45 best iPhone and iPad apps of 2015

We dig out the best free and paid-for apps available from the App Store

With millions of iPhone and iPad apps available on the App Store, it can be hard to find the ones you need amid the thousands of similar apps in any category. We've sifted through hundres of those on offer to bring you the 45 best iPhone and iPad apps of 2015, as tried and tested by us.

Please note: this is a regularly updated feature. If there's an app you think belongs on this list that we've missed off, let us know in the comments

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Best iOS apps: essentials

Best iOS apps: games

Best iOS apps: photography

Best iOS apps: health and fitness

Best iOS apps: travel

Best iOS apps: miscellaneous

Best iOS apps: productivity

Best iPhone and iPad apps 2015: Essentials

BBC News

45 best iPhone and iPad apps 2015 - BBC iOS app

The BBC News app landing page lists the top stories of the moment, with a "Most Popular" tab, so you can find out which stories are trending right now, as well as a "My Topics" tab, where you can create a list of all the topics you want to follow. The topics will also appear in individual tabs along the top, if you want to catch up on the latest from one particular section. There's also a "Live" tab where you can watch the BBC News channel live (kind of in the name, we know).

Download BBC News here free.

Periscope

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This free live streaming app from Twitter is quick to set up, easy to use, and might just revolutionise the way we use social media. On the one end users can use their iPhones to film whatever it is their doing, and on the other end users can peer into a constantly rolling set of windows into people’s lives.

From journalists in disaster areas to teenagers in shopping centres, there’s the potential for Periscope to cover an enormous variety of perspectives. Spend a few minutes browsing through the app and you could zip between offices to car parks to hot air balloons, all live, all broadcast by people using the app. It’s addictive. If you’re worried about missing the action you can watch recent clips from people you follow and get push notifications when someone you like is about to broadcast. As for interaction, you can comment live during the live stream or tap the screen and you’ll send a flurry of animated hearts. It’ll be interesting to see the app develop over the coming months to reach its full potential, but Periscope is already proving to be one of the most exciting apps out there.

Download Periscope here free

Units Plus

45 best iPhone and iPad apps 2015 - Units Plus app

Most of us need occasionally to convert certain measurements into ones we are more familiar with, be it from cups to milliliters, kilometers to miles, or dollars to sterling. Units Plus is a very comprehensive conversion app, covering everything from area to pressure, and even data measurements. Download Units plus and you will never need another converter, we promise.

Units Plus has a free version, Convert Units Free, and a premium version, Units Plus Converter. The main differences between the two are Convert Units Free has ads, although they're unobtrusive, and only updates currency exchange rates once a day, whereas Units Plus Converter updates every five minutes.

Download Units Plus Converter here for £1.49, or Convert Units Free here.

File Browser

45 best iPhone and iPad apps of 2015 - File Browser iOS app

No one likes syncing their iPhone, largely because of iTunes. Thankfully, an app such as FileBrowser makes it possible to get files on and off your iOS device in another way, albeit with some restrictions. It can see your Photo Library and your iTunes sync files by default, but you can also use your own folder to store files, and copy them to and from any network-connected device you know the address of. It's a bit fiddly and requires some tech knowledge, but with Dropbox integration for an extra 69p, and the ability to stream files from to your phone, it's a rare Android-esque slice of feature-adding for iPhone and iPad users.

Download FireBrowser here for £4.49

Launch Center Pro

45 best iPhone and iPad apps of 2015 - Launch Senter Pro

Launch Center Pro is described as a "speed dial for anything you do with your iPhone", which might be pushing it a touch. Instead, it's a handy shortcut creator for various tasks, such as adding the last photo taken with your phone's camera to Facebook, or sending a text message to a particular contact.

Its greatest strength is that it's not only capable of working with the default iPhone apps, but a decent range of third-party apps too, so you can create a one-click button to call a certain contact in Skype, for instance, or search Spotify for a particular artist. It's one of those apps that you'll quickly find indispensable.

Download Launch Center Pro here for £3.99.

Mailbox

45 best iPhone and iPad apps of 2015 - Mailbox

Until its recent acquisition by Dropbox, downloading Mailbox involved nothing more than a tedious, weeks-long wait to get to the front of the queue and start using the app. Now, seemingly with greater server muscle behind it, everyone can get up and running with this minimalist take on inbox management.

The aim of Mailbox is to clear your email in tray, either by swiping right to archive the message, or swiping left to deal with the message at a point in the future. You can defer the message until "later today", "tomorrow", or the rather wooly "someday", at which point it will darken your Mailbox once more. Messages can also be replied to or forwarded in the normal manner, or sent to lists such as "To Read" or "To Buy".

You're rewarded for clearing your inbox with a picture of the day, which is far less of an incentive than the sheer satisfaction of knowing you've dealt with all your email, even if some of it has merely been kicked into the long grass. Alas, Mailbox works with only Gmail accounts at present, which is a shame since this refreshing approach to inbox management would be perfect for a work account.

Download Mailbox here free.

BBC Weather

45 best iPhone and iPad apps 2015 - BBC Weather iOS app

BBC Weather is a handy, fast-to-load app that offers easy, at-a-glance, real-time weather information, as well as an easily navigable nine-day weather forecast, including an hour-by-hour forecast for today and tomorrow, with slightly less detailed information after that. You can also tap on each hour to get more detailed information on humidity, visibility and wind speed. Generally, PC Pro has found the app to be very accurate.

Download BBC Weather here free.

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