MBA: [must-have] applications

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by anton1s, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. anton1s macrumors member


    Jun 17, 2012
    Hi All

    I just bought my MBA 13 and since it's the first time I am using mac , I was wondering what are the -must have- applications that each user should have ?

  2. wrboyce macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2007
    Not an Application, and not helpful.

    Depends on your intended usage really? For a lot of people the basics (Mail, Safari, iCal) and iLife (iPhoto, iMovie) are sufficient. Personally, I like to replace Terminal with iTerm2, iCal with BusyCal, and with Postbox - among many other apps I use for work/play.

    Give us an indication of your intended usage, and we may be able to help. What is your Mac currently missing?
  3. tigres macrumors 601


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
  4. LukeSpringUK macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2012
    The first things I install upon buying a new Mac are...

    iWork (Apple's MS Office)
    Clean My Mac (Similar to CCLeaner, deletes cache and language files your may not need)
    Total Finder (Allows for a tabbed Finder experience so you don't have to have open multiple windows)
    Cinch (Brings the W7 snap feature to Mac)

    There's a few more that are purely tailored to my needs (Photoshop, Coda, etc). But those are the basics.

    I'm sure other people will have more suggestions. :)
  5. anton1s thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 17, 2012
    I am a new mac user and therefore I have to start from scratch. For example vlc is something I would most likely think of installing for movies(never used imovie before so I might not have to install vlc after all).

    I've been told that istat pro is really good as well for monitoring the activity of the CPU,SDD etc

    Also, do I need a seperate archive tool ? (i.e to open .*rar, *.zip files?)

    Thanks for all the help
  6. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    Bettertouchtool has exponentially increased my Mac's ease of use. I love it, favorite app, free too.
  7. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Nothing really. Unless, of course, you give us a use-case :)

    I pretty much exclusively use Chrome, Everntoe, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and Adobe Acrobat Pro (for OCR, annotations, etc.). None of these are "must-have" applications for the Mac, but in my workflow (moving between the Mac and iPad a lot) they are wonderful.

    Unique apps like VoodooPad and so forth might make your Mac experience more enjoyable, but these depend on your use-case.
  8. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    I use rar expander. Hasn't failed me yet. iMovie edits edit, VLC plays them. It's really a must have for Mac.
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    OS X can handle basic ZIP files. If you want to add encryption or use something more complex, there's an app call BetterZIP that I have used.

    I'd check out this forum for more information about software.
  10. iNole macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2011
    I completely agree with the Cinch suggestion. Love it so much!
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I would not recommend CleanMyMac, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much. While you may not have experienced problems yet, enough people have that it's wise to avoid it, especially since there are free alternatives that have better reputations, such as Onyx.

    You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Most only remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process.

    These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. In fact, deleting some caches can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt.

    Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.

    Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.

    If your goal is to free up space on your drive, this should help: Freeing up space in Mac OS X
  12. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    some that i use often:

    caffeine: keeps your mac from going to sleep, which is nice when you are downloading some big files

    divvy: really nice for adjusting windows, especially on the 11" (does cost $7)

    mplayerx: I think it is the cleanest media player out there.

    unarchiver: basically winzip
  13. sarah11918 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Seconded, but again that's personal opinion.

    Adium for chat (MSN Messenger, GTalk etc.) is another Mac staple.
  14. mszpara macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Is there an iWork package I can purchase? I do I have to get Keynote, Pages and Numbers separately?

    Does Adium offer anything that iChat doesn't?
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, you can buy iWork as a package.
  16. tootall macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2011
    Quebec, Canada
    This is what I use on a daily basis

    Mail, iCal and Contact
    Word, Excel, Powerpoint
    Adobe Acrobat Pro, Preview
    Time machine
    Better Snap Tool

    also useful occasionally:

    Handbrake, HandbrakePM
    iPhoto, iMovie
  17. bit density macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2004
    The one app I use EVERY day...

    Audio Hijack Pro.

    It has always been on my laptops. Apple laptops are too quiet to watch media and listen to music on.

    Audio Hijack Pro, while ostensibly not designed for this purpose lets you increase the volume of the speakers beyond what the Mac will allow you to do otherwise.

    The only other one that I use is Thunderbird for Usenet.
  18. wrboyce macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2007
    Actually, the current MacUpdate Promo is particularly good, although you've missed BusyCal now - which was a major player.
  19. mszpara macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Will the mid-2012 MBA 13" 1.8/8/128 run Civilization V?
  20. 31rhcp macrumors member

    May 18, 2010
    Apart from what comes standard, I recommend:

    Google Chrome (might as well get Firefox as well)
    MS Office 2011
    Evernote (but this could be obsolete soon given the changes in Mountain Lion)

    Also, set up a Time Machine backup immediately. They're super easy and can be a real life saver.

    Based on your needs, Boot Camp is very useful too.
  21. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    x2. Also, I'd avoid MacKeeper (you will get lots of pop-up ads for it). In general OS X doesn't require all the "cleaner" applications that Windows does, because it has no Registry. Applications do a better job of uninstalling themselves.
  22. wrboyce macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2007
    I can let you know if it'll run on my 11" 2.0/8/256 sometime tomorrow ;-)

    Edit: Wouldn't hold your breath for anything spectacular.
  23. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    For some background, Caffeine is a utility that disables sleep mode. It can be useful if you are running a presentation.

    GIMP is an X11 application that requires an additional download to run. X11 is another "shell" on top of UNIX, so X11 applications really aren't "Mac" applications. They are UNIX applications that can run on OS X. GIMP is a photo editor. You can download X11 support here.


    I would be skeptical. Civilization IV shows lots of artifacts when running on anything above low detail. That said, perhaps Civ V is optimized for the HD 4000, while Civ IV most certainly hasn't been.

Share This Page