What apps are essential for a new Mac to have?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Mezmorizor, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. Mezmorizor macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2013
    Stuff like Winrar, malwarebytes, and CCleaner are on windows. Basically upkeep, archiving, and general use tools. Freeware is preferable, but if there is something really useful that isn't freeware, so be it.

    The only names I have right now are Sophos, Onyx, and Microsoft office. I'm sure there's more stuff than that out there though.

    Also, is there a Mac equivalent for foobar? I'm not a huge fan of iTunes.
  2. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2010
    Basic upkeep apps are not actually necessary on Mac. The scripts that Onyx runs are already done on a schedule by the OS. Onyx just does them on demand.

    Stuffit Expander will take care of archiving.
  3. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 12 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). 3rd party antivirus apps are not necessary to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as a user practices safe computing, as described in the following link.
    Read the What security steps should I take? section of the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ for tips on practicing safe computing.

    I recommend avoiding Sophos, as it can actually increase a Mac's vulnerability, as described here and here. 3rd party antivirus apps are not needed to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as the user practices safe computing, as described in the following link. If anyone insists on running antivirus for some reason, ClamXav (which is free) is one of the best choices, since it isn't a resource hog, detects both Mac and Windows malware and doesn't run with elevated privileges.

    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. 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.
    This is OS X, not Windows. You don't have to "monkey around under the hood" to keep it running well.
  5. Mezmorizor thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2013
    Okay, so Onyx + Sophos will be more than satisfactory on that end correct?

    I'd still like to know a good media player that's not itunes or VLC though(I'm also not a fan of VLC)
  6. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2010
    Honestly Sophos + Onyx are pretty much useless, for the reasons mentioned in GGJStudios post. Malware cannot run on a Mac unless YOU accidentally give it permission to, thanks to Unix permissions, so it really just needs you to pay attention to what you click/put in your password for.

    You might look into something like Decibel.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, do not use Sophos. Read my last post.
  8. Mezmorizor thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2013
    Your post wasn't there yet when I posted that. I definitely won't get sophos now, but I'm still going to get some sort of Antivirus. If only because I don't want my external drive to accidentally give a windows PC a virus.

    For everything else, I'll read the links, think about it, and then report back.
  9. Mezmorizor thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2013
    Okay, Onyx does seem to be pretty unnecessary. For a final upkeep question, SSD work best when there's at least 10% of their memory free correct?

    Decibel does look promising, but I'm still open to more suggestions on that end(music is more important than other forms of media to me).
  10. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    For an unarchiver that handles formats that the OS X unarchiver doesn't handle, try The Unarchiver available on the Mac App Store for free. It handles many formats including RAR and 7-zip.
  11. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    What are you planning on doing on your Mac? There are thousands of applications that vary from games to utilities to productivity.

    As far as general-purpose utilities, a few favorites of mine are:

    Dropbox (file syncing)
    1Password (or another password manager)
    F.lux (adjusts the temperature of your LCD based on time of day)
    Caffeine (keeps your mac from going to sleep)
    Evernote & Notational Velocity (my external brains)

    Those are "essential" to me. If it's a work computer, for me AutoCAD and SketchUp are essential, but I doubt most people will find it essential. Likewise, I'd personally eschew Office for Byword and Keynote.
  12. Mezmorizor, Jul 2, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013

    Mezmorizor thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2013
    I'll be using it for:
    Music Notation(Sibelius)
    Word Processing
    Web Surfing
    Some Music Creation
    Music Mixing
    Acoustic Instrument Recording(eventually)
    General University uses I'm forgetting about.

    Really, I only need help with the general apps though. I know that I want Sibelius and Logic X(whenever it comes out) for the music end, and I'm going to use Chrome for web browsing. I'm sure that Byword and Keynote work great, but I'm already know how to use Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Plus, I get a free copy of Office '11 from the University anyway.

    Thanks for the app suggestions though, I'd love to see more general utility stuff like that.

