The Best Mac Apps

Mac apps store

Here you have it – our ultimate list of must-have Mac apps. From email clients to system utilities, time savers to productivity boons; on this page you’ll find the best Mac software used by MakeUseOf staff and readers alike.

We will continue to update the list on a regular basis, so be sure to add your favorites in the comments and we’ll consider them the next time we update this page.




The old Mac favorite is a serious recording tool for beginners and enthusiasts, and it’s free for all Mac users to download and try out. Record audio, play virtual instruments, and get access to the Apple Loops library of royalty free sounds.6 Best Free Mac Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) 6 Best Free Mac Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs)You don’t need a Mac to make music, but with this much free software available it certainly helps.READ MORE


An open-source, cross-platform audio editor that can handle most common audio tasks without breaking the bank.The Best Free & Cheap Audio Editors For Mac OS X The Best Free & Cheap Audio Editors For Mac OS XConsidering Apple’s media-savvy approach with free apps like iMovie, it’s surprising that there’s not a simple audio editor bundled with OS X.READ MORE

Fission ($29)


If Audacity isn’t cutting it and you want a polished, lossless audio editor built from the ground up for macOS, Fission is a solid option.


A completely free kernel extension for macOS that allows you to pass audio between applications by acting as a virtual audio device. Essential for recording system audio when paired with Audacity (above).



One of the best free alternatives to iTunes for listening to local media, Clementine supports a huge number of audio formats and external services including Spotify and cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox. You can also transcode music, manage podcasts, and enjoy visualizations while listening.Alternatives to iTunes: 5 Best Free Music Players for Mac OS X Alternatives to iTunes: 5 Best Free Music Players for Mac OS XUnless you’re chained to the iTunes ecosystem and have no choice but to use it, you may want to consider switching to one of these alternatives.READ MORE



Another completely free alternative to iTunes, with a focus on bringing music that’s scattered all over the web into one app. Supports Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, Amazon Music, Google Play, and more.


A stylish free media player with a focus on high quality codecs like FLAC and DSD.


Spotify changed the game when it first launched, bringing unlimited streaming music to desktops and mobiles for a fixed fee. You can also stream for free, if you’re not bothered by adverts.



Included with your Mac, iTunes is the only way to access the Apple Music streaming service which is one of the best alternatives to Spotify.



Safari is the default browser installed on every Apple computer. We think it’s the best browser for most Mac users, plus there are plenty of useful extensions to make it even better.The Best Safari Extensions for Mac Users The Best Safari Extensions for Mac UsersSafari is probably the best browser for Mac users, but you can make it even better with a few well-chosen extensions.READ MORE


Google’s own browser, Chrome is a powerhouse for those who need developer tools, extensions or multiple profiles for separating work or play.


An excellent alternative to Chrome, Firefox has focused on slimming down over the past few years after complaints it had become bloated. If you haven’t tried it for a while, it might be time to give it another go.

Also consider:Opera



It’s a bit crusty and lacking in new features compared to some of the more adventurous clients, but Mail is free and it works well enough. Dig a bit deeper and you can use it to do cool things like schedule email messages to send in the future.How to Schedule Email on Your Mac How to Schedule Email on Your MacApple’s Mail app doesn’t come with a scheduler by default, but you can use Automator or a third-party plugin to add “send later” functionality.READ MORE

AirMail 2.0 ($9.99)

AirMail is probably the best Gmail client on the Mac, with a beautifully simple aesthetic and full support for labels and starring, among other Google features.Airmail for Mac OS X Is Making Email Beautiful Again Airmail for Mac OS X Is Making Email Beautiful AgainWhen I first heard of Airmail, I must admit I questioned if I really needed a new way to check my email. Like many people, satisfied all of my email requirements, and I struggled…READ MORE

Mail Pilot 2 ($20)


The second version of Mail Pilot continues the “to-do list” approach to email in a bid to make you more productive by focusing on what’s most important. A new feature called Dash provides an at-a-glance overview of new emails, outstanding conversations, and responses that are overdue.

