The best Mac apps

These 30 apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

So you’ve got a new Mac and you’re looking to make the most of the robust application environment in MacOS High Sierra? Well, we’ve got you covered. There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS in the App Store — not to mention the thousands more that are scattered across the web.

Because of this, we’ve compiled some of the best Mac apps available. Since there are so many apps, we pared our list down to only include programs that are most likely to be useful to the average Mac user, whether you’re looking to quickly access an abundance of RSS feeds or automatically upload your photos to the proverbial cloud.


Alfred 3

Alfred 2 App

Think of Alfred as Spotlight with a dash of Siri. It’s an application launcher, but it can do a lot more than just that. With Alfred, you can quickly perform calculations, execute web searches, and quickly find word definitions, among many other functions. It fills the gap between Siri and your Spotlight search, by allowing you to automate tasks and perform advanced functions that, frankly, Siri should be able to handle without voice input.

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Bartender 3 ($15)

Bartender 2 Mac App

Bartender 3 is an app made for when you’re utilizing too many apps. It’s a subtle tool that’s specifically designed with organization in mind, and as such, it lets you better systematize various aspects of your interface. With Bartender 3, you choose which apps appear in the menu bar and rearrange their position to your liking.

You can also search for specific items, or move them into the optional Bartender Bar if you’re in dire need of additional space. The latest version added support for MacOS High Sierra, an interface that leverages the new operating system, and the ability to navigate via your keyboard.

Purchase now:

Surtees Studios

Caffeine & Amphetamine

Caffeine Mac App

Always a favorite, both of these apps keep your computer from going into sleep mode, starting the screensaver, or performing the auto-dim function. They’re ideal for watching streams, videos, or any other activity in which you don’t touch the keyboard or mouse for an extended period of time.

Caffeine works for Macs running MacOS Tiger or earlier, and Amphetamine is a more recent version for Macs running MacOS High Sierra.

Download now from:

Lighthead Software or Mac App Store

Dropzone ($10)

Dropzone 3 App Thumb

Once installed, Dropzone 3 feels like an integral part of MacOS High Sierra. The bare-bones application functions as a shortcut tool, meaning you can use it to quickly copy and move files, launch applications, and share content through popular services such as Facebook and Flickr. You can also upload files via FTP and Amazon S3, or shorten URLs using the newly-added shortener. It’s all housed within a tiny icon that sits in the menu bar.

Purchase now from:

Mