Just got a new MacBook and wondering what software to install on this computer? Here are our must-have app recommendations.
Buying a new PC is always a good opportunity to think about what applications and tools to install. Whether you’re switching from Windows to macOS for the first time or shopping for a new Mac or MacBook, we’ve got a few gems to recommend.
Obviously, we could fall into the trap of easy recommendation, that of the applications you already know: Slack, Spotify, Discord and others. No, this is about recommending small applications that quickly became essential for our use on Mac. We will not hesitate to recommend Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome either. No more than one of the Apple applications already pre-installed on your Mac that we invite you to try before considering the possible uninstall.
Bartender 4 to manage the menu bar
If you bought a new Mac, it probably has a screen with a webcam notch. Bartender makes it easy to use the menu bar located at the top of the screen.
In particular, it will allow all applications that want to place a bar icon at the top right of the operating system to end up in the Bartender menu. By default, due to the notch, the space left for apps is very limited. The app has the advantage of allowing a good level of customization.
The application is free for 4 weeks, then ask for a license of 19.44 euros. A fairly common economic model in macOS that allows the application developers to be remunerated. Note that there is a free alternative: Dozer.
Download Barman 4
Magnet: Get the best Windows feature
Windows objectively and unanimously offers a superior feature to macOS: Snap Assist. It allows you to easily manage and rearrange your windows on the screen. The most well-known example is the ability to make an app fill the left or right half of the screen simply by dragging it onto a shelf.
Magnet is known by Mac users for adding this valuable feature to macOS. Better, it even replicates Windows keyboard shortcuts. Therefore, a Control+Option+Left (or Right) Arrow stroke immediately pastes a window to the left. Control+Option+Up Arrow takes you to full screen.
An essential invoiced 7.99 euros in the Mac App Store. There is a free alternative: Rectangle.
Download Magnet from the Mac App Store
IINA: VLC, but better
IINA is like VLC, but is better suited to macOS. This video player handles all formats with a beautiful interface and superior performance.
The app is open and free. What more can be said ?
Browserosaurus: save time with our browsers
If you have multiple browsers installed on your machine or some native applications for web services, Browserosaurus will save you valuable time. This program intervenes when you click on a link sent, for example, in messaging software like Discord. It will then suggest which browser or app you want to open the link with.
This is especially useful if the browser you use for work is different from your personal browser. A great way to keep work and personal separate.
Browserosaurus is a free and open source application.
Dropover: drag and drop 2.0
Dragging and dropping files on macOS is really very convenient to use. It allows you to drag and drop any type of file from one application to another in a very simple way. However, on a MacBook with the single trackpad, it’s sometimes frustrating to scroll long distances on the screen while keeping your finger firmly pressed on the trackpad.
Dropover allows you to create a small virtual space where you can store your files while on the go. It’s like a little virtual shelf where you quickly put some files. You just have to open the new application and recover all the files from the small space of Dropover so that it disappears. Advanced users will be able to go further with the application by automatically transferring files to their clouds prefer. You can also ask Dropover to monitor a folder to automatically create a shelf when a file is added (useful for the screenshots folder).
Dropover offers a free trial on the Mac App Store for 14 days. The full version costs 3.99 euros.
Download Dropover from the Mac App Store
Cooldown: gain autonomy with a click
Since macOS Monterey, Apple’s operating system incorporates a power saving mode similar to that of iOS and quite powerful. It allows you to boost the autonomy of your MacBook in exchange for a little performance. Problem, its activation is hidden in the confines of the macOS Battery menu. It is not very practical to activate it or not at will.
This is where Cooldown comes in. This small application comes to house a new icon in its menu bar to activate energy saving with a single click. Returning to performance mode is just as easy. To get this right on your Mac, the app cleverly makes use of Apple’s shortcuts created with the Shortcuts app.
The app is free, but the developer offers to pay for it on his site.
The Unarchiver: for all archives
Windows has 7-zip, macOS has The Unarchiver. A simple and free application to extract any compressed file format.
What else can we say except that the app is available on the Mac App Store.
Download The Unarchiver from the Mac App Store
MonitorControl: adjust the brightness of external displays
The macOS Control Center allows you to change the brightness of your screen with a single click. It is very practical and you get used to it quickly. Unfortunately, the system does not handle all external displays in the same way by default. This is where MonitorControl comes in.
This completely free app lets you change the brightness or volume of an external display from macOS or MacBook keyboard shortcut keys.
CopyClip: a story for the clipboard
The default clipboard management in macOS is not optimal. Fortunately, there are some utilities to enhance this basic function. If you multiply the copy-paste during the day, do not hesitate to try them.
For example, we offer CopyClip, which adds a clipboard history accessible directly from the menu bar. It has the advantage of being free. Other apps are also very popular in the field like Maccy. It’s also a feature built into more comprehensive software like Raycast.
Download Copy Clip
ImageOptim: brighten the images you share
ImageOptim says it all on your behalf. This program allows in a single drag and drop to optimize several image files quickly.
Free and open sourceuses several small, highly optimized programs to reduce the size of your JPG or PNG files before sharing them on the web.
Download Image Optim
Karabiner-Elements: improve the Apple keyboard for free
Apple agrees, the AZERTY keyboard on Macs is different from Windows keyboards. The Apple keyboard highlights keys that are harder to reach by default with a Windows keyboard such as “@” or accented caps. On the contrary, some special characters become more complicated to type on Mac, such as French quotes and brackets.
Karabiner-Elements is a popular application that allows you to configure new shortcuts for the Mac keyboard, thus facilitating certain actions. It is also possible to import shortcuts created by other users with just a few clicks. We offer you our own set:
Here are some examples of more easily accessible characters:
- Command + <: "
- Command+(: [
- Command + ) : ]
- Command +! :\
Please note that the shortcuts we provide do not replace existing ones. It is therefore about new possibilities, without losing anything of the Mac keyboard. The application is open and free.
Sublime Text: the simple and complete text editor
Among the large number of text editors for macOS, Sublime Text is one of the simplest and most complete. Compatible with any type of format, and in particular with most of the formats used in programming, Sublime Text offers some essential functions. For example, autocomplete to reuse a variable name and good syntax highlighting.
Sublime Text is available and free to use, but the purchase of a license is required from the developer for long-term use.
CleanMyMac: deep clean your Mac
When you uninstall an app on macOS, it may leave behind some files here or there. All of this can add up and clutter your storage space. Whether it’s cleaning up these files or determining what might be slowing down your machine’s performance, CleanMyMac offers a thorough cleanup of all your Mac issues.
The software interface is very simple to use and focuses on data cleanliness, protection and performance. This is full-featured software at a premium price. The lifetime license is sold for 89.95 euros for a Mac with no upgrade guarantee. A subscription to maintain an updated license is offered at 79.95 euros per year for a Mac.
A trial version is available on the Mac App Store. We do not prefer to offer alternatives to this software. Most of the applications that claim to clean your Mac available on the Internet may contain malware or be too clumsy to clean and be dangerous.
Download Clean My Mac from the Mac App Store
And the others
That concludes our list of must-have apps for a new Mac. We’ve focused on custom apps for macOS, but there’s obviously some great cross-platform software out there. Let’s quickly mention Affinity Photos for image editing, Bitwarden for password management, Notion for organizing your work, Microsoft To Do or OneNote for taking notes or managing tasks.
You can share your recommendations in the comments. What are the tools you couldn’t live without? Which apps do you download first with a new machine?
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