The 7 apps you’re paying for that iOS 18 could soon replace for free

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Jun 15, 2024

With a wealth of new features and functions arriving with iOS 18 later this year, you might be able to retire some of the apps and services you currently rely on – and perhaps save some money, too. As is often the case with Apple’s software updates, the next iPhone upgrade is going to plug some of the gaps currently being filled by third-party developers.

Of course, there are reasons to stick with these third-party options as well – they’ll often give you more flexibility and more in the way of advanced features, and perhaps you don’t want to have Apple in charge of everything you’re doing on your phone. On the other hand, if you ditch everything we’ve listed below, you could save up to $58 / £50 / AU$85 every single month.

These are the most significant apps and services that have had their key features added to iOS 18. You could say Apple has Sherlocked them – a term widely used whenever Apple’s software copies a third-party app, in honor of the old Sherlock file search tool on macOS that eventually duplicated the features in an independent program called Watson.

However you interpret iOS 18’s upgrades, here are the apps that it could soon take off your hands (and bank statements)…

1. LastPass (and other password apps)

LastPass is a well-established password manager (Image credit: LastPass)

iOS, iPadOS and macOS have been able to manage passwords and other information for a while now, and keep it securely synced between devices. But iOS 18 is going to bring with it its own standalone password manager – and that might mean you can do without the likes of LastPass, 1Password, or whatever it is you happen to be using right now.

Passwords, passkeys, and codes can all be handled by iOS 18, and you’re going to be able to easily share these logins as well. Interestingly, Apple Passwords will work with third-party web browsers like Chrome and Edge too, via an extension called iCloud Extension. 

There is one main reason why you might still want to carry on paying $3 / £2.60 / AU$4.50 a month to LastPass though: you regularly use devices that aren’t made by Apple (and it’s worth noting LastPass is free for a single device, too).

2. Grammarly

Anywhere you can type, Grammarly can check your text (Image credit: Grammarly)

One of the main tricks you’ll be able to do with Apple Intelligence – the new Apple AI being baked into iOS 18 – is getting it to run an eye over text that you’ve written for spelling and grammar mistakes, whether it’s in a web form, an email, a text, or anything else. You can even ask for your text to be rewritten to change the text’s tone or succinctness.

All of this is very much in the wheelhouse of Grammarly, which offers AI-powered text checking and rewriting in your web browser and across all of your various devices. While there is quite a lot you can do with Grammarly for free, much of the AI-enabled magic requires a subscription, and that starts from $12 / £10 (about AU$18) per month.

3. Otter AI

Otter turns your audio into text (Image credit: Otter)

Otter is one of the most well-known and feature-packed voice transcription apps out there, and it uses some advanced AI modeling to turn spoken audio into written text with a high degree of accuracy. If you need transcripts of meetings, interviews, or anything else, then Otter usually does a fine job of producing them, and at a decent speed, too.

However, you can only work with 30-minute files and up to 300 minutes of audio per month – after that you’re paying from $10 (about £8 / AU$15 per month). iOS 18, meanwhile, will record, transcribe, and summarize as much audio as you like through the Notes app – which may mean a lot of Otter users decide to make the switch.

4. TapeACall

TapeACall has millions of users (Image credit: TapeACall)

If you need a call recording, TapeACall does the job for you for $10.99 / AU$17.99 (it’s free right now in the UK), and is packed with features: text transcriptions, cloud syncing, conference call recording and more. However, it doesn’t work natively on your phone, instead setting up a group call with your contacts and TapeACall to do the recording.

What’s more, you only get a limited number of minutes of recording with the up-front price of the app, with more available through a subscription. With that in mind, you might well want to consider jumping over to the built-in call recording features coming with iOS 18, which are built right into the Phone app and also offer automatic text transcription as well.

5. ChatGPT Plus

ChatGPT is available as a standalone iOS app (Image credit: Future)

What with OpenAI adding so much functionality to the free tier of ChatGPT recently, you might have already been weighing up how much value for money you were getting from your ChatGPT Plus subscription. But now that Siri is getting ChatGPT features as well, you’ve got another reason to stop paying every month for your AI chatbot access.

We’re not talking about Apple’s own LLM (Large Language Model) and AI chatbot here (though that might come later): we’re talking about the very same artificial intelligence text responses that are currently offered by ChatGPT Plus, available through Siri, thanks to Apple’s deal with OpenAI. You could save your $20 (about £16 / AU$30) each month.

6. Bullitt Satellite Messenger

Bullitt Satellite Messenger sends texts via satellite (Image credit: Bullitt Satellite Messenger)

Since the iPhone 14 launched in 2022, iOS users have been able to lock on to a passing satellite to send an emergency SOS message if they’re in trouble and in an area without cellular network coverage. With iOS 18, any text can be sent via satellite if needed – so you can always stay in touch with friends and family, wherever you happen to be.

So far, Apple hasn’t said anything about this feature costing any money (it has made noises about emergency SOS satellite communication becoming a paid-for feature, but it’s free for now). That means you might no longer need the plans offered by Bullitt Satellite Messenger, which start at $9.99 / £9.99 (about AU$15) for 80 texts per month.

7. AllTrails

(Image credit: Apple)

Another improvement iOS 18 is bringing is in the Apple Maps app, where you’ll be able to browse through thousands of different hiking trails, across all 63 National Parks in the United States. There are filters for length, elevation, and route type, so you can find something perfect for you – and you can set up your own custom trails as well if needed.

These improvements might have you thinking twice about renewing your AllTrails Plus subscription (in the US at least), which costs $35.99 / £35.99 / AU$35.99 every year. Admittedly that covers a lot more trails and a lot more parts of the world than Apple’s offering, but you could find Apple Maps covers everything you need – and it’ll no doubt expand over time as well.

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