Best apps to download for Mac after using pc 15+ years

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by dillytheturtle, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. dillytheturtle macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2016
    Just like many users, I too am waiting for the new macbook pros to come out. I have been a windows user for 15+ years but I'm going to the Apple OS as soon as the new laptops come out. Now in saying that, what are some necessary apps that I should download or steps I should take to facilitate my transition to a Mac? I am also a student (biology major) so what are good apps for students?
    Lastly, what are your favorite and best apps to user in general for the Macs?
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    It really depends on what you do. If you are biology major, then probably you work with statistics. My list of must-have software for students who want to take advantage of their computer includes MacTeX, TextMate 2, R and Terminal
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    What are you looking to do?

    There are many applications available, but without knowing what you're trying to accomplish its hard to recommend much.

    Here's some of my favorite apps
    Carbon Copy Cloner - great for backing up your system
    MS Office - the gold standard when it comes to office apps
    Photoshop - The major photo editing app
    Lightroom - Great DAM tool to manage my photos.
  4. JeffyTheQuik macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2014
    Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
    For finances, Banktivity (formerly iBank) - But there are others. This is the only one that would connect to E*Trade Bank
    Like others have said, MS Office
    Firefox - some web pages just don't like Safari, but in the 9 years I've been using a Mac, this has gone down
    OneDrive - Since I have 4 Macs and iPhones and 1 PC, using this makes storing files a lot easier across the cloud
    macOS Server - when you get that second Mac, just for Time Machine backups across the network
    iCloud Storage - Makes sharing photos easy
    Apple Mouse 2 - I just like having a mouse to go along with the trackpad
    Family Sharing - This way, the kids can still spend your money, Actually, it's a nice way to share app purchases and Apple Music with the family. Well, at least 5 of them.

    I know you said that you are a biology major, but there are some fun games for the Mac too:
    X-Plane - works on both a Mac and a PC
    Lord of the Rings Online - Warcraft works too, but I like the story of LoTR
    The Civilization games
  5. 2ilent8cho macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2016
    Text wrangler as a notepad replacement, nice little text editor.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Tell us what apps you use NOW on the PC side of things.
    Then folks here will point you towards possible equivalents on the Mac side.

    I, too, recommend CarbonCopyCloner for making bootable, cloned backups.
    I recommend it over Time Machine (which I have never used), and this is my opinion only.

    It's good to have two or three "backup browsers" around. I use:
    - Firefox
    - Epic Privacy browser (can hide your IP address via proxy if you wish)
    - iCab
    Aside: I would avoid Chrome.

    Are you an MS office user? Then consider MS Office for the Mac.
    If all you need is "casual access" to MS-created docs, the free LibreOffice suite of apps work well enough.

    I WOULD NOT recommend buying an Apple mouse or an Apple keyboard. Apple hasn't made good input devices since they started using USB.
    You can keep using what you use now (if they're USB).
    There are plenty of 3rd-party USB keyboards and mice that are SUPERIOR to anything Apple offers (Apple input devices seem to be designed more "for style" than "for function").
    I use Logitech mice -- probably will never switch brands because they're so good.
  7. wickedpapercut macrumors member


    Jul 17, 2005
    LibreOffice -- give it a try before shelling out $ for MSOffice. Compatibility has been pretty good for my purposes.
    SuperDuper -- another backup tool, very comparable to CarbonCopyCloner.
    FireFox -- I like it better than Safari as the default browser.
    Fotor -- free photo editor if you don't need a ton of features.
    1Password -- this password manager is outstanding... well worth the price.
    HandBrake -- for video conversions.
    Evernote -- cross-platform note keeping tool - difficult to describe but quite useful.

    That should get you started.
  8. RUGERMAN macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2010
  9. 2ilent8cho macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2016
    Forgot Wineskin, i use it lots to play old games and some apps that are Windows only on my Mac.
  10. Michael Anthony macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2012
    Transmission for torrents.
    Handbrake for movie encoding/DVD ripping.
    VLC for playing video files.
    Firefox for web browsing.
    VMWare Fusion if you want to run other operating systems side by side (VirtualBox is free though.)
    EasyFind works better than Spotlight in many cases.
    Carbon Copy Cloner if you need to create bootable clones of your hard drive.
  11. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    I'm more of a "don't buy until you try the free stuff that comes with the computer" kind of guy. Operating systems come with all sorts of included software, and MacOS is especially good in that regard.

    Your Mac will come with Pages, Numbers, and Keynote - Apple's approach to Office - it's very different - you may like it, you may not, it may do all you need it to do, or not. I have TextWrangler as a "toolkit" sort of thing - opening/viewing/editing certain kinds of files, but if you just need a very basic text editor for writing notes, etc., the built-in TextEdit is just fine. Same for the Photos app, rather than Photoshop or Lightroom - if you're a serious photographer, yeah, but for casual photographers either of those can be overkill. Time Machine is a great backup tool, built into the OS. CarbonCopy Cloner is very capable, too, but it addresses the desires of "serious" backup users, especially people who want a one-piece disk image to restore to a blank HDD. Time Machine works great for the vast majority of people in need of backup. And so on.

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10 October 6, 2016