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Best iPhone 5 apps – our ultimate guide

iPhone 5-ready apps are here! Check out our guide to the best apps for the iPhone 5's four-inch screen spanning utilities, games, photography, and social media.

The launch of the iPhone 5 saw a huge update to everyone’s favourite device’s screen size. Now in glorious 1136 x 640 resolution, the new display might’ve stayed the same in width but the height has changed, adding an extra row of icons to the home screen and requiring every app to be that little bit taller. Although non-iPhone 5-ready apps are still perfectly usable (they’re letterboxed and sit central in the screen), the ones that’ve been optimised not only look the part, but make of the most of those extra pixels. Here’s our guide to some of the best iPhone 5-ready apps out there.



Hipstamatic - screen

Before Instagram, there was Hipstamatic. The original analogue camera app for iOS that not only produced some beautiful vintage-style photos, but enhanced the experience by allowing you to select the right lens, film and flash for the job. Now, with an iPhone 5 update, it’s even more engaging than ever, making use of that extra-large screen to feel more like the cameras of old than ever before.

The shutter button is now that little big bigger and the rest of the controls in the viewfinder have been spaced out, meaning there’s less chance of an accidental photo being taken as you’re changing your settings or checking out your finished images, it’s a great app and well worth picking up if you’re getting a little bored of Instagam’s filter selection.

We’re big fans of this awesome analogue camera app.

Instagram - icon

(Free) Hipstamatic is all well and good, but nothing beats Instagram for speed when it comes to the time between taking a photo of your spaghetti and seeing it in all its anologue-esque glory on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Foursquare. With that little bit more room on the iPhone 5’s screen you can now see more of your images than ever before as you fly through and select one of its many amazing effects and filters.

iPhoto - icon

(£2.99/$4.99) When it comes to editing and organising your photos on your iPhone 5, to paraphrase Carly Simon, nobody does it better than Apple’s own iPhoto. The much-loved desktop app is now fully functioning and making the most of those extra pixels on the iPhone 5 – meaning you’ll have no issues sorting your images into albums and applying intricate edits when your best friend’s eyes decide to take a turn for the rouge.



Reeder - icon
Reeder - screen



When it comes to keeping up with the latest Apple news (like, for example, that iPad Mini that everybody’s talking about), there’s no denying that no app does it better than Reeder. Effectively a native client for Google Reader, Reeder strips away all the visual distractions associated with the search giant’s own RSS reading services and leaves you with a clean and simple interface that gives you space to focus on the content.

The iPhone 5 optimised version of Reeder allows you to keep on top of all of those iPad Mini rumours by displaying more articles in the list view and more lines of text when you’re reading stories. It’s not the most inventive use of the space (there’s plenty of time for that, though), but it makes sense for this great little app.

Oh, did we mention that Reeder also comes in Mac and iPad flavours, too? It’s well worth grabbing those too if you like your news on all the devices.

iBooks - icon

(Free) With iBooks fully optimised for the iPhone 5’s taller screen, there’s no excuses not to indulge in your inner bookworm and get stuck into the latest novel. Okay, Comics are just as acceptable, but what’s important here is that, whereas the iPhone 4/4S’ screen may have felt a little too small to read on, the four-inch iPhone 5 display does the job with aplomb.

Day One - icon
Day One – Journal

(£2.99/$4.99) For those times when you don’t fancy reading what other people have written, why not write something yourself and give yourself the opportunity to experience that oh-so-pleasent feeling when you read your own stuff back at a later date. Day One is widely considered one of the best journaling apps available on the App store and, with its iPhone 5 optimisation, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t deserve a place on your home screen.


Pinterest - icon
Pinterest - screen


Everyone’s favourite app for posting up food, furniture, fluffy things and fancy fonts just got the iPhone 5 treatment and it really does make all the difference. Whereas before, Pinterest was better viewed on Safari on your Mac or, at a push, on your iPad, viewing it via its dedicated iPhone 5 app makes for a great experience when it comes to browsing all of those images.

What’s more capturing inspiration is easy when you’ve got your iPhone to hand, as Pinterest will happily pull in photos from your camera roll or that excellent 8-megapixel camera. Just don’t point it too close to the sun, eh? If you’re not already a Pinterest user, there’s no better time to sign up, just be prepared to be bombared with all of the images of cute cats that the internet has to offer. It’s oddly addictive.

