Free alternatives to 5 popular paid iPhone apps
| by Priyanka Tilve
There is no dearth of apps in the Apple app store; you will find apps to cater to users’ every whim and fancy. But unlike the Android store, which is flooded with free apps, the apps on the Apple app store come with a price tag attached to them. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to premium iPhone apps. While they may not offer exactly the same feature set, these apps are worth considering. We have picked a few premium iPhone apps and put forth a free alternative app for it. Do keep in mind, however, that most of these free apps are ad-supported.
Alternative – Documents 2
View and edit documents on the go
When it comes to productivity apps, having a word and number processor is imperative. While Apple has developed its own apps called Pages and Numbers, they are expensive at Rs 550 each. A free alternative you can consider is Documents 2. The app has a paid and a free version. The free version is ad-supported and there are certain limitations – it doesn’t support rich text formatting, Dropbox integration, Air Print amongst others. The free version allows you to view and edit documents on the go and has syncing features as well. You can view/edit spreadsheets, text documents, preview, directly email the document and sync to Google. It also includes an integrated FTP Server and Wi-Fi HD (mobile hard drive) that allows you to easily transfer files between iPhone, iPod, Mac, PC etc. Additionally, it also includes a sound recorder and a photo manager. While the app isn’t as comprehensive as the Apple’s iWork suite, of which Pages and Numbers are a part of, Documents 2 should nevertheless suffice for most of your basic requirements.
App – iPhoto
Alternative – Aviary Photo Editor
Aviary has some nifty features
The iSight camera on the iPhone delivers crisp images and Apple has developed the iPhoto app to help you manage and edit the pictures that you have clicked. The Rs 270 app provides you with scores of features right from managing your album to image editing, adding effects, sharing and much more. If you are looking for a free alternative, then Aviary Photo Editor is worth a shot. While it doesn’t include all the features of iPhoto, it provides you with plenty to tinker around with your pictures. You can adjust the brightness, contrast and saturation, crop, change orientation, focus, fix blemishes etc. Additionally, you can add effects, frames and stickers, and colour, draw or add text – you can even create a meme. The app features quite a sleek user interface, which makes it quite easy to use and the results won’t disappoint you either. It even allows you to easily share your images via messaging apps and social networks. While the app has most of the popular effects, you can buy additional packs at a nominal cost.
App – iMovie
Alternative – Splice
Make your own movies with ease
iMovie is a powerful app from Apple to easily create and share movies from your phone. At Rs 270, you get an app that takes the pain out of movie-making and allows you to create professional looking movies thanks to its inbuilt features. It makes sense to buy the app only if you plan to make movies frequently, otherwise you can make-do with free apps like Splice Video Editor. Just like the iMovies, even Splice features an easy to use interface, which allows you to make movies by simple "drag-drop" option. It allows you to combine photos, videos, transitions and title screens to make your movie. When it comes to adding a background score, you can either add your own sound track or select from the pre-loaded sound effects and music files. What’s unique to Splice is that it allows you to synchronise multiple audio tracks. You can also create HD movies on a supported device. A great way to start is by watching the demo video, as it will help you to understand how to go about making your movie. Splice also has a paid version and the only difference is the free app is ad-supported.
App – AVPlayer
Alternative – RockPlayer2
It supports all the popular formats and has gesture control
The iPhone unfortunately doesn’t support all the video formats and the users are compelled to look for a substitute video player. A widely popular video player for the iPhone is AVPlayer, which will cost you Rs 170. If you are looking for a free alternative, then there are several you can choose from. One app that you can consider is RockPlayer2, which supports all the video and audio formats like mkv, avi, rmvb, flv, wmv, mov, mp4, divx, mp3, wma, aac and others. It also supports lossless audio formats like ape, flac, wav and aiff. Its touch-based user interface is intuitive and allows easy handling using your thumb. What also makes this player quite attractive is the set of gesture control it offers, you can pause/play, control volume, fast forward, hide/unhide files etc. via gestures. It also provides support for AirPlay and HDMI TV-out. The free version is ad-supported. Another video app you can consider is Flex Player.
App – Hipstamatic
Alternative – Instagram
Instagram is one of the best apps around to enhance your images
If you are a photography buff, then there are many apps that will allow you to experiment with images you click, by allowing you to add effects and filters. One such app, which is quite popular on the iOS platform, is Hipstamatic; it allows you to click analogue photographs using in-built film, lens and flashes. The app is priced around Rs 110. If you are looking for a free alternative, then there are plenty to choose from, but the one that’s worthy of consideration is Instagram. Of course, the app needs no introduction and has legions of followers, and is quite a rage. Just like with Hipstamatic, it allows you to choose from the various inbuilt effects to perk up your images. It’s almost like a social networking for photographers. The major point of difference between the two is the fact that while with Hipstamatic you select your film and lens before taking a snap, Instagram allows you to add effects to pictures you have clicked.
Have you used any of these alternative apps mentioned? Tell us your experience.
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