must-have apps on a new MacBook

Have you just received a brand new MacBook and wondering what software to install on this computer? Here are our must-have app recommendations.

Source: Frandroid

Buying a new PC is always a good opportunity to think about which applications and tools to install. Whether you’re switching from Windows to macOS for the first time or buying a new Mac or MacBook, we’ve got a few gems to recommend.

It is clear that we could fall into the trap of easy recommendation, that of the applications you already know: Slack, Spotify, Discord and others. No, here it’s a matter of recommending to you small applications that quickly proved to be essential for our use on the Mac. We also wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome. No more than one of the Apple programs already pre-installed on your Mac that we invite you to try before considering a possible uninstall.

Bartender 4 to control the menu bar

If you bought a new Mac, chances are it has a screen with a webcam notch. Bartender makes it easier to manage the menu bar at the top of the screen.

Bartender 4 MacOS
Bartender makes it easy to organize the menu bar // Source: Bartender

In particular, you want to allow all applications that want to place an icon in the bar at the top right of the operating system to end up in the Bartender menu. By default, the space for applications is very limited due to the notch. The application has the advantage of allowing a nice level of customization.

The application is free for 4 weeks, and then asks for a license of 19.44 euros. A fairly common financial model on macOS that allows the developers of the application to be remunerated. Note that there is a free alternative: Dozer.

Download Bartender 4

Magnet: Get the best out of Windows

Windows objectively and unanimously offers a superior feature to macOS: Snap Assist. It allows you to easily manage and rearrange your windows on the screen. The best-known example is the ability to make an app take over the right or left half of the screen simply by dragging it to a ledge.

Magnet mac app
Source: Magnet

Magnet is known by Mac users for adding this valuable feature to macOS. Better, it even replicates Windows keyboard shortcuts. Thus, a dash with Control+Option+left (or right) arrow immediately inserts a window to the left. Control+Option+Up Arrow takes it to full screen.

An important invoiced 7.99 euros in the Mac App Store. There is a free alternative: Rectangle.

Download Magnet from the Mac App Store

IINA: VLC, but better

IINA is like VLC, but better suited for macOS. This video player handles all formats with a beautiful interface and top performance.

IINA media player macOS
Source: IINA

The application is open and free. What more can be said?

Download IINA

Browserosaurus: save time with our browsers

If you have multiple browsers installed on your machine or a few native web service applications, Browserosaurus will save you valuable time. This program intervenes when you click on a link sent, for example, in a messaging software like Discord. It will then suggest which browser or application you want to open the link with.

Browserosaurus macOS
Choose which browser you want to open the link with with a single click // Source: Browserosaurus

This is especially handy if the browser you use for work is different from your personal browser. A great way to keep work and staff separate.

Browserosaurus is a free and open source application.

Download Browserausorus

Dropover: drag and drop 2.0

Drag and drop files on macOS is really very convenient to use. It makes it easy to drag and drop all types of files from one program to another. However, on a MacBook with the simple touchpad, it is sometimes frustrating to walk long distances on the screen while keeping your finger firmly pressed on the trackpad.

macOS Dropover app
Source: Dropover

Dropover allows you to create a small virtual space where you can store your files while on the go. It’s like a small virtual shelf on which you quickly place a few files. Just open the new application and restore all the files from the little Dropover space to make it disappear. Advanced users will be able to go further with the application by automatically transferring files to your clouds prefer. You can also tell Dropover to monitor a folder to automatically create a shelf when a file is added (useful for the screenshots folder).

Dropover offers a free trial on the Mac App Store for 14 days. The full version costs 3.99 euros.

Download Dropover from the Mac App Store

Cooling: Get autonomy with a single click

Since macOS Monterey, Apple’s operating system incorporates a power-saving mode similar to iOS and quite powerful. It allows you to skyrocket your MacBook’s autonomy in exchange for a little performance. Problem, its activation is hidden in the limitations of the battery menu on macOS. Not very convenient to activate it or not at will.

Cooldown menu bar
Source: Cooldown

This is where Cooldown comes into play. This little application is going to house a new icon in your menu bar to enable power saving with a single click. Switching back to performance mode is just as easy. To get this right on your Mac, the app cleverly uses Apple’s shortcuts created with the Shortcuts app.

