Computing

The Top Mac Apps for 2023: Enhance Your Mac Experience

Owning an Apple computer comes with the incredible advantage of having access to a wide range of exceptional Mac apps. Whether you’re seeking productivity tools, photo and video editors, security suites, or more, the Apple ecosystem has you covered. You can find these apps in Apple’s App Store or on third-party developer websites, and many of the best ones are even free!

Whether you’re a new Mac owner or a long-time Apple user, this article will introduce you to some of the best Mac apps available. We’ll cover various categories and highlight the top picks to enhance your Mac experience.

Mac Apps to Customize Your Interface

  • Alfred: Think of Alfred as Spotlight with a touch of Siri. Not only is it an application launcher, but it also performs various other functions, such as calculations, web searches, and word definitions. It bridges the gap between Siri and your Spotlight search, allowing you to automate tasks and perform advanced functions.

Alfred 4 running on a Mac.

  • Amphetamine: Amphetamine is a favorite among Mac users who want to prevent their computer from going into sleep mode or performing the auto-dim function. It’s perfect for activities like watching videos or streams. Please note that it is only compatible with Yosemite or later versions of macOS.

The Amphetamine Mac app showing its menu bar items and preferences window.

  • Bartender 4: If you find yourself using many apps, Bartender 4 is the perfect solution. It allows you to choose which apps appear in the menu bar and customize their positions. Organize your interface with ease and gain additional space by moving items into the optional Bartender Bar. The latest version even supports macOS Monterey and M1 devices.

The Bartender Mac app showing the expandable menu bar feature of the app.

  • Magnet: Managing multiple windows can be challenging, but Magnet simplifies the process. With Magnet, you can easily arrange your desktop by snapping windows to the edges and corners of your screen. It provides predefined keyboard shortcuts for copying content between apps.

Magnet running on a MacBook.

  • Noir: If you enjoy using Dark Mode but stumble upon websites without their own dark versions, Noir is the solution. It forces websites to use a dark color scheme when Dark Mode is enabled. You can customize the themes and even set site-specific rules. Safari users will find Noir particularly handy for late-night browsing. At just $4, it’s a steal.

A promotional image of the Noir Mac app showing how it works.

  • Unclutter: Unclutter offers a simple solution for storing quick notes, recent files, and clipboard information. With a quick swipe from the top of your screen, you can access Unclutter and easily paste images into emails or move files to new locations. The app also offers themes, syncing across devices via Dropbox, and more.

The Unclutter Mac app showing its overlay with files and clipboard contents inside.

Boost Your Productivity with Mac Apps

Streamline your work and stay productive with these top Mac apps:

  • CheatSheet: Don’t waste time memorizing different keyboard shortcuts for various apps. CheatSheet displays all active shortcuts for the app you’re currently using with a press of a hotkey. It’s there when you need it and disappears when you don’t.

The CheatSheet Mac app showing its shortcuts windows in action.

  • Fantastical: This all-in-one calendar app is a must-have. With natural language input, Fantastical makes creating reminders and scheduling events a breeze. The premium version offers additional features like a 10-day weather forecast, priority email support, and more.
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The Fantastical Mac app showing a calendar with a week view.

  • Folder Tidy: Keep your Mac’s folders organized with Folder Tidy. It automatically sorts files into orderly subfolders based on customizable rules. You can add custom rules, ignore specific files, folders, or tags, and even undo the changes if needed.

A promotional image for the Folder Tidy Mac showing its capabilities.

  • GoodTask: Take your reminders to the next level with GoodTask. It enhances Apple’s Reminders app by offering smart lists, text snippet creation, and extensive customization options.

The GoodTask Mac app showing a selection of reminders in the app's main screen.

  • Google Chrome: Enjoy the speed and extensive ecosystem of Google Chrome on your Mac. Sync your bookmarks, open tabs, and searches across multiple devices seamlessly. Customization and instant search capabilities further enhance your browsing experience.

The Google Chrome app running on a Mac, showing the Digital Trends home page.

  • Hazel: Take control of file management with Hazel. Create your own rules for sorting, organizing, and moving files and downloads. From sorting specific file types to automatically naming files and applying rule sets, Hazel offers unmatched flexibility.

Hazel running on a Mac.

  • Keyboard Maestro: Automate tasks and simplify your workflow with Keyboard Maestro. From waking your Mac at a specific time to creating custom app launch sequences, Keyboard Maestro empowers you to streamline your daily workload.