    Edit: Is Prey worthwhile, or is it redundant with find my mac?
  13. mfldmike macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2011
    I've been playing around with MplayerX which is being great so far.
  14. Mezmorizor thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2013
    This looks really promising.

    I'm not terribly familiar with OS X, but will third party apps generally check for updates automatically, or is something like AppFresh worth using?
  15. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    It depends on the program, but a lot of applications will inform you when they have an update. And if they're from the Mac App Store, you'll always be informed.
  16. Mezmorizor thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2013
    Okay, that's what I figured. Thanks!
  17. dammerl macrumors regular


    Jun 29, 2012
    Some time ago I made a list of essential/useful applications and tools. Of course, it’s subjective and specific to my needs, but it contains quite some “general purpose” tools, too.
  18. AK785 macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2013
    MacBook Air 11in 2013 - Just arrived!

    Hi All

    I've purchased a MacBook Air 11in 2013 version and it arrived two days ago. I've spent some time researching some good apps for it, and so far i've installed:

    • Adium
    • Alfred
    • Skype
    • Microsoft Office 2011
    • FM 2013

    Does anyone have any apps that they recommend for the mac? Alfred is pretty awesome so i'm really happy with that.

    Its a very very fast machine, even though the clock speed is a little lower than last years model. I've never owned a Mac before, and it was my iPhone usage combined with a deal that was on at a local retailer that made me purchase the Air.

    Some of the simplest things on the PC are a bit difficult to master on here at first such as the mystery of the "maximise" button that doesn't always maximise. And the fact that there is no DEL key? only a backspace.
  19. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    Fn+Backspace= Del Key!

    My favorite apps on OS X are:
    • Omnifocus
    • 1Password
    • Tweetbot
    • Day One
    • VMWare Fusion
    • MarsEdit
  20. ItHurtsWhenIP macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2013
    Thanks for mentioning Alfred, just downloaded it and love it!

    Sorry, I can't help though..I must not be a "power user", because I can't find hardly any apps worth downloading..:cool:
  21. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    holy hell - $80 for a task manager?
    what are your thoughts on that app?


    that's how i feel... maybe it's because i'm an Android guy but even though I'm a long time Mac user, I just don't use that many "apps"

    probably in part due to the price! look at that list of apps Petvas posted, $50 for a password manager, $20 for twitter or $40 for a blog editor just seems very expensive to me.

    maybe i'm missing out...this might also explain why i resisted Lion for so long...just don't understand why they're making the appstore and the "iOS" look so much more prevalent...

    /fuddy duddy
  22. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    It is a very powerful planning tool for me. It is meant for people that use Omnifocus in their job, planning projects and working towards goals.
    Have a look here for more information:

    Omnifocus is not for people that want something simple. It allows a complex organization of tasks, allows me to focus on my current tasks very easily and provides an interface that gives me the opportunity to review the progress of my projects.
  23. AK785 macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2013
    You welcome, i didnt know about it until i read a thread somewhere recommending it (might have been this forum).

    Now that i've downloaded it i find myself alt and spacing a lot :) so much quicker! I've only just scratched the surface of what is possible with it, so i can imagine it only getting better as I learn more about what you can do with it.
  24. ItHurtsWhenIP, Sep 1, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013

    ItHurtsWhenIP macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2013
    Yea, it's pretty awesome. Seems like anything you can think of it can find. I added folders to the list of things it searches and it's pretty much perfect. Love being able to google search and calculate, too. Very cool app. :cool:

    As a student, the only app I've found I really like is iStudiez Pro..just to keep my assignments and class things organized.

    As a fellow Android user, I think we're in the same boat. I won't pay that much money for any of those apps. It's a personal thing and I'm not going to question why he uses them, but I know I sure don't need them. I've used maybe 75-80 apps over the last 5 years (and 25% of them were probably root apps before I decided to stop messing around with all that), and the only one I remember paying for was Beautiful Widgets years ago, which I don't even use anymore.

  25. TonyK macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2009
    I use ClamXav on my 2008 system and have it set to look at my downloads folder and mail folders. that is all I need and it has been tiptop for 5 years now.

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