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The 15 iOS Apps We Want on Our MacBooks

Apple's bringing iOS apps to the Mac

At WWDC 2018, Apple revealed that it's already toying with iOS apps on its MacBooks. It's a process that is only in the early stages, but the proof is already out there, as macOS Mojave is getting News, Stocks, Home and Voice Memos.


But what if those aren't the apps you need? We've found 15 — including the best podcasting app and some pretty great productivity tools — that belong on our next MacBooks.

Credit: Apple

Music/Podcasts/iTunes Store

Music/Podcasts/iTunes Store

Technically, this is three apps, but if Apple could split iTunes into a trio of media apps, each interacting with your iPhone and iPad, we'd all be better off, dealing with faster-moving programs. A couple of caveats: uploading songs to the iCloud Music Library needs to stay in Music (though it could fit in well in the Files app), and device management should stay in the iTunes Store, for transferring purchases and ringtones. — Henry T. Casey Credit: Apple

Instagram

Instagram

Pro photographers already post their edited, high-res shots to Instagram, so there's no reason to keep this app off the Mac. Apple's Photos app is already on the Mac, so a share sheet option for Instagram makes all kinds of sense. The most important reason to import this title, though, is to make Instagram DMs accessible without having to open your phone. — Henry T. Casey Credit: Instagram

MLB At Bat

MLB At Bat

Baseball doesn't follow any schedule, and if I'm working late, I'd love an easy way to stream radio broadcasts of my Yankees (especially considering their current performance). The MLB At Bat app makes it super-easy to follow your favorite team throughout the season, and also does a great job of notifying you about scoring and lead changes. — Henry T. Casey Credit: MLB

Netflix

Netflix

Why does Windows get a Netflix app, but macOS doesn't? Bringing the Netflix mobile experience to the Mac would allow for save-for-offline mode, turning your biggest portable screen into a better theater. Also, you can only watch 4K HD content on Windows via the app or Edge, so an app could finally allow your MacBook Pro to stream at a rate that matches its Retina screen. — Henry T. Casey Credit: Netflix

Two Dots

Two Dots

Bejeweled is cute, but Two Dots is the truly addictive match game that deserves to have a home on the Mac. Sure, it would truly sing on a touch-screen MacBook (please, Apple, please?) but a mouse or touchpad would be just as capable of allowing users to connect the lines between the dots. And since there are hundreds of levels in Two Dots, we need it on all the devices we can get. — Henry T. Casey Credit: Two Dots

Kayak

Kayak

Yes, there's Kayak.com, but the rapidly fluctuating pricing for airfare, hotel and other travel accommodations demands a more capable solution. That's why I want to install Kayak's iOS app on my Mac. This way, you wouldn't have to worry about checking your email (where pricing notifications often seem delayed) or phone, to find out about a price drop. — Henry T. Casey Credit: Kayak

Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run

In the absence of Flash games, the desktop experience has been lacking for fun, cheery (and disposable) platformer games. Enter Super Mario Run, an excellent tap-to-jump iOS game, made more playable by its secondary and tertiary levels, which remix the map and push you to grab harder-to-reach coins. But the big flaw of Run was how it demands you have internet access at all times, which can be a problem when you're traveling underground. It isn't an issue, though, when you're at home on a laptop. And that tap-based gameplay would be easy to replicate with the Space bar. — Henry T. Casey Credit: Nintendo

Alto's Odyssey

Alto's Odyssey

But what if you want a more-chill, less-aggressive gaming experience? The infinite runner (well, snowboarder) is one of the calmest games I've ever played. It relies on a similar tap-to-jump game style, but adds a hold-to-flip (or grind) move for doing tricks in the air. Also, its dark, soothing look would fit perfectly with macOS Mojave's Night Mode. — Henry T. Casey Credit: Snowman

Drafts

Drafts

We all have our favorite text apps, and one of mine is the ultralight Drafts. Every time you open it, you start a new note, and the app comes with a ton of customizability for sending your note wherever you want it to go. Also, Drafts collects your past notes, so you can use it as a great, unlimited capacity notepad. Sure, Notes kinda does that, but nobody actually likes that app's overly yellow interface, and its sharing options are minimal. — Henry T. Casey Credit: Agile Tortoise

Overcast

Overcast

The best iOS podcast manager shouldn’t be limited to iPhones. After all, I want the ability to use features like Smart Speed to shorten silences wherever I go, and I want my podcasts to sync between my Mac and PC. There's no reason that should be limited to Apple's podcasts app, so I hope developer Marco Arment ports this to macOS as soon as possible. — Andrew E. Freedman Credit: Overcast Radio, LLC

Health

Health

Why should your health data be locked to your iPhone? Whether you're using your phone or accessories to track steps, sleep, heart rate or other activity, there's no reason you wouldn't want to look it up while you're working. Instead of picking up the phone to check your steps for the day, you can have it sync to your Mac App when you get back from your lunch hour. — Andrew E. Freedman Credit: Apple

Lyft, Uber

Lyft, Uber

While it's useful to hail a car from the street, sometimes you'll want to do it while finishing up some work. By bringing popular ride-hailing apps to the desktop, you can just insert where you want to go, pay, and keep an eye on the time. Then shut the Mac, lock your door and head downstairs to get in the car. Easy as pie. — Andrew E. Freedman Credit: Uber

Clock

Clock

Sure, you have the date and time in your menu bar, but the iOS Clock app is far, far more complete. Now that macOS will be getting a bunch of apps I'll never, ever touch (hi Stocks, bye Stocks) I'd like for a desktop app with the timers, alarms and other tricks that its mobile sibling offers. — Henry T. Casey Credit: Google LLC

Google Keep

Google Keep

I'm not sure how I'd keep my work priorities organized without Google Keep, which allows you to create all kinds of dynamic to-do lists and notes across both iOS and the web. Having a dedicated desktop app for Google's notes service would allow me to access my myriad to-do lists without having to keep an extra browser tab open, and would likely make for better syncing between what's on my mobile app and what shows up on my computer. — Mike Andronico Credit: Google LLC

Gmail

Gmail

One of the greatest ironies of the iOS versus Android debate is that Google often produces its best apps — and releases them first — on Apple's mobile platform. So it's no surprise that many users prefer Gmail to Apple's own iOS Mail client, for features like auto replies and batching that intelligently sorts all your promotions and social updates into easily categorized groups. Why shouldn't Mac users enjoy the same luxuries? — Adam Ismail Credit: Google LLC