How to change default apps on iPhone

How to replace the default iPhone apps with alternative applications that are more powerful and have more features

Change default iPhone apps Apple makes smartphones that are truly beautiful from an aesthetic point of view, but in some cases the default apps may not be up to the standard of the product or the competition, even if they are graphically very valid. There are many people who are dissatisfied with the default applications, who go in search of better apps to replace them.

In this guide we will show you how to replace pre-installed applications on iPhone with new appsso as to make the most of the Apple device by obtaining features not provided by Apple-branded apps, which are often too limiting.

READ ALSO -> How to set the default browser on iPhone

1) Maps and Navigator

Apple Maps is a decent navigator for the iPhone, which has improved a lot in recent years after a disastrous debut to say the least (with absurd routes marked and maps that are not updated). Luckily there is no shortage of alternatives in this category! In the following list we will find the best alternatives to Apple Maps to try:

  • Google Maps
  • Waze
  • TomTom GO

Other valid alternatives can be found in the dedicated guide, where we have explored the topic in depth alternatives to Apple Maps with maps and GPS navigator for iPhone.

2) Browser Web

Safari is not a bad browser and is also the fastest on iOS, because it is integrated into the system. But if we want to use other types of browsers and take advantage of multi-device synchronization (Windows PC, Mac, tablet and smartphone), we have collected the best alternatives to Safari for iPhone below:

  • Browser web Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • Maxthon Cloud Web Browser
  • Opera
  • Brave Private Browser

In another article we talked about Free browsers for iPad and iPhone alternatives to Safari among which it certainly stands out Google Chrome which synchronizes with Chrome on your PC easily, so it is worth using it.

3) Camera App

Apple’s default camera app is probably the best choice to make the most of all the features of the new iPhones, but if we want to take high quality photos with the Instagram or other social media filters already included we recommend using one of the following apps:

  • Camera+
  • Snapseed
  • VSCO
  • MagiCam
  • Retrica

Many other valid alternatives are available in this category, such as those recommended in the guide -> take better photos on iPhone with special effects on images.

4) Photo gallery with automatic backup

The image collection app built into iOS works really well, especially if you use it iCloud for photo backup.

However, there is an app out there that does everything much better and that is Google Photocapable of creating an online backup of all photographs effortlessly.

Google Photo it is also a formidable app with many functions for searching, organizing and self-managing photos; we can download it for free from here.

5) Calendar

As with the Camera app, the calendar works well but has few customization options.
As better alternatives we can try:

  • Fantastical
  • Google Calendar
  • Microsoft Outlook

Using these apps we will be able to have all our appointments at hand even when we change devices thanks to synchronization, in particular if we use Google Calendar with our Google account.

6) Post

The integrated Mail app has improved a lot and works well with most addresses, and is very important for being able to correctly download all the attachments we receive from our various email accounts. As an alternative application to Mail we can use the apps provided by the various email services used:

  • Gmail
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Yahoo Mail

With these apps we will be able to manage practically any email inbox without any problem, just add the credentials of the various accounts we have.

6) Contacts and address book

The address book app on the iPhone, in itself, is nothing more than a classic digital address book; you can get basic information of each contact and now has Facebook integration to keep information updated.

However, since there is a better alternative, it is worth installing for free Full Contact, a real directory of social contacts. You can also read recent contact updates from Facebook or Twitter.

Alternatively, we recommend that you synchronize your Android address book or use your Google account to save a copy of all your contacts, as seen in the guide on how to sync contacts from iPhone, to Android and Samsung phones.

7) Messages and phone calls

Making calls with the default dialer app shouldn’t be a problem, so there’s no point in looking for alternatives. However, if you want to make calls using an internet connection, without spending money, the ideal is to install others as well free calling applications like the ones recommended below:

  • Skype
  • Viber
  • LINE
  • Google Meet
  • Microsoft Teams

For messages however, instead of iMessage (which we can only use for SMS) we can use the apps of the most popular social services at the moment:

  • Facebook Messenger
  • WhatsApp
  • Telegram
  • Signal
  • By installing these apps we will be able to receive messages from any of our social contacts or those in possession of an account linked to the service for free using the Internet connection.

