How to choose the best apps
A handy place to start

Last time we counted them up, there were over 425,000 available iPhone and iPad apps. Even if they were all free and you could try before you buy, your poor overworked phone would probably be full by the time you’d topped a hundred.

So, how do you choose the best apps for your iPhone. Here are several useful tips to follow to get you started.

1. Top lists: the App Store has a handy set of charts to guide you to the best apps. On your iPhone, click on ‘Top 25’ and you’ll find the current list of blockbuster sellers. While the top sellers may not necessarily equate to the best apps, it’s a good place to start. Then there are the lists in the ‘Categories’ section. Scroll through to find your area of interest and again generally the good stuff rises to the top.

2. Reviews: as with Amazon before them, the App Store contains an invaluable set of consumer reviews. Generally anything over 4 stars is excellent, 5 stars almost unheard of and anything 2* and under worth avoiding. By combining the lists above with a glance at the reviews, you’ll soon have a more manageable list of pre-approved apps to choose from. Once you’ve found an app you like the look of, then click through to read the individual reviews which give you the detail on whether the app is worth downloading or if there’s a problem with the app at that time.

3. Featured: Apple’s ‘Featured’ list is another handy starting point. Apple don’t accept payment to appear in this lists, so it’s a useful guide to what their editors believe are best-in-class at the time.

4. Word of mouth: probably the single best way to discover new apps that you’ll like is to get one of your friends to walk you through their favourite apps, enabling you to learn from their trial and error. And of course once you’ve filled up your phone, return the favour.

5. Follow That App: well, we would say that wouldn’t we, but certainly you won’t go wrong with the Follow that App of the Week recommendations, all of which we’ve given an extended run and believe are 5* stand out apps.