new to mac - what software is essential?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by financeguy, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. financeguy macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2009
    I just purchased a MBA coming from a PC. I will use bootcamp to load windows and windows software on it, but on the Mac side I don't know what I need to buy.

    I just want to use the Mac side to email, surf the web, listen to music, watch DVDs and maybe some light word processing (.doc).

    As far as word processing, I heard the Textedit software can handle Word documents (.doc) as along as they are not too complicated. Is that true?

    As far as surfing the web, do I need to buy security software like the Norton Internet Security I have for windows? I heard Apples are safer than PCs, but perhaps it is still needed.

    Is there anything else that I would really need? I just hate having to pay for certain software all over again.
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Your Mac ships with:
    • Mail, excellent email client.
    • Safari, web browser that scores perfect 100 on the Acid3 Test.
    • iTunes, is more than a music player. It is an entire music, video, movie, and iPhone infrastructure. It is the application used to access the iTunes Music Store.
    • DVD Player, excellent DVD player that can play any media DVD or mounted .iso [or .cdr] DVD disc image file.
    • Text Edit, can read and write files in .doc and .rtf format.
    • and its Java-based sibling, NeoOffice, can handle all Office file formats. Did I say that they are free? They are free! Neither is included with your new Mac, but both are free downloads.
    • Internet security? Each Mac ships with Internet security. It is called MacOS X. If you run Windows on your Apple computer, then Windows will need protection--either commercial, shareware, or freeware. MacOS X does not unless you have money that you want to waste.
    It sounds like you want to dabble in the Mac. My advise to you is to jump in with both feet. As a Windows user, you learned a lot of bad habits. You can't unlearn those bad habits by half measures.
  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Well, QuickTime is pretty essential... You'll want to not delete that. ;)
  4. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000


    Feb 24, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    Just shell out $80 and get iWork. :)

    As for everything else your pretty much good to go, you DONT need internet security.

    For your IM needs, if you have them, I highly highly recommend Adium.

  5. daflake macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2008
    I have found since switching to Mac that I spend much less money on software for my Mac then I did with my PC. So much so, that I look at the extra money that I spent on the laptop is paying off with software costs. :D
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    QuickTime is the audio visual frameworks of MacOS X. It can't be removed. The QuickTime Player is just a small QuickTime-based application.
  7. financeguy thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2009
    I'm still going to have Office and Norton IS on the windows side, but it sounds like I don't need to buy anything extra on the Mac side. That's awesome. Thanks for the advice everyone.
  8. str1f3 macrumors 68000

    Aug 24, 2008
    I'd recommend taking your time and assessing your needs. Get to know the OS and the main Mac applications. If you find that there is an app you need or an Apple app doesn't have enough features, then there are alternatives. Just try out the demos and read reviews to see which would be the best bet to buy. Out of the box the Mac has many quality applications so you can get by with just those.
  9. GovtLawyer macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2008
    Just Curious

    I'm curious why you're switching from the PC, and then the obvious follow-up would be, why keep Windows at all.

    I switched from the PC to Mac in April after having a PC for almost 20 years. I'd get fed up with the constant need for attention and the constant tweaking and fixing. I'd get a better computer and the next generation PC and for awhile it would be okay. Then, it would start to fall apart as I asked it to do more and to live well with the new stuff I put on it. After awhile, it was back to the old junk.

    So, when I moved to Mac, I spent two months in figuring out everything I had on the PC and everything I could have on the Mac, and prepared to switch over completely. When I found something which wouldn't transfer well, I was told by others I could keep it on the Mac with Bootcamp. I told everyone the same thing . . .

    "Why would I want to infect my new Mac with Windows?" I couldn't conceive of keeping anything related to Windows.

    Not everything transferred. I lost some contacts from one program, and my Windows Wordperfect files have to be converted one-by-one as I need them. Otherwise, I love the Mac

    So, the question remains. Why would you want to keep Windows at all?
  10. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    i would love to hear more details on your experience.
  11. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    1. The VLC player if you play a lot of different video formats. It´s a free download.

    2. Handbreak if you want to rip your DVD collection

    3. Firefox web browser (free), i sometimes have to use it instead of Safari, but less and less. (Accessing one of my internet banks that don´t work with Safari)

    I looked through my Apps and these were the close to the only ones I have installed, except Pro apps I use for work like Final Cut etc.

    PS And OpenOffice or NeoOffice
  12. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    Get rid of Norton now. It's not an internet security software, it's a "suck all performance out of your computer" software. There are tons of antivirus programs that are free, higher quality and not performance killers. Avoid F-Secure crap too.

    As for spending money, I've actually spent more money on programs for OSX than for Windows. Part of it is because most Windows programs aren't that great when it comes to UI or there's a better free alternative available. Part of it is because many OSX programs are simply more reasonably priced.
  13. financeguy thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2009
    I got a MPA, and I really like the Mac hardware, but there are certain programs I can't live without for Work, which I might need on a loptop, like Excel VBA and SAS.

Share This Page