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Monday, September 30, 2019

Just Bought a Mac? 14 Essential Apps You Should Install


A MacBook and an Apple mouse with a cup of coffee on a wooden table.

Apple bundles plenty of utilities with macOS, but there are some other useful tools you should download to get the most out of your Mac. Here are some picks many Mac fans swear by.

Magnet: Keep Your Windows Organized

Magnet for Mac.

Apple still hasn’t included a Windows-like “Aero-snap” feature in macOS that allows you to organize your workspace quickly while you work. Fortunately, the developer community has solved this issue numerous times, and Magnet ($2) is one of the best solutions.

Simply click and drag a window until you see the required outline appear, and then release to scale the window appropriately. You can also use keyboard shortcuts to move windows into position. Windows remember their place until you move them again, even if you log out of your Mac.

Alfred: Get More Done in Less Time

Alfred for Mac menu.

Alfred is a productivity powerhouse for your Mac. It helps you do more things in less time with hotkeys, keywords, and actions. You can build custom workflows or download prebuilt ones the online community has shared.

It does a bit of everything. You can use it as a more intelligent version of Apple’s Spotlight search or to manage your clipboard history. You can also string actions together and execute them with a single command to automate tasks. The basic version of Alfred is free to download and try. To unlock the full set of features, you can purchase the Powerpack (£23).

MPV or VLC: Play Any Media File

A scene from a film in the MPV app for Mac.

QuickTime offers basic media playback on macOS, but there are many formats QuickTime cannot open. For these, you need a more capable media player, like MPV. This app is a free, open-source fork of the much-celebrated mplayer2 and MPlayer projects. It plays both video and audio.

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