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First Macintosh. Absolute essential apps?

Bojack Horseman

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 5, 2016
20
3
Atlanta, GA
I bought my first Macintosh ever a few weeks ago, a 2018 MacBook Pro 13" base model. It's been great so far, and I'm seeing no reason to go back to Windows other than for games. The Apple ecosystem is too strong. With that being said, I haven't installed any third party apps or extensions to my Mac because I want to keep it as dead stock as possible and because of the small hard drive space of 265 GBs. However, I'm over watching ads on Youtube so I want to get an ad blocker. What are some other pure essential apps to download regardless if they're free or not. I'm ok with dropping some money if the app is without a doubt essential.
 

Dave_O

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2018
91
35
Malwarebytes Free, uBlock Origin and Chrome. If you try Chrome and prefer it to Safari, then a Password Manager like Lastpass, as Keychain doesn't work with Chrome. VLC for video, although its Preferences section has a steep learning curve.
 
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robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,371
277
I like to use a file and app launcher, so LaunchBar or Alfred. Both are popular, and can be used for clipboard management and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Time Machine is great for backups, but with smaller drives on laptops these days I like to use a synching utility, and ChronoSync is the best IMHO. Can be used for backups as well, and even cloning I think. Really handy if you say store a lot of stuff on a hard drive but don't always connect to it.

For general storage, document management, notes, and basically keeping track of all my content I like Devonthink. Comes in several additions; basically an alternative to the Finder in some respects. Really popular with academics, lawyers, writers and folks who have to track lots of documents.

You might get some better suggestions if you mentioned the utilities and such you liked on Windows before switching over. And speaking of, there's Paradox for accessing NTFS drives if you still have those.
 
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Kraizelburg

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2018
396
99
Spain
I thought uBlock Origin doesn’t work in Mojave.
It works perfectly with any browser like firefox or chrome but safari. Safari version stopped last year, so no updates since then but still runs great.
I don't like ad blockers that install an app plus the extension like, adblock, ghostery, etc.
Ublock origin is the cleanest and more efficient plus it's free!
 
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chabig

macrumors 604
Sep 6, 2002
7,206
4,474
That’s it! Safari changed to break uBlock. It wasn’t Mojave. I only use Safari so I associated it wrong.
 
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Bending Pixels

macrumors 65816
Jul 22, 2010
1,281
338
Since no one's asked the right question, I will. What are you using your MBP for? i.e. just surfing the web/email? Video editing? Image editing? etc.
 
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jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,979
526
Path Finder, or other Finder replacement. Because Finder stinks.

(I guess there have been recent improvements to Finder, and I have to admit I haven't tried it. It finally got tabs? Will wonders never cease?! I use Finder when some third-party app insists on opening Finder instead of my designated alternative.)
 
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velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
5,281
1,745
Georgia
Web browsing/email and RAW photo editing. Sorry should have included that in the OP

E-Mail: Thunderbird is the best e-mail client in my opinion.

Web: Firefox with uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger, Dark Reader and LastPass extensions. All of these extensions except Dark Reader are available for Safari too. Dark Reader makes web pages easier on the eyes by placing all of them in dark mode. So, I prefer Firefox.

Photo (RAW): Try Affinity Photo.

Libreoffice: For the occasional document you will come across.
 
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dwig

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
696
280
Key West FL
I also recommend Firefox and, if needed LibreOffice.

For RAW editing, I would suggest initially using the macOS's default Photos and think about other apps if and only if Photos doesn't do the job to need.

If you still have the Windows machine I would suggest:
  1. Installing Firefox, if it isn't alread installed.
  2. Importing your bookmark from your normal Windows browser (if it wasn't FF)
  3. Creating an account at the Firefox site
  4. Set your Windows FF to sync bookmarks
  5. Install FF on the Mac and sync it to the same FF account.
  6. Optionally, disable syncing afterwards, especially if the Windows machine will be sold/given to someone else.
 
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Pakaku

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2009
2,304
2,471
If you do go for Firefox, I'd suggest running the uBlock extension, as well as NoScript if you're feeling tinkery

I've heard people talking about the Brave web browser, but I've never tried it myself. Might be something to look into as well.

If you want a good firewall app, LittleSnitch is pretty reliable at catching connections apps try to make, and if you know what you're doing it can act as a pseudo adblock as well.

If you happen to like RSS feeds, Vienna is the app I use. Pretty simple UI, doesn't do anything flashy asides from some themes, and that's the way I like it
 
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bluespark

macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2009
2,106
2,366
Chicago
Path Finder, or other Finder replacement. Because Finder stinks.

(I guess there have been recent improvements to Finder, and I have to admit I haven't tried it. It finally got tabs? Will wonders never cease?! I use Finder when some third-party app insists on opening Finder instead of my designated alternative.)

Finally? The Finder has had tabs since 2013.
 
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jahala

macrumors regular
Feb 7, 2008
205
14
That’s it! Safari changed to break uBlock. It wasn’t Mojave. I only use Safari so I associated it wrong.

I have been using uBlock origin on Safari on Mojave since Mojave was released. It works just fine. Safari tells you that it will slow your browsing down, but I have not seen that to be the case. I have many of the other content blockers. I prefer uBlock origin for now.
 
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Kraizelburg

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2018
396
99
Spain
I have been using uBlock origin on Safari on Mojave since Mojave was released. It works just fine. Safari tells you that it will slow your browsing down, but I have not seen that to be the case. I have many of the other content blockers. I prefer uBlock origin for now.
I agree uBlock origin is the best by far even with not being supported anymore.
 
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Sedulous

Contributor
Dec 10, 2002
2,483
2,441
No, don't install Chrome... resource hog and privacy destroying pile of trash. As mentioned earlier, modern Firefox is a fine alternative if you don't like Safari.

Unarchiver is useful if you have to deal with compressed files that use odd formats but the built-in archiver tool handles .zip (and can create them too).

I tend to avoid installing 3rd party stuff unless it is necessary... although generally speaking removing apps/programs in macOS is easier and leaves behind less cruft than the registry twisting mess that Windows experiences.
 
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mrex

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
3,322
1,418
europe
I bought my first Macintosh ever a few weeks ago, a 2018 MacBook Pro 13" base model. It's been great so far, and I'm seeing no reason to go back to Windows other than for games. The Apple ecosystem is too strong. With that being said, I haven't installed any third party apps or extensions to my Mac because I want to keep it as dead stock as possible and because of the small hard drive space of 265 GBs. However, I'm over watching ads on Youtube so I want to get an ad blocker. What are some other pure essential apps to download regardless if they're free or not. I'm ok with dropping some money if the app is without a doubt essential.

Because you are new for macs... im interested in what you said ”apple ecosystem is strong”. What makes you say so?

Not sure if you have the touchbar or without touchbar model but if you do have it, then check the software called BetterTouchTool (free for trying, then xx for couple of years or xx for a lifetime)..

VLC for playing everything. Free.

Tuxera for writing ntfs partitions, if needed. Paid. (There is also free way to do it - files can be found from githup but Tuxera does it well and easy).

Gimp for editing photos. Free.
 
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yellow8

macrumors 6502
Mar 14, 2017
272
281
- Cyberduck --> FTP
- BetterSnapTool --> Window organizer
- WhatsApp --> access WhatsApp directly on your mac
- iCompta --> expenses/income management
 
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StellarVixen

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2018
2,445
3,952
Earth
Avoid uBlock Origin fork for Safari. It hasn't been updated for almost a year.


Try something else, OR use a browser on which uBlock origin is officially supported and regularly maintained.
 
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