Setting up a new Mac or just want yours to learn some new tricks? These are my must-have Mac apps and Safari extensions that make my Mac feel like it’s mine.
Growing up on Windows, I’ve been using a Mac since I was old enough to live independently and make smarter decisions for myself. After more than a decade, I’ve established some preferences for how the Mac should work. Each of these tools is needed to achieve this.
Top 3 Mac Apps
You don’t need to attend daily meetings to enjoy a great calendar app. In fact, a well-designed calendar for your Mac can help you find the benefits of scheduling. Apple’s built-in calendar (once known as iCal) doesn’t inspire calendars, but there are undisputed heavyweights in the Mac calendar space.
Fantasical is a star calendar for Mac that started life as a simple menu bar application. Natural language input made creating events very easy, and a simplified list view made it easy to find upcoming events.
Apple’s Calendar app has undergone a name change and a facelift, but it still doesn’t match Fantasical’s core features. These essential features live on in Fantastic today, and the advancement of the years has made the Mac app a highly functional tool compared to the built-in calendar.
Flexibits, the makers of Fantastic, took the same approach with a contacts app called Cardhop. Both apps are so functional and easy to use that you’ll never touch the built-in apps again.
Of course, I ran a cracked version of Photoshop on my computer in high school. who is asking I hope Adobe isn’t reading this… Either way, Pixelmator Pro is great for casual photo editors and graphic designers who can’t justify a price tag like Creative Cloud. That’s just one reason to check out Pixelmator Pro. The app is also an amazing Mac citizen. Pixelmator Pro is constantly introducing useful new features and takes full advantage of machine learning and more. An essential, must-have, go-get-it-now type of app.
I’ll say it’s easy – iA Writer is a really nice text editor. Apple includes TextEdit in macOS, but I can’t say it’s pretty.
I like iA Writer because it allows me to write without writing all Chrome containing pages. iA Writer is also available on iPhone and iPad, which is great. Don’t quote me on this, but I’ve been told that iA Writer is used for a lot of other functionality besides simple text writing, but I’m a simple user.
Top 3 Safari Extensions
Stop The Madness Makes for modern web browsing without all the crazy lags that plague us all. I also use it to autoplay videos and automatically use the highest resolution option on YouTube videos.
PiPifier Allows you to play any video from Safari in picture-in-picture. macOS supports system-wide PiP, but let’s face it, not all video players on the web are compatible. PiPifier fixes this. True story: I just assumed Hulu offered PiP on Mac until last week when I was setting it up from scratch. No, it was PiPifier. You know an app is great when it just runs in the background without you even realizing you’re using it!
Noir My new best friend. I love dark mode, especially after sunset. Many websites support dark mode, but not all. Noir does a really good job of fixing that. Even if he 9 to 5 Mac The backend (WordPress) has a dark mode thanks to Noir! I can’t believe how late I am to Noir.
Presented alphabetically, these apps are just as important to me and worth checking out if you’ve been sleeping on any of them:
- Audio capture This is how I record any podcast audio and keep it in the right place, and I’m still learning what it can do on the Mac.
- transmissions This is how I listen to the Relay FM show and the occasional tech podcast live stream on Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, CarPlay, and even Apple Watch Without an iPhone (combine this address for Relay and this address for ATP).
- Keeping You Awake There’s a simple menu bar toggle to pause or allow your screen to sleep (and replaced caffeine for me when the app wasn’t in retina resolution).
- KeyboardCleanTool is an app to clean up your Mac keyboard without accidentally typing everywhere or deleting a bunch of files.
- McTrucker is an amazing Apple hardware reference app that every enthusiast should have.
- motive Brings back the Photo Book service that was previously part of iPhoto and Photos on the Mac.
- PhotoBulk Let’s format image names, resize photos and add watermarks in one pass.
- Edited is a lightweight tool for darkening, blurring, or pixelating photos (drawing something with Markup doesn’t actually do the job).
- the reader is my go-to RSS reader app with iCloud as a sync solution.
- Shush There’s a virtual mute button for my mic when podcasting or trying to limit background noise from screaming kids during Zoom calls.
- solver is what you get when you cross a text editor with a calculator.
- Text expander To instantly and reliably turn a few characters into much longer text instead of typing the same phrases over and over again.
- Tweeten Replaced TweetDeck on Mac when Twitter accidentally killed it before Space Karen ever took over the company.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the great Mac apps of our time, but each of these apps must be on my Mac to feel my Maki. Otherwise, the machine is simply broken.
Do you have your own favorites? Share yours all below!
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