iPhone and iOS problem solvers: My must-have utilities (and many are free)

Your phone is your constant companion, but sometimes it needs to do more. These are my 16 go-to tools for eliminating annoyances and solving problems when I'm out and about.
Topic: Apple
1 of 17 Apple / GraphicStock

Overcome annoyances and solve problems

iOS comes with plenty of awesome built-in apps, but sometimes... I want more. When I need to diagnose a network problem, connect to business systems, capture a document, keep an eye on my puppy, type faster, and even stay dry -- there's an app in this collection that will come to my rescue.


Use your iPhone as a mouse and trackpad

Don't have a mouse or trackpad handy? Want to control your Mac or PC from a distance? Want to dictate text into your Mac without an attached mic? Remote Mouse is your friend. It also has a tiny keyboard, so it works great from the couch.

3 of 17 Antony Mathew

Put a toolbox in your pocket

Smart Tools Pro comes with a bunch of useful tools. I particularly value the angle measuring tool and the level, the sound meter, and -- although not that accurate -- the distance measuring tool. Great to always have with you.

4 of 17 Swiftkey

Compose text faster

I got addicted to using finger flow (dragging a finger along a keyboard) as a way of fast typing on Android. When Swiftkey came to the iPhone, I jumped at it. It's just a way better keyboard that saves time.

5 of 17 Jackson Software

Test your Wi-Fi signal strength

If you're having problems with your Wi-Fi, it might be that your signal is low. To tell where you have a strong signal and where your signal is weak, try the Network Multimeter.

6 of 17 eFax

Send or receive a fax from your phone

I only use this a few times a year, but when I need it, I need it, and it's a life saver. You can use the share pane to output most things to a fax with eFax. Yes, there's a service fee, but like I said, if you need it, you need it.

7 of 17 Purple Cover, Inc

Manage your shopping lists and recipes

Of all the list managers out there, AnyList is definitely among the best. We use it to manage our shopping lists and recipes, and it's a huge help. Plus, you can actually check off items you buy on your watch.

8 of 17 Domotz Ltd

Find all the devices on your network

Need to find out the IP address for a device on your network? Want to know what's connecting to your LAN? Fing is the go-to tool to do just that.

9 of 17 Ookla

Determine your network speed

If you want to find out how fast your network is (along with your Wi-Fi connection), fire up a SpeedTest and you'll have your answer.

10 of 17 FILMiC

Turn your phone camera into a pro tool

I use FILMiC to do many of my videos. I like the control it gives me, including manual image controls. I also like how I can control my cameras remotely on my iPhone and my Watch.

11 of 17 Ad Hoc Labs, Inc

Call and text without giving out your private number

This is another tool I use rarely, but when I need it, I need it. Burner lets you create temporary phone numbers, so you can call and get called (as well as text) without giving out your private number.

12 of 17 Google

Capture prints and documents without glare

It's hard to capture a well-lit print or document without glare. PhotoScan from Google does it by taking multiple pictures from various angles and stitching them together.

13 of 17 Overcast Radio, LLC

Improve your podcast listening experience

I love to listen to podcasts while driving. Overcast makes downloading and subscribing easy. Plus, it also improves the listening experience with some helpful management tools.

14 of 17 Martin Man

Use old iPhones as baby, puppy, and kitten monitors

When we're out, we're always thinking about our puppy. With Cloud Baby Monitor, we can open up a window and see how he's doing (usually he's sound asleep). We can also talk to him from anywhere.

15 of 17 Sensopia

Use augmented reality to create a floorplan

It's... not perfect. But MagicPlan can help you create a floor plan using the iPhone's camera and some basic sensor capabilities. Don't rely on it alone for critical measures, but it's a good, quick tool for some things.

16 of 17 Base Velocity, LLC

Find out if you're going to get drenched

If you ride a motorcycle, walk the dog, ride a bike, or a dune buggy, it's often really important to know whether the weather is going to get you. RadarScope can show you what's happening right now.

17 of 17 Evernote

Quickly scan in business cards and receipts

What I like most about Scannable is that it can tell when your document is in view and automatically takes a scan. I find it quick and easy to capture a pile of cards into my phone with very clear images.

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