10 of the Best macOS and iOS Apps of 2019

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2019 is coming to a close in just a few days, and we thought we'd share some of our favorite apps this year.

Over the course of the 2019, we've highlighted useful Mac and iOS apps primarily picked out by MacRumors readers in a YouTube series. For today's video, we've rounded up five iOS apps and five Mac apps that MacRumors readers found most useful from those videos.


Mac Apps
  • One Switch ($4.99) - One Switch is a Mac menu bar app that adds various switches to the Mac's menu bar. You can add toggles that will do things like hide desktop options, activate dark mode, keep the Mac awake, connect to headphones, toggle on Do Not Disturb, activate Night Shift, bring up the Screen Saver, and more. Options are customizable so you can make your One Switch menu do just want you need.
  • Stack (Free) - Stack is a Mac app that's sort of an internet launchpad for web apps, describing itself as an "internet OS." It houses all the websites you might want to keep tabs on like Facebook, Messenger, Gmail, Slack, and more, keeping them in one convenient place. You can organize your different apps into categories, and the app provides unified notifications so you don't miss anything.
  • Pock (Free) - Pock is a simple app that's designed to make your Touch Bar more useful by adding your dock to your Touch Bar so you can quickly access your apps and even files within folders. The Pock options are customizable, so you can choose what you need most, adding options like a now playing widget for controlling music, a status widget for getting info like WiFi connection of battery level, and more.
  • Moom ($9.99) - Moom is designed to let you quickly and easily move and resize windows on your Mac. It has preset sizes and locations, and also lets you draw grids to create custom window display sizes. There are also custom controls for moving, zooming, moving windows to a secondary display, centering, resizing and more, and window layouts can be saved.
  • Little Snitch ($45) - Little Snitch monitors all of the traffic on your Mac so you can see what apps are sending data, and where. It basically makes all of your Internet connections visible and gives you control over them, letting you approve or restrict what's being sent from your Mac. There's a world map so you can see where connections are being made, and there are modes for getting instant notifications or letting it run in the background.
iOS Apps
  • Spotify Stations (Free) - Spotify Stations is a standalone Spotify app that came out earlier this year. It's designed to let you create radio stations based on your favorite songs and artists, much like Pandora. Radio stations in Spotify aren't new, but Spotify Stations makes the feature a lot easier to use.
  • Microsoft Math Solver (Free) - For our readers still in school, we wanted to highlight Microsoft Math Solver, which is a super handy app that can help you with math problems. Microsoft Math Solver lets you write a math problem on screen or use the camera to snap a photo of a problem and it provides you with a step-by-step explanation on how to solve it. The app can also generate similar math problems so you can practice. It works with elementary math, pre-algebra, algebra, word problems, basic calculus, and statistics.
  • Halide ($5.99) - Halide is a camera app that offers up full manual controls for shutter speed, ISO, and white balance, along with a live histogram for perfecting exposure. The swipe-based interface is easy to use, and you can capture photos in RAW, JPG, TIFF, or HEIC formats. There are depth controls for newer iPhones, manual and autofocus tools, and for iPhone XR, there's a Depth Capture feature that works with pets, food, and other items, unlike the native Depth Control feature.
  • Unsplash (Free) - Unsplash is a community-based image sharing app that provides royalty-free photographs for you to use as wallpaper or for other purposes. It's not focused solely on wallpapers, but there's an interesting range of content and a huge number different options. There are featured categories along with a robust search tool for finding just what you're looking for. Along with an iOS app, Unsplash also has a website so you can get Mac wallpapers too.
  • What the Golf? (Free, but requires Apple Arcade) - Apple Arcade, which offers tons of games for $4.99 per month, is a great deal, and we've come across quite a few games that make the subscription price worth it. One such game is What the Golf, a fun action game that takes golf to new places. What the Golf is described as the game for people who hate golf, so don't let the name fool you - this is a fun little game where the goal is to get an object (not always a golf ball) to a hole. There are fun puns, silly levels, ragdoll mechanics, and genuinely difficult content to contend with. It's the perfect game to pick up for a few minutes when waiting in line.
What were your favorite Mac and iOS apps in 2019? Let us know in the comments.

Article Link: 10 of the Best macOS and iOS Apps of 2019
 

dantroline

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2016
353
494
Little Snitch, a must have, I totally agree.

Carbon Copy Cloner is still a must have IMHO if you ever expect to rely on your backups. You can have a fully bootable backup drive so if your stuff gets destroyed you are up and going right away. Power users might want to look at Clonezilla for getting your Mac install image cloned to other machines (across an office, for example).

Cyberduck is a great FTP / SFTP transfer app (free).

Then the others: VLC for movies, KeePassX or MacPass for password storage, Brave Browser for better browsing, "Better Blocker" browser extension for Safari.

If you have an Android device then Handshaker is pretty easy to use for transferring data to and fro. Not sure if Handshaker phones home(!)

I am currently looking for something better for Android file transfer, which is probably the good ol' Android File Transfer.

If you are handling/importing your old DVD library or CD's before they die of scratches, XLD and Handbrake are really good. Thanks to them I have rescued some old and rare recordings.

The UnArchiver is really good for opening compressed files from other OS's.

Currently I think Parallels marginally beats VMware Fusion for Windows emulation, but VMware has more relaxed licensing so it's hard to decide right now. Each iteration costs money, and you tend to need to fork out a new license fee when MacOS updates, so don't buy these unless you need them.

SoundFlower lets you redirect your audio output to a file which can be quite handy at times, Audacity is the best free editing tool for audio recordings. More advanced sound re-routing requires something like LoopBack.
 
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MareLuce

macrumors 6502a
Sep 26, 2010
747
248
GoodSync is my fave esssential Mac OS app for its 2 different modes

a) Keeping the data folders of multiple Mac and Windows laptops instantaneously in sync without me consciously doing anything.

b) For my external backups drive that I cycle through my safe deposit box, it provides advance notice of what it's about to do to which files. 'Copy to right', 'Copy to left', 'Delete on right', 'Delete on left' etc.
I can not trust any backup or syncing program that does not provide extensive advance notice and log files of what happened.

followed closely by

TechSmith SnagIt for all the fun stamps and edges I can add on top of screen shots, and their new "templates" that make creating directions using a screen shot a snap

and

TextExpander for Mac for saving my fingers and brain from needless keystrokes.

It's on the list even though it's not as good as Breevy for Windows (Windows only), the fastest and best keystroke saver / TextExpander ever.
Breevy is better than TextExpander because I can create new abbreviations of what I just typed in Breevy in < 1 sec with minimal conscious thought. With TextExpander it takes several seconds. Huge impact / difference in my workflow...
 
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deviant

macrumors 65816
Oct 27, 2007
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Little Snitch, a must have, I totally agree.

Carbon Copy Cloner is still a must have IMHO if you ever expect to rely on your backups. You can have a fully bootable backup drive so if your stuff gets destroyed you are up and going right away. Power users might want to look at Clonezilla for getting your Mac install image cloned to other machines (across an office, for example).

Cyberduck is a great FTP / SFTP transfer app (free).

Then the others: VLC for movies, KeePassX or MacPass for password storage, Brave Browser for better browsing, "Better Blocker" browser extension for Safari.

If you have an Android device then Handshaker is pretty easy to use for transferring data to and fro.

If you are handling/importing your old DVD library or CD's before they die of scratches, XLD and Handbrake are really good. Thanks to them I have rescued some old and rare recordings.

The UnArchiver is really good for opening compressed files from other OS's.

Currently I think Parallels marginally beats VMware Fusion for Windows emulation, but VMware has more relaxed licensing so it's hard to decide right now. Each iteration costs money, and you tend to need to fork out a new license fee when MacOS updates, so don't buy these unless you need them.

SoundFlower lets you redirect your audio output to a file which can be quite handy at times, Audacity is the best free editing tool for audio recordings.
for movies, there’s new sheriff in town. IINA.
 

dantroline

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2016
353
494
for movies, there’s new sheriff in town. IINA.
Yes! I'm going to try it out.

Edit: Just tried it. Nice, potentially better than VLC but not yet feature complete (nearly there!), but I'll keep an eye on its development.
 
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markaceto

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2017
300
432
And here I was, wondering why they gave the Mac App Store link for Moom, rather than the direct link to the developer's website (ManyTricks has been around a long time, they're good people).
Yes, exactly. I always get the standalone version of apps whenever possible to avoid Apple's ridiculous sandboxing, and other restrictions / limitations.
- - Post merged: - -

One Switch is the Mac Control Center we need (and voted most likely to get Sherlocked in 10.16). If the developers are reading, please add "Keep Touch Bar Awake".
 

dantroline

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2016
353
494
I have better list if you really want to be productive:

- Python
- Pycharm
- Rstudio
- SPSS Statistics
- MS Office to write up everything...

Much better than those hipster apps...
Julia is moving ahead of R for distributed computing FWIW. Might be worth learning.
 
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magicschoolbus

macrumors 68000
May 27, 2014
1,523
5,245
Tick tick is great iOS and Mac. Completely changed my productivity and workflow. Very easy to use.
 

Bustycat

macrumors regular
Jan 21, 2015
243
697
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
for movies, there’s new sheriff in town. IINA.
I have been using IINA since the beta stage, and that is very satisfying for a small open-source project.

(It’s rumoured that the name IINA comes from the Wubi method code that outputs the Chinese characters of Jiang Zemin)
 

jeyf

macrumors 65816
Jan 20, 2009
1,431
623
I have been using IINA since the beta stage, and that is very satisfying for a small open-source project...
IINA is a good media player but so is VLC.
I tried to get IINA to organize a library for my media but just was not going to happen
 

MareLuce

macrumors 6502a
Sep 26, 2010
747
248
TextExpander was fine until a) the developer made it into subscription-ware, and b) Apple added text expansion to OSX and iOS.
b) No.

huge time advantage for TextExpander in creating new snippets vs Apple
no comparison

though if you show me how to do it as fast or faster with Apple text expansions, you’ll save me a monthly subscription, so please share ;)

the biggest consideration in any TextExpander is how many seconds and keystrokes does it take to create new snippets

from my extensive usage
Breevy > is better than TextExpander
And both are wayyyy better than >>>>>> The capability Apple provides, though I am glad Apple is starting to do something in that direction
 
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jeyf

macrumors 65816
Jan 20, 2009
1,431
623
chronosync
it is actually a sync app but i am doing a backup between two NAS boxes and this app works the best
i was NOT interested in a backup with encryption or compression. consider compression; most modern files are already in full compressed forum.

I was not interested in creating a file container because
-a corrupt file container means you loose everything
-i ran tests and found for the files i use, the container was actually slightly bigger than the actual separate files
-if everything goes bad, last resort is, i can super easy navigate my chronosync backup to restore any number of files. Restore just one file

chronosync was able to navigate finder and the apple version of SMB. It was easy to setup an automatic mount and dis mount schedule that worked every time.

the license fee was not that expensive
it works fast reliable

i do not represent chronosync
 

aroom

macrumors member
Nov 26, 2014
75
153
if you are looking for a free and open source alternatives for Little Snitch, you can use LuLu and MenuMeter

edit: Lulu will stop apps calling home and MenuMeter will provide a network stat (and more if you want), so as a combo it's a great alternative to Little Snitch. both are up to date and maintained.
 
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