    8) Backup iCloud

    iCloud is the service that integrates all Apple apps and devices with a shared space in which to save all the most important information such as contacts, messages, settings and media. iCloud is perfect if you are a loyal Apple customer and only use Apple devices, otherwise it would be better to look at some alternatives, such as those recommended below:

    • Google Drive
    • Microsoft OneDrive
    • Dropbox
    • MEGA
    • pCloud

    The recommended ones are the apps to have to share files online and to keep them always available on every computer, mobile phone or tablet we own; iCloud is mainly used for backing up your phone, but not for much else. As regards the function of synchronizing contacts, SMS, emails, calendars and so on, you can use, as an alternative to iCloud, a simple Google Account.

    9) Where is (Find my iPhone)

    The Find My feature is located in the Settings (menu ID Apple above) and allows you to trace your lost or stolen mobile phone. Find my iPhone is good in all scenarios and is also simple to set up, but if you want free alternatives to add as an anti-theft device, I recommend Prey.

    For further information we can read the guide above how to find or lock your lost or stolen iPhone.

    10) Reading electronic books

    The Apple app for reading e-books on iPad and iPhone is quite simple and allows you to read practically any document or book we get.

    If we are looking for a valid alternative we can only focus on Kindle on Amazon; very simple, it works really well for reading, with many options to change the brightness, fonts and bookmarks and integration with the Amazon account to immediately purchase and download new books and synchronize them with the space offered by the e-mail site. commerce, so as to always keep a copy of the book online.

    11) Voice memos

    The app allows you to record audio from your microphone like old voice recorders and then share that audio via email, messages, or in iTunes. While it works well, its functionality stops there.
    Better alternatives are:

    • OneNote
    • Evernote
    • Audio Memos
    • Google Keep

    By installing these apps we can create recording notes (as well as voice memos) and use the notes space to save links, sites and to-do lists.


    This app is nothing more than a simple writing pad that synchronizes with iCloud (for iOS, however, there is Apple Notes which works very well and is among the best apps of its kind). A free alternative is Google Keep for taking notes and saving notes on iPhone. Keep allows you to save notes online in a private and protected space and organize notes into categories as well as many other features.

    Reminders and lists

    This default app allows you to create to-do lists with alarms and geo-location. As better alternatives we can try:

    • Clear All
    • Alarmed
    • Remember the Milk

    With these apps we will be able to save any reminders and to-do lists complete with online synchronization.

    12) Musica

    Although the integrated Music app always works well and also provides a streaming service, there are certainly different applications for listening to music from the iPhone and iPad. The best alternatives that we can try as music players on iPhone are:

    • YouTube Music
    • Boom: Music Player & Equalizer
    • KaiserTone Audio Player +HiRes
    • Amazon Music
    • TuneIn Radio

    In another article we saw the best free apps to listen to music on iPhone and iPad, including radio and streaming.

    13) Podcast

    The default application is great for downloading podcasts but it’s not the easiest to use, with a rather complicated menu.

    Excellent alternatives for downloading and listening to podcasts even without having to use iTunes Downcast which does better what the default app does.

    14) Shares and securities on the stock exchange

    This is one of the iPhone’s historic apps, among the least used unless you are a stock market shareholder, good for taking a quick look at stock prices, but lacking options for keeping track of your investments.

    The best app to see Italian stock market prices is MSN Moneyexcellent for checking any type of stock investment and full of information.

    15) Weather

    The iPhone and iPad weather forecast app is fine for a look at current and future temperatures but not for getting precise, detailed information. The best weather apps we can try are:

    • 3B Meteo
    • Yahoo Meteo
    • The weather

    In another article we listed the best weather apps for iPhoneso that we can choose from numerous alternatives the one that presents the best forecast for the area where we live.

    16) Calculator

    For most people, the default calculator application is perfect for making quick calculations, and the scientific calculator in landscape mode is also available.

    Among the alternatives there are apps like Calcbot (paid) which provides a few more options and has a more convenient interface.

    QuickGraph instead it is the best (free) app for having a graphing calculator that does equations on your iPhone or iPad, even in 3D.

    Notable is also Wolfram Alpha per iPhone capable of making calculations of all kinds.

    17) Video

    The default Video application allows you to view only certain file formats. The best alternatives to try are:

    • VLC
    • KMPlayer
    • Movie Player

    Other alternatives can be found in the article on best player applications to watch videos and films on iPad and iPhone.


    Various apps are available on the iPhone store that we can use instead of the default apps, often obtaining even more functions or, what should not be underestimated, synchronize information and data even outside the Apple environment (for example on Android and Windows).

    For further information we can read our guides best free apps for iPhone come on how to use Office for free on iPhone.

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