Two Apps You Need on Your iPhone Even if You Think You Don’t

Last Updated by Gray Williams on October 23, 2018

According to surveys from 2017, iPhone users are gobbling up 2 hours and 15 minutes per day using apps. In fat, the average iPhone owner uses nine apps every single day to shop, get directions, do banking, talk to friends, and just about every other use under the sun you can imagine.

But just because you’re using a bunch of different apps every day doesn’t mean you’re getting the most efficient and effective use out of your iPhone. Here are two apps that you absolutely need on your iPhone even if you don’t think you do.

Instapaper

Let’s face it, between your Twitter feed, your Facebook news, texts, instant messages, and all those news stories you hear about at the water cooler, on the radio, etc. Instapaper is a bookmarking service owned by Pinterest that temporarily saves all different types of web content so that you can read it later, even if you’re on a different device. You can save hundreds of articles to you iPhone, iPad or iPod. It can even turn text into speech and be controlled by the Apple Watch. It can lock in your logins for Twitter and Facebook and the home bar disappears when you go to full screen reading mode. Instapaper has a dazzling 4.5 out of 5.0 ranking on iTunes with one reviewer simply calling it “Best App Ever.”

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) provider

While the iPhone might be one of the most sophisticated pieces of hardware available for consumers today, it still is using plain old wireless networks to get online. When you travel to stores, restaurants, coffee shops, airports, and schools, this usually means logging on to a public network. You’ve probably seen the warnings about unsecured networks when you log in at one of these places and just as easily dismissed it as you rush to check your email, instant message,  check a stock quote, or catch up on your fantasy football team. But using unsecured wireless networks is the equivalent to walking around with your wallet or purse wide open and laying it out on the counter for anyone to see when you purchase an item. Hackers and cybercriminals specialize in intercepting personal and financial data off public networks. Others are able to spoof networks by creating their own with names similar to the business you are expecting to get wireless support from. When you log on to a hacker-created network instead, they have access to everything you send to every website you visit and all the data you send and receive. Setting a VPN on your iPhone will provide you with a personal covered tunnel connecting your computer to a remote server, sometimes located in another country. Your information is encrypted and sent to the server. There it’s decrypted and sent on to the website you’re communicating with. The same process happens in reserve as the website sends info back to the remote server, which encrypts it and sends it on to your computer decryption. Anyone trying to view your data or the websites you are visiting would be blocked by the VPN connection.

Gray Williams
Gray Williams is an experienced data and communications engineer and cross-platform copy and content writer and editor with a keen interest in cybersecurity. He has been working with and researching, VPNs and other online privacy tools for many years.