The Keyboard Maestro Mac app with a macro shown in the app's main window.

  • Microsoft 365: For seamless cross-platform compatibility, Microsoft 365 is a top choice. It includes familiar applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and OneDrive. Choose between subscriptions for individuals or families, or opt for the free web-based versions.

Microsoft Word running on a Mac.

  • Notion: Notion is a versatile app that caters to various needs, from project management and book writing to social media calendars. Its flexibility allows for endless possibilities, making it an essential tool for organizing workflows and projects.

Notion running on a Mac.

  • Parallels Desktop: Run Windows on your Mac effortlessly with Parallels Desktop. Launch Windows within its own window, eliminating the need to restart your Mac. It works with over 200,000 Windows-native apps and allows for seamless file sharing between operating systems.

The Parallels Desktop Mac app showing Windows running on a MacBook Pro.

  • Parcel: Stay on top of your online shopping with Parcel. The tracking app works with more than 250 services, allowing you to track packages with ease. Push notifications, require a premium subscription, providing added convenience.

The Parcel Mac app showing a list of expected parcels and their tracking details.

  • PDF Expert: Handle PDF files effortlessly with PDF Expert. Fill out forms, merge PDFs, and use a range of tools to edit, annotate, and sign files. It seamlessly integrates with Apple’s Continuity and Handoff features, ensuring a smooth workflow across devices.

PDF Expert running on a MacBook.

  • Pocket: Save articles, videos, and web pages for later with Pocket. It consolidates all your content in an easy-to-use interface that can be accessed offline. Share your favorite content with friends or access saved articles on multiple devices.

The Pocket app for Mac showing a selection of saved articles.

  • Shortcuts: Apple’s Shortcuts app allows you to automate tasks and save time. It offers a wide range of actions that can be combined to create powerful automations. Batch processing, custom split-view layouts, and more are at your fingertips.

Apple's Shortcuts app running on MacOS Monterey

  • Spark: Enhance your email experience with Spark. It offers smart email organization, prioritizing important emails and silencing distractions. Collaborative tools and an intuitive interface make managing your inbox a breeze.
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Spark running on a Mac.

  • Swish: Take full advantage of your Mac’s trackpad with Swish. This app introduces gesture control for window management, allowing you to easily fling windows around your display. It’s an ingenious way to keep your screen organized.

  • Things: Things is a top-rated to-do list and task management app. With features like descriptions, checklists, reminders, and multiple customization options, it’s perfect for both personal and professional use. Get organized and boost your productivity with Things.

Things 3 running on a MacBook.

  • Ulysses: Ulysses provides a distraction-free writing environment. With easy access to all your files and projects, built-in proofreading, and publishing capabilities, it’s a powerful tool for professional writers and anyone who needs a great word processor.

The Ulysses Mac app showing a page of written text.

Unleash Your Creativity with Top Photo and Video Editing Mac Apps

  • Affinity Photo: Looking for a Photoshop alternative? Affinity Photo is a strong contender. For a one-time fee of $35, you get a full-featured, award-winning photo-editing app that can rival Adobe’s offerings. It also has sister apps for graphic design and desktop publishing.

Affinity Photo running on a Mac.

  • CleanShot X: Capture and edit screenshots and screen recordings effortlessly with CleanShot X. With over 50 tools, a clean user interface, and robust annotation features, it’s a must-have app for anyone who frequently takes screenshots.

CleanShot X's clean interface showing its annotation tools.

  • GIMP: GIMP is a free alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It offers a wide range of features, including layer control, shadow effects, vector-based paths, filters, and auto functions for enhancing colors. GIMP is part of an open-source suite of Adobe alternatives.

GIMP running on a Mac.

  • HandBrake: Convert and encode media files effortlessly with HandBrake. This open-source software offers quick and easy video editing tools for splicing, adjusting frame rates, adding subtitles, and more. It’s perfect for optimizing your media files.

The HandBrake Mac app with a video loaded and ready to be rendered.

  • Pixelmator Pro: Pixelmator Pro stands out as one of the best photo-editing apps for Mac. With a vast array of powerful features and remarkable speed, it’s a top choice for any photo-editing needs.

Enjoy Entertainment and Social Mac Apps

  • Apple TV: Apple TV offers much more than just Apple TV+. Rent movies, access popular streaming services, and enjoy the convenience of syncing shows across all your Apple devices. SharePlay lets you watch with friends from different locations.

