Now that the dust has settled on Apple’s iOS 7 update and the launch of the new iPhones, it’s the perfect time to look into picking up some new apps that go well with your new OS.

Here’s a list of my seven must-have apps, available for both iPhone and iPad, that have been re-designed to work well with iOS 7:

Instacast ($4.99)

IMG_0045Apple 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 favorite podcast is ready for a listen. Also, if the podcast you want to listen to isn’t in Instacast’s directory, it’s possible to add its URL directly to the app.

Reeder ($4.99)

02Before 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 ($2.99)

universal@2xClear 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.

Drafts ($2.99)

IMG_1138When it comes to productivity on my iPhone and iPad, Drafts is the glue that holds everything else together. The app’s 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 app’s 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, it’s a separate app on each platform. Still, that comes out to a price tag of $6, similar to other apps on this list.

Calendars 5 ($4.99)

product-pic5Fantastical 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” and translate it into an event was incredibly useful. To date, though, it’s 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. There’s also a built in task manager that interacts with the reminders app.

ios7_2tTwitterrific ($2.99)

The client that’s responsible for adding Tweet to the popular lexicon has a great update for iOS 7. While Twitterrific already featured flat design before iOS 7’s 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.

Mailbox (Free)

snoozes-shotMuch 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 “snooze” emails–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, it’s 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!

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  • Seth Long

    I totally agree about Instacast and Clear. Absolute winners, those two.

    I’m a fan of socially-connected calendar apps like Tempo and Sunrise but lately I’ve been using Cal for its aethetics. Does the natural language input in Calendars 5 really speed things up? Is it worth giving up the social connectivity that you get with Tempo or Sunrise?

    • Blair Hanley Frank

      I tried Tempo and never really got a whole lot out of the social aspect of it, so I’m probably not the best person to offer a direct comparison.

      That said, I’m one of those people who wants to take his fingers off the keyboard as little as possible, and having natural-language input means that I can just throw a sentence into a text box, have Calendars 5 parse it, set alarms with a couple taps and be done.

      If you have a Mac and want to try it out, Fantastical for Mac ( ) has a free trial, and it’s what I use for capturing events in my calendar when I’m at my computer.

  • Brian Calla

    3 cheers for instacast! They haven’t updated the phone app yet but that screenshot for the ipad looks slick.

    • Blair Hanley Frank

      Are you running Instacast 4? It’s been updated for both iPhone and iPad.

  • Lisa Michael-Hall

    love iOS7, has anyone tried calprint?

  • sushant saraswat

    We are in the middle of a highly demanding and competitive environment, wherein the form factors, the operating systems and the customer requirements are evolving rapidly. We will see more branded apps following the suit to be compatible to the new capabilities of new mobile OS in terms of UI.

    Companies are faced with the herculean task of keeping pace with these changes as they innovate at the “customer-facing edge”. There is a compelling need for an adaptive mobile app that rapidly tunes to the changing seasons and business scenarios of the company.

    And this is precisely where dynamic updation of themes in the mobile app comes to the rescue. Updating dynamically will increase user engagement and also save time and resources by eliminating the need to develop a new version of an app for publishing new themes. You might be interested in a webinar on Implementing Dynamic themes in your mobile applications –

  • Appsicum

    Awesome list, I totally agree with
    most of this list. I would like to
    suggest Future Scheduler Productivity app (Paid).

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