Nylas N1


Nylas N1 is a bit of an oddity in terms of an email app. It’s both a premium sync service and an open source roll-your-own extensible email client. If you’re happy to compile it yourself and run your own sync engine, you can enjoy one of the best email experiences completely free of charge (otherwise it’s $7 per month).5 Apple Mail Alternatives for Mac OS X 5 Apple Mail Alternatives for Mac OS XEvery Mac comes with a free email application, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of OS X email solutions. Here’s five of the best alternatives.READ MORE

Also consider:InkyUnibox & Postbox


Reeder 3 ($9.99)


The only desktop RSS reader you will ever need, Reeder disappeared for a short while before returning in full force. It’s not free but it’s got the best interface, great themes, and supports a wide range of services to provide a premium reading experience.The Best Mac RSS Clients for News on Your Desktop The Best Mac RSS Clients for News on Your DesktopIf you’re looking for a fast way to get news updates from specific sources, RSS is still the best way to go about it.READ MORE

ReadKit ($9.99)

We’ve raved about ReadKit before and for good reason. This powerhouse reader works with all major RSS providers and “read later” services, features a new clutter-free reading mode and an interface reminiscent of the original Reeder.Is ReadKit The Perfect Reeder Replacement For Mac? (Yes) Is ReadKit The Perfect Reeder Replacement For Mac? (Yes)Still looking for the perfect Mac RSS reader? It’s here.READ MORE


If your budget looks something like $0, Vienna is as good as it’s going to get. Fortunately, you get much more than you pay for with this capable Open Reader compliant RSS app.

Also consider: Feedly for Mac

Related:Stay on Top of RSS Feeds from Your Mac Menu Bar Instead3 Great Menu Bar Apps To Stay On Top Of Your RSS Feeds [Mac] 3 Great Menu Bar Apps To Stay On Top Of Your RSS Feeds [Mac]For me, RSS feeds are the ideal way to keep up to date with all the websites I’m interested in – a centralised news-pool, so you don’t have to check your browser every five minutes…READ MORE



Run Windows on your Mac for free with VirtualBox, though you’ll still need a valid Windows license to get anywhere.

VMware Fusion ($79.99)

If Virtualbox doesn’t cut it, VMware Fusion is another great option with better support for demanding applications, like games – though it’ll cost you just shy of $80.

Parallels Desktop ($79.99)

Parallels is a virtualization environment that lets you run windowed Windows applications on your machine without having to switch to a virtual desktop first.

Wineskin / WineBottler

Wineskin and WineBottler are two (separate) free programs that let you create “wrappers” for Windows applications that run via a compatibility layer on your Mac.

Related:5 Ways to Play Old Windows & DOS Games on Your Mac
5 Ways to Play Old Windows & DOS Games on Your Mac 5 Ways to Play Old Windows & DOS Games on Your MacWant to play classic Windows and DOS games on your Mac, but unsure where to begin? Today we’ll be looking at all your available options, and how to choose between them.READ MORE

Photos & Images



Don’t dismiss your Mac’s default image management application just yet. Its basic image editing features and filters are fine for small edits, plus it can handle RAW files and recognize people, places, and objects since the macOS Sierra update.The Best Free & Paid Image Editors for Mac OS X The Best Free & Paid Image Editors for Mac OS XWe thought it was about time we compiled a list of our favourite raster image editors for Mac OS X.READ MORE

Photoshop CC ($20/month)

The undisputed king of image editing, Photoshop CC is almost affordable now at only $20 per month for a single license. Perfect for RAW processing, photo retouching, designing graphics and logos, 3D elements and terrible memes.

Affinity Photo ($80)


Apple’s “App of the Year” for 2015, Affinity Photo delivers a powerful image editing package for a one-off fee that makes it a solid budget alternative to Photoshop. Work with Photoshop files, edit RAWs straight from your camera, use adjustment layers, and a whole lot more.

Pixelmator ($30)

Need a capable image editor but can’t justify spending too much? Pixelmator might be the answer. It has many of the same features found in Adobe’s pride and joy, except you can use it forever for a single payment of $30.


If you’d rather go the free route, open source editor GIMP comes in a Mac-enhanced version that includes a range of photo editing plugins, including RAW support.


Inkscape is one of the best vector graphic design platforms on the Mac. Cross-platform and open source, it’s the choice of many designers, illustrators and web comic aficionados the world over.The Best Vector Software For Mac Designers On A Budget The Best Vector Software For Mac Designers On A BudgetAdobe Illustrator might be the gold standard when it comes to vector software for the Mac, but you don’t always have to spend a fortune on design software.READ MORE


If you don’t like the look of Inkscape, BoxySVG offers another free vector option that’s built with web technologies.


If all you want to do is edit your RAW photos, then you should give RawTherapee a shot. The interface can at first be overwhelming, but that’s only down to the sheer number of options it provides you with – and it’s completely free.The Best Free RAW Image Processors For Mac OS X The Best Free RAW Image Processors For Mac OS XPhotoshop is expensive, and while many are happy to fork out a monthly fee for Adobe’s revised Creative Cloud system, others will always turn to free software first. One thing is for sure: if you’re…READ MORE


AstroPad isn’t an image editor but an app that turns your iPad or iPhone into a full-fledged graphics tablet. It works best when paired with an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil stylus, fusing the intuitive touch controls with the precision of a high end stylus.
Also consider:Aperture & Lightroom



If you’re using macOS Sierra or later, Siri is built in and accessible via the menu bar, dock, and holding the command+spacebar keyboard shortcut. Check out what Siri on the Mac can do!How to Use Siri on Your Mac: A Quick Start Guide How to Use Siri on Your Mac: A Quick Start GuideApple’s intelligent personal assistant Siri is now on the Mac, and controlling your computer with your voice has never been easier.READ MORE


Evernote is probably the most popular, widely used and best-supported note-taking solution in the world. Recent changes mean that the free version is limited to just two devices, but it’s still a note-taking powerhouse.

Microsoft OneNote


The closest Evernote competitor is OneNote, and it’s completely free. Access your notes from any device, save files and sketches, clip web pages and collaborate with others — all without Evernote’s two-device restriction.

Apple Notes


Apple’s own Notes app was a bit useless until it received a makeover in El Capitan and iOS 9. Now it resembles more of a cut-price Evernote, and while it lacks many of the features you’ll find in dedicated rival products it’s a solid choice for users of the macOS and iOS ecosystem.10 Tips to Get the Most out of Apple Notes on OS X 10 Tips to Get the Most out of Apple Notes on OS XHave you switched over to Apple’s vastly improved Notes app? Here are a few tips on improving your workflow.READ MORE

Fantastical 2 ($50)

The number-one alternative to Apple’s basic Calendar app, Fantastical allows you to schedule appointments by typing a description of your event. It enjoys excellent support, and has integration with Apple’s reminders system and a separate iOS app as well.5 of the Best Mac Calendar Apps & Add-Ons 5 of the Best Mac Calendar Apps & Add-OnsThere are plenty of great third-party apps that serve as a replacement for your Mac’s Calendar application, or as add-ons to take it to the next level. Here are our favorites.READ MORE


This one also comes with Mac OS X by default. Use it with Siri to make a shared shopping list you can control using only your voice.Use Siri and Apple Reminders for the Best Shopping Lists Use Siri and Apple Reminders for the Best Shopping ListsDon’t waste your money on a third-party app, just use Apple free iPhone and Mac apps.READ MORE


If Apple’s own Reminders app doesn’t cut it, you can’t do much better than Wunderlist, a completely cross-platform system that’s easy to use and powerful to boot.

Clear ($6.99)

Appearing on iOS first, Clear is a slim and easy to use to-do list manager which places an emphasis on aesthetic value and mobile access.


If Evernote is overkill, Simplenote might just be what you’re looking for. Free, lightweight and cross-platform; it also gives Apple Notes a run for its money.



Do you use Apple’s in-built text to speech services? Whether you rely on the accessibility feature or you’re just feeling lazy, Dictater makes the feature even better by allowing you to pause, skip, replay, and even read along (plus it’s free).

Related:Mac Home Office? Boost Your Productivity with These Apps10 Productivity Apps For Your Mac-Based Home Office 10 Productivity Apps For Your Mac-Based Home OfficeIf you work at a home-based office like I do, you no doubt spend a significant amount of time getting things done on your Mac. While I have already written about the advantages of using…READ MORE

Code & Text Editors

xcode 9

Everything you need to start writing apps for Apple devices, including macOS, iOS, tvOS, and watchOS. The development tools are free to download, but you’ll need to pay a yearly fee and enroll in Apple’s developer program to list your apps on their various storefronts.The Best Places to Learn Swift, Apple’s Programming Language The Best Places to Learn Swift, Apple’s Programming LanguageIf you want to learn Swift, now is the time to dive in. The language has a bright future and the faster you learn it, the sooner you’ll be able to reap the rewards.READ MORE

Visual Studio Code

Microsoft’s free, open source, and highly extensible code editor is perfect for scripting, editing HTML, or even markdown.Visual Studio Code Is the Perfect Text and Scripting Editor for Mac Visual Studio Code Is the Perfect Text and Scripting Editor for MacMicrosoft’s text editor supports myriad languages, and you don’t even need to compare it to Xcode, since they serve different needs.READ MORE

Sublime Text ($70)

If you need a serious text editor (and if you have to ask that question, then you probably don’t) you should consider dropping $70 on Sublime Text.

TextMate ($50)

Just like Sublime Text, TextMate is a highly capable text editor for those who write code for a living. You should probably try them both before settling on a favorite.


TextWrangler is the completely free fork of BBEdit. Though it omits a few of the advanced features found in its bigger brother, it’s still the best free text editor on the platform.

Dash ($19.99)

A document browser and code snippet manager, Dash is designed to provide fast-access to reference materials for a huge number of programming languages.
Dash Brings Coding Documentation To The Mac Desktop Dash Brings Coding Documentation To The Mac DesktopIf you’re a programmer, you already rely heavily on documentation. Dash is a Mac app designed to make your required reading a more pleasant experience.READ MORE

Writing & Office


The whole iWork suite is now free to all Mac users, including Pages and its web-based equivalent. It might not beat out Microsoft Office in terms of features, but that’s not always necessarily a bad thing.5 Reasons You Should Use iWork Instead of Microsoft Office 5 Reasons You Should Use iWork Instead of Microsoft OfficeMany long-time Office users will be unwilling to transition away from the apps they’re so used to working with, but it’s time to give iWork another chance.READ MORE


Numbers is Apple’s answer to Microsoft Excel. What better way to learn how to use this powerful spreadsheet app than with a few organizational life hacks?Organize Your Life With Numbers for Mac Organize Your Life With Numbers for MacNew Macs come with Numbers, a spreadsheet program that’s perfect for helping you get organized.READ MORE


It’s a presentation app, for making slide-based presentations. You can use the iOS counterpart to control the Mac version, or run your presentations from the web using iCloud.


If you need a simple distraction-free writing environment for free, FocusWriter is the app for you. For such a lightweight and minimal app there’s a surprisingly long list of features (but you don’t have to use them all).

iA Writer ($10)

Looking for something a little more capable? iA Writer is another distraction-free word processor, coming in both macOS and iOS varieties. Among the key features is auto-markdown support, syncing over iCloud and support for importing Word documents.iA Writer for Mac & iOS: The Best Word Processor You’ve Never Used iA Writer for Mac & iOS: The Best Word Processor You’ve Never UsedBe it a school paper or a blog post, all of us at some point find ourselves in the position of having to dump a bunch of characters into a text file. While cell phone…READ MORE

Ulysses ($45)

Ulysses prides itself on two things: excellent markdown support and a distraction-free environment. It’s one of the most powerful writing tools on any platform, and it does away with many of the distracting features found in the bigger packages while still providing an impressive array of writing, productivity, and organization tools.

