The Best 2017 Apps on iOS, including Apollo, Bear, and More

1 minute read
| Quick Tip

The year is winding down, and as we get ready for 2018, it’s nice to look back to see what the best 2017 apps of this year were. This article focuses on iPhone apps, and for a list of iPad apps check out this list.


Screenshots of Apollo, one of our best 2017 apps on iOS.

When I wrote a review of Apollo, I quickly saw that it was the best Reddit client. Apollo puts iOS first, and the developer made sure to design the app closely with iOS guidelines in mind. In addition to design, the app also has great features, including a Markdown editor, in-line media, and multiple accounts. | Apollo – Free


When iOS 11 came out this year, many people weren’t happy with Apple’s redesign of it’s Podcasts app. Overcast became a popular alternative. It has features like Smart Speed, Voice Boost, and Smarter Playlists to enhance your podcast experience. | Overcast – Free

Star Walk 2

Screenshots of Star Walk 2, one of the best 2017 apps.

If you gaze up in wonder at the night sky, you’ll want to start using Star Walk 2. It uses your iPhone’s sensors and GPS to help you find planets, stars, comets, and a whole lot more in the sky. There is an augmented reality mode where you can see what objects are in the sky as well. Star Walk 2 is on sale right now at 70% off, so grab it fast. | Star Walk 2 – US$0.99


If you’re a big reader, you’ll like BookBub. It’s a book recommendation app that gives you recommendations based on categories you choose. Not just any books though; it gives you a selection of books on sale. Whether you like science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, or romance novels, there’s something for everyone. | BookBub – Free


Screenshots of PCalc, one of the best 2017 apps.

PCalc has been around for 25 years, and is considered one of the best calculators on iOS. It has advanced features that make it particularly useful for scientists, engineers, and programmers. You’ll find engineering/scientific notation, binary/octal, hexadecimal support, and extensive unit conversions. Normally PCalc is US$10, but for the 25 anniversary it’s being offered 90% off. | PCalc – US$0.99


Bear is a note-taking app that takes productivity to the next level. It has support for notes, code, sketches, and the Markdown format. Whether you’re jotting down a quick note or an essay, Bear has it all. Organize notes with hashtags, then quickly find them using Search Triggers. | Bear – Free

2 Comments Add a comment

  1. PSMacintosh

    I read your nice article (about PCalc) at 4 PM California time on Tuesday Dec 26, 2017 and I got interested in purchasing PCalc at its great sale price.

    It just pisses me off how Apple sw works nowadays!
    I see your great article and I want to buy PCalc. Should be a simple smooth process to move from your article to the purchase, right?
    I’m on my iMac and I go to the App Store. But I can’t buy it there because it is an iPhone app and I can ONLY buy iPhone Apps from the iPhone itself. So, instead of having the convenience of using my nice large desktop keyboard (and large display screens), Apple FORCES me to use its crappy iPhone keyboard and hen-peek around.

    When I click on the link in your article, it takes me to an iTunes Preview page with another “article” about PCalc….and I do see it’s price stated at the discounted price of .99. Great! But no where on that page is there a link that I can click that will somehow help me get my iPhone, which is sitting right there on my desk, to connect to the iPhone App Store (or even connect fully to the iMac App Store) and then immediately find and open to the PCalc purchasing page.

    By the time that I eventually (because I went away for the afternoon and then to a late dinner) get to the App Store on my iPhone, I have to first do a “search” to find the PCalc app and then, upon finding it, I only see it listed for 9.99 price. (It’s 10:45 PM PST.)

    So HOW do I obtain PCalc for .99?
    (I’m going to try to send this comment to the Developer as well.)

    Do you see what I’m saying about how cumbersome and unwieldily Apple software (in all of its glorious thinking that it knows what is best for us) has become.

    • BlackCorvid

      Which is why I upgraded to iTunes which allows one to upgrade to IOS 11 and still access the app store from your Mac (as well as restoring from backup without having to download all those apps again). I recall that one may downgrade from iTunes 12.7 to 12.6.3 also.

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