New tricks for old apps
When the iPhone landed in 2007, Apple’s pre-installed weather, stock and calculator apps were pretty basic. With the introduction of more versatile third-party apps a year later, it was easy to forget about these default offerings. However, over time, Apple and Google have added many new features to these old apps and added new offerings.
Here’s a quick guide to many apps made by Apple and Google — and how to delete them if you still never use them.
Updates on standby from Apple
If you haven’t opened Apple’s Weather app in a few years, it’s been overhauled after Apple bought rival weather app Dark Sky in 2020 and integrated its technology. Apple Weather now includes precipitation alerts, hyperlocal forecasts, and color radar maps. Touch panels displaying air quality, UV index, humidity, wind speed and sunrise/sunset times for detailed information. There’s also a 10-day forecast – tap a day to see predicted high and low temperatures and conditions.
In the Apple Stocks app, you can still search for ticker symbols in the search box. If you’ve set up a custom watchlist (or more), tap a ticker symbol to populate the screen with data; tap the time ranges at the top of the chart to view performance over time, or scroll through the data below the chart for more details.
Pressing the center of the chart with one finger shows the value for that day and time, and pressing with two fingers shows the time difference. Want a quick overview of a stock’s performance? Just press and hold the ticker symbol on the watch list.
The trusty old Calculator app — which has long hidden a scientific calculator for more advanced math functions when you’re using your iPhone in landscape mode — has a few additional shortcuts. Did you accidentally enter the wrong number? Just swipe left or right on the display to delete the last digit. Press down to copy a calculation elsewhere.
The Android Toolbox
Android’s pre-installed software may vary depending on the operating system version. However, the Calculator app has been standard since the beginning; The current edition handles basic math and science operations, such as trigonometric, logarithmic and exponential functions, regardless of where you hold the phone, and the top screen stores your previous calculations.
Some hardware manufacturers, such as Samsung, have their own versions; The Samsung calculator includes a unit conversion function to translate measurements.
You can also track the weather and stocks through the Google app on most Android phones. When you open the app and tap the weather button, you can save a shortcut to the forecast on your home screen; if you don’t see the option, tap the three-dot menu icon on the right and select Add to Home Screen.
To set up and track your stock portfolio, tap Stocks and add ticker symbols, mutual funds and more to your watchlist. Google provides news related to this list, and you can save a Google Finance shortcut to your home screen.
Find more free apps
Apple and Google have created dozens of tools that make your phone even more of a digital Swiss army knife, such as free language translator, health, and map apps. Apple tends to load these apps, such as Magnifier, Voice Memos, Measure and Compass, onto new devices. If you can’t find one you’re looking for, search the App Store for a free download.
Depending on your phone, some Google apps may already be installed; the Google Play Store has a whole page of free Android apps developed by Google for you to browse. Many apps developed by Google have iOS counterparts and are available in the iOS App Store, such as Google Earth and Socratic, an AI-powered homework app.
Use it or lose it
When you’re not using an app, you can delete it to save space and organize your home screen. Apple now allows you to uninstall most of its own iPhone apps by pressing an icon until a menu with an “uninstall” option appears.
On an Android phone, you can quickly delete many apps by dragging each icon to the top of the screen to Uninstall.
And if you change your mind later, you can always download these apps again.