The Apple TV app and FaceTime app being used with SharePlay on a MacBook Pro.

  • Discord: Discord has evolved from a gaming platform to a versatile chat app used by communities worldwide. Whether you prefer voice or text chat, Discord offers customization options, sub-forums, direct messaging, and more. It’s perfect for connecting with others who share your interests.

The Discord app showing a text channel with various messages and images.

  • Epic Games Launcher: If you’re a PC gamer, the Epic Games Launcher offers a selection of Mac-compatible games. From popular titles like Fortnite to exclusive deals and free games, the Epic Games Launcher is a great way to access a wide range of gaming options.

Epic Games Launcher running on a Mac.

  • GOG Galaxy: For PC gamers with multiple accounts across different clients, GOG Galaxy is a lifesaver. It not only works with GOG’s DRM-free titles but also lets you download and launch games from other clients. Enjoy the convenience of one gaming client for all your games.

The GOG Galaxy Mac app showing a library of games.

  • Krisp: Ensure high-quality video calls with Krisp. This lightweight app eliminates background noise, providing clear audio during meetings and calls. Whether it’s construction noise or a screaming toddler, Krisp will help you sound perfect.
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The Krisp Mac app showing Krisp's menu bar settings and its preferences window.

  • OneCast: Enjoy streaming your Xbox One to your Mac with OneCast. This premium app allows you to play Xbox One games directly on your Mac, expanding your gaming options. It’s a must-have for Xbox owners.

OneCast running on a Mac.

  • Spotify: If Apple Music doesn’t suit your taste, Spotify’s desktop app is an excellent alternative. Access a vast catalog of music, create custom playlists, and explore recommendations across various genres.

The Spotify Mac app showing a selection of podcasts.

  • Steam: Mac gamers can enjoy a wide range of games on Steam. From popular exclusives to cross-platform titles, Steam offers a vast selection of games compatible with macOS. Play your favorite games without limitations.

Steam running on a Mac.

  • VLC Media Player: VLC Media Player surpasses Apple’s QuickTime in terms of speed and file compatibility. It supports nearly every media file and offers powerful video conversion, extensive subtitle support, and a range of video filters for customization.

VLC Media Player running on a Mac.

Ensure Security and Optimize Storage with Essential Mac Apps

  • 1Password: Simplify password management with 1Password. This password manager securely stores your logins and credit card details in an encrypted vault accessible via a master password. Choose from individual or family plans for optimal security.

1Password 8 for Mac showing a selection of saved usernames.

  • Carbon Copy Cloner 6: Carbon Copy Cloner 6 is the backup app you hope you never need but will be grateful for when disaster strikes. Create bootable backups, back up files and data, and restore with ease. It’s a must-have to protect your valuable data.

The Carbon Copy Cloner Mac app showing the successful completion of a disk backup.

  • DaisyDisk: Clearing disk space on your Mac is effortless with DaisyDisk. It visualizes your storage usage, allowing you to easily identify and delete unwanted files. Its intuitive interface and better navigation make it the go-to app for managing your disk space.

DaisyDisk scanning storage.

  • Dropbox: Stay organized and have your files accessible from anywhere with Dropbox. Sync files and folders, upload photos and documents, and take advantage of the convenience of accessing your files directly from your desktop.

Google Drive running on a MacBook.

  • Google Drive: Google Drive offers seamless file synchronization and backup options for Mac users. Access your files from any device, collaborate with others, and work offline when needed. It’s an excellent cloud storage solution with plenty of storage plans to choose from.

The Little Snitch Mac app showing various connections to the user's device.

  • Little Snitch: Take control of your Mac’s connections with Little Snitch. Block incoming and outgoing connections, ensuring privacy and control over your internet activity. It’s an essential app to stay in the know about your Mac’s online behavior.

MacUpdater Mac app showing its main screen, with apps ready to be updated.

  • MacUpdater: Keep your apps up to date effortlessly with MacUpdater. The app scans your installed apps and finds updates in seconds. With just a click, you can install all available updates, saving you time and ensuring your Mac is up to date.

Surfshark Mac client

  • Surfshark: Protect your online privacy with Surfshark, an affordable and reliable VPN. Mask your IP address, encrypt your internet connection, and ensure safe browsing. With unlimited installations, Surfshark is an excellent choice for Mac users.

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