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10 essential apps for iPhone and iPad

Apple revealed the top apps of 2014 this week, and as the year winds down, many are wondering what apps are the best, or what apps were the most-popular throughout the year. Well, for those users Apple has made choosing an app for any given function a lot easier. While there are many out there, some were clearly a cut above the rest. For 2014, here are the top 10 apps of the entire year that blew the rest of the competition away.

SwiftKey Keyboard – Originally only available on Android, when Apple began allowing third-party keyboards on their devices, it was only a matter of time before SwiftKey made it to the top. It has the ability to learn from Google, Facebook, and even Twitter, which makes the learning curve a lot shorter. The keyboard allows more uniqueness within the Apple-keyboard experience which is something many iOS users craved.

FireChat – Advertised as an off the grid messaging app, FireChat does a great job of capitalizing on a market that is otherwise untapped. FireChat is interesting because it allows users to chat when internet communication is either bogging down or struggling. Other apps that have tried to jump into this market haven’t done nearly as well as FireChat has done comparatively.

Replay – This is an all-around video editing app. While it’s technically labeled as an editor for Instagram – that’s really selling the app short by quite a margin. In fact, this app does a great job of giving users the opportunity to link many clips and photos, and turn them into long version videos as well.

Glow Nurture – This is a pregnancy health tracker that really does it all. It allows users to upload photos, stats, and even gives daily health updates that are relative to the individual in question. The app was a follow up to their first successful app, Glow.

Star Walk 2 – This is a great app for anyone who is trying to navigate the skies at night. This app allows users to see drawings of the constellations, as well as see where particular stars are. The app will even give users the ability to spot individual stars depending on their geographic location.

Inbox by Gmail – This update was a really great app that took Gmail and seriously improved it. While Google didn’t end Gmail, they did want to create an email platform that could compete with some of the default email companions on smartphones to begin with. It is more predictive and better than previous versions of the email system.

Wire – This is a messaging app that really cleaned up the entire messaging experience. It’s simple and is designed really well. That being said, the focus isn’t nearly as much on the interface, as it is on the security. End-to-end encryption on calls make this app a really great grab for anyone who does a lot of communicating via text or voice. That being said, the app also delivers a great experience with multimedia as well.

Peak – Brain Training – This app features a series of mini games that are built to improve things like focus, cognitive recognition, and attention span. The improvements that the game can make on the human brain have been proven, and now tech companies are jumping on the band wagon by the dozens.

Medium – Medium is an app that focuses on writing and writers. It gives writers a blogging platform that is equal in experience, as it is function. However, the app does well to read others content nearly as well as it does for creating content. This is a must-have for any writer who uses Medium as their blogging platform of choice.

Swype – This was another keyboard app that made its way over from Android. Swype keyboard allows users to swipe from point to point over a keyboard while the software figures out what words the user is trying to type. The update means greater productivity, and for many it means faster typing.

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