MUST HAVE software for a new MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mynewromantica, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. mynewromantica macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2009
    I thought I would compile a quick list of some awesome tools/apps for the MBP. I am new to notebooks and would have loved to have had these suggestions right away.

    Better Touch Tool - Allows you to create custom multi-touch gestures for specific programs. Also has window snapping, one of the few things Windows did right.

    Facebook Notifications - If you are a facebook junkie you should get this at least until Digsby comes out on OS X. It will notify you when you have new notifications. This one is not MBP specific, but still awesome.

    DropBox - 2 GB of free online storage synced between all your devices. Amazing. This one is not MBP specific, but still awesome.

    Coconut Battery - Monitor battery life, performance and health.

    GPUInfo Menu - Lets you know which GPU is in use and allows you to set it so only your integrated GPU is used when your battery is powering your MBP, conserving power.
    Can't seem to find the link. Please post if you know where you can download this one.

    SMC Fan Control - I use this one mostly for monitoring my fan speed and I use Fan Control for actually controlling my fan speed. But his program can be used as the main fan controller. It will allow you to set certain fan levels and switch to them at will. This one is not MBP specific, but still awesome.

    FanControl - This is a more automated fan controller.You can set a temperature range and your fans will adjust to stay within that range. This one is not MBP specific, but still awesome.

    iStat Pro - A widget that allows you to monitor temperatures, network usage, fan speeds, disk space, CPU and RAM usage and a few more things.

    I would love to see what you all have to add to the list and how you use the apps.
  2. bware189 macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2009
    BTT is probably the most versatile freeware on the net. It adds so much functionality to my trackpad and OS X in general that it makes me pitty apple for not implementing such a great feat.

    gfxcardstatus works for all MBP now, and allows you to switch between cards from the menubar.

    iStat menu is good but it is payware now.

    Fan Control is evil. SMCfancontrol is far better, but if you buy iStat, you need neither.

    Transmission for bittorrent.

    VLC for video.

    Probably the best though, out of all these, would be Steam. Download it. It is the beginning of a new era, I hope.
  3. Bosmonster macrumors member

    May 17, 2010
    VLC, uTorrent, SabNZB+, Google Chrome, Adium

    Those are about my most used apps.

    Ow and Steam of course quite a bit recently :D Already had quite a bit of games on there from my Windows era, like HL2 and Portal.
  4. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2010
    I posted this under another topic too, GOOGLE CHROME browser is BLAZING fast on OSX.
    I use it as my default browser and it just kills Safari in surfing speed!
  5. doktordoris macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2009
    I think you should add-

    cinch - makes a window fill the screen when dragged to menu bar

    perian - plays all sorts of media

    windowshade x - lets you roll windows up with a double click

    burn - a really quick and simple dvd buring app

    smart scroll - inertia scrolling like new MBPs have

    to your list

    oh, and bento as apple forgot to include database program with iworks
  6. newmacnooby macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    this is some post i did some time ago on the apps ill be using once i get my new mbp, i did a lot of research and this is what i got... sorry for not posting links to download.

    hope it helps;)

    ill add sfxcardstatus
  7. runebinder macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    Nottingham, UK
    Some really good suggestions, I would add:

    Flip4Mac (free): Enable WMV playback in Quicktime.

    Unison (Paid): Great usenet newsreader program, plus their support is top notch

    Handbreak (free): Video encoding program

    Gimp (free): Good photo editing program

    Littlesnitch (paid): Outbound firewall, only allow apps that you want to call home.

    Growl (free): Possibly a marmite here in that you either love or hate it, gives notifications and can add to it with growl mail so you get email notifications so you don't have to check mail every time you receive new ones to find out if they're important or not.

    Audacity (free): Great little audio editing app.

    Metronome (free): Sorry I'm a drummer lol, very useful if like me you like to hit things in rhythm :)
  8. Rithem macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2008
    Pretty much everything is mentioned here but

    Vuze (Been using Azureus/Vuze for the last 5+ years)
    Microsoft Word
    Firefox (Google Chrome that good? I've been using Firefox since beta so I'm just so used to it)
  9. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    Thanks for the Dropbox advice. I just went to their website and it is amazing! If you refer people, it adds 250mb to your box and theirs. I didn't get a referral so I started off with only 2GB instead of 2.25GB. Heres a link for those who want to start off with the 250mb headstart ;)

    I'll describe Dropbox as the 'virtual thumb drive'. This will definitely decrease my real life thumbdrive usage (unreliable).


    I dislike VLC Player as I find it slower than the QuickTime+Perian combo. Perian is seamless and simple.

    I also dislike iStat as there has been complaints about resource usage. It can cost money too, which is ridiculous for something that does what you can do for free.

    I dislike Fan Control. Very buggy with my experiences. smcFanControl is cleaner and much simpler to use (easier to uninstall too).

