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What apps are still missing from the iPhone and iPad App Store?

When you look at Windows Phone or BlackBerry 10 it's easy to see the well-known iOS and Android apps that are missing from their respective app stores. Even with Android, you can look at popular iOS apps like Tweetbot, Fantastical, or Letterpress, not to mention every single one of Apple's apps like GarageBand, Keynote, and iTunes Store, and notice their absence from Google Play. With the iOS App Store, however, it can take a little while longer. The Google apps are mostly there, as is BBM, and many Microsoft apps as well. So what's still missing?

There are the obvious things, like Apple's missing iPad apps, and the apps Apple simply doesn't allow like porn and software that modifies the system like themes. Office for iPad, though, is a notable exception. So's Halo. There are smaller examples as well. Westjet, the airline I used just this week, has an Android app but no iOS app, at least not yet.

Are there any others? Any apps you've seen on other platforms, or any problem you've had that the App Store had no solution for? In other words, what apps are still missing from the App Store?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Flappy bird Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • Man should I have seen that coming!
  • Lol Sent from the iMore App
  • Sorry Rene couldn't resist : ) Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • HA! Post of the day!
  • Hahaha top form Posted via iMore App
  • Do be curious to know how many popular apps are available on Android and not iOS. And not because Apple won't allow them in store (like torrent or bitcoin apps).
  • The less places office is available the better, it's just a headache to use. Sent from the iMore App
  • I would love a netflix inspired porn app. :)
  • App for photos like NOKIA CAMERA, omg please!
    Pandora for Europe!
  • Id like the ability to set an app as the default app for an action.
  • Living the dream! :)
  • I agree. I didn't know how much I wanted this until I made a switch to an android phone a few years ago.
  • It is not enough of an itch to make me switch, but the ability to set default apps is one of the few things I envy about my wife's android phone. Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm not going to lie to you the switch was hard. I started with Ice Cream Sandwich and a middle of the road android. Not a good thing. It was a little slow and buggy and the battery was short on life. When it died I was not ready for a contract phone so I purchased I then purchased a a Nexus 4 and haven't looked back. I am very impressed with the way it ran Jelly Bean and now Kit Kat. I do miss some aspects of the iPhone but I wanted the bigger screens. I miss iTunes, I miss the fact that when I got a new iPhone that once I choose to use a backup all the apps automatically loaded in and the home pages set up just like my old ones. From a tablet perspective I will NOT give up my iPad. I tried android tablets and the The Nexus 7 looks nice but again I wanted the larger screened tablets and I was not impressed with the Android ones. One other thing I miss from my iPhone is just the tech service that Apple provides. I had a problem with my 3GS and they replaced it quickly and without question (I was under warranty). They made the process simple and painless.
  • That would be awesome, I can understand why Apple will not let us do that, so… Sent from the iMore App
  • Not so much missing apps, but would like to see MORE integration between apps. More apps that can talk to each other so I don't need quite as many apps. Example - I love that Sonos integrates with apps like Songza and SiriusXM. Or I like how some of the fitness apps talk to each other, but others don't.
  • This!
  • Yessir!
  • Classic game emulators are conspicuously absent from the App Store. I know they go against the rules for running executable code, but this is literally the only reason I have Android devices. The Nvidia Shield is the portable SNES/N64 that Nintendo refuses to make. The Nexus 7 is the best DOSbox for running old mouse games like Master of Orion. The OUYA makes me happy because it can play MAME games on the big screen. Native apps for iOS are "better" but my lust for classing gaming is endless and strong.
  • Some of them also violate the IP rights of the original game companies, so wouldn't be allowed anyway :)
  • Older consoles, such as the Famicom, Super Famicom, and Mega Drive are now out of copyright and can be reproduced. (there are many legal clones of them on sale now, and not just in China). So there's no legal issue with older tech. There is of course the issue of the ROMs, but as long as they're not included in the emulator itself, there should be no problem. Banning them because they can be used for illegal purposes doesn't makes sense, as by that rationale you must also ban users from playing their own MP3s and MP4s. That said, actually playing a SNES game, which used a 6 button pad, on a touch screen, is a pretty awful experience.
  • The new MFi controllers would make that nicer. An iCade or 8bitty with MAME already works nicely in iOS if you managed to grab the right thing at the right time.
  • The bolt on iPhone controllers make the iPhone look like an Atari Lynx. It's not a good look. If I want "real" handheld gaming, I'll use my 3DS. I think the controller stuff for iOS is really intended for the next Apple TV, not the iPhone. Hopefully we'll see very soon.
  • There is NO WAY the software should be out of copyright. Copyright last the life of the author plus 70 years or 95 years after a work is published or 120 years after a works creation date. The software in those devices are not even close to that old. Those games are all still protected. If they are clones then they use different code, are similar only in idea which isn't protectable or they are allowed by Nintendo. If you want to make one of their games they still have the right to stop you if you don't get a license. You couldn't sell the games in the app store either without the rights.
    Anyone trying to use the names of the games say to create their own clone game would need a license as those are trademarked as well.
  • I am not a lawyer but I think ... The hardware patents have expired, hence Famiclones and things like the Retron 5. The software copyright (on ROM files) is still valid, hence Virtual Console. We could still have emulators for homebrew games. Infringement would not be the responsibility of the emulator author or the App Store.
  • Do the controls on the Shield work well with the SNES/N64 emulator? You peaked my interest in a possible purchase.
  • Yes, the controls are great for dpad type games. There are even apps to run Quake 3 engine games like Jedi Outcast. The Shield feels like a portable XBOX for them. Your interest should be piqued because it is awesome. Yes, copyright infringement is possible with game emulators, but is that so very different from ripping CDs into iTunes?
  • Well that is another pro towards getting one. May take the plunge. Until then I will be playing with DOSbox on my Nexus 7. Can't wait to get home and give that a tryout. Thanks.
  • You have to keep up on blogs when emulators go up because when they get passed Apple QC they get removed really fast once identified. I was able to get the "Remote File" app that had a hidden emulator. LifeHacker posted an article that picked up the slip up where Apple unintentionally allowed the app but quickly removed it (same day).
  • "Find my luggage" - no GPS tags needed. Google should scrape all the airport baggage scanners and provide the last scan point for your bag.
  • Something similar and as functional as the previous version of BlackBerry Travel. That was a great app unique to BlackBerry which worked really well, multi-functional and was free! Sent from the iMore App
  • WorldMate does the same thing as Blackberry Travel and is written by same company that made BB Travel. It even has trip catch (scans emails for bookings etc) too!
  • Thanks for the heads up. I will have to check out WorldMate. Sent from the iMore App
  • instagram native for ipad?
  • Well, mostly it's "smaller" apps made by educational institutions. People that teach programming just for Android because it free to publish on Google Play. How the hell is Apple charging them? Also, you should do this for the Mac App Store. You can install them anyway, but it would be better to have everything on the MAS for obvious reasons (easy to discover, central updates, reviews, unninstall process, etc.). All Google Apps, dropbox, transmission, openemu, office, etc. Can't wait for the day that it is enforced. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • Inssider is on Android but not allowed by Apple App Store. This app is majorly beneficial for anyone trying to either survey the networks in their area or troubleshoot channel interference or any other type of wireless network problem. Sent from the iMore App
  • There are quite a few interesting JRPGs and shooters which are only on Android. Some are only available in Japanese, but for shooters that doesn't matter.
  • It's rather comedic that the Apple store app is iPhone only, and the completely non responsive Apple web site is way too small and fiddly to use in Safari on an iPad. Bit of a missed opportunity there.
  • What? There is an Apple Store app for iPad.
  • Maybe in your country. In the UK there is only an iPhone Apple Store app.
  • There are many, but the "phone" app for the iPad is the biggest missing app for me. I don't want to carry two devices around that are essentially the same. The iPad is my main computer and works for all uses *except* once in a blue moon I get something called a "telephone call."
  • I'd agree with Gazoobee on the iPad phone app idea. That would be real handy while on a job site with the iPad, one less thing to carry around. They would need to make it so the calls come in to both devices, tho.
  • If Apple would put cellular components in the iPad mini - viola! Bigger iPhone! Sent from the iMore App
    [glares hard and gives Apple the finger] Sent from the iMore App
  • Eww. Do you want anti-virus for iOS, too? (there are hundreds for Google, many of which are likely malicious) Apple made a conscious choice not to expose the file system. It makes managing objects like photos and songs needlessly obtuse, but at least it's easy to use and difficult to break.
  • BiteSMS without the need for JailBreak
  • +++++1,000,000,000,000,000,000 Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • Scrivener, of course.
    However, Notebooks 7.0.1 by Alfons Schimd is sorta the same idea. Out of topic (apps soon to be update): Ardoise 2.0 by Druide Informatique
    Midnight Inbox Touch 5.0 by Midnight Beeps Softworks
  • Storyist for iOS is very similar to Scrivener, can't recall if it exports to it now.
    StorySkeleton has some similarities and exports to Scrivener.
    Your Notebook 7 sounds interesting so I'll have to give it a look, thanks. Sent from the iMore App
  • Biggest issue with the app store is search results are useless when it's one result per page. Or you go to a list and it's three apps in a list. it's a hassle so i almost never browse the app store for apps thus i rarely find something newer and better.
  • 6tag. It's a WP exclusive, but it is way better than any version of Instagram.
  • Swype
  • Not really an app, but I think a social hub is missing from the iPhone.
  • Google Keep Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • Ditto. Keep works. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • Ditto! A lot of missing apps you can find similar ones to use but Google Keep is/was on my Android phone homescreen for a reason, I use it alot. Miss it :(
  • Swiftkey proper not some note app
  • The Apple Store on the iPad - I know it is available in the States App Store, but not in Australia's app store....
  • A Hangouts app that's on par with the Android version. The iOS Hangout app is horrible Sent from the iMore App
  • Three Squared! Three Squared! Three Squared! I've emailed Second Gear Games and have not got a response back. ???
  • aperture. lets have an app where you can do actual full photo editing and also raw editing... if apple doesn't release something like this. then you could just get a surface tablet with lightroom.
  • I think the missing apps situation is also greatly affected by region. Many apps and services available in the US app store are not available in many countries Posted via iMore App
  • very true, like Facebook Paper
  • 7x7 - but the one made by Kiip, Inc. ( - this a really fun simple game I used to enjoy a lot with my Android tablet. There are some 7x7 games on the App Store, but none of them look as good.
  • I think what could be done within Apple's rules is already done. It is really hard to find an innovative idea for a completely new app. The problem is Apple's restrictions. Apple should allow system modifying apps and other potentially problematic apps. They could introduce "certified" apps with a separate more expensive review process on Apple's side.
  • I don't see an "Apple" application which can give more insight towards their products/company/roadmap etc. I know all this information is available on their site, BUT it would be nice to have an app for this and obviously the app needs to have a b'ful interface.. what say ?
  • I miss the intuitive typing app I had on my Android. I can't remember the name, but it would remember common phrases I used in emails and texts and suggest them. It made composition so much faster!! Sent from the iMore App
  • Sorry, it's Swiftkey that has already been mentioned... Sent from the iMore App
  • I would like to see an IOS version of InSSider.
  • A whole bunch. Keyboard replacements. Launchers. Torrent apps. Roms. Recording apps. Etc Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • wpcentral.. there's an app for that on android but not on ios Sent from the iMore App