Five Mac Apps Worth Checking Out - July 2020

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Apps created for Macs don't typically receive as much coverage as apps designed for iPhones and iPads, so we crated a series here at MacRumors to highlight interesting Mac apps worth checking out. This month's apps focus on productivity and feature great tools for working from home.


  • Twobird (Free) - Twobird is an email app from the makers of Notability that's designed to integrate with Gmail accounts, adding tools for creating notes, setting reminders, and collaborating with others on notes and tasks. Twobird is basically an all-in-one app that merges list making, note taking, email management, and more, and it's worth checking out for those who like multi-function apps.
  • Rectangle (Free) - Rectangle is an app for moving and resizing macOS windows using keyboard shortcuts and snap to align functionality. It's a free, lightweight app that's ideal for managing multiple windows on your Mac.
  • Silicio (Free) - Silicio adds a mini player with album art and a Today Center widget for controlling music that's playing on the Mac. It works with iTunes, the Apple Music app, Spotify, and more, providing customizable themes, sizes, and shortcuts along with Touch Bar integration.
  • Bumpr ($2.99) - Bumpr is a simple Mac app that's designed to choose where to open links when you click them. If, for example, you click on a web link, Bumpr pops up a menu displaying all of your installed browsers so you can choose where to open the link. The same is true for mail apps, which makes this a solid option for those who use multiple mail and browser apps.
  • SideNotes - ($19.99) SideNotes is a note taking app that's hidden at the side of your Mac's display by default, but pops out when you need it for jotting down quick notes. The app keeps notes readily available on your desktop, but hidden away when not needed so there's not another open app taking up space. SideNotes can be accessed with a keyboard shortcut or a swipe gesture, and when opened up, will stay on top of other windows. It supports folders, lists, formatting, and more.
Know of a must-have Mac app or game that we haven't highlighted yet? Let us know in the comments below and we might feature it in a future video. For more of our Mac app picks, check out our essential Mac apps archive.

Article Link: Five Mac Apps Worth Checking Out - July 2020
 
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Forti

macrumors member
Nov 14, 2018
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Well... the SideNotes looks kinda good, especially with "stay on top". But to be worth $20 it should at least provide ios/android app with synchronization..

I've tested reactangle and it's just "simple". I was using hammerspoon but it requires some programing skill to configure it.
 

TheSkywalker77

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Sep 9, 2017
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Rectangle (Free) - Rectangle is an app for moving and resizing macOS windows using keyboard shortcuts and snap to align functionality. It's a free, lightweight app that's ideal for managing multiple windows on your Mac.
Sounds like a free version of Magnet. If I didn't already own Magnet I would definitely check this one out. :)
Silicio (Free) - Silicio adds a mini player with album art and a Today Center widget for controlling music that's playing on the Mac. It works with iTunes, the Apple Music app, Spotify, and more, providing customizable themes, sizes, and shortcuts along with Touch Bar integration.
Downloaded it immediately after reading this. The now playing widget the Mac has by stock looks and feels outdated, I hope this one is good.

Thanks for the list!!
 
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[AUT] Thomas

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Mar 13, 2016
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twobird.com/privacy said:
We receive and store any information you knowingly provide to us. For example, through the registration process and/or when new email accounts are added to your Twobird account, we may collect the following personal information to allow us to operate the service: name, email address, and Gmail authentication and refresh tokens (which allow our servers to perform email tasks on your behalf, such as returning Reminded emails to your inbox). Your Gmail account is required to be associated with the Services in order for you to use the Twobird Services.
Looks like another fake client... a client for google services should connect directly to the google servers... At least on a desktop there is absolutely zero reason to go over 3rd party servers...
Has this been tested?
 

thimplicity

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2013
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Thanks for the tip with “Rectangle”. I have replaced all old apps with new, open-source versions now. The only one waiting to be replaced is Hyperdock.
- - Post merged: - -

This isn't a paid article, FYI. Please feel free to suggest Mac apps you like because we do base these articles off of recommendations from MacRumors readers.
My recommendation is Alt-Tab.
 