Microsoft Office 2016 Home & Student Edition ($149)


Despite the eye-watering price, if you think you’ll get enough mileage out of the whole Office suite then you can’t do much better than the Home & Student Edition. It includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and (free app) OneNote for a one-off fee.


Looking for an office suite but can’t justify the $150 Microsoft is asking for their budget version? LibreOffice might just do the job. The open source word processor, spreadsheet tool, and presentation app lacks polish but it’s completely free and much less temperamental than most browser-based alternatives.

Scrivener ($45)

A few staff members at MakeUseOf swear by Scrivener, the cross-platform and highly capable written project manager. It’s popular among screenwriters and novelists for its efficient workflowand rich feature set, and we’ve produced a guide to help you get started.Scrivener: The Best Writing Program for the Mac and PC Scrivener: The Best Writing Program for the Mac and PCScrivener has been around since 2006, and it is a favorite application amongst novelists and screenwriters. Scrivener is not a desktop layout application like Word and Pages, but it helps you organize and export your…READ MORE

DayOne ($9.99)

If you’re looking for a diary application, then look no further than Day One. It syncs over iCloud or Dropbox with your iOS devices, allowing you to update your journal regardless of where you are.Keep a Digital Diary with Day One for Mac OS X and iOS Keep a Digital Diary with Day One for Mac OS X and iOSEveryone has a story to tell. It’s not always a story in need of an audience, sometimes a story just needs to be told. You may want to continue the journal you started when you…READ MORE

Related:How iWork Works: The Basics of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote


BetterTouchTool (donationware)

BetterTouchTool allows you to execute a huge number of commands using gestures on a touchpad, mouse and even Leap Motion. It now uses a “pay what you feel” donationware model, allowing you to pay anywhere from $3.99 to $50 for a license.Power Up Your Mac With Advanced BetterTouchTool Automations Power Up Your Mac With Advanced BetterTouchTool AutomationsI started using BetterTouchTool back in 2011, and since then it has become one of the top three Mac applications for boosting my productivity and streamlining my workflow. Though BTT can be used by any…READ MORE

Dropzone 3 ($4.99)

Just like the name suggests, Dropzone is a small icon that lives in your menu bar and when you grab and drag files it offers a variety of oft-used functions, locations, applications and even actions to perform.Dropzone 3 Turbocharges Your Mac With Drag & Drop Actions Dropzone 3 Turbocharges Your Mac With Drag & Drop ActionsYou could waste time putting your files and folders to use the traditional way, or you could save time and do everything directly from your menu bar using Dropzone.READ MORE

Unclutter ($5.99)


In the style of Dropzone, Unclutter provides a place to store files at the top of your screen. It also adds support for pasteboard clips and notes, speeding up your workflow by providing you with fast access to everything you need.



macOS Sierra allows you to unlock your Mac using an Apple Watch, but if you haven’t got an Apple Watch you can use your iPhone instead. Download both Tether for Mac and iOS to automatically unlock your Mac when you approach.Unlock Your Mac Using Your Apple Watch or Android Wear Device Unlock Your Mac Using Your Apple Watch or Android Wear DeviceTyping a password is just so much hassle, don’t you wish you could use your iPhone, Apple Watch or simply have your Mac unlock when you walk near it? Well, now you can!READ MORE



