A quick note before we begin. A dialogue box may pop up telling you a certain app "is an application downloaded from the Internet. Are you sure you want to open it? Open-source and omnipotent, the media player will play, stream, or convert just about any video format you can throw at it, while sporting a clean, minimal interface that strips away unnecessary controls and puts the focus on the content.
With dozens of supported formats and drop-dead simple one-click operation, the app will dutifully extract and expand all sorts of extensions, in numerous languages and virtually any compression method. Independent publishing has never been so accessible. What used to require months of training and an expensive suite of software can now be accomplished with a single free app. With an array of templates and tools and a breathtakingly easy interface, iBooks Author can get you from outline to upload in no time. Free to all but the most serious professionals, Alfred will supercharge your productivity with its unique system of shortcuts and keystrokes, letting you launch apps, find files, solve calculations, and control your Mac with swift precision.
Read our full review of Alfred here. And of course, everything will be presented in a beautiful stripped-down view, all without the ethical quandary of an ad blocker.
One day iCloud Drive will be able to handle all of our file storage needs, but until it arrives, Dropbox is an essential tool. But while its website is fine for quickly uploading small files, the Mac app turns the service from a simple digital locker into a seamless storage syncing solution. Launch it once and your Dropbox folder will integrate with the Finder, so adding a file is as easy as saving it to your Documents folder. No matter how or what you write, Simplenote promises to fit neatly into your workflow, with a syncing and organizational system that rivals the most powerful note-takers around.
The deceptively powerful app puts a premium on speed and efficiency, offering a clean, lightweight interface that lets you breeze in and out of your notes, organize your thoughts, and quickly find things buried under a mountain of text snippets. The debate over which is the better browser is one that won't be settled anytime soon, but in the meantime, every Mac user should have a copy of Chrome alongside Safari in their Dock.
Fast, smart, and endlessly customizable, Google's browser is an excellent alternative to Apple's, with speedy surfing, smart syncing, and Google Assistant-style voice searches. And with a dedicated store filled with extensions and themes, finding ways to enhance it is way easier than it is on Safari.
Having the date and time in our menu bar is super helpful, but if you want a little more control over your appointments, Itsycal is the clock replacement of choice for menu bar tweakers. As its name suggests, Itsycal adds a tiny but enormously useful calendar to your menu bar, complete with appointment dots and a list of any upcoming meetings.
You can also add an event without needing to launch Calendar, but the best reason to download Itsycal is how good it looks, whether you like things light or dark. Mac maintenance might not be as vital to the day-to-day operation of your Mac as it once was, but slow-downs still happen. And when they do, Onyx will clear them up. A general-purpose utility with more tools than a Swiss Army knife, Onyx packages maintenance scripts, cache cleaning, and permissions repairers to keep your Mac in tip-top shape.
Its simple interface makes it quick and painless to run all kinds of cleaning solutions, but its best feature might be the individual optimized versions Titanium Software offers, going all the way back to Jaguar. But you'll probably still need a cup of coffee. But you can get all of the features and more in the free version of BBEdit. Even without spending anything, BBEdit is a full-featured editor in its own right, sporting powerful features such as multiple clipboards, automatic backups, live search and syntax-highlighting support for more than 20 programming languages.
Whether it's to-dos, reminders, wishes, or groceries, we all make lists. And if you make them on your Mac, Wunderlist is just as amazing as it sounds. Simple, fast, and elegant, the app will let you write, share, and assign as many lists as your life needs, with a friendly interface that keeps everything neat and organized.
But it's more than the price that's wonderful; Wunderlist is one of the most powerful task managers around, seamlessly augmenting your workflow with smart lists and Calendar integration, and making sure you never forget anything that needs to get done. We're not sure how long Microsoft plans on keeping it around, so grab a copy while you still can.
So if your Mac is feeling a little run-down, make an appointment with Dr. With a simple interface and a lightweight, menu bar-based app, the good doctor will optimize your memory and clean out the hidden files that bog down your hard drive. With a click, it'll surgically remove caches, logs, and temporary files as it frees up disk space and makes sure your Mac gets a clean bill of health.