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4jasontv

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Jul 31, 2011
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I think it would be nice if Dan could explain how he discovered these apps. If he learned about it via the forums he would likely make a members day by getting a shout out.

If he learned about it via a press release or if the developer contacted MR he should just be forthcomin - as long as MR provides a clear and easy way for everyone (members and developers) to submit apps for consideration.
 
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lpozdena

macrumors newbie
Jun 29, 2020
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Looks like another fake client... a client for google services should connect directly to the google servers... At least on a desktop there is absolutely zero reason to go over 3rd party servers...
Has this been tested?
Hi there, Les here from Ginger Labs. I'm one of the programmers working on Twobird. We addressed a similar question over in another thread. For most things, the Twobird client connects directly to Gmail. But for a few things like reminders and notifications, these features really can't work in a purely client-side way. We use as little data as possible to make them work as expected. Hope I addressed your concern (let me know if I didn't!), and let us know if you have any other questions or feel free to email us at feedback@twobird.com
 

s66

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Dec 12, 2016
220
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Hi there, Les here from Ginger Labs. I'm one of the programmers working on Twobird. We addressed a similar question over in another thread. For most things, the Twobird client connects directly to Gmail. But for a few things like reminders and notifications, these features really can't work in a purely client-side way. We use as little data as possible to make them work as expected. Hope I addressed your concern (let me know if I didn't!), and let us know if you have any other questions or feel free to email us at feedback@twobird.com
It's utterly unacceptable to catch somebody's credentials in a client and use them on your server to connect to 3rd party service directly. The security and privacy implications of doing that are simply insane.
- - Post merged: - -

  • Twobird (Free) - Twobird is an email app from the makers of Notability that's designed to integrate with Gmail accounts, adding tools for creating notes, setting reminders, and collaborating with others on notes and tasks. Twobird is basically an all-in-one app that merges list making, note taking, email management, and more, and it's worth checking out for those who like multi-function apps.
PLEASE add a big fat WARNING that this app will use a server under the maker's control to connect directly to your gmail account without use of the client and as such poses risks to your security and privacy.

I'd outright remove the suggestion, but I fear that boat has sailed.
- - Post merged: - -

Looks like another fake client... a client for google services should connect directly to the google servers... At least on a desktop there is absolutely zero reason to go over 3rd party servers...
Has this been tested?
Good catch, thanks! Hope it gets removed from the article as the implications of such a things are just too ridiculous to even consider.
 
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Eric5h5

macrumors 68020
Dec 9, 2004
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The app keeps notes readily available on your desktop, but hidden away when not needed so there's not another open app taking up space.
Sounds just like stickies in Dashboard, which is free and part of the OS—oh wait.
 

BGPL

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May 4, 2016
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California
Sidenotes looks great for $4.99. Not gonna pay $20 though. Some of these apps would get so many more buyers if their prices were more reasonable. If every app were $20, it would cost me $500 a year to maintain licensing - that's before I factor in my Adobe and Office subscriptions which I can't live without.
 

chas_m

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2016
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Silicio sounds great and I’ll give it a look! I always look forward to this “column” and have found a number of worthwhile apps through it.
 

StevieD100

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Jan 18, 2014
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Living Dangerously in Retirement
Speak for yourself. I have a core set of applications that I’ve been using for years, and appreciate the exposure to new applications that may well fit into my needs and get my out of my comfort zone of old applications.
If you have a core set of Mac apps then why not write an article describing them and why they have proved so useful to you over the years. Real use recommendations are IMHO far better than 'pick a few' and write an article around them.

I would not be without 'extFS for Mac' and 'NTFS for Mac'. both are from Paragon.
 

amartinez1660

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2014
244
210
Well... the SideNotes looks kinda good, especially with "stay on top". But to be worth $20 it should at least provide ios/android app with synchronization..