Part Spotlight, part Quicksilver but with more functionality than both, Alfred is an advanced launcher for OS X that lets you do more with your files, applications and online service. Check out some of the more advanced ways you can put it to use.9 Awesome Alfred Workflows I’m Loving [Mac OSX] 9 Awesome Alfred Workflows I’m Loving [Mac OSX]Alfred is a task launcher for Mac OSX – hit a shortcut, start typing the name of a file, folder, contact, application or search term, and bam – there it is. Since version 2, the…READ MORE

TextExpander ($45)

Text expansion is a wonderful thing. It allows you to add shortcuts for often-used phrases or words, correct your most common typos and get more done with less effort. TextExpander is the gold standard for text expansion on the Mac, complete with a companion iOS app to boot.What Is Text Expansion & How Can It Help You Save Time? What Is Text Expansion & How Can It Help You Save Time?If you could save yourself even a small fraction of the time you spend typing, you could save hours of your time every week. That’s exactly what text expansion is for.READ MORE

Remind Me Later

Remind Me Later lets you add reminders to your macOS Calendar by simply typing. It’s still on the list because it technically works, but it hasn’t been updated for a while and tends to misbehave at times on modern macOS versions.

Related: 9 Quick Ways to Share Files & Folders from a Mac
9 Quick Ways to Share Files & Folders from a Mac 9 Quick Ways to Share Files & Folders from a MacSick of dragging files into email messages whenever you want to share something? There might be a better way.READ MORE

Security & Privacy

iCloud Keychain


Integrated into Apple’s Safari browser is a password management solution called iCloud Keychain. The service syncs with iOS devices and other Macs, so you have access to your credentials wherever you go. If you rely on Safari then this might be perfect for you.Should You Use iCloud Keychain to Sync Passwords on Mac & iOS? Should You Use iCloud Keychain to Sync Passwords on Mac & iOS?If you primarily use Apple products, why not use the company’s own password manager completely free of charge?READ MORE

1Password ($65)

Despite the steep price tag, 1Password is a highly recommended password manager that stores and generates passwords and other sensitive information.


If 1Password’s steep price has put you off, LastPass is technically free to begin with. You can use it for free on any one device (including your Mac) but when it comes to syncing and accessing your passwords elsewhere, you’ll have to go premium for $1 per month.


Just like 1Password, except open source and built around the KeePass standard; this free password manager stores your sensitive information in an easy to use (if a little barebones) package.KeePassX & MiniKeePass: A Free, Secure iOS & Mac OS X Password Solution KeePassX & MiniKeePass: A Free, Secure iOS & Mac OS X Password SolutionYour options for a truly free and secure password solution that syncs with iOS and OS X are limited, but thankfully a combination of KeyPassX and MiniKeePass makes it possible.READ MORE


The Mac version of CCleaner doesn’t get anywhere near as much use as the Windows version, but it’s still handy if you want to rid your Mac of potential privacy concerns and free up space in a click.Does Your Mac Really Need Tools Like MacKeeper? Does Your Mac Really Need Tools Like MacKeeper?System cleaning tools and utility suites aren’t just for Windows PCs. But what do these tools do, exactly? And should you use them?READ MORE

MalwareBytes Mac


Your Mac can get malware, but it’s not a particularly common occurrence. There aren’t too many security apps your Mac needs, but MalwareBytes is a nice free safeguard to have around.Here’s The Only Mac Security Software You Need Here’s The Only Mac Security Software You NeedFor most people, OS X is fairly secure out of the box — and there are a number of programs out there that potentially do more harm than good.READ MORE

Little Snitch ($35)

Block unwanted connections with Little Snitch, a dedicated firewall tool for your Mac. Not only does it show you exactly who your computer is talking to, it allows you to control what is said on a per-app basis.Which Apps Are Using Your Internet Connection? Find Out With Little Snitch [Mac OS X] Which Apps Are Using Your Internet Connection? Find Out With Little Snitch [Mac OS X]We’ve shown you how to enable the included firewall in OS X, but it’s quite limited. It allows you to block traffic on a per-app basis, but beyond that there’s not a lot of configuration…READ MORE

Hotspot Shield

Browse securely, access region-locked video and other blocked material using Hotspot Shield. The basic package is slow but free, and the paid plans aren’t badly priced.


