The 14 Best iPhone X Apps of 2023

Gotta-have apps you can't live without

Although the iPhone X, XS, and XS Max have been out for a few years, they still support most of the apps available for newer iOS devices. Here are the best iPhone X apps that work well on this trio of iPhones.

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Screenshot of Spark app
What We Like
  • Makes an inherently annoying system easier to use.

  • Swipe-based interaction enables one-handed operation.

What We Don't Like
  • No filters for automatically sorting emails.

  • Lacks a method for batch processing messages.

If you pay attention to iOS apps, you know that email has taken on something like the role of an antagonist in the world of iOS. App designers seem to believe everyone hates their email and they want an app to solve their problems with email.

Managing email is a little less painful when you're using Spark. There are features for scheduled send, snoozing emails, and a Smart Inbox that only notifies you of important emails.

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Best iPhone X To-Do App for Most People: Things

Things, the best to-do manager for the iPhone X
What We Like
  • Simplified interface reduces friction when adding and completing tasks.

  • Tasks can be added from anywhere on iOS with the share sheet extension.

What We Don't Like
  • Repeating tasks and deadlines can be buggy.

  • Tasks cannot be added to the calendar automatically.

To-do manager apps are a crowded field, and Things isn't the only good one. It's also not the only to-do manager on this list, but it's a carefully balanced tool, sitting on the sweet spot between control and complexity. The app provides just the right amounts of each, without overwhelming users to dials and without losing important features.

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Best GTD-Compatible To-Do App for iPhone X: OmniFocus

OmniFocus Screenshots, the best Get Things Done task manager on iOS
What We Like
  • Most powerful to-do list manager available.

  • Can fit in with virtually any task management style.

What We Don't Like
  • Sacrifices simplicity and usability for power and flexibility.

Like Things, OmniFocus is a popular and well-designed to-do manager. However, it has a different set of priorities. Where Things tries to stay simple and straightforward, OmniFocus is feature-rich and robust.

The app fully integrates with the "Getting Things Done" method of task management. Called GTD for short, this method encourages users to write down any tasks they have, as well as all their associated information and scheduling. GTD users will end up spending a good deal of time on the front end organizing work.

As a result, the software requires a robust feature set to fully implement all aspects of the GTD process. If that's your favorite methodology, OmniFocus is as close to an official iPhone X GTD app as you can get.

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Best iPhone X App for Busy Note Takers: Agenda

Screenshot of the Agenda app
What We Like
  • Small tweaks on note-taking can improve many workflows.

  • The time-based organization matches most users' mental models of information organization.

What We Don't Like
  • Slow app launch can limit how quickly you can jot down a note.

Agenda takes a different spin on a notes app than most other applications; it calls itself a "date-focused note-taking app." Notes are organized by project and date, and the dates are a big part of Agenda. Rather than simply collecting your jotting into a library, Agenda creates a to-do list from the items. With tight date integration, Agenda makes a functional journaling app as well as a capable to-do manager and general iPhone X note-taking app. The date and note combination seems obvious, but Agenda is the first iOS note-taking app to execute the combination effectively.

It's a to-do manager plus a note-taking app with some calendar features, essentially. And that's something of a holy grail, viewing all that information in one place with one perspective and only one app. The app is also highly functional in the freeform, which can be rare in flagship apps. Agenda particularly shines with Pencil support, but, for now, we'll have to look to the iPad Pro for that feature.

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Best iPhone X App for Password Management: 1Password

Screenshot of the 1Password app
What We Like
  • Finding and copying account information is extremely fluid.

  • Secure document storage means 1Password can collect all your secure information in one place.

  • Auto-fill support finally makes password management as easy as typing your password.

What We Don't Like
  • No free version.

  • The paid version uses subscription pricing.

Everyone needs a password manager. With unique passwords you don't have to remember, your online security will skyrocket.

With the auto-fill in iOS 12, 1Password is as close to perfect as we have in a password manager. Face ID authentication isn't unique to the iPhone X anymore, but having access to Face ID makes the app more secure and easier to use, which is a rare combination of achievements to reach simultaneously.

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Best iPhone X App for Podcasts: Overcast

Overcast best podcast player for iPhone X screenshot
What We Like
  • Thoughtfully designed interface for sorting and listening to podcasts.

  • Features like Smart Speed and Queue playlists are invaluable once you're used to them.

  • Active developer committed to avoiding a poor user experience for the sake of monetization.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't always play nicely with the iOS lock screen.

Overcast is the best app you can use to listen to podcasts. The app's interface is carefully thought out for maximal user effectiveness. Features like Smart Speed intelligently manage a podcast's playback speed to shorten silences without speeding up speech, while Voice Boost provides a pre-built EQ curve designed to amplify voices, which is great for a loud listening environment.

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Best iPhone X App for Reddit: Apollo

Best reddit app for ios: apollo screenshot
What We Like
  • Effortlessly handles a huge variety of media.

  • Well built UI makes navigation easy.

  • No ads in any version of the app.

What We Don't Like
  • Sometimes suffers from annoying and lingering bugs.

