The Best Mac apps are those that enable you to get the most out of your computer by enhancing its existing features and compensating for any shortcomings. They make using your Mac simpler as well as more pleasurable, which in turn increases your level of productivity and allows you to get the most out of your gadget.
Keeping this in mind, we have compiled a list of the applications that we believe are essential to have on a brand new Mac. These applications will assist you in getting the most out of your Mac, regardless of whether you have just purchased a cutting-edge new Apple iMac 2021 with a 24-inch display or are looking for some new tools to augment your reliable MacBook Air 2020 (which is still one of the best MacBooks that can be purchased).
You can download many of these applications for free from the Mac App Store, which can be accessed by clicking the icon for the App Store that is located in the dock of your Mac. If you cannot locate this icon, you can also open the Apple menu located in the top-left corner of your screen and launch the App Store from there.
Because the App Store has thousands of programs of various quality, we relied on our own first-hand experience as well as reviews written by other users to compile this list of the top Mac applications that are now available for download.
Best Mac apps you can download right now
BEST MAC PRODUCTIVITY APPS
Henry T. Casey, who works for Tom’s Guide, says that Rectangle is the one Mac application that he absolutely cannot live without, while Mark Spoonauer, who works for Tom’s Guide’s global editor in chief, calls it the best Mac application that you’ve never heard of. Additionally, there is no charge for using it.
Which, if we’re being honest, is how it ought to be: Rectangle gives you a laundry list of keyboard shortcuts and the ability to snap windows to corners and sides of the screen, allowing you to easily manage and organize all of the many windows you have open on your screen.
All of these are examples of the kinds of features that come pre-installed on Windows computers and that customers have praised highly for years. Rectangle offers a paid Pro edition that costs ten dollars, however, the free version is the one that the vast majority of users should begin with.
Bear is a free program that allows users to take notes in a variety of formats, is encrypted, and is simple to use. Bear performs a lot of what Apple’s own free Notes app does better, and it places a higher premium on your privacy. This is in contrast to Apple, which continues to make major enhancements to its own Notes app.
The free version of Bear enables you to write notes and to-dos in portable Markdown, organize notes with nested tags, pull assets (such as images or text) from web pages into your notes, and even draw or dictate notes using a stylus (for drawing) or Apple Watch. Additionally, you can pull assets from web pages into your notes (for dictation).
If you subscribe to the upgraded Bear Pro version ($14.99 per year), you get even more useful features, such as the ability to sync notes between devices, encrypt individual notes with a password, or lock the Bear app with Face/Touch ID. These features are only available to users who have upgraded to the Bear Pro version.
Even if your Mac comes with a calendar already installed, Fantastical is still the superior option. This program, which has won multiple awards, has long been one of our favorites, and at least one of the editors here at Tom’s Guide is convinced it is the most effective productivity tool available. The free edition of Fantastical includes a calendar that is elegant and simple to use.
This calendar makes it simple to plan your tasks and know at a glance what is coming up in the near future. If you are prepared to pay a charge on a monthly basis, you can subscribe to an upgraded version of the software that provides additional helpful features. These capabilities include access to Fantastical across many platforms and synchronization with your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
Spark is one of the greatest alternatives to the macOS Mail app, which is the system’s default application for sending and receiving electronic mail. This free email client offers a number of handy features that its competitors do not.
One of these features is a suite of tools that makes it easy for multiple people to manage an inbox by doing things like assigning emails to each other or composing emails collaboratively in real-time. The competition does not offer this feature.
It also provides useful tools for organizing your inbox, scheduling emails, and using a natural language search engine to locate the specific message you are looking for. As a result of the excellent Spark clients that are available for both iOS and Android, this application is an excellent choice for coordinating email across a number of different devices.
BEST MAC UTILITY APPS
The most recent and improved version of Alfred is called Alfred 4, and it offers an improved method for searching for files on your Mac and the internet in general. But Alfred is more than just a search tool; it can also be used to launch applications, check the spelling of words and look up meanings, perform fast computations, and make the most of your brand new Mac in general.
The most exciting part? It is free, but you can pay a one-time fee to buy a license and upgrade to a version with more powerful features. Some of these features include the ability to play music from iTunes, create workflows and hotkeys, customize Alfred’s look, and more. You can pay a one-time fee to buy the license and upgrade.
Download Alfred 4
DaisyDisk is a strong, adaptable, and aesthetically pleasing disc space manager for Mac computers. It is one of the best disc space managers available for Mac computers. This $10 app will instantly scan your storage drive(s) and display you a magnificent interactive map of how your Mac’s storage space is being used.
It also includes drag-and-drop tools that make it easy to quickly move things around and clear up some space on your Mac’s hard drive. In addition, the most recent version now has the capability to scan drives that are hosted on cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and others.
Meeter is a helpful little app that can be found in the menu bar of your Mac and organizes all of your video calls in a single location. It does this regardless of whether the calls were made using BlueJeans, FaceTime, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Webex, Zoom, or any of the other approximately thirty video-conferencing platforms.