Prey is laptop and mobile tracking software that can be activated remotely once your device goes missing. The free plan allows for a limited number of reports to be generated at a set period, including capturing images using the webcam and uploading desktop screenshots, among others.Track Down and Recover Your Stolen Laptop With Prey Track Down and Recover Your Stolen Laptop With PreyREAD MORE

Related:Avoid Mac Malware: Don’t Make These Mistakes

System Tools

The Unarchiver

Unlike Windows users, Mac users don’t have the option of using 7zip. Luckily, The Unarchiver can open just about any compressed archive including .ZIP, .7Z and .RAR.Unzip Any Archive Using The Unarchiver [Mac] Unzip Any Archive Using The Unarchiver [Mac]Quickly extract practically any compressed file on the planet. If you’re a Mac user, and Apple’s default unzip tool is struggling to open an archived file, it’s time to install the ultimate tool for the…READ MORE

Related: Peek Inside .ZIP and Other Archive Files Without Opening Them First

Geektool / Nerdtool

Use Geektool or Nerdtool (separate projects) to display various information, terminal commands, images, text documents and more on your desktop. While Geektool has more potentialNerdtool is probably easier to use.How To Use GeekTool To Truly Make Your Mac Your Own How To Use GeekTool To Truly Make Your Mac Your OwnWould you rather have your boring desktop space filled with useful system information or family photos? You need GeekTool.READ MORE


Find out exactly which files are eating your available hard drive space with DiskWave, a must-have for most Mac owners – but particularly those with limited solid state drives.Wash Away Unwanted Large Files with DiskWave for Mac Wash Away Unwanted Large Files with DiskWave for MacNot sure what’s taking up all that disk space on your Mac? Disk Wave is a free Mac app that scans your drive and shows you where the biggest files are.READ MORE

Bartender 2 ($15)


Mac menu bar looking a little messy? Use Bartender to tidy it up and hide the icons you don’t want to see, so you actually notice the rest.

Related:Tidy Up Your Menu Bar for a More Productive Mac ExperienceHow To Customize & Tidy Your Mac Menu Bar How To Customize & Tidy Your Mac Menu BarNothing makes OS X look cluttered faster than unwanted menubar icons.READ MORE

TripMode ($7.99)


Using your smartphone’s personal hotspot to get some work done on the go? TripMode restricts which apps and services have network access, saving you precious data. A must-have for remote workers.The Remote Worker’s MacBook Survival Guide The Remote Worker’s MacBook Survival GuideYou couldn’t imagine doing your job without your Mac, but maybe you’re not quite running at maximum efficiency.READ MORE


If you have a Retina MacBook Pro, or a new 5K iMac, some older apps will have pixelated UI elements. Free app Retinizer makes it all better.Why Do Some Apps Look Bad On My Retina Display? (And How to Fix It) Why Do Some Apps Look Bad On My Retina Display? (And How to Fix It)When Apple released the MacBook Pro with Retina display this time last year, they raised the bar for laptop display technology, as they previously did for the smartphone and tablet industries. The only issue they…READ MORE



Stop your Mac from going to sleep with Amphetamine, a small free utility that lives in the menu bar. This is a great replacement for Caffeine, which no longer works on modern versions of macOS.The Remote Worker’s MacBook Survival Guide The Remote Worker’s MacBook Survival GuideYou couldn’t imagine doing your job without your Mac, but maybe you’re not quite running at maximum efficiency.READ MORE


If you need to get rid of it, you need AppCleaner. It completely removes all preferences and system files when uninstalling apps, to the point where it can reset many shareware trials.3 Free Uninstallers to Clean Up Obsolete Files [Mac] 3 Free Uninstallers to Clean Up Obsolete Files [Mac]READ MORE

Amnesty Singles

This free app takes any Dashboard widget and transforms it into a standalone app, freeing it of the shackles imposed by Apple’s neglected other desktop. Pin it to the dock, drag it around, minimize it – and then disable the Dashboard altogether.Turn Any Mac Dashboard Widget Into Its Own App Turn Any Mac Dashboard Widget Into Its Own AppYou probably haven’t used Dashboard in years, but there is that one widget you wish you could just turn into an app. Guess what? You can!READ MORE


Run Apache, MYSQL and an FTP server in all but a click with XAMPP. If you want to develop a website locally before putting it online, this is exactly what you’ve been looking for.



