After considering tens of thousands of iPhone apps and testing somewhere between 600 and 700 of them over the last six months, we’ve learned a few things. One, there’s a lot of junk out there. Two, the apps that take full advantage of the iPhone’s capabilities are few and far between. Three, just because an app is popular doesn’t mean it’s good. Four, ratings in the app store must be viewed loosely, as crowdsourcing the reviews often leads to dubious conclusions. Five, in the end, whether an app fits your needs and leaps ahead of all other apps to make itself indispensable is impossible to predict.

Our reviews are by necessity short. Much of the heavy lifting comes from the vetting, where we separate the wheat from the chaff. If you don’t see an app here, it’s because its reviews were so bad it clearly wasn’t worth downloading, it didn’t work well, or it was topped by similar apps that made the final cut. There’s always the chance that a great app slipped under our radar or made it onto the app store after we finished our review; if that’s the case, let us know.

If you want to see all 107 of the best outdoor iPhone apps on one page, click on the photo below.

If you want to jump straight to one of the categories on its own page, well…click on them.


And then, because we think it’s always interesting what actually stays on the phone when the testing’s over, we’ve included the apps that made the cut…see Michael’s and Steve’s picks below.

Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal. Follow him on Instagram at @stevecasimiro.