Meeter is an excellent choice for people who work from home during normal times; but, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a valuable software for anyone who frequently engages in video chats with their family and friends.
Because the free version connects to your calendar and automatically pulls in details for your forthcoming calls, it is simple to immediately see what you have coming up and join with a single click; you no longer have to rummage through your inbox to find the proper meeting link.
CleanShot X is an enhanced screen-capture application designed for Mac computers. It is a game-changer if you take a lot of screenshots or videos of your computer’s desktop because it streamlines the process significantly.
A more comprehensive array of screen-capturing features is included in the basic version, which costs $29 and makes it simple to take a picture, edit or annotate it, combine it with other screenshots, and share it with anybody you need to using drag-and-drop. You also have the option to record video of your screen (even while scrolling), with the ability to capture your clicks, your keystrokes, or your webcam.
After the recording is complete, you can easily publish it to the cloud or convert it into a GIF. If you want limitless cloud storage (the basic version only provides you 1 GB), a custom domain, and additional features, you will need to upgrade to the Pro version, which costs $8 per month.
Download CleanShot X
Pixelmator Pro is not the most affordable photo editing app available on the App Store (its asking price is $40), but it is without a doubt one of the most effective. As of the time, this article was written, it provides access to more than fifty different image editing tools (including a complete set of vector tools), some of which are really intriguing, such as photo editing tools that make use of the capabilities of machine learning.
You just need to pay for Pixelmator Pro once, but Adobe wants to charge you a monthly subscription price to utilize its greatest photo editing tools. As a result, Pixelmator Pro is a formidable competitor to Adobe Photoshop, and it comes with the added benefit of offering an added benefit.
Download Pixelmator Pro
Although it is not the most powerful or professional video editor available on the market (that distinction goes to more expensive software such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro), Apple’s own iMovie is one of the most intuitive editors to work with. Most importantly, it does not cost you anything, in contrast to the majority of other full-featured video editors which can cost up to one hundred dollars.
Since iMovie is a software developed by Apple, there is a good chance that it is already installed on your Mac. However, if it is not, you can quickly and easily download it from the App Store so that you may edit videos with a resolution of up to 4K.
BEST MAC SOCIAL MEDIA APPS
Tweetbot is an application that you really need to install on your Mac if you use Twitter on a regular basis. By providing you with access to a robust suite of filters that may help you block out spoilers, sponsored tweets, and other content, this app, which costs ten dollars, makes the experience of using Twitter significantly more enjoyable.
It includes a nice user interface that makes it easy to follow hashtags, move between accounts, and scribble down notes on user profiles that only you can see. However, other users cannot view these notes.
Although you may access Instagram through the web browser of your choice, this is not precisely the method that provides the best experience when browsing the image-sharing service. Grids is a free application that can be downloaded to make reading Instagram on your Mac a far more pleasurable experience.
You may see Instagram photographs and videos in a variety of different formats using this app, which has a slick and uncluttered user interface that loads content rapidly. When you need to have a closer look at something, you can take advantage of the convenient magnified view mode.
The only drawback is that some of the standard features of Instagram, such as being able to direct message other users or watch their Stories, are only available in Grids if you subscribe to the Pro version, which costs $2.50 per month on a month-to-month basis or $1 per month if you buy a yearly subscription. If you buy a yearly subscription, you save $1 per month on your monthly payment.
BEST MAC ENTERTAINMENT APPS
There is a strong probability that you use Spotify as your go-to music streaming service, even if you do not currently make use of Apple Music. Even if you aren’t already a subscriber, Spotify makes it simple to sign up for a free account and begin listening to music from your favorite artists.
If you use the macOS desktop app, you have more control over your playlists than you do when using the web app, and the interface is more streamlined and intuitive.
It is recommended that you get Steam installed on your Mac if you intend to use it for gaming. Steam is one of the most popular systems for playing games on personal computers all around the world. It was initially released by Valve about twenty years ago.
There are over 50,000 games available on Steam, and while not all of them are compatible with macOS, Steam makes it simple to sort through them and find the ones that do work. In addition, there are a plethora of incredible options available, such as Sid Meier’s Civilization VI and Stardew Valley, in addition to Cuphead, Hades, Disco Elysium, and a lot of other games. Additionally, you may attach a compatible Bluetooth controller to your new Mac in order to engage in some good old-fashioned gamepad action.
VLC should be the first media player you download if you have any doubts about whether or not Apple’s QuickTime player will be able to play a certain video clip. When this happens, you absolutely, positively need to play the file.
It is one of the greatest media players available on the market since it is compatible with a wide variety of multimedia formats, such as DVDs, audio/video CDs, and file formats like as Xvid, DivX, Real Video, and many others, including Ogg Vorbis, which is a personal favorite of mine.
The most exciting part? It may be downloaded for free, its source code is open to the public, and it is accessible on a variety of devices, including iOS.