I've tested reactangle and it's just "simple". I was using hammerspoon but it requires some programing skill to configure it.
I haven’t tried Rectangle itself, but I do use “Magnets” which seem similar but with less functionality and I love it, drag a window to either corner or side of a display (works with multiple displays too) and the window will expand to a quarter corner, half, full screen, third, etc. It gives a preview before releasing it.

It does little but works so damn well.

EDIT: many comments did mention that Rectangle is basically a free version of Magnet but still as useful and as a slick.

- - Post merged: - -

Thanks for the tip with “Rectangle”. I have replaced all old apps with new, open-source versions now. The only one waiting to be replaced is Hyperdock.
- - Post merged: - -



My recommendation is Alt-Tab.
Woah, I think you are a prime candidate if you dump your general environment workflow apps and let macrumors go through them based only on these two examples.

Alt tab looks slick but so does Hyperdock, didn’t know any of these. Me personally, apps that come from the App Store are quite conveniente to use, install, re-use on a new computer, etc so those are good for me too.
 
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jlc1978

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2009
2,770
1,111
It's utterly unacceptable to catch somebody's credentials in a client and use them on your server to connect to 3rd party service directly. The security and privacy implications of doing that are simply insane.
In fairness to Ginger Labs, they are pretty upfront about what they do wand why with Gmail.

I installed Twobirds but found it's sorting features lacking. It id'd important messages as low priority, a deal breaker for me; thus I removed it.
 

Sangeppato

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2019
23
4
Rectangle is great. It's basically as slick as and identical to Magnet but completely FREE!



^^ Could not agree MORE with this comment. Articles like this have turned up some gems of apps.
Not only is it free, but it's open source as well (and the developer is a very nice guy)!
 

thimplicity

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2013
107
43
Woah, I think you are a prime candidate if you dump your general environment workflow apps and let macrumors go through them based only on these two examples.

Alt tab looks slick but so does Hyperdock, didn’t know any of these. Me personally, apps that come from the App Store are quite conveniente to use, install, re-use on a new computer, etc so those are good for me too.
Here we go:

  • Hyperdock
  • Alt-Tab
  • Dozer
  • Next Meeting
  • Rectangle
  • Itsycal
  • Alfred
 

[AUT] Thomas

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2016
543
580
Graz [Austria]
Hi there, Les here from Ginger Labs. I'm one of the programmers working on Twobird. We addressed a similar question over in another thread. For most things, the Twobird client connects directly to Gmail. But for a few things like reminders and notifications, these features really can't work in a purely client-side way. We use as little data as possible to make them work as expected. Hope I addressed your concern (let me know if I didn't!), and let us know if you have any other questions or feel free to email us at feedback@twobird.com
Appreciate the response, but you should seriously consider to offer a "client-only setup" and a "cloud-assisted" setup. Unfortunately, a lot of email-clients have started to proxy emails (or similar traffic) over their servers (mostly as necessity to delivery pushmail on iOS), which may be acceptable (users decision) but must be announced as such during setup so the user can make an educated decision. That said, on a desktop, I would really like to know which exact function can't be directly implemented in the app itself but rather has to go through your servers. You can sync down reminders and use local notifications on OSX.

Furthermore, you don't just offer a free app -you also run that service, which certainly results in operating costs. These days it has become obvious that services aren't free. (The general assumption has become "If you're are not paying for the product you are the product.")

That combination adds some serious questionmarks on the app/service that you might want to address directly on your website rather than per email or on MR.

It's utterly unacceptable to catch somebody's credentials in a client and use them on your server to connect to 3rd party service directly. The security and privacy implications of doing that are simply insane.
I haven't used their app, but I would assume (good guess) they register as service with google. So they are using the API rather than caching credentials (which doesn't work well with 2FA anyway).
 

MacBH928

macrumors 601
May 17, 2008
4,179
1,555
I do not trust any free non-FOSS app, the 90s are over. Heck, I don't even trust any non-FOSS. Corporates are evil.

Recommend: Beyond Compare, Find Any File, EasyFind, iStat Menu, Tor, 1password...

There is a great app called AppDelete but the developers ceased development.
 
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