Here are great iOS apps you should install straight away on your new iPhone or iPad. The best apps for new iPhone, best apps for new iPad. (See also: How to set any song as a ringtone on your iPhone.)

You just bought an iPhone! Or maybe someone generously gave you one. Either way, congratulations: you have a great device that you will love. No doubt you are keen to get cracking, and set things up. We've got a separate step-by-step guide to setting up a new iPhone or iPad, but one of the key things you should do is install some extra apps - and that is the purpose of this article. All of the apps in our list are free, too.

Some apps are pre-installed such as Mail and Calender, which work with multiple other accounts such as Google (see How to set up email on your iPhone). Apple also provides access to the iTunes store, for music, movies and apps. There is a built-in Podcasts app, too.

So here we have focused on apps that add fun, function and interest to your iPhone and iPad. These are just my personal selection of most-used apps. Let me know in the comments below of any others you think are worth having! We haven't included pay TV apps such as BT Sport, Sky Go or Sky Plus, but if you are a BT or Sky subscriber it is well worth investigating those. Similarly, if you own a activity tracker or any smart home gadgets, you should install the relevant apps for those.

See also: best kids' apps and best Android apps for new smartphones and tablets.

Before we get started, it's worth knowing that Apple has its own recommendations of apps for new owners. In the App Store you will find an 'Essentials' tag on certain apps. This isn't a category in itself, but if you search the home page for an Essentials link - see below - you will find a list of games and apps. Plus, you'll also find apps specific to, or optimised for, the device you're using. Those may be iOS 10 apps, or apps that are best on the iPad Pro, say. Also, Apple seems to think that iPad owners don't want a calculator, so we recommend Calculator HD Free.

Best free iOS apps for iPhone and iPad

 

Best free iOS apps for new iPads and iPhones: Google Maps

Best apps for new iPhone and iPad

Apple's maps have improved massively since they first replaced Google Maps, but there are times when you'll still appreciate some of the features of Google Maps, such as cycling directions or the public transport routing. You can also see your recent search history in Google Maps from other devices, so it can be quicker to select a destination.

Download Google Maps for iPhone and iPad.

Best free iOS apps for new iPads and iPhones: BBC iPlayer (and iPlayer Radio)

Best apps for new iPhone and iPad

A free gateway to a world of TV- and radio content. Use the iPlayer and you can catch up with TV or watch live TV from across the BBC's multitudinous channels. And I actually get more use out of the iPlayer Radio app. If there is a better way of following the football on a Saturday afternoon, then I have yet to find it. Legally someone in the house needs to be paying the TV Licence fee, and be careful about live streaming lots of content over your cellular connection. But iPlayer is a must.

Download BBC iPlayer for iPhone and iPad.

Best free iOS apps for new iPads and iPhones: BBC News

Best apps for new iPhone and iPad

We like to be kept in the loop and the internet means the latest news is available at any moment, night or day. The BBC News app is constantly being updating with breaking news from around the world and will keep you well informed.

Download BBC News for iPhone and iPad.

Best free iOS apps for new iPads and iPhones: BBC Sport

Best apps for new iPhone and iPad

What we said above, but for the sport. Which, let's face it, is more important.

Downlad BBC Sport for iPhone and iPad.

Best free iOS apps for new iPads and iPhones: eBay

Best apps for new iPhone and iPad

If you want to do a bit of shopping from your new iPhone or iPad, maybe you want a case or a screen protector, the eBay app is a good one to start with. You can browse the items on sale, add them to your watch list, bid on them, pay for them and just about anything else you can think of.

Download eBay for iPhone and iPad.

Best free iOS apps for new iPads and iPhones: Facebook

Best apps for new iPhone and iPad

If your phone doesn't come with the Facebook app pre-loaded then this is probably one of the first you'll want to download. That is if you're a Facebook user, of course. The Facebook app will give you access to your news feed, groups, photos and chat on your iPhone or iPad. If before Facebook was an occasional time waster, with Facebook for iPhone or iPad it will become a critical time-wasting and communication tool.

Download Facebook for iPhone and iPad.

Best free iOS apps for new iPads and iPhones: WhatsApp Messenger

Best apps for new iPhone and iPad

Not everyone owns an iOS device, but Whatsapp lets you send free messages, photos and videos to anyone using Whatsapp, which is available on just about every smartphone there is. It's really only for iPhones, but here's how you can get it to work on an iPad.

Download WhatsApp Messenger for iPhone

Best free iOS apps for new iPads and iPhones: WhatsApp Messenger

Best apps for new iPhone and iPad

YouTube needs no introduction. It's preinstalled on virtually every Android phone because it's owned by Google, and this explains why it's not one of the default apps on an iPhone or iPad (just as Google Maps is no longer). 

There are third-party YouTube apps, but none is as good as the official one. However, there are reasons to get a third-party app, namely if you want to download YouTube videos.

Download YouTube for iPhone and iPad

Best free iOS apps for new iPads and iPhones: Amazon Kindle

Best apps for new iPhone and iPad

All you bookworms out there will want to get the Amazon Kindle app. You'll be able to choose from over a million eBooks, a lot of which are free. If you also have a Kindle eReader all your books, notes and where you left off will be synced between devices. Apple doesn't usually allow for third-party media stores on its devices - there is no Amazon music app or Google Play app store, but Amazon is so far in the lead in terms of eBook stores that is just has to be there. And it is.

Download Amazon Kindle for iPhone and iPad.

 

Best free iOS apps for new iPads and iPhones: IMDb

Best apps for new iPhone and iPad

You like films and TV right? Well IMDb (internet movie database) is your best friend with the most comprehensive amount of information on the subject at your fingertips. You can see what films are coming soon, check rating and see who that actor is who you can't quite remember the name of. If this is your first iPhone or iPad you may find that your watching habits now change - one screen is no longer enough.

Download IMDb for iPhone and iPad.

Best free iOS apps for new iPads and iPhones: ITV Player

Best apps for new iPhone and iPad

The independent sections version of BBC iPlayer. A free (ad-supported) way of accessing tonnes of brilliant TV. And I'm a Celebrity.

Download ITV Player for iPhone and iPad.

 

Best free iOS apps for new iPads and iPhones: Timehop

Best apps for new iPhone and iPad

Timehop is a great app which links into your social networks including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It tells you what you posted on the same day last year or previous years. Great for nostalgia and you can re-post for fun if you want.

Download Timehop for iPhone and iPad.

Best free iOS apps for new iPads and iPhones: Twitter

Best apps for new iPhone and iPad

Another must-have social networking app for your iPhone or iPad is Twitter. The simple and well-designed app allows you to easily see what's happening on Twitter, upload photos and, of course, post tweets. If you're not a Twitter user, why not give it a try and follow us @PCAdvisor?

Download Twitter for iPhone and iPad.

Best free iOS apps for new iPads and iPhones: Waze

Best apps for new iPhone and iPad

Google Maps has navigation, and Apple Maps is much better than it ever was, but we still prefer to use Waze. It's a dedicated sat nav app which is free and is owned by Google anyway. It's community based so users report traffic, road closures, incidents etc in real-time. Like Maps, only social. Well worth an install.

Download Waze for iPhone and iPad.

See also: Best Android apps for new smartphones and tablets.