Did you unbox a new MacBook Air or MacBook Pro for Christmas? As you unbox your shiny new Mac and set it up, you might be wondering what apps you should install first. Although Apple includes some great apps built into macOS, several third party options are worth checking out. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best Mac apps to help you get the most out of your new computer along with some helpful tips and tricks so you can get the most out of your new Mac.
Pixelmator Pro is a powerful image editing app for Mac that offers a wide range of features and tools for creating and editing professional-quality images. Whether you’re a professional designer or a casual photographer looking to touch up your photos, Pixelmator has something to offer.
In addition to basic editing tools like cropping, resizing, and color adjustments, Pixelmator also includes advanced features like layers, masks, and blending modes. This makes it easy to create complex compositions and fine-tune your images to achieve professional-quality results.
If you want an image editor without paying Abode a monthly subscription, I highly recommend Pixelmator Pro.
If you’re like most people, you probably have a lot of passwords to remember. Between online shopping accounts, social media logins, and financial information, it can be tough to keep track of everything. 1Password is a password manager that helps you store, organize, and secure all your login information in one place. With 1Password, you only have to remember one master password, and the app will take care of the rest. It even works with Touch ID and Face ID (on iOS).
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 of my two-factor authentication code storage as well. There are some other great password managers to check out including Bitwarden, Dashlane, and LastPass.
TextExpander is a productivity tool that helps you save time by letting you create and use short abbreviations to expand into longer pieces of text. For example, you could create an abbreviation like “addr” that expands into your home address, saving you a lot of time when you’re typing frequently used phrases or responses. It can also prevent you from making spelling mistakes as well. If you use your Mac for work, it’s a must have.
Fantastical is the best calendar app for Mac, combining a range of features to help you manage your schedule and stay on top of tasks. One of the standout features of Fantastical is its natural language input. You can create events and appointments simply by typing them in, using plain English. For example, you can type “meet with Bradley at 3 p.m. on Tuesday,” and Fantastical will create the event for you. This makes it easy to add events and appointments quickly and easily.
In addition to its natural language input, Fantastical also includes a range of other convenient features to help you stay organized. The app includes a range of customizable views to help you see your schedule at a glance, and it can even display your schedule from your Mac’s menu bar for quick access.
Although Apple shipped some nice enhancements to its Mail app in 2022, I think there are better options out there, and one of them is Spike. One of the standout features of Spike is its chat-style interface so your email looks like iMessage or WhatsApp. The app displays your emails as a series of threads – similar to a messaging app – which makes it easier to see the context and content of your conversations at a glance.
My favorite feature of Spike is Priority Inbox. If you get a lot of email and struggle to find the important messages among the clutter, then you’ll love it as well. The Priority Inbox is a special inbox within Spike that automatically sorts your emails based on their importance and relevance. The app uses a variety of factors, including the sender, the subject, and the content of the email, to determine which emails should be displayed in the Priority Inbox. Everything else goes into an “Other Inbox” that you can sort through later.
CleanMyMac X is a system optimization tool that helps you keep your Mac running smoothly and efficiently. The app includes a range of features to help you free up space, improve performance, and keep your Mac running smoothly. One of the standout features of CleanMyMac X is its ability to find and remove unnecessary files from your Mac. The app includes a range of tools to help you locate and delete large files, old applications, and other types of clutter that take up space. If you only have 256GB of storage, cleaning up large and unneeded files is critical.
In addition to cleaning up your Mac, CleanMyMac X also includes a range of tools to help you optimize your system. The app can help you identify and fix issues that may be causing your Mac to run slowly, and it can help you optimize your startup items and login items to improve performance.
If you’re a Mac user looking for a way to discover and access a wide range of high-quality apps without buying them individually, SetApp is definitely worth a try.
SetApp is a subscription service that gives you access to a curated selection of over 200 Mac apps. With SetApp, you can discover new apps, try out new tools, and find the perfect app for your needs, all in one place.
If you’re a Mac user looking for a way to reduce background noise during online meetings and calls, Krisp is definitely worth a try. Krisp is a noise-cancelling app that uses artificial intelligence to reduce background noise in real time. The app works by analyzing the audio input from your microphone and filtering out unwanted sounds, like traffic, construction, pets, kids, or other types of background noise.
If you work from home, I can’t recommend this app enough. It runs in your menu bar and you point your app’s mic and speaker at Krisp and then configure which devices you want Krisp to use.
When I first discovered the app, I was working while construction crews put a new roof on my house, and no one could hear the banging above me. It was magical. The free version offers 60 minutes per day, and you can upgrade from there if you need more time. It works great with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc.
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.
As you enjoy your new Mac, check out some of the best apps more getting more out of your Mac. If you have any questions about the apps I mentioned above, please feel free to ask below in the comments.