Pinstagram is available on iPhone and iPad and online via – go get it, you won’t regret it. Especially if you like cats.

Facebook - icon

(Free) As the darling of iOS 6, it’d be a crime not to include Facebook on your iPhone 5’s home screen. Recently updated to become faster and snappier than Speedy Gonzalez after a few too many espressos, Facebook’s app has become the mainstay of many a social networking addict’s iPhone. So go on, count yourself among one of those one billion monthly active users, you know you want to.

Path - icon

(Free) For those of you who don’t fancy joining the crowd and wouldn’t mind a little more privacy, then Path is the social network for you. This stunningly designed app is not only great to look at but full of useful funtionality and enough privacy to ensure only your closest friends and family know what you did last Summer. It’s free to download and sign up, so even if you’re not the biggest social networker, it’s certainly worth checking out.

Tiny Tower - icon
Tiny Tower - screen
Tiny Tower


Ever fancied yourself as a bit of a property tycoon? Actually, the question (and answer) is irrelevant because, no matter what, we’re sure you’ll love Tiny Tower. Building and managing your own tower block might not sound like a lot of fun, but trust us, it really is. Especially when you take into account the awesome graphics and Game Center integration, it’s nothing short of great fun and an escape from the rigours of real life (unless, of course, you’re a property tycoon by day).

If any game makes more sense on the iPhone 5’s bigger screen, we’d like to hear about it, because there’s no doubting that if you’re building your own towers it’s worth having the tallest screen possible to do it on. Who doesn’t want to see both the third and thirteenth floors without scrolling, after all? What makes this game even better is that it’s completely free and works just as well on your iPad, too. Grab this game and get stuck in, your tower will soon be rivalling London’s famous Shard or New York’s infinitely more famous Empire State Building. We’ve set the bar. Now, to the app store!

Sky Gamblers - icon
Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy


If building from the ground up isn’t really your thing, then take to the skies with Sky Gamblers. The graphics in this game are incredible and that should be reason enough to part with your hard-earned cash alone, but it’s also worth noting that the gameplay is just as great and the customisable controls and online multiplayer modes will ensure that shiny new A6 chip is really pushed to its limits.

Fifa 13 - icon
Fifa 13

(£4.99/$6.99) It might be a little on the pricey side, but EA’s Fifa  never fails to disappoint when it comes to providing some great sporting action on your iOS devices. The iPhone 5’s larger screen means you can now see both ends of the pitch without zooming…well…that’s not striclty true, but it does make all the difference when it comes to planning your attacking strategy. Just be sure to wear your obligatory manager’s suit.

djay - icon


djay - screen

As one of the apps featured by Apple during its iPhone 5 unveiling, you always knew that this app was going to be great. Fortunately, djay has lived up to expectations, allowing you to…ahem…djay your way to house party/last-minute wedding disco/little cousin’s birthday celebrations stardom with its ability to tap into your music library and let you live mix tracks like the pros. What’s more, you can turn on Automix and pretend you’re so great you can become king of the decks with little more than the power of your mind.*

With a hyper-realistic design, emulating the look and feel of a real set of decks and mixer, the iPhone 5’s larger screen makes all the difference when it comes to creating amazing mixes. There’s far more space to work and a few extra controls are now within easy access as well.

Magic Piano - icon
Magic Piano

(Free) “Please don’t stop the music”, said Rihanna, and we’re inclined to agree. Fortunately, such a situation will never occur so long as you’ve got Magic Piano on your side. Part-music app, part-game, Magic Piano allows you effortlessly play along to your favourite songs and Bruno Mars. Think of it a little like Guitar Hero. It’s a lot of fun.

SoundCloud - icon

(Free) SoundCloud‘s iPhone 5-ready app allows you to tap into the masses of music stored on this musical social network. From small solo artists to stadium-filling acts, musicians across the globe are using SoundCloud as platform to share their latest songs. Luckily for you, you can listen into the whole thing and even contribute your own tracks using your iPhone 5’s built-in microphones. It’s a must-have for any  music fan.