Whether you’re new to the macOS platform or a long-timer, owning a Mac has many advantages. One of these is to download and enjoy countless applications for work or play. Whether you purchased a MacBook Air (2022) or have an older Mac, the following apps are the ones we recommend the most. Check them out and watch this list grow over time.
Your Mac already comes with a built-in password manager. With iCloud Keychain, you can store passwords, credit cards, and digital sticky notes. However, the third-party 1Password does much more than that. For example, it offers custom options for storing passport information, Social Security number, reward schemes, and more. Even better, you can use 1Password across multiple platforms. In addition to macOS, 1Password is available for iPhone, iPad, Windows, Android, Linux, Chrome OS, and Command-Line.
1Password is available at different price points for individuals, families, work teams, and more, starting at $2.99 per month.
24 hour wallpaper
Dynamic wallpapers have been available across macOS for many years now, directly from Apple. But unfortunately, there are not many of them to enjoy. This is where the 24-hour wallpaper comes in, especially on the best Macs. The impressive app includes 105 (and counting) beautiful scenes that change to match the time. Offering sights of places like Paris, London, and many more, the app makes the days on your computer brighter (or darker) no matter what time the clock says.
You can purchase this 24 hour wallpaper from the App Store or get it as part of your Setapp package. The Freebie Edition also includes three wallpapers available for download from the Jetson Creative website.
Adobe Photoshop is the must-have app for anyone serious about making your photos look extra special. An Adobe Photoshop license is available separately or as part of an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, and also unlocks Adobe Fresco, Photoshop Express, and Adobe Express, when available, across multiple platforms, including iPad and Windows.
Even better, there’s a full list of new Adobe Photoshop features set for the first time, including one-click delete, fill, and more.
If you don’t like paying a monthly subscription for creative software, it’s time to consider Affinity Suite. Now in version 2, the suite offers Affinity Photo 2, Affinity Designer 2, and Affinity Publisher 2. In addition, for the first time, you can purchase a universal license to use titles across multiple platforms, including macOS, iPadOS, and Windows.
The best Mac app, Affinity Photo 2 is known for its speed, power, and accuracy. It provides intuitive ways to edit and retouch images, create layered compositions, and raster graphics. In addition, Affinity Designer 2 provides a unique way to create concept art, mockups, typography projects, logos, icons, user interface designs, and more.
Available on the iPad for the first time, Affinity Publisher 2 offers layout software for books, magazines, marketing materials, social media templates, website templates, and more.
The macOS menu bar is much better with Bartender. It gives you more control over the menu bar items, what is displayed, when, and much more. These goodies are sure to improve your daily workflow.
Among the many Bartender tools is the new Triggers feature. You can create triggers so that specific alerts appear on the menu bar when things happen. For example, you will get an indication when your MacBook Pro battery reaches a certain level. Triggers can include any change, code matching, text, and more.
Bartender 4 is available through the official website, or you can find it with a monthly Setapp subscription (Opens in a new tab).
One of my favorite Mac apps, CleanMyMac X, is one of those all-in-one apps that just keeps getting better with each new release. Designed by Ukraine-based MacPaw, the app is designed to save space on your computer and much more.
CleanMyMac X features an anti-malware and privacy tool, an uninstall feature, optimization and maintenance wizards to keep your Mac up to speed, and an unparalleled cleaning tool. The latter is enough to get CleanMyMac X for a spin. You can free up gigabytes of space in one click by removing system junk, mail attachments, trash boxes, and more.
You can download a free trial of this best Mac app, CleanMyMac, from the MacPaw website or purchase it through the Mac App Store.
If there was a hall of fame for Mac apps, Evernote would probably top the list. Evernote is one of the best note-taking apps on the planet, as it makes it possible to jot down important information across text, images, audio, scanning, PDFs, and documents. Even better, you can access Evernotes across multiple devices, including Mac, iPhone, iPad, and across the web. You can also find it on Windows, Linux, and Android operating systems.
Over the years, Evernote has struggled with some features due to its ever-evolving subscription software, which tends to be quite pricey. Despite this, you can still find a free version of Evernote with limited features.
there Much Offers VPN for Mac. While it lacks some of the features of its competitors, ExpressVPN is a top-notch option worth considering, and it’s the one I’m currently using.
With 24-hour live chat support, ExpressVPN offers several features that make it one of the best. This includes VPN server locations in 94 countries and counting, best-in-class AES-256 encryption, lightning fast speeds, and more. Subscribing to ExpressVPN allows you to install the software on five devices simultaneously. Besides Mac, this includes iPhone, iPad, PC, Android, Router, and Linux. There are also web extensions available for some of the most popular browsers, including Safari, Chrome, and Edge — but not Safari.
Every year, Apple releases a new version of macOS. Unfortunately, until this point at least, these newbies never have an update to the original Calendar app. The reason for this may be imaginary. This app, also available for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, makes it easy to add events, tasks, and meetings to your calendar. Fantastical’s beautiful and friendly user interface offers multiple views, including full screen detailed views for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
In its third edition, Five-Star Fantastical is available with a monthly or yearly subscription. These subscriptions transfer to your other devices.
Apps like Microsoft Word (see below) offer a variety of great word processing features. However, sometimes, all you might be looking for is an empty slate. This is where iA Writer comes in. It offers a clean play box, white or black, where all you have to do is write. There’s also cuts compatibility, hook notes, pattern checks, and more.
Like many of the other apps on this list, iA is also available on other platforms. In this case, iPhone/iPad. Android and Windows versions are also available. Each edition requires a separate one-time purchase. For Apple users, for example, you’ll need to purchase a license for a Mac and another for an iPhone/iPad to use across all three platforms. Syncing across devices is included.
In 2022, Microsoft has decided to stop using the “Microsoft Office” name. In its place is Microsoft 365, a collection of apps for multiple platforms, including Mac. Available in different subscription levels, Microsoft 365 for Mac includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Outlook. Each subscription gives you access to the tools on five devices simultaneously, including Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets.
parallel to the desktop
If you need to run other operating systems on your Mac, there is nothing better than Parallels Desktop. This year’s release, #18, supports macOS 13 Ventura and lets you run virtual versions of macOS, Windows, and Linux. New this year is support for Windows 11 ARM and game console.
Without taking a survey, it is likely that most Mac users who subscribe to the music streaming service use Apple Music. However, there is no doubt that many others use Spotify, the #1 music streaming service on the planet.
The official Spotify app for Mac (free with subscription) energizes your entire subscription by offering playlist creation, downloads, and more. You can use the app to download and enjoy music and podcasts. Purchase links for audiobooks opens a browser window. Once purchased, these audiobooks are available to listen to and download via the Mac app.
Spotify is available through various subscriptions, including Personal, Duo, Student, and Families.
VLC media player
If you want better control over your multimedia files, there is nothing quite like VLC, a free and open source multimedia player. Works with most multimedia files, including DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.
VLC supports most codecs without the need for codec packs. These include MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, MKV, WebM, WMV, MP3, and many more. Besides Mac, you can find VLC on iOS, Windows, Linux, Unix, iOS, and Android.
a lot to see
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Your Mac already comes with many great apps. When you want something extra, consider the things mentioned above. The best Mac apps include calendar and note-taking, those for photo editing and other creative tasks, and other apps that offer a VPN.
What are the best Mac apps to try first? This depends on your needs, of course. However, you won’t be disappointed when you check out Fantastical or ClearMyMac X first. There is no doubt that Microsoft 365 will be an essential download for many.
Keep watching this space for new apps to be added over time. Until then, I wish you a happy upload.