Apple still hasn't updated its podcasts app for iOS 7, and to be honest, I never found it to be all that good in the first place. The user interface feels clunky, and it's impossible to add a podcast to the app that doesn't appear in the iTunes Store.
Instacast aims to fix all that. The user interface feels snappy, and cleaner than Apple's offering. Thanks to backgrounding, the app will download new episodes of the podcasts you're subscribed to over Wi-Fi (and over 3G/LTE if you really want) automatically, and shoot you a push notification when the next episode of your favourite podcast is ready for a listen. Also, if the podcast you want to listen to isn't in Instacasts directory, it's possible to add its URL directly to the app.
Before the death of Google Reader, Reeder was my go-to app for getting RSS feeds on my iPhone and iPad. It was slickly designed, and was fairly good at handling a large number of feeds. Still, its user interface had started to show signs of age, and it clearly wasn't ready to make the transition to a world without Google Reader, leading its developer Silvio Rizzi, to pull them from the App Store. Now, it's back, and better than ever. Reeder isn't always the fastest in terms of performance, but makes up for it in style, with a new iOS 7-themed coat of paint, and support for new services.
Currently, Reeder can serve as a client for Feed Wrangler, Feedbin, Feedly, Readability and Fever (my RSS reader of choice) as well as a standalone RSS reader if you don't want to use one of those internet services.
Clear is the definition of a simple to-do list: You create lists, fill them with to-dos, and check them off. There's no fancy geo-fencing, scheduling, or anything else. Just lists and checking things off.
What makes Clear stand out from the pack is its gesture-based UI: the team at Realmac Software has put together an app that makes managing to-dos through a few swipes and taps feel natural and efficient.
The app will sync over iCloud, so you can keep your to-dos on your iPhone, iPad and Mac on the same page.
When it comes to productivity on my iPhone and iPad, Drafts is the glue that holds everything else together. The apps purpose is fairly simple: when you open it, you have a blank text document waiting for you to fill with whatever thoughts you happen to have. If you just want to use drafts as another notepad, it will do that admirably. But the apps real strength lies in the ability to export the draft you've written to a wide variety of different apps and services, while supporting Markdown syntax.
It's worth noting that while Drafts is available for both iPhone and iPad, its a separate app on each platform. Still, that comes out to a price tag of $6, similar to other apps on this list.
Fantastical has long been my calendar app of choice for my iPhone. It was the first app to bring natural language entry to the iOS calendar space, and the ability to have an app take Coffee with John at Starbucks from 2:30 to 3:30; and translate it into an event was incredibly useful. To date, though, its still lacking an iPad version, and its user interface feels especially tired with iOS 7.
Calendars 5 fixes all that. The app features natural language input that functions like Fantastical, and adds to that a clean, iOS 7-inspired aesthetic, as well as easy to read week and month calendar views. Theres also a built in task manager that interacts with the reminders app.
The client thats responsible for adding Tweet to the popular lexicon has a great update for iOS 7. While Twitterrific already featured flat design before iOS 7s facelift, the team at The Iconfactory still went back and tweaked things to make sure that it fit with the new OS. I think the results speak for themselves: Twitterrific looks and feels like the iOS 7 Twitter client.
Backgrounding in iOS 7 has also been a huge boon to Twitterrific, which now pulls down your tweets in the background and has them ready for you right when you switch to the app.
Much like many of the other premium email clients on the App Store today, Mailbox supports gesture-based actions for quickly sorting through your email. Its marquee feature, however, is the ability to snoozeemails–sending them away from your inbox for a certain amount of time before having them return. As someone who gets a lot of email every day, the ability to set a message aside for everything from the next couple hours to the next couple months and have it reappear in my inbox when I need to act on it is really valuable. Sadly, its only available for Gmail users at the moment.
While Mailbox has been experiencing some issues connected to what they think is a bug in iOS 7, the Dropbox-owned mail client seems to have ironed everything out.
So, there you have it: my 7 favorite iOS 7-ready apps on the App Store. Have a fave that I left out? Share it in the comments!
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.