There's not actually an app for everything — at least as far as women are concerned. One proposed app about female masturbation (which was going to be called Happy Play Time, and looks like the best thing ever) had to become an online game instead after big app stores refused to stock it. But there are, if you're an adult woman who likes keeping track of your health and dating life, a few essential apps that you need to have on your iPhone — guaranteed to make your life easier, even if you're a complete technophobe.
When you mention "women's apps," too often developers hear "hair, make-up, shopping." Which is absolutely fine — shopping apps are the bomb — but that seriously limits the scope of what women could really get out of their app stores. We want a safe, healthy, happy life, often with a lot of fun sex; is it too much to ask our iPhones to help us along? No, it turns out, if you pick and choose well in the iTunes store — or just own an new iPhone 6s with no bells and whistles, as the latest Apple update has made one very important woman-friendly tweak we'll discuss in a moment.
Here are six of the most important woman-focused apps to have on your phone, whether you're dating, pregnant, just keeping track of your health, or looking for some advice — so make sure you nab the ones that fit your life.
1. iPhone HealthKit (Comes Standard)
This comes packaged into the iPhone itself, as part of its Health app — but a new improvement, announced this week at the Apple Launch event, makes it much more women-friendly. For the first time, the HealthKit has built-in period tracker. It's more technical than just "got my period today lol," too: it has a cervical mucus monitor and lets you log the heaviness of your flow, to track any worrying trends.
2. Early Detection Plan (Free)
Early Detection Plan is an app focussed on a very specific women's health issue: breast cancer. It's basically a monitoring and structuring app, helping you keep track of your appointments, encouraging you to do self-exams and see doctors if you find anything unusual, and tracking down your nearest clinic for specific tests. Given how important early detection is to breast cancer survival (it's in the name of the app, after all), its reminders to test yourself should definitely not be ignored.
3. Bumble (Free)
Bumble is an unusual app, in that it's a dating app structured to be feminist — or at least to let women have control over the situation. It's basically Tinder, but with more information (including employment and interests), and expects that the woman in any match make the first move; if she's not interested, the match doesn't move forward. If you're dating and want to feel more empowered, this is a must-download.
4. My Pregnancy Today (Free)
My Pregnancy Today covers every possible pregnancy-related concern. There's a checklist for the birth, fetal images so you can track the growth of the baby, videos of advice, a facility for you to take an album of bump photos and send them to relatives — the works. It also has technical aspects like contraction logs and birth date calculators. Fussy relatives are now basically obsolete.
5. Ruby (Free)
The basic premise of Ruby, which is a period and ovulation tracker, sounds like something we've already covered, but Ruby is more about wider wellbeing across the entirety of your cycle. Developed by makers of fertility app Glow, Ruby logs basically every aspect of your health, from your sexual activity to your moods and sleep patterns, and points out patterns across your cycle so you can do something about them. Yes, you probably do get grumpy around your 21st day. Now you can do something about it.
6. STD Triage (Free)
The reality is that Planned Parenthood's app on STDs — which allows users to anonymously order tests for syphilis and gonorrhea through the post — is too limited in scope to recommend yet. (It's only being tested in California.) But if you are worried you've contracted something from a sexual partner, the STD Triage is your very discreet friend. Take two photos of whatever's bothering you, send them in anonymously, and a dermatologist will assess whether they are of concern.
There are, of course, some STDs for which a photo will not suffice for a diagnosis — so the Planned Parenthood app may be the future. In the meantime, though, remember to delete your snaps off your phone after you send them, or the next scrolling person may get quite a surprise.
Images: Apple, STD Triage, Ruby, Bumble, My Pregnancy Today, Early Detection Plan