New Mac user - Recommended programs/apps

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Kevclark1985, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Kevclark1985 macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2013
    So I just got my new MacBook Pro 13" (late 2013), and having never used an apple computer before I am wondering if there are any essential programs that are worth running outwith the usual Office/VLC type programs? Thinking more apple specific stuff I would not be familiar with.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

    PS - I have (after one day) found out that once you go Mac, you don't go back (new MacBook is awesome)
  2. tinix macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2013
    Well it depends on what you want to do. To track temperatures I use HWSensors/HWMonitor which you can download from here (it is the HWSensors.5.4.944.pkg). During installation there should be customize button around step 4 which you need to click and then uncheck everything except HWMonitor or it will break your OS. The program is good when you need to monitor temperature and do not want to pay for other programs. Also I use Alfred 2 which is replacement for Spotlight, but that is about personal preference. Can't think about anything else.
  3. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
  4. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    Considering the new MBP comes with both iLife and iWork suites, learn those first. Figure out if they meet your needs or if you need to look for alternatives.

    As to office related app's, MS Word and Excel for Mac are good, but Outlook for Mac is borked. The App Store is a good source for what's available, and customer ratings/comments can be a good guide as to which ones are worthwhile and which to avoid.
  5. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
  6. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
  7. Kevclark1985 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2013
    cheers for the replies. Will look into those!

    Anyone able to recommend software so that I can snap windows like in windows 7/8? I.e so dragging to right side of screen resizes window to take up the whole right side of the screen. I used this feature a lot on my windows machine.
  8. sp0bjogu macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2008
    Give Cinch a try:
  9. josh.b macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2013
    welcome to the good life :)

    • Alfred 2 (custom fast search / launcher) available from AppStore (v1) or website (v2)
    • CloudApp (uploader) available from Appstore
    • ScreenFlow (premium screen recording, the best there is) App Store
    • TextWrangler (for editing system files (eg.hosts file) if you don't feel like using the terminal App Store
    • iStat Menus (system monitoring) website
  10. ano0oj macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2010
  11. dean1012 macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2008
    I'd recommend two things primarily.

    1) I'd get a Time Capsule (for convenience) or an external harddrive and immediately start using Time Machine. This will save you one day.

    The Time Capsule will do the same thing as an external harddrive but also acts as a wireless router, has Wireless AC (a nice upgrade), and allows you to obviously use Time Machine wirelessly. It also means since the backups are wireless you are less likely to forget to do them.

    2) I'd hold back on installing a bunch of applications at least for a few days, if not a week or so.

    You need time to learn about OS X and your hardware. You need a chance to figure out what is possible with the builtin applications and what isn't taking care of your needs.

    Then, you can try installing some applications to fill those needs.
  12. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    BetterTouchTool lets you set up custom gestures and shortcuts, as well as window snapping.

    For Office programs, there are Apple's free-with-a-new-Mac iWork: Pages, Keynote, Numbers.
    There is also the free open source LibreOffice.

    For graphics there is the free open source Gimp.
    There is also the $30 Pixelmator, the $50 Acorn, the $80 Photoshop Elements, and the free Seashore.

    TextWrangler is a workhorse of a text editor, and it's free.

    VLC is available, if you need to play media QuickTime can't handle.

    The Unarchiver is available, if you need to extract files OS X can't natively.

    For programming, you want Xcode.

    What are you looking to do with you computer?
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Congratulations! This may be useful (includes sources for apps and recommendations):
  14. Kevclark1985 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Already have an external hard drive, don't think a time capsule is necessary for me at the moment but may consider it at a later stage.

    Had a look at the iWork, seemed ok but the numbers program looked awful compared to excel so picked up office! I use spreadsheets a lot so think I need it lol.

    Will get TextWrangler as seen lots of people suggest that.
    Already have VLC (best media player around tbh)

    Got Xcode as well, I am looking to re-learn some programming (did it at uni but not touched programming in a few years!). Otherwise just looking to do standard stuff, programming, some photo editing (nothing major), maybe some video editing. I am not a heavy user to be honest but was sick of windows and wanted a premium laptop without windows so made the switch :)
  15. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
  16. josh.b macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2013
  17. BinaryTim, Nov 16, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013

    BinaryTim macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2011
    My favorite application

    I use, and strongly recommend, 1Password from

    I make all my passwords very long and complicated, and the only way I could ever keep them organized, and secure, is with 1Password. It is available for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, so synchronizing your passwords between devices (with Dropbox) is a breeze.

    As you know, using the same password for all your web account logins is a really, really bad idea. This application will make your life so much easier (and safer). The price may seem like it’s a little high, but it is SO worth it in my opinion.

    You can buy it from the Mac App Store, or directly from the Agile Bits website store. I recommend purchasing directly from for three reasons.

    1. The developer makes a little more $ (doesn't have to pay Apple 30%).

    2. If you buy the Family Pack license you can install it on any/all computers of up to 5 USERS living in your household without having to have your iTunes ID setup on each computer (as you would if purchasing through the MAS.

    3. If you have a mix of Mac & Windows systems in your home, get the Mac+Windows Bundle, Individual or Family License versions, see licensing details here. The Windows license is not available when purchasing through the Mac App Store.

    They also have a 30 trial version you can download from their website. Give it a try, I think you'll really like it, too.
  18. Lord Hamsa macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2013
    This isn't Mac specific, but if you've got 2 or more computers and you want to keep certain files in sync, I'd recommend DropBox on each of the computers (and your iPhone/iPad, too).

    Other favorites of mine:

    * Handbrake - for making digital copies from your DVDs for iTunes; get a metadata editor like MetaZ, Subler, or iDentify to tweak the metadata after ripping and before putting into iTunes

    * Mobile Mouse Server - with Mobile Mouse app, use your iOS device as a remote mouse/keyboard for your Mac

    * Caffeine - override sleep settings when you need to
  19. caughtinfire macrumors member


    Jul 2, 2011
    Bellevue, WA
    I like Divvy as a window resizer snap feature thingy.

    If you do much writing of any sort, Scrivener is fantastic for getting all of your thoughts and sources together.

    Seconding the vote for TextWrangler as well.

Share This Page