2014 was a prolific year for the App Store with over 500,000 new apps over the last calendar year. Now, it’s time to take a look back at all of the apps released in 2014, and pick the best ones. We have broken down the top apps into individual categories as we lead up to the top 10 apps of the year overall. Our rankings are based on a three person panel focusing on iOS uniqueness, overall enjoyment, and complete experience. Now, we present the five best utility apps of 2014.
Workflow ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: The developers of Workflow have taken full advantage of iOS 8 to truly deliver automation on iOS. There are over 100 actions included to let your iOS device perform tasks with just a couple of taps. You can set-up workflows to get directions to an upcoming meeting, send a message of your ETA to home, tweet what you’re listening to, post a full note to Evernote, and so much more. There’s a gallery of pre-made actions to get you up, and running with some valuable autonomous tasks. That’s just scratching the surface, as you can create your own with a whole arsenal of potential actions to customize into your iOS workflow.
PhotoMath (Free, iPhone) [Review]: The app uses the iPhone camera to capture an equation, and then present a solution. It’s a great idea that is executed quite well as the app can recognize equations to solve all by itself. Once identified, the app overlays the answer right over the camera feed, and there’s one button to bring up the steps to reach the solution. The convenience, and practicality is on a level that few apps reach, to the point that it feels like magic.
Weather or Not ($2.99, iPhone) [Review]: A weather app that offers a unique take on what a weather app can be. Rather than just presenting you stats, forecasts, and radars, Weather or Not focuses on connecting weather information to your day. You mainly care about the weather in how it impacts your day whether it’s your wardrobe, events, or appointments. Weather or Not integrates your calendar right into the app, so you can see how the weather ties into what you have upcoming. Weather or Not offers a whole new way to look at the weather, as the app gives you the weather when you want it, based on what you’re doing, and where you’re going. The app revolves around a line graph based interface that presents a seven day hourly forecast, so you can see how temperatures change every minute over the next week. Not only do you get the temperature, but there’s a second line graph that shows the change in precipitation chance as time progresses.
Mint Bills & Money (Free, Universal) [Review]: Managing your money is easy with Mint as it shows your income, and expenses within the context of your budget, while connecting with your various accounts to show upcoming bills. Mint Bills & Money focuses on the bills part of Mint.com, and takes it a step further to allow you to pay bills right on your iOS device. Once you add your account details, you can then view your various outstanding balances on electricity, TV, cell phone, credit cards, and more. The app gives you one location to view all of your bills, as well as pay all of your bills. It’s a great way to stay on top of what’s due, and you can pay multiple bills instantly all from within the app.
Spendbook (Free, iPhone) [Review]: If you’re not comfortable sharing your account information for Mint Bills, but still want to track your income, and expenses, than Spendbook can be right for you. There’s a clean gesture based interface allowing you to add an expense, or income by just pulling down on the screen, and typing in the amount. You can add items in an instant, or add a little more detail with the option to integrate notes, and photos to help you classify expenditures for later. The app comes with interactive charts to to view category breakdown, weekly line graphs, and percentage breakdowns of where your money goes. There’s also a calendar view to see your expenses, and income on each day of the month.