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Apple made a special list of must-have iPhone apps, and it snubbed Facebook

An iPhone 13 Pro on a table next to Apple AirPods

At this point in the lifecycle of the smartphone market, I seriously doubt there’s anyone out there who doesn’t already have an idea of which apps they want to download when they buy a new iPhone. Apple, nevertheless, maintains a list of apps that can be found inside its App Store which essentially amounts to Apple’s recommendation list of the best iPhone apps. The must-haves. The ones that no iPhone owner should be without.

You can find this list by tapping on the App Store icon on your iPhone. Then tap the “apps” tab at the bottom of the screen. After that, you should see the beginning of a “Must-Have Apps” list in the middle of your screen. It has an option to tap “see all” to check out the entire list.

What apps should I have on my iPhone?

The apps that the editors who curate Apple’s App store think are “essential apps to get started” for iPhone owners include the usual suspects. That means Google, TikTok, YouTube, Gmail, Amazon, and Hulu, for a start.

There are other user favorites, like the Calm app; Twitch, and HBO Max; the fantastic language-learning app Duolingo; LinkedIn; and, of course, streaming must-haves. Like Pandora, Disney Plus, and a newcomer to the game: Paramount Plus.

Do any high-profile apps not on that list stick out to you? Like, maybe, the huge social networking platform that Apple has been quietly as well as overtly trying to kneecap for years?

Apple’s must-have list of apps has a glaring omission

iPhone SE 3 color options.
iPhone SE 3 color options. Image source: Apple

That would be, of course, Facebook.

To be clear, I don’t see Twitter on Apple’s list of must-have apps, either. But that’s probably more attributable to the fact that the seemingly ubiquitous app with the blue bird logo has never been able to break out of its status as a quasi-niche service.

Regular people tend to use these kinds of things for keeping up with family and friends, as well as following brands that are important to them. That means Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat — with TikTok and Reddit also important here for content creation and consumption.

Only, well, obviously there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that Apple will ever go anywhere near promoting anything having anything to do with the kingdom of Zuck. Not that that’s stopping Apple from setting up Facebook pages to promote things like Apple TV Plus and Apple Podcasts, but that’s another story.

Nevertheless, all of those apps above are included on Apple’s list. Save for Twitter and Facebook.

Apple vs Facebook

The two tech giants essentially are caught up in an ongoing feud related to data and user privacy. Apple’s anti-tracking privacy measures that the company rolled out with iOS 14 have cost Facebook literally billions of dollars. This article, titled Apple robbed the mob’s bank, lays out a pretty good summation of how the two companies got to this point.

“With (app tracking transparency), Apple has robbed the mob’s bank … Apple has brazenly, in broad daylight, stormed into the Bank of Facebook, looted its most precious resource, and, camouflaged under the noble cause of giving privacy controls to the consumer, fled the scene.”


More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Andy Meek profile photo

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who has been contributing to BGR since 2015. His expertise in TV shows you probably don’t like is unmatched. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl.