11 Less Popular (But Better) Alternatives to Common iPhone Apps

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Don't assume that the most popular iPhone apps are the best ones. When it comes to everything from e-mail to podcasts to weather, there may be better options. Here's a rundown of 11 mainstay apps you should consider replacing.

Apps
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Facebook's eponymous app has come under fire lately for unwelcome interface changes and stripping out messaging. But the company's lesser-known Paper (free) is an elegant alternative that gives you not only your news feed and messages, but also lots of great content from around the Web.

Facebook Paper
Rick Broida
Facebook Paper

Find My Friends is a decent way to keep tabs on friends and family members, but Life360 (free) offers a ton more features, including circles, group messaging, and GPS-based notifications. Best of all, it works across platforms, so "mixed" families can use it.

Life360
Rick Broida
Life360

Okay, maybe not replace, but certainly augment. Crackle is home to a variety of movies and TV shows not found elsewhere--or at least not found elsewhere for free.

Crackle
Rick Broida
Crackle

Do you find Apple's Mail app a little wanting? MyMail (free) pumps up your inbox with features like contact avatars, custom push notifications, and inline image preview. It's pretty, too, and works with just about every mail service and protocol known to man.

MyMail
Rick Broida
MyMail

Apple's podcast manager is a confusing mess. Overcast keeps things simple, helping you discover shows you might like and easily managing those you already do. The free version works well enough; a $4.99 upgrade unlocks a bunch of cool extras.

Overcast
Rick Broida
Overcast

If you're fed up with RunKeeper's seemingly endless interface changes, most of which seem to hamper usability, try Runtastic instead. It offers at least as many features and an interface that makes more sense.

Runtastic
Rick Broida
Runtastic

Both apps do a terrific job managing your travel itineraries--flights, hotels, rental cars, etc.--but TripCase (free) doesn't charge extra for perks like real-time flight info and flight-change notifications--features that require a $49 annual subscription if you want them in TripIt.

TripCase
Rick Broida
TripCase

What makes Echofon (free) better than most Twitter clients, including the one made by Twitter itself? Simple: It relies on labeled, easy-to-read icons (Mentions, Messages, Lists, etc.) rather than cryptic, unlabeled ones. Because navigating your Twitter feed shouldn't be an exercise in frustration.

Echofon
Rick Broida
Echofon

Instagram is all well and good for photos, but if you're looking to tweak and enhance video, look no further than Videohance ($1.99). It applies edits, filters, and effects in real time, so you don't have to wait on rendering. Then you can share your 'hancements anywhere vids are shared.

Videohance
Rick Broida
Videohance

What kind of weather app doesn't even have a weather map. Apple's, for one. Weather Underground delivers not only every forecast, radar, and map feature under the sun, but also crowd-sourced updates to give you seriously accurate local data.

Weather Underground
Rick Broida
Weather Underground

Actually, this one should read, "Replace Notes with anything," because any app would be better than Apple's anemic memo pad. Evernote is a no-brainer alternative, offering tremendous capture and organization features, but consider Drafts, OneNote, Simplenote, and Vesper as well.

Evernote
Rick Broida
Evernote

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