With so many apps available on the app store, it can be daunting to find the best apps that will benefit you. Below I have included a list of some of the best apps on the market that can help enhance your experience with your Mac computer or laptop. This is a list of many great apps, therefore, it is not necessary to download every app on this list. It is best to choose the apps that will align with the goals you plan to accomplish with your Mac device.
This list consists of both free and paid apps. They range from apps that help in productivity, photo editing, cloud storage and more.
A typical computer session for me involves rearranging my windows around my screen so that I can have two or more windows viewable at once so that I can multitask between them. This became a hassle to do manually for each of my windows which led me to eventually finding out about Magnet.
Magnet is a $0.99 application that allows you to move and resize windows around your screen with keyboard shortcuts or by dragging windows. I prefer to use the keyboard shortcuts within the application. This application has made managing the windows on my screen more convenient.
2. Google Chrome
Google Chrome is a powerful cross-platform browser that allows users to navigate through the web. This is one of the fastest browsers out there and there are different extensions or themes that can be downloaded from the chrome web store to customize your browser.
You can download chrome on your other devices and assuming you are logged on to the same account, all the information will be synced across the devices.
Another advantage of Google Chrome is Chrome Dev Tools. If you are a web developer then you will enjoy the debugging tools and other features that come with Chrome Dev tools. Taking the time to learn it will help improve your programming skills and making programming more efficient.
Dropbox is one of many great cloud storage systems out there. Some features of Dropbox include storing files, sharing files, transferring files, automatic back-up, syncing between multiple devices and data migration all through the cloud. This software is used by many businesses because it is great for sharing files between teams for team collaboration. It is also great for personal use to back-up personal files or free space on your local machine.
Dropbox offers 2 GB of space for free when you sign-up but you can also earn up to 14 GB more of space for a total of 16 GB of space by inviting friends to sign-up to Dropbox. If you need more space you can pay a monthly fee for up 1 TB of space up to 2 TB of space.
To learn more about cloud storage check out my post here (click here to navigate to the post on cloud storage).
4. Google Drive
Google Drive is also known as Back up and Sync but is also another great cloud storage system. The system not only syncs files and folders to Google Drive but also syncs files and folders from Google Drive to your local computer. This allows users to access their data for offline use. Some other features include syncing deleted items between your local computer and Google Drive and syncing Google Drive between multiple devices.
Google Drive offers 15 GB of space for free. If you want more space you can pay a monthly or yearly fee for 100 GB of space up to 30 TB of space.
To learn more about cloud storage check out my post here (click here to navigate to the post on cloud storage).
LastPass is a password manager that saves the username and passwords for the different accounts you have. The application makes you create a master password then the credentials for your other accounts are saved within a vault. Whenever you visit a website and need to login, LastPass will offer to autofill your username and password. Another feature of LastPass is that it autogenerates passwords for you and saves those passwords within the LastPass vault.
You can download Laspass over multiple devices to make logging in more convenient. There is a free and paid version of LastPass. The paid version includes multi-factor authentication options, priority tech support, 1 GB of encrypted file storage and emergency access.
6. Back Blaze
Most of us have important data on our computers, therefore, keeping it securely backed up and accessible is important. BackBlaze is an app that you can download across multiple devices that automatically backs up unlimited data from your devices securely on to the cloud.
The service cost $6 per month but you can test it out with a 15-day free trial first. BackBlaze takes security seriously by offering two-factor-authentication, encrypted data and enforcing security measures at their data centers.
Spotify is a music streaming platform. The free version of the application allows you to download and stream music while connected to a wi-fi connection. The paid version allows you to download music and listen to it offline or while not connected to a Wi-Fi connection.
If you are a student then you can use Spotify for $5 a month. Other user will have to pay $10 a month. Spotify has partnered with Hulu therefore when you purchase their monthly subscription you will also get access to Hulu.
CleanMyMac is a cleaning software that allows you to delete apps within it, remove junk data, remove malware, monitor the health of your computer and it supplies tools to speed up your computer. The app is created by MacPaw and cost $34.95 for a 1-year subscription and $89.95 to own it for life. Their website currently has a 20% discount so you can get it for $27.96 for the 1-year subscription and $71.96 to own it for life.
