Essential third-party apps to install on new iPhone or iPad



Whether I am configuring a new iPhone or iPad, or restarting from scratch (which I often do on iPads), there are few essential third-party applications that I install first. Here's a quick rundown of my must-have third-party applications:

Password Manager. iOS and iPadOS have a built-in password manager, but you cannot put all your eggs in one basket, right? Yes, I use the iCloud password, but I also install third-party password managers. I have 1Password and ProtonPass. Currently, ProtonPass serves as my archive. I am currently evaluating Bitwarden as a replacement for 1Password. 

Note taking. Tot is my must-have app. The built-in Notes application is, of course, more than adequate for my use, but Tot is simply indispensable! This is my extended clipboard app, note app, and scratch pad. 

Messaging. The built-in Messages is the default, of course, but since it is not cross-platform, I use Signal. Yes, for cross-platform privacy and security, and not to forget convenience, Signal is the best solution out there. Signal is run by a foundation (yeah, others are beholden to their investors, or can be bought and enshittified by new owners), and the foundation has no interests in using your data, metadata and chat/voice data, to monetize.

Mail. I use Fastmail and ProtonMail. Yeah, I have too many e-mail accounts, and am trying to reduce it already. 

VPN. I have a life-time subscription to Windscribe, but I also have a Wireguard VPN server at home. These two applications are must-haves on my iPhone and iPad.

Social Media. I only use two (2) social networks, BlueSky and Mastodon. Currently, it is the BlueSky's official app, and for Mastodon, Ice Cubes, a FOSS Mastodon client.

Browser. I am not much into third-party web browsers, but I install DuckDuckGo and Firefox (or sometimes Firefox Focus) as alternatives when sites fail to render on Safari.

Photo and video. Halide is my third-party camera favorite, and Blackmagic cam is the one for video capture.

News. I have Apple News+ as my main source of news, but my third-party news application is an RSS reader, NetNewsWire. On the iPad, I have Flipboard, too.

Others. Financial applications (bank, mobile money), ride-sharing and food delivery applications.

Notice that I do not use any of Meta's applications. I also do not have any Google application installed on my devices (work GMail is retrieved by Fastmail).

There are other utilities, tools, games, that I also install, but not with the priority of those mentioned above. I guess if I were to have a very limited number of third-party applications to install, these are it. What about you? What are your must-have third-party applications?

1Password -
ProtonPass -
Bitwarden -
Tot -
Signal -
Fastmail -
ProtonMail -
Windscribe -
Wireguard -
BlueSky -
Ice Cubes -
DuckDuckGo -
Firefox -
Halide -
Blackmagic Cam -
NetNewsWire -
Flipboard -