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Cromulent

macrumors 604
Original poster
Oct 2, 2006
6,802
1,096
The Land of Hope and Glory
I'm curious about what macOS apps people find essential. Here are mine:

Rectangle Pro
AltTab
Alfred
ProtonVPN
Bitwarden

I'm also testing out Path Finder, which sounds useful as I'll be able to "mount" an SFTP connection to a virtual machine running FreeBSD.

What are your essential macOS apps?
 

MacGizmo

macrumors 68040
Apr 27, 2003
3,135
2,458
Arizona
Default Folder First thing I install since the Mac OS7 days. ($34.95 and worth every penny!)

Rectangle Minimalist window screen & position control. (Free)

Dato For simple Date/Time/Calendar integration in the macOS menubar. ($7.99)

Yoink Almost essential for full screen, laptop & multiple display users. ($8.99)

Monitor Control Brings volume/brightness keyboard controls to displays that don't support the built-in keyboard keys for those functions. (Free)

RightFont Simple yet powerful font management with auto-activation. ($47 now, normally $59)

PDF Squeezer You can fuss with manual compression to make your PDFs smaller, this does it much faster. ($9.99)
 

Cromulent

macrumors 604
Original poster
Oct 2, 2006
6,802
1,096
The Land of Hope and Glory
I'll add a couple more. I stopped using Path Finder when I found Commander One, which is pretty good. I'll also add UTM for virtual machines. It runs FreeBSD perfectly.
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
6,977
3,086

rpmurray

macrumors 68020
Feb 21, 2017
2,148
4,321
Back End of Beyond
Some that haven't been mentioned yet.

MenubarX
Menuwhere
DriveDx
SilentKnight
SwitchGlass
SimpleNote
Keka
InYourFace
CheatSheet
Carbon Copy Cloner
Lingon X
Pure Paste
 
Last edited:
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Hunter5117

macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2010
569
401
Not sure if we are only doing utilities but apps I use every day, all day include:

I work a lot in terminal.

Apple Notes
Carbon copy cloner - it just runs on its own every night.
iTerm/ZSH
Midnight Commander
 

antiprotest

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2010
4,151
14,799
Chrome - because even when my family does not care to keep track of me, I know that Google cares

Safari - because sometimes Google cares too much

Music - because sometimes I need a break from clicking around in Chrome and Safari

Podcast - because sometimes songs get annoying

Books - because sometimes podcasts get annoying

Notes - because dumping all my thoughts in Notes frees my mind to come up with other things to dump in Notes

Word - because I write so that I can eat, and I eat so that I can write

Messages - because I have friends, but I don't want to see their stupid faces or hear their irritating voices

Photos - because I take beautiful photos and I want to admire them on a bigger screen

Magnet - because Mac still can't get Windows management right

Bartender - because Mac still can't get menubar management right

Balance Lock - because Mac still can't get bluetooth audio right

Amphetamine - because Mac still can't get external hard drive timeout right
 

4743913

Cancelled
Aug 19, 2020
1,564
3,715
the first 5 apps I install:

hazel
1password
textexpander
keyboard maestro
alfred

then:

devonthink
every rogue amoeba app
adobe pr, ps, au, ae
fantastical
omnifocus

then the rest of my stuff.
 

neutrino17

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2022
108
118
BackBlaze
GraphicConverter
Notes
iWork
Affinity suite
Safari
Messages

I had BackBlaze running for years and never thought about it. This summer I had a big issue, I had them send me a drive with a full back up. Fantastic. What a relief.
 

ndouglas

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2022
669
590
Interesting app lists… for me…

Notes
Mail
TextEdit
Safari
Firefox

to a lesser extent:

Word
Pages
CoconutBattery (not essential but I like to monitor it)
Zoom (don’t love it, but have to use it for work)
 
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tosbsas

macrumors 65816
Nov 22, 2008
1,289
430
Lima, Peru
Not sure if we are only doing utilities but apps I use every day, all day include:

I work a lot in terminal.

Apple Notes
Carbon copy cloner - it just runs on its own every night.
iTerm/ZSH
Midnight Commander
you are tempting me with midnight commander, as I am not happy with forklift or pathfinder. But I can't even find a binary to download :-(( as I don't want to install homebrew
 

Hunter5117

macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2010
569
401
:-(( as I don't want to install homebrew
Curious why you don't want to install Homebrew?

PS I am old enough that the original, Norton Commander, was my goto app for managing and fixing DOS file systems back in the day. At the time I owned a small-town computer shop and NC was indispensable in helping keep my customers systems running well.
 
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tosbsas

macrumors 65816
Nov 22, 2008
1,289
430
Lima, Peru
Curious why you don't want to install Homebrew?

PS I am old enough that the original, Norton Commander, was my goto app for managing and fixing DOS file systems back in the day. At the time I owned a small-town computer shop and NC was indispensable in helping keep my customers systems running well.
only got a 256 GB ssd
 

Bento.Box

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2022
224
121
Essential:

- some browsers (e.g. brave)
- Terminal (bash/zsh)
- openssh
- nmap
- some development stuff (python, git,..)
- Cisco VPN Client
- some PDF Viewer
- MS Teams (really hate it) for collaboration

that covers > 90% of the usage.
For documents we unfortunately use the MS Office suite, for personal stuff I use LaTeX.
 
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Bento.Box

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2022
224
121
you are tempting me with midnight commander, as I am not happy with forklift or pathfinder. But I can't even find a binary to download :-(( as I don't want to install homebrew

It's in the macports repo, if you don't want to use brew.

Manually downloading binaries feels so microsoftly
 

Chozun

Suspended
Nov 1, 2022
124
41
Mine are:

1Password
Thunderbird
Quicken 2017
VLC
AppCleaner
EasyFind
Onyx
TechTool Pro
Brave
LibreOffice (primarily its Writer and Calc modules)
SuperDuper!
 
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