9. App Cleaner
When you are trying to get rid of old applications by moving it to the trash and then deleting it from there sometimes there are other unwanted files and folders spread around your computer. App Cleaner is a free app that removes unwanted apps and the extra files and folders that are downloaded with them that are placed around your system.
Over time if you are removing apps by just moving them to the trash can then this could hurt your computer’s performance because of the extra data left on your computer. The extra data takes up storage space and can hurt the overall performance of your computer.
10. Be Focused
Be Focused is a productivity app that helps with time management. The app uses the Pomodoro technique. This means that you set a timer for how long you want to work for and how long you want to take a break. A common setup is 25 minutes of work with a 5-minute break. You can set up the stopwatch to automatically run so that it will just alert you when you are on a break and when you are supposed to break. After completing a certain number of Pomodoros you can set up a longer break for as long as you need such as 1 hour to take a break to eat a meal or workout.
Life can get busy which is why writing down the task that you need to get done can help ease your mind. Wunderlist is a to-do list app where you can write down the task that you need to get done and have the app remind you of when the task needs to get done. It is convenient because you can download the app on your other devices and sync up the data between them. The app is free on the app store.
Evernote is a premium note taking app. It helps with staying organized, setting up a to-do system and keeping track of projects you are currently working on.
Evernote has a free version which offers basic note taking features, 60 MB of storage space and usage on 1 device. The paid version is $8 per month and some of the features include an additional 10GB of new uploads per month, allows you to access your notes from different devices and better customer support.
Having a video play in the background while you are working can make the task feel more enjoyable. If you are running out of screen space due to your work, then consider getting Helium. Helium allows you to have a floating browser on your screen that sits over your main screen. They also offer a translucent screen that you can click on top of so that it is completely out of the way. The app is free to use.
Alfred is a productivity app that includes features of Spotlight on Mac plus way more. The app allows you to search through your Mac using hotkeys, similar to how Spotlight uses cmd + space bar, and it allows you to search the web. The app includes a paid and a free version. The paid version cost £39 or $50.74.
Alfred allows users to add Workflows in the paid version which allows you to automate repetitive tasks. There are libraries of different workflows made by other users that you can pick and choose to customize Alfred to your liking.
15. Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo is a professional photo editing software. This software cost a flat fee of $50 and competes with Adobe Photoshop as a cheaper option to photo editing. Even though the software is cheaper people do argue that it is just as good or maybe even better. Some of the features of the app include digital painting, 360° image editing, Panorama stitching, PSD editing, Raw Editing, and Professional retouching.
The program is about 340MB while Adobe Photoshop is almost 900MB. This difference in size means that Affinity will open faster and is more lightweight on your computer. The application does offer a free trial version which is worth giving a try before committing to buying it or any other photo editing service.
If you deal with video editing and need to convert videos from one format to another supported codec then consider trying out HandBrake. Handbrake is an opensource video transcoder which means the community can contribute to working on the application as long as they have the ability to code and their code is approved into the code base. This is a free app that could be useful if you are dealing with a video that is using an older format and you want to try to convert it to a modern codec.
Some features of the application include built-in device presets which means it has presets set up for different types of devices, therefore, you can start using the app right away. The app supports multiple different input and output sources. The app also supports subtitles, live static and video previews.
Emojis add a fun dynamic to communicating and being able to write them quickly can make conversing over text more convenient. Rocket makes this possible by allowing users to write a colon + the emoji you are thinking about. For example you could write “:” + “smile” for a dropdown of smiley face emojis to pick from.
The app is free but they do have a $5 version. The paid version allows users to add custom emojis shortcuts, add your own emojis and offers a user interface for you to pick emojis from.
The menu bar on the top of your Mac is pretty static and you may want parts of it rearranged or even hidden. Bartender allows Mac users to customize the menu bar to the way they like. The app does come with a free 4-week trial and if you do like it then you can pay $15 for the app.
The Instagram web application is limited in what it can do because you are not able to send direct messages to people, see photos in a better layout, or watch Instagram livestreams. Grids is a desktop application that gives you an experience closer to the mobile application and it supplies more functionalities than the web application.
The app is free to download but does offer those better features for that make it resemble the mobile application for $8.99.
20. Visual Studio Code
The text editor supplies syntax highlighting, linting, the ability to debug in chrome and compatibility with other popular programming languages like Google GoLang, Python and much more. The interface is pleasant to look at and I am still finding new features within it that help my day to day in developing software.