45 best iPhone and iPad apps of 2015
We dig out the best free and paid-for apps on the App store right now
Note: this is an article that will be updated at regular intervals. If you discover an app that you think warrants a place in the chart, then get in touch via the comments sections at the bottom of the page or tweet us @PCPro.
Best iPhone and iPad apps 2014: general
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).
Most of us need occasionally to convert certain measurements into ones we are more familiar with, be it from cups to milileters or kilometers to miles. Units Plus is a very comprehensive convertion 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 is ostensibly a free app, although you can choose to pay to remove the (rather unobtrusive) ads that appear at the bottom of the screen if you wish.
This year has seen Google’s browser launch first on Android and then on iOS. Its main strength is synchronisation, and with so many people now defaulting to Chrome on the desktop that’s a big one. Open a series of tabs on your work PC, continue working in them on the train home on your tablet, then open them again on a home laptop. This seamless working has quickly made it a favourite among the PC Pro office, even though the iOS version lacks some of Safari’s integration with the rest of the OS.
Room Planner has been in the App Store for a while, but this premium app is free for a limited time, and it’s well worth downloading. It’s aimed at helping budding architects and interior designers try out different room designs and layouts without the need for sketching skills.
The premise is straightforward: draw out a floor plan using the templates provided, and add windows, doors, walls and furniture as necessary. There’s a whole library of components to choose from, including kitchen cabinets and bathroom appliances, alongside more humdrum items such as sofas and beds.
The clever bit is that, once you’ve finished your design, you can change viewpoint and see your 2D plan transformed into a 3D model. This is no featureless wireframe, though. All components are fully realised and detailed, so your virtual room looks like the real thing.
We encourage anyone doing a bit of home renovation to install Room Planner. Even if the price increases again, we’d still recommend it. Jonathan Bray
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.