I’ve noticed that no matter whether I’m setting up a new iPhone or iPad, or a new Android device, it’s the same five apps that I install first.

I do a lot of setting up and resetting of iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. And the other day, I noticed that it’s the same five apps I install on both iOS and Android, in the same order. Spooky, eh?

So, what are the apps? And what alternatives are there that you might want to consider? Let’s take a look.

1: LastPass

Password manager

LastPass Setting up a new device means entering passwords, and rather than rely in autofill in Google Chrome or the Apple Keychain, I have a separate password manager. I’ve gone with LastPass because this it is packed with features — especially security features that allow me to lock down my LastPass account — and it works on a whole raft of devices.

Alternatives: 1Password, DashLane

View Now at LastPass

2: Authy

Two-factor authentication

Authy Where possible, I like to have two-factor authentication protecting my online accounts, and where hardware 2FA isn’t possible, then an authenticator app is a good alternative.

While many password managers have authenticator apps built in, I went for Authy because it means I keep my passwords separate and get an app that works on pretty much any platform you can think of.

Alternatives: Google Authenticator, andOTP

View Now at Authy

Must read: Can a simple charging mistake cause your MacBook Pro to overheat?

3: F-Secure Freedome


F-Secure Freedome I’ve been using this VPN service for years, and while I’ve tried others, I keep coming back to it because it’s easy to use, no-fuss, just works, and the app is one of the best I’ve used (for example, I turn it on, and it stays on, happily running in the background).

The perfect prescription for shady Wi-Fi connections.

Alternatives: NordVPN, ExpressVPN

View Now at F-Secure

4: Tile


Tile I have become quite the Tile convert over the past year or so.

I don’t lose things, but I have been known to misplace things for some time, and to prevent that hassle I now have a Tile in my luggage, laptop bag, wallet, and backpack. I love the fact that I can also use a Tile to find my lost smartphone.

Alternatives: Chipolo, MYNT

View Now at Tile

5: Speedtest

Network speed tester

Speedtest A very reliable way to test network speeds. Again, a service I’ve been using for years, and while I’ve tried countless others, this is the one I keep coming back to.