A World Without an App Store


Imagine a world without the app store. Now breath and collect yourself. You probably imagined a barren waste land-desolate and terrifying. You might think you can’t live without your favorite apps but the truth is you wouldn’t be totally in the dark. There are some great apps that come stock on every iPhone. Many of which get tucked away in a junk folder when you replace them with something third party that’s only better in some niche way.


These apps are underrated and deserve far more credit than they get.

The calendar app that comes stock on iOS is something the ultra-productive schedule oriented businessmen and soccer moms of the late nineties would have gone bonkers over. Maybe you can’t input new events as smoothly as you can on something like Sunrise Calendar but it can keep up with everything from important events, meetings, and even manage your billing cycles. The app is fairly intuitive with various simple ways of viewing every important event at a glance.

If I didn’t have Evernote I admit I would feel pretty lost. However I know I could get by with the stock Notes App. I’ve done it before and since last I used it the folks in Cupertino added some great features to it. Not only can you take simple text notes but now you can save photos to it and even draw within the app if you are so inclined. The app even supports checklists so it can handle everything from grocery lists to writing prompts and daily journaling. Some people even prefer their stock app because its simple and not as bloated as something like Evernote.

I am a to-do list kind of guy. If it needs to be done I have to put it in some type of checklist. Reminders isn’t Todoist it has no natural language input and no you can’t create subtasks, but it does get the job done. Reminders allow you to create multiple lists. So if you want to keep up with homework, or which movies you haven’t seen yet you can do that. Reminders is simple and functional. Oh and something else noteworthy-it actually works with Siri. You can’t really say for third party apps.

Without an app store you don’t have candy crush or YouTube to pass the time but you do have Podcasts. Podcasts not only can replace mobile games on your long commute but listen to the right podcasts and you might become a more interesting intelligent and entertaining person. If you don’t already listen to podcasts I recommend the Tim Ferriss Show for those of you into life hackery and interviews of world class people. I also recommend Welcome to NightVale if you like a good horror-comedy-Scifi narrative. If you already listen to podcasts but you use a different app like PocketCasts or Overcast you will miss some basic features but nothing too damning.


Perhaps the most underrated app on your iPhone is Safari. In an alternate reality where you are stuck with only the apps that come pre-installed Safari does a lot of the heavy lifting. Safari can replace almost all of your social media apps like Facebook and Twitter. As far as YouTube goes the mobile site and the app are pretty similar. The reason I use Safari over Google Chrome on my phone and laptop most of the time is because of its article view feature. By simply clicking the little four horizontal lines in your address bar you can declutter blog posts and news stories and read them as plain text. That feature alone gets more use day to day than some of my less important social media apps.

I recommend playing around with the stock apps before you download your go to suite of apps that you think you can’t live without. You might be surprised to find that you can do a lot with them and if you bought the sixteen-gigabyte iPhone you might not even go back just in order to free up space for more selfies.


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