So you’ve got a new Mac and you’re looking to make the most of the robust application environment in MacOS High Sierra? Well, we’ve got you covered. There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS in the App Store — not to mention the thousands more that are scattered across the web. Your Mac is only as good as the apps you use. There’s no point trying to write the next Great American Novel with TextEdit or limiting yourself to Chess for all your entertainment needs. With thousands of apps available, how do you find the good ones? There obviously can’t be an exhaustive list, but it’s a good starting place. Mac apps are generally available in one of two places: the Mac App Store or the developer’s website. Since Apple takes a 30% cut on any apps sold in the App Store a lot of developers are reluctant to use it, which makes things a little more complicated than on iOS. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s a Mac app for that. So without further ado, let’s have a look.
Here are the most beneficial apps in the Apple Mac Store.
Think of Alfred as Spotlight with a dash of Siri. It’s an application launcher, but it can do a lot more than just that. With Alfred, you can quickly perform calculations, execute web searches, and quickly find word definitions, among many other functions. It fills the gap between Siri and your Spotlight search, by allowing you to automate tasks and perform advanced functions that, frankly, Siri should be able to handle without voice input.
Bartender 3 is an app made for when you’re utilizing too many apps. It’s a subtle tool that’s specifically designed with organization in mind, and as such, it lets you better systematize various aspects of your interface. With Bartender 3, you choose which apps appear in the menu bar and rearrange their position to your liking. You can also search for specific items, or move them into the optional Bartender Bar if you’re in dire need of additional space. The latest version added support for MacOS High Sierra, an interface that leverages the new operating system, and the ability to navigate via your keyboard.
Once installed, Dropzone 3 feels like an integral part of MacOS High Sierra. The bare-bones application functions as a shortcut tool, meaning you can use it to quickly copy and move files, launch applications, and share content through popular services such as Facebook and Flickr. You can also upload files via FTP and Amazon S3, or shorten URLs using the newly-added Goo.gl shortener. It’s all housed within a tiny icon that sits in the menu bar.
An oldie but a goodie! Safari will never boast the kind of intuitive integration afforded by Google’s proprietary browser. Chrome is one of the fastest browser available for desktop platforms, one that also features the ability to automatically sync all your information — bookmarks, open tabs, recent searches, etc. — across multiple computers and mobile devices. That, combined with its robust customization and instant search capabilities, make it worthwhile.
It’s not always easy to view multiple windows side by side, at least, not without Magnet. The app is made for the multitasker inside all of us, and thus presents a quick way to arrange your desktop. With Magnet, you can drag and snap windows to the edges and corners of your screen, which will then lock into place. It’s a terrific tool, complete with predefined keyboard shortcuts if you want to copy content from one app to another.
Unclutter is a basic piece of software that suits its name. The app is accessible with a quick swipe from the top of your screen, and, better yet, functions as a convenient place for storing quick notes, recent files, and clipboard information. Recent updates also allow for a light or dark theme and include an option for dragging cards on top of other desktop windows. Files and notes even automatically sync across your devices via Dropbox, a suitable addition that adds to the app’s lasting appeal.
Evernote is the undisputed king of note-taking apps, and for good reason. It’s simple, organized in an intuitive way, and syncs with just about any web-based service you can imagine. And since it’s one of the most popular apps in existence, there’s a veritable boatload of browser extensions and add-ons available for it as well. Evernote offers a free version that provides a slew of basic functionality, up to 60MB of uploads a month, and syncing for two machines, but if you’re a heavy user, you’ll still want to opt for the premium version ($35 a year).
Mac users have access to a vast selection of excellent photo-editing programs, but even against its many competitors, Pixelmator stands out as one of the best. It boasts a massive list of powerful features and is currently one of the fastest programs in the entire photo-editing space. Factor in Pixelmator’s support for Apple’s new Touch Bar, and you have a winning image editor.
As the name might imply, Pocket is a tool that lets you “pocket” articles, videos, and web pages for later viewing. It essentially consolidates all the content in a simple, easy-to-use interface that’s also accessible offline. The app is perfect for sharing your favorite stuff among friends or for stowing interesting articles you may encounter on your evening commute, which you can then pull up on the big screen with their accompanying text, pictures, and links when you get home. Pocket is free to use, but if you want enhanced search capabilities and an ad-free experience, then you’ll want to take advantage of the premium subscription ($45 a year).
With so many free text editors out there for Mac users, it’s tough to choose just one. Some lean toward minimalism and strip away advanced features, but Text Wrangler isn’t one of those. This program is the Cadillac of free text editors. It has every bell, whistle, and advanced formatting option you’ll ever need. It’s not a replacement for a good word processor, sure, but it’s a great choice for editing code and other plain text files.