So you have bought a new Macintosh, great! After buying a new Mac, now comes the most important part. Although Apple includes quite a bit of software and offers more for free download via the Mac App Store, but what else should a new user or a fresh system gets?
The following are 6 of the best apps for a Mac we could find. They are guaranteed to make your life easier by removing the irritations that remain in Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite and in Apple’s bundled software.
1. Default Folder: There are three elements of Yosemite itself that I spend more time interacting with than any other:
- The Open dialog.
- The Save dialog.
- Finder window navigation.
Default Folder($35) enhances all of these to your advantage in efficiency and organization. When the app was installed on your Mac, following are the features it will offer:
- It will wrap your open and save dialogs in a bunch of extra interface items.
- You can select from volumes and special locations, favorite locations, Finder windows, and recently visited folders.
- The file-navigation dialogs can also be set to snap to the last document opened or other locations.
- The pressing Option plus the down or up arrow cycles backward or forward through recent folders.
- It allows a variety of Finder-style file actions directly within the dialog, like rename, duplicate, and move to trash.
- A pane at the bottom reveals a preview, tags, spotlight comments and permissions, along with the file data like creation date and whether the item is locked or not.
So using Default Folder, you never have to painstakingly navigate your drives and folders.
2. LaunchBar: OS X’s Launchpad and Spotlight will allow you to quickly find and open documents, apps and other things, but they can be maddening. The interface of Launchpad is hardly useful when you have more than a handful of apps, and Spotlight searches everything, instead of specific categories and in specific ways. So, it is better to pick LaunchBar.
LaunchBar can be invoked from a keystroke like Escape. Now, you just type a few letters to select the thing you want, and then press Return to launch it or open it with the appropriate app. Some exciting uses of this app include:
- It indexes and links to all sorts of stuff: contacts, music, apps, search history, emoji, bookmarks and more.
- It lets you perform most Finder actions with a Command- shortcut and carry out calculations.
- It can also add Clipboard depth, which means you can revert to and cycle through previous items you have copied or cut like an old pre-OS X Scrapbook.
3. 1Password: You must create a unique strong password for every site or service you use. But that is impossible for a human to manage. On the other hand, an integrated password generator and secure storage app like 1Password ($50) handles that with ease. The app will create random password and then, securely store them for you.
1Password comes with browser plug-ins for Safari, Firefox and Chrome, which let you invoke the app while visiting a site. 1Password also stores and can fill in one or more identities as well as credit-card details. The various versions of the app are available for iOS, Android and Windows, and a password database can be synced among them.
4. Skype: You might be thinking that you already have FaceTime available on your computer and iOS devices, then why would you need Skype(free)? This is because not everyone you know has a Mac, iPad or iPhone, and FaceTime doesn’t come with a calling plan, although in Yosemite, OS X can access your iPhone to make and receive calls to landlines and cellular numbers.
Some features of this app are:
- You can make unlimited phone calls to specific countries.
- You can also pay for one or more incoming ‘real’ phone numbers, by placing them in countries in which you routinely receive calls.
- Skype offers audio only and video calls, along with screen sharing, instant messaging, and file transfer, along with SMS.
5. VLC: VLC(free) is the Swiss Army knife of video playback software. Although QuickTime Player can handle popular formats in a straightforward way, but it can’t handle everything like VLC. If you deal with older file formats, like those used by people who eschew H.264, or video created or distributed for Windows and Unix variants, then VLC is a one-stop shop.
Features of VLC include:
- VLC can play Internet streaming video of all sorts and convert some files it can’t read.
- Also, it can directly open YouTube URLs, make video playlists, subscribe to podcasts and play Internet radio stations from a large built-in list.
- It can open and convert tons of audio formats.
6. Dropbox: It is very painful to keep files up to date among multiple computers. But with Dropbox, it has become very simple. Dropbox has a single folder into which you can place anything, and it is copied to its Internet storage in your account. The files are also synchronized to any other computer logged into the same account.
Dropbox offers two kinds of sharing:
- Shared folders sync the contents to any members who have joined the folder.
- A shared link allows any recipient to download a file or folder or browse a folder’s contents.
As Dropbox keeps a copy centrally, so it keeps track of every change. The iOS clients of Dropbox let you browse its cloud-stored versions, forward files, and download them to the app or open in other apps.
These were the 6 apps that you must install in your new Mac. We compiled this list as being a combination of personal experience as well as some of them being the most popular mac apps or the most useful mac apps we could find.
There are plenty of other useful apps you can install like GraphicConverter, Airfoil, CrashPlan, TextExpander, etc. that can take your new Mac experience even farther. Just consider starting here and see what types of things you feel you need. Too many apps can slow your machine down and take up hard drive space. And if you know any other useful app for a new Mac, then share with us.