that make it markedly more powerful than the default Mail client.

Google Photos

If you didn’t catch the news, Google’s May 2015 announcement was pretty significant for those who always find their iPhone running out of memory. The Google Photos app arrived and with it came unlimited photo storage.

Google Photos lets you snap to your hearts content and then uploads your snaps and videos to the cloud so that even if you break your device, you don’t lose anything. It also means that once your photos are backed up, you can delete your local copies from your iPhone freeing up valuable space.

This app also comes with intelligent search then helps you find photos based on their location or content and you can even make animated GIFs or interactive photo albums. NOTE: The unlimited storage feature compresses shots over 16-megapixels and video over Full HD resolution, but you can keep media at full resolution provided you’re happy for it to eat into your Google Drive allowance.

Adobe Photoshop Fix

Adobe’s done a great job of translating its powerful creative desktop apps to the world of mobile and Photoshop Fix is one of the latest additions to the team, with a focus on desktop version’s talents for blemish reduction and colour correction.

You can pull content from a myriad of sources including photos from your iPhone, your Adobe Creative Cloud account, Dropbox and even Facebook. You’ve got all the tools you need to tidy up snaps, with a particular talent for people and faces. The liquify tool can detect eyes, nose and mouth position as well as face shape – with sliders to sculpt them all independently.

Beme

Snapchat may be the most popular ephemeral social media tool right now, but Beme’s approach is even more hands-off, formed around the concept of keeping you in the moment rather than staring at your smartphone – perfect for those social media addicts, looking to take a step back without having to go completely cold turkey.

As filmmaker and Beme’s creator, Casey Neistat puts it, “being able to capture without being forced to stare at your phone is one of the most liberating interactions I’ve done since getting this device [his iPhone].” And that’s the point, you don’t have the option to look at and review what you’re capturing on Beme, you just cover your iPhone’s proximity sensor, record four seconds of footage and it’s automatically posted.

The feedback comes when other users post selfie reactions as they watch back your bemes. It’s an interesting take of the idea of ephemeral social media and worth checking out if.

Deliveroo

A personal favourite in the Recombu offices is Deliveroo. The food delivery app made its appearance on the App Store back in July and works in select cities throughout the UK and Ireland, whilst it continues to branch out into parts of Europe, Asia and Australia.

If you aren’t in the mood to cook dinner and traditional greasy takeaway isn’t what you’re after Deliveroo lets you choose from known restaurants that don’t typically deliver so you can order a cheeky Nando’s, some delicious Carluccio’s, or meaty Bodean’s and have it brought right to your door. It may not be as fast as traditional delivery, but it’s still incredibly convenient (and tasty).

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