New MacBooks will run iOS apps — but these important ones could be missing

MacBook pro
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Apple is poised to release the first Macs running on Apple Silicon later today at its "One More Thing" event. We don't yet know which MacBooks will debut but Apple did reveal benefits that custom ARM-based chips will bring to its upcoming laptops. 

One of these perks is the ability to run any iOS app natively. By default, these apps will appear in the Mac App Store, giving iPhone owners the ability to use their favorite mobile apps on macOS.

But there is some fine print. According to a 9to5Mac report, developers can withhold their apps from the Mac App Store, and several major players are taking up that option. 

The report says Google will not offer native YouTube, Google Maps, Google Drive or Gmail apps at launch for MacBooks running on Apple Silicon. Facebook is also taking a seat on the sidelines, meaning the Facebook app as well as Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger will not be downloadable in the Mac App Store. 

Other AWOL apps include Snapchat, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Among Us, Candy Crush and Real Racing 3. If it's any consolation, Netflix should be available on day one as well as HBO Max. A few popular mobile games, like Sky: Children of the Light, Subway Surfers and Temple Run "might be" in the store. 

If an app is available on the macOS App Store, users will see the message "Designed for iPad. Not verified for macOS." Apps withheld from the digital store will tell users to download it on their iPhone or iPad. 

It's important to remember that Apple's transition from Intel to ARM-based chips will take two years. In that time, developers will work to get their app running smoothly on the new architecture. With that in mind, some of these early App Store omissions could arrive later when developers have ironed out any bugs and feel good about the user experience they're delivering. 

Apple's big MacBook event is set for later today at 1pm ET (10pm PT). We will bring you full coverage of the showcase, including everything you need to know about the new MacBook(s) revealed at the event. 

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.