The application is free, but the developer offers to pay it on its website.

Download Cool Down

Unarchiver: for all compressed files

Windows has 7-zip, macOS has Unarchiver. A simple and free application to extract any compressed archive format.

Unarchive Mac App Grande
Source: The Unarchiver

What more can we say except that the application is available on the Mac App Store.

Download The Unarchiver from the Mac App Store

MonitorControl: Adjust the brightness of external monitors

MacOS control center allows with a single click to change the brightness of the screen. It is very practical and you get used to it quickly. Unfortunately, the system does not handle all external displays in the same way by default. This is where MonitorControl comes in.

MonitorControl Mac App
Source: MonitorControl

This completely free program allows you to change the brightness or volume of an external monitor from macOS or the hotkeys of the MacBook keyboard.

Monitor control

CopyClip: a clipboard history

The default clipboard management on macOS is not the most optimal. Fortunately, there are a few tools to improve this basic function. If you multiply copy-paste during the day, do not hesitate to test them.

CopyClip Mac app
Source: CopyClip

For example, we offer CopyClip, which adds a clipboard history accessible directly from the menu bar. It has the advantage of being free. Other applications are also very popular in the field such as Maccy. It’s also a feature integrated into more complete software like Raycast.

Download CopyClip

ImageOptim: Brighten the photos you share

ImageOptim says it all in its name. This program makes it possible with a simple drag and drop to optimize multiple image files quickly.

ImageOptim macOS app
Source: Image Optim

Free and open sourceit uses several highly optimized small programs to reduce the size of your JPG or PNG files before possible sharing on the web.

Download ImageOptim

Karabiner-Elements: improve Apple’s keyboard for free

Apple obliges, the AZERTY keyboard on Macs is different from the keyboard under Windows. Apple’s keyboard highlights keys that are harder to reach with a Windows keyboard by default, such as “@” or accented uppercase letters. Conversely, some special characters become more complicated to type on the Mac, such as French quotes and square brackets.

Karabiner-Elements is a popular program that allows you to configure new shortcuts for the Mac keyboard and thus facilitate certain actions. It is also possible to import shortcuts created by other users with just a few clicks. We offer you our own set:

Here are some examples of more easily accessible characters:

  • Command + <: "
  • Command+Option+>:”
  • Command+(: [
  • Command + ) : ]
  • Command +! :\

Note that the shortcuts we provide do not replace any pre-existing ones. These are therefore new options, without losing any of the Mac keyboard. The application is open and free.

Download Carabiner elements

Sublime Text: the simple and complete text editor

Among the multitude of text editors for macOS, Sublime Text is both one of the simplest and one of the most complete. Compatible with any kind of format, and especially most of the formats used in programming, Sublime Text offers some essential features. For example, auto-completion to reuse the name of a variable and good syntax highlighting.

Sublime text screenshot mac
Source: Sublime Text

Sublime Text is available and can be used for free, but the developer requires the purchase of a license for extended use.

Download SublimeText

CleanMyMac: deep clean your Mac

When you uninstall an app on macOS, it might leave a few files behind here or there. All of this can pile up and fill up your storage space. Whether it’s to clean up those files or find out what might be slowing down your machine’s performance, CleanMyMac offers a thorough cleaning of all the problems on your Mac.

Clean the My Mac app
Source: Clean My Mac

The software interface is very simple to use and focuses on data cleaning, protection and performance. This is full-featured software at a premium price. The lifetime license is sold for 89.95 euros for a Mac with no update guarantee. A subscription to keep a license up to date is offered for 79.95 euros per year for a Mac.

A trial version is available on the Mac App Store. We prefer not to offer alternatives to this software. Most of the programs that claim to clean your Mac available on the Internet may contain malware or be too callous to clean up and prove dangerous.

Download Clean My Mac from the Mac App Store

And the others

That concludes our list of must-have apps for a new Mac. We’ve focused on purpose-built apps for macOS, but there’s obviously some great cross-platform software out there. Let’s quickly mention Affinity Photos for image editing, Bitwarden for password management, Notion for organizing your work, Microsoft To Do or OneNote for note taking or task management.

You can share your recommendations in the comments. What are the tools you couldn’t live without? What apps do you download first with a new machine?


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