There are hundreds of thousands of iPhone and iPad apps available in the Apps store. This digital treasure-trove contains apps for every taste and need – very many of them are completely free. There are utility apps, entertainment and games apps, news apps, social networking apps, sports and travel apps, weather apps ... you name it, the possibilities are endless! But why should you use these apps when you can find almost everything through your mobile browser on the web? It’s all down to the user experience, says Kyle Bowen, the co-author of a paper on the subject. According to the Purdue University survey, students prefer using apps to mobile websites on their smartphones because “they are easier and faster to use”. I certainly find apps more fun and addictive than having to browse the web in search of what I want and then waiting ages for the pages to load. But what would you do if you were told tomorrow that you were only allowed to keep just three iPhone apps? Which ones would you choose? Would it be the fun ones that suck up every second of your spare time, or would it be those useful utilities that help you manage your day-to-day life? Here are my choices: 1. The iBooks app – because I love reading Simply, I just couldn’t live without books – and without a library to hold those books. So, as I can’t afford to fit a grand old-fashioned library in the flat I’ve just moved into, this app’s interface reminds me of the of the shelves full of books I left back home. The iBooks app receives ePub content from the Apple iBookstore, but you can add your own PDF files using data synchronisation with iTunes. There are more books in iBookstore than you could read in a lifetime, and you can add them to your bookshelf with just one click. Then you can organise them in Collections and choose what you want to read at any time. You can set up your ideal reading experience by adjusting the screen brightness and font and text size. You can easily search throughout your books, find definitions of words you don’t know and , if you get inspired by something, you can share it directly from the page to Facebook or Twitter. In short, I love it. 2. TED app - one video a day, to stay inspired Whenever I need some inspiration, a burst of confidence or some courage, I like to watch the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) talks on Youtube. Since I discovered the TED app, I enjoy their talks even more. You can browse their library by theme, tag or rating, search for your favourite speakers, watch the talks (also offline, by downloading them to your device) and then share them on social media networks or email them to friends if you want to do so. You can tell the app what kind of talks you want to see using the “Inspire Me” feature. Do you want to see something funny, something inspiring, informative or something jaw-dropping? Just tell the app what you’re after and how much time you have in hand and a custom playlist will be built for you. 3. Shazam app - name that tune! This app is a magic trick! I’m sure it’s happened to you too – you’re listening to a song that you really love but you don’t know the track or artist name. You’re desperate to find out what it is, but none of your friends are there to help. Fortunately, there’s a magic app that can put an end to your problem: Shazam. It’s very simple: hold your iPhone up to the music source and wait while the app listens and it will magically give you information on the track – its name, the artist, the lyrics, plus exclusive content and offers – all for free! It seems to be very simple but the technology behind this simplicity is amazing. The secret? Shazam works by analysing the captured sound and seeking a match based on an acoustic fingerprint in a database of more than 11 million songs. Tell us what apps you’d keep on your iPhone if you were allowed to keep only three of them. The most interesting answer will be rewarded with a free repair worth up to £80.