Back before iTunes was a bloated beast that handles far too many of your Mac's media files, it was one of the best music players around. If you're nostalgic for those days, Tomahawk might be the player of your dreams. With a clean interface that kind of looks like an updated version of the original iTunes Player, you'll be able to play all of your music files, including ones from streaming services like Spotify, Google Play Music, and YouTube but not Apple Music.
You can also create playlists and curate your own radio stations, and since it's open source, new features and big fixes will be instantly available in the nightly builds. Things like Touch ID protection and real-time tracking belie its free status, and of course, there are iOS companion apps that are also free so you can work wherever you are.
Slack has quickly become the first name in business collaboration and messaging since it launched in , and its free Mac app is the best way to keep in touch with your team. Bringing everything you love about the web interface to your Dock, the Slack desktop app lets you quickly switch between groups, change your status, drag and drop files, and, of course, communicate with your team members. A lightning-fast search gives you instant access to buried messages, and granular notifications will keep you apprised of only the most important correspondences.
It's so good, you might not want to turn it off at the end of the work day.
Once you install it, a record button is never more than a click away, sitting in your menu bar until called upon. The free version is pretty light on the features, but you can change the sample rate, switch between mono and stereo, adjust the volume, and save your recording right from the menu bar. And some of them could be eating up precious space on your drive. You could run a full disk cleaner to find and root them out in fact, Dr.
Cleaner on this list will do the trick , but if you want to quickly find double files and get on with your day, make space for Duplicate File Finder in your Applications folder. Smart, stylish, and speedy, Spark will help you get control over your inbox with powerful filters that help you focus on the messages that need your attention.
It works with Gmail, iCloud, Outlook, and just about any other email address, and its companion iOS apps will keep all of them perfectly synced. With a deceptively powerful interface and a slew of advanced features, Spark just might ignite your passion for email again. Or at least make you not hate it as much. BetterTouchTool is worth getting for its customizable keyboard shortcuts and trackpad gestures alone. If you add support for key remapping, text expansion, and window management, you have the ultimate productivity app for your Mac. You can take care of those tasks from the menu bar!
Dropzone also gives you a temporary place to stash files for quick access. Spotlight not cutting it for you? Switch over to Alfred. Ensure that you download Alfred from its official website; the Mac App Store version is out of date. Download: Alfred Free, premium upgrade available. Try a better tool with one of these macOS Spotlight alternatives.
Read More. You can use it to create macros for pretty much any set of macOS functions. Clipboard management, text expansion, iTunes control, app launches, Share actions, mouse-click automation—Keyboard Maestro can do it all for you.
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Of course, if you use an app like Alfred or BetterTouchTool, you already have powerful text expansion features at your fingertips. Download: VLC Free. Want to use your iPad or iPhone as a second Mac screen? Duet Display lets you do this better than any network-based alternative ever has with virtually no lag. Plex is a robust, database-driven media server. It automatically scans incoming media and keeps your collection organized.
Download: Plex Free, premium subscription available. Convert videos with a click using Handbrake, the go-to open-source video transcoder for Mac.
Run Windows on your Mac for free with VirtualBox. Download: VirtualBox Free. Parallels Desktop Lite lets you run windowed Windows and Linux applications on your machine. The app also supports Modern. IE virtual machines and can be a good testing ground for macOS versions too.
27 Best Free Mac Apps You Should Install in — appsntips
Download: Parallels Desktop Lite Free, subscription required. The Lite version above has a few restrictions, such as missing Bootcamp support and no file sharing from the virtual machine with macOS. You can opt for a licensed version of the app or pay for an ongoing subscription. Before you make a choice between the two apps, read the official comparison of Parallels Desktop Lite and Parallels Desktop.
Trying Wine for the first time. Installing a Windows app onto a Mac is an eerie feeling! Fingers crossed! Spectacle is a free, no-nonsense way to switch between various window sizes and positions with keyboard shortcuts. With Magnet, you can snap windows to create custom tiled workspaces best suited for the task at hand.