If you're interested in Reddit, you'll want to read the website outside of the first-party app. The app has improved, sure, but it's still miles behind third-party offerings.

Apollo is the best of the bunch when it comes to Reddit clients, beating out former champions like Narwhal. Development is constant and ongoing, with plenty of updates from the dev in the app's subreddit.

The swipe-based navigation will work on any iPhone, of course, but it dovetails nicely with the iPhone X's app-switching behavior. The pure black mode is also a treat for OLED screens.

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Best iPhone X App for Editing Portrait Mode Photos: Focos

Screenshot of the Focos app
What We Like
  • The most powerful method of manipulating Portrait Mode's depth-of-field effect.

  • Depth map is a unique features to help visualize blur.

What We Don't Like
  • Easy to make images look over-processed.

  • Only about the middle 50% of the blur range looks natural.

By default, the iPhone X's Portrait Mode is a one-and-done process. You take the picture, the blur is applied, and that's that. iOS doesn't provide a built-in method for editing the Picture Mode effect after the fact.

Focos fills the gap, building a tool to tweak both the level of blur and the blur mask. It mimics the effect you'd see when adjusting a lens' physical aperture. More magically, you can also change the focal point after the shot by recreating the blur mask on a different object or manually adjusting the effects on the image's depth mask in real time.

Those are just the free features. Paid users get access to a whole tier of image editing tools on top of the focus adjustments.

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Best iPhone X App for RAW Photos: Halide

Screenshots of Halide, the best camera app for the iPhone
What We Like
  • Deep processing power for iPhone photos.

  • Broadest toolset of any iOS image editing app.

What We Don't Like
  • Can overwhelm first-time users with its level of control.

The iPhone X camera is more powerful than it initially appears, with more features than the built-in camera exposes.

Uniquely, Halide sticks important information in the iPhone X's "ears." It embeds a live histogram for image analysis. Is it extremely valuable? Not exactly, but Halide is a near-perfect photography application besides that selling feature.

The controls are ideally placed and configured, RAW capture is pixel-perfect, and navigation within the app is smooth and immediately comprehensible. If you're serious about taking photos on your iPhone X, Halide is the best camera app for iOS.

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Best AR Puzzle Game for iPhone X: Euclidean Lands

Screenshot of the Euclidean Lands app
What We Like
  • Challenging and attractive puzzle levels that take advantage of AR's unique attributes.

What We Don't Like
  • Disappointingly short.

  • Core game mechanic feels very familiar.

Augmented reality apps haven't yet found their killer use. But AR gaming takes great advantage of many of the iPhone X's features.

Euclidean Lands is a short, fun puzzler that takes full advantage of AR's potential. Like Monument Valley before it, players manipulate the play space to create new pathways through puzzle layouts, guiding their avatar to the end of the maze. The game starts out easy, but you might be scratching your head a little by the end.

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Best AR Messaging App for iPhone X: Giphy World

giphy, the best augmented reality video messaging app on iOS
What We Like
  • Easy to create fun and funny images from provided assets.

  • Content isn't locked inside the Giphy app.

What We Don't Like
  • Object set and processing speed are inferior to Snapchat's.

Plenty of apps have tried to usurp Snapchat as an AR messaging platform. While Snapchat might be in a weakened state thanks to self-inflicted damage, it's not quite gone yet. But if it does go down, Giphy World is a fun replacement.

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Best Use of AR for Education on iPhone X: Jig Space

Screenshot of Jig Space app
What We Like
  • Takes advantage of AR's strengths for a good cause.

  • A strong collection of "jigs" for free viewing.

What We Don't Like
  • Accompanying captions are sometimes disappointingly shallow.

Learning with holograms is one of those things you constantly see in sci-fi movies. With Jig Space and augmented reality, that kind of thing is becoming possible in our daily lives. You can use the app to learn about various subjects, including how a lock works, manipulating each part of the mechanism, and viewing it from alternate angles. Jig Space takes advantage of AR's three dimensions successfully, and the low-poly models that AR is limited to don't hurt the quality of the visualizations.

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Best Late-Night Outdoors Companion App: Night Sky

Screenshot of Night Sky app
What We Like
  • Enhances the natural world with technology.

  • Improves the star-gazing experience for both children and adults.

What We Don't Like
  • Large image sets mean large camera movements are stiff and jerky.

Pointing out constellations is a lot more fun when you're not making them up as you go.

Night Sky was one of the first augmented-reality style apps to appear on iOS. It has shown the way for others on the platform seeking to mimic its success, but it's stayed dominant nevertheless.

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Most Useful AR Gimmick on iOS: Inkhunter

Screenshot of Inkhunter app
What We Like
  • Fun and novel app idea that's actually useful.

What We Don't Like
  • Suffers from AR's existing limitations in surface matching.

There's something uniquely exotic about trying out new tattoos on your own body. Inkhunter uses the power of augmented reality to create digital temporary tattoos you can lay out on your body and screenshot. You can use the built-in flash, draw your own designs, or import assets from elsewhere to project onto your skin.

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