essential_mac_apps

There was a time when Macs suffered from lack of apps to choose from, but today the problem is the reverse. To help you navigate through the sea of opportunities, I present the top apps that a Mac owner should have on the drive in 2018. Whether you are a die-hard Apple fan with years of experience or you have just unpacked your Mac freshly under a Christmas tree, I am sure you will find this list helpful.

Some of the apps here enjoy their well-earned renown for some time now, while others have won the hearts of Mac owners only recently. What they all have in common is smooth integration with macOS, High Sierra support and the fact that they become absolute necessities once you have tried them.

essential_mac_apps

1) Caffeine

The name of the app is self-explanatory – you need it to keep your Mac awake. Caffeine prevents it from going into sleep mode, launching screensavers or auto-dimming the screen. It is perfect for one-off cases when you need your screen active and bright, but you do not touch the keyboard or mouse for a long time (such as reading, watching movies or slideshows). All you have to do is to click the app’s icon on the right side of your menu bar.

Caffeine (just as its real-life counterpart) comes with some side-effects. Despite being tiny and straightforward, it takes up its share of resources, so I would recommend to launch it only when needed and do not run it constantly “just in case”. If you need your Mac “awake” on a regular basis, you should better readjust the Energy Saving settings in System Preferences.

2) Pixelmator

Pixelmator is a perfect option for those who like getting creative with their photos, but not ready to shell out for a full-fledged professional suit. The app provides all you need for both photo editing and creating original digital art. It also boasts seamless integration into macOS, responsiveness, and clean, intuitive interface. The newest version, Mount Whitney, ensures that the same full support is available for macOS High Sierra.

With Pixelmator, you can enhance your photos with retouching and applying effects. However, it has a lot to offer for the advanced users as well. If you are thinking of becoming a digital artist, you can create your works from scratch in Pixelmator: sketch, draw, paint, add shapes and text. It even supports Apple’s touch bar (for those who like this feature). Moreover, it supports the CMYK color spaces, which is more than can be said about many other graphics editors, even those marketed as professional.

3) Giphy Capture

Gifs aren’t going anywhere in 2018. No amount of new emojis can beat the expressive power of this beloved format. For informative instruction or for comic relief – choose animated pictures and you will deliver your message in the clearest and most illustrative way possible.

Giphy Capture is the easiest and the most intuitive tool for gif-making that I have encountered so far. Now creating your own custom gif is easy and quick as looking up a ready-made one. From any video, from anything that is happening on your screen – you can capture the exact instances you want. Click to start, then click to finish – as easy as that. The app may not feel entirely native and probably not what you would choose for advanced editing, but since it is free and ridiculously easy-to-use, I have no complaints.

4) The Unarchiver

The Unarchiver is another essential app which will come in handy if you work a lot with compressed files. It is a simple enough utility but unlike the built-in macOS one, it can deal with everything you will throw in it. The Unarchiver supports not only most popular compressed file types, such as RAR, Stuffit, and 7-Zip but almost every format imaginable, including older ones (ARC, Tar, etc.). It runs in the background, just like the native utility, appears when you double-click the archive and goes away when you are done with it. If you receive your files from all around the world (as does yours truly), you will also appreciate app’s ability to display file names correctly, even when they are in non-Latin characters. What this tool can do is quite impressive. Add the fact that it is completely free and you have a winner.

Which one of these four essential apps are you using? If multiple, vote for your favorite below.

 

This post was objectively written by an outside contributor Darren Beauchamp. Neither MacTrast, nor Darren received compensation for this post.