The app works with various window sizes including halves, quarters, and thirds. If you use multiple displays, Magnet has support for those, too—for up to six of them. Do you need advanced window options like custom snap areas and app-specific snapping sizes? Head straight for BetterSnapTool.
The latter has built-in window snapping functionality among other features. The app is stable and reliable enough to go live, plus, polished and easy to work with. Mind you, feature rich does not equal clunky and cluttered in this case. It gives you much-needed writing basics like a word counter, typewriter and focus modes, and iCloud sync. If sidebar access to drafts is a must-have for you, give Byword a miss.
Ulysses prides itself on two things: excellent Markdown support and a distraction-free environment. Download: Ulysses Free, subscription required. A few staff members at MakeUseOf swear by Scrivener, a cross-platform software for writing drafts and managing lengthy writing projects. With a monthly payment, you can keep unlimited journals, draw in them, add unlimited photos, sync across devices, and do a lot more.
Not willing to shell out for an ongoing subscription to Day One?
Then your best option is to pay a one-time price for Journey. Download: Day One Free, premium subscription available. Your email address will not be published. I really hate this website because of lots of old articles which always pretend to be a new article. This is an awsome list. Most of these applications I use day by day. Have you ever heard of an application called "iClock PRO"? I really think this should be part of this top. I like two things about it: highly customizable alarms and break time which forced me to organize very easy time spent in front of computer.
Office,cleanMac,mackeeper,Automator,Unarchiver My mac install these apps. Thanks for the awesome list! Curious why freeter. Using it on a daily basis and it's absolutely indispensable. Freeter looks pretty awesome, first I've heard of it. I'll try it out and keep it in mind for future updates. You should update this. But the list is awesome as it is.
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Nice job! Sad to see that Pixlr is not on this list. Quiver is a notebook built for programmers. It lets you easily mix text, code, Markdown and LaTeX within one note, edit code with an awesome code editor, live preview Markdown and LaTeX, and find any note instantly via the full-text search.
Loved VLC for the longest time. Great as a player, but not so good for video management. You can create playlists, but to access them, you have to do a file open. Then it often doesn't play the playlist in order. Have yet to find anything that handles playlists well. Great picks! Two apps that help increase machine performance in some way.
Excellent work! Thanks for putting this together. I was searching for a good VPN and found hotspot shield and, as we now know, it's garbage since they collect info and sell it to their ad company. So here's what you can do. Click Finder hold the Option key and click Go in the top taskbar then Library library only shows if you hold option.
Go to the "Preferences" folder You should see "com. Drag that to the trash it may prompt you for an administrator password. Log out of your user account and log back in. Click the Apple in the top left and go to System Preferences. MUO has completely overlooked Nisus. I don't think they know it exists.
Have a cookie
This isn't the first time they have made a list that doesn't include it. They really need to check it out. It is the most elegant but powerful word processor out there now, and the output is beautiful as well. Best and easiest that I could find. I dont trust companies even they say they are secure. And I'll just "second" the following already mentioned Big miss is SuperDuper for daily backups!
Has been working flawlessly for years with outstanding customer support in case of a rare and small glitch. Price is right. You can find all of these apps, and many more at MacUpdate. Nice List. I live and breathe Evernote for everything I can't remember. And Spotify keeps me sane when working stupid hours all day. One app I would recommend in the "Video" section would be DreamSync. It's for video creators that shoot audio and video separately.
Hi Dee, Freeter looks pretty awesome, first I've heard of it. What gives? How was this missed? This list should include Pixlr, thats all there is too it! What a list Well done. Yeah we're a bit spoiled for choice really ;. It makes such a joy to use OS-X. An amazing tool to work with windows in mac! That should take care of the ads. But, for good measure, lets make sure everything's gone. Ive used Hotspot shield on mac and windows and its not spyware. OneNote is infinitely better than Evernote. CleanMyMac 2 is the way to go to clean up your Mac. You should include below apps - Beautiful Backup I use to prepare single bakcup folder for all my photos.
Nice list Nice list. Little Snitch is not free. Thanks Brian, we've updated the price for Little Snitch now.