Open any media file or stream with VLC, the world’s best media player.

QuickTime Player

It’s free, it comes with your Mac, and it can be used to make quick screencasts, trim audio and videos, and record your iPhone’s screen among other things.7 Handy Tasks QuickTime Player Performs for Free 7 Handy Tasks QuickTime Player Performs for FreeYou’ve probably changed the file association so QuickTime never gets used, so you’ve probably overlooked its bounty of useful features.READ MORE


QuickTime has limited codec support, and VLC isn’t for everyone so mpv makes a great free alternative video player for Mac.The Best 6 Free Universal Video Players For Mac The Best 6 Free Universal Video Players For MacThere are a lot of video players out there, but which is the best? Here are our Mac favorites.READ MORE

Duet Display


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. The Mac client is free, but you’ll need to pay $20 for the accompanying iOS app.Turn Your iOS Device Into an Extra Monitor With Duet Turn Your iOS Device Into an Extra Monitor With DuetYou can now use an iPad app to expand your collection of screens, turning your $500 tablet into a small, portable monitor. It’s called Duet.READ MORE

AirServer ($14.99)

Turn your Mac into an AirPlay receiver and stream your iPhone or iPad’s screen to your laptop or desktop computer. If you’re looking for a way of mirroring the screen, you can also do so using your Lightning cable and QuickTime.Record Your iPhone or iPad Screen Over Lightning With Your Mac Record Your iPhone or iPad Screen Over Lightning With Your MacApple has made recording easier with a “hidden” feature to OS X Yosemite that lets users stream their iPhone or iPad display to a Mac. Here’s how it works.READ MORE



A robust, database-driven media server that automatically scans incoming media and keeps your collection organized.

PS3 Media Center

A universal plug and play (UPnP) and DLNA-compliant media streamer with full transcoding ability, PS3 Media Center allows you to stream pictures, music, video and web sources.


Convert videos with a click using Handbrake, the go-to free video transcoder for Mac, Windows and Linux.

Kodi (formerly XBMC)

The world’s best media center has a new name but it still plays everything, and looks great doing so. Pair it with Reddit for an endless pool of video goodness.
Reddit + XBMC = Virtual Crack. Here’s How To Set It Up. Reddit + XBMC = Virtual Crack. Here’s How To Set It Up.Reddit always finds the best videos; XBMC is the best media center. Combine these two things to browse the best videos on the web right now, from your couch.READ MORE



Every Mac owner needs a BitTorrent client at some point, and Transmission is probably the best of the bunch. Not only does it support a web UI and magnet links natively, it’s regarded as a “trusted” client by many private trackers.

Night Shift

Have trouble sleeping after working at night? Let Night Shift automatically adjust your screen to a warmer hue, to simulate the day’s natural light cycle and (hopefully) get a better night’s sleep. Here’s how to use it.Use a Mac at Night? Night Shift and Other Apps That Can Save Your Eyes Use a Mac at Night? Night Shift and Other Apps That Can Save Your EyesApple just dropped the latest macOS Sierra update with relatively few changes apart from one standout feature: Night Shift.READ MORE


f.lux came long before Night Shift and works in the same manner, though it offers users a more customizable experience which is better for power users.


Use one mouse and keyboard to control a whole army of Macs, perfect if you have a MacBook andiMac or Mac Pro to deal with.

What are your favorite Mac applications?

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