If you got a new Mac for Christmas, you’re likely wondering what some essential apps to take your macOS experience up another level are. Although Apple includes some great apps built into macOS, several 3rd party options are worth checking out.
If you regularly snap screenshots for sending over UI corrections, troubleshooting explanations, etc. – you need to download CleanShot X. It is, by far, the best screenshot tool on the Mac. It’s so simple but so powerful. It can record video, make GIFs, add annotations, blur out sensitive material, and much more. I can’t think of a single thing about the app I’d change. I use it multiple times every day, and it’s 100% worth every penny.
1Password is an app I wouldn’t want to be without. I’ve personally been using it since some of the earliest OS X versions. Outside of just password management, there are many features that 1Password supports that make it something worth paying for (vs. Safari’s free features). They include support for secure notes with attachments, personal information such as social security numbers, app license information, credit card information, passport information, and more. I also use it for all my two-factor authentication code storage as well.
Without a doubt, the app I use most on my Mac is Alfred. It’s a macOS launcher that I highly recommend you check out. My most-used feature is the clipboard history (it even works with images). I love quickly swapping what’s on my keyboard without manually recopying something. It also includes keyboard snippets (a basic version of what TextExpander does), converting text into different cases, launching apps, quickly looking up contacts, and more. It’s a free download, but if you end up enjoying it, you’ll want to check out the optional Powerpack.
AirBuddy was developed by 9to5Mac’s Gui Rambo, and I’ve been using the original version since it was released in 2019. One of the benefits of Apple’s W1/H1 chips is how easy it is to pair AirPods and Powerbeats Pro to your iOS device. AirBuddy makes it even easier on the Mac, though. So if you frequently are connecting your AirPods to your Mac for Zoom calls, listening to Apple Music, etc., AirBuddy will become one of your favorite apps.
Unsplash has one of the largest collections of free images to use, so the Unsplash Mac app is a great addition to your Menu Bar. It lets you quickly find high-quality wallpapers and set up your Mac to rotate on a schedule of your choosing.