    I prefer Transmission over uTorrent as it has a much cleaner and simple (but powerful) GUI.

    I'm going to give BBT a try, although I have no idea how it can improve my experience.
  10. doktordoris macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2009
    I also want to say thanks for the dropbox advice.
    I just started using it and it seems fairly handy.

  11. SolidGun macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2004
    Twin Cities

    Unison, Office 2008, Adobe suite and ABBYY Finereader are one of the few software that I actually pay money to use as opposed to looking for freeware alternatives!!!
  12. Pavia macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2010

    If you watch movies on an external monitor, download Plex. If you use fullscreen in Plex, you can still use the MBP, as only the external monitor will go full screen :D
  13. sb099 macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2010

    I wanted to add Onyx to the list as well.

    A multifunction utility. It allows you to verify the Startup Disk and the structure of its System files, to run misc tasks of system maintenance, to configure the hidden parameters of the Finder, Dock and of some of Apple’s own applications, to delete caches, to remove a certain number of files and folders that may become cumbersome and more.
  14. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    Or you can just use Perian+Quicktime, which allows this as well. VLC does not!
  15. grahamwright1 macrumors regular


    Feb 10, 2008
    North of the Border
    Totally agree on Transmission, and totally disagree on iStat.

    Good software that delivers useful functionality is worth paying for, regardless of what zero cost options are available for "doing it yourself". Personally I find the different data iStat delivers, and how it presents it to be the single most useful utility program I own (and I own a lot!) :)
  16. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - I am curious: Why do you (and apparently many others) find this utility necessary? Is it just for fun or do you really need to know all this stuff (CPU usage and so on)?
  17. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    Useful functionality that is available on a mac for free.

    smcFanControl for CPU temps/fan speed.

    Activity Monitor for processes, ram usage, etc.

    $16 for this doesn't make any sense. "But its all in one location up by the menu!" Cmd+SpaceBar+Type 'Act' (can be done in a second or two) and you have activity monitor up and running (and closed to save resources).
  18. Bosmonster macrumors member

    May 17, 2010
    I like uTorrents interface a lot more than Transmission which is just bloated. uTorrent gives me a lot more control and less useless features and candy interface.

    I also don't like Perian, because you can't skip in MKV's. It takes several minutes to "preload" or something and can only skip to loaded sections. Also it's a hassle with external captioning.

    Perian is nice for watching small movies with more codec support, but not for watching HD. Plex is also too bloated. I want a player, not a complete media center. So I'll take the downside of not being able to use fullscreen and use my primary screen. I'm sure they will fix it in some upcoming version.
  19. Cinab1mt macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2010
    +1 on the Drop Box, and Transmission Apps.

    Now a question for the experts. Google Chrome or Firefox? Currently using Firefox over Safari.
  20. Vitr macrumors member


    May 30, 2010
    Vancouver, BC
    I definitely wouldn't call myself an expert, but I've been extremely pleased with the speed of Chrome.
  21. dsprimal macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2010
    this is just the thread i've been looking for! +11111111 :D thanks all!

    wow just downloaded google chrome after hearing so many good things about it....and WOW THIS BROWSER IS FAST. why is it so fast???? any reason?? and another thing, i see the cursor doesn't turn into a miniature hand witha finger when clicking on links? it just stays as an arrow? just making sure.
  22. grahamwright1 macrumors regular


    Feb 10, 2008
    North of the Border
    While I don't *need* to know the CPU utilization (or memory, fan speed, temperature) all the time, I do a lot of video editing along with video encoding and general programming. Depending upon what I'm doing, I absolutely want to track one or more of these values. If I see unusual core / CPU utilization, I can take a quick peek at the top processes.

    In the past I'd have terminal windows open running 'top', netstat and other programs to show what was going on and there's no reason I couldn't fall back to using these different free options but for $16, the current iStat product simply makes it easier for the way I work.

    Your mileage may vary, and you are right - it's simply a fun utility for some people.
  23. grahamwright1 macrumors regular


    Feb 10, 2008
    North of the Border
    Sorry, but $16 makes perfect sense to me and the way I work. I used to monitor activity through netstat in Terminal, plus Activity Monitor but the iStat approach with the customized info in the menu bar just makes sense for my workflow.

    The really nice thing is there *are* multiple ways to do things on the Mac and people will eventually find out what works best for them. I suspect more people are upset that iStat Menu used to be free and they started charging with the last release.
  24. xhArRiSoNxD macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2008
    Do you have smart scroll installed?

    I read your post, checked to see if it worked. It did. Then installed smart scroll, and it stopped working.. So I'm assuming it's smart scroll that is making that happen.
  25. dsprimal macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2010
    thanks for the reply, i just refreshed my google chrome and it works now! didn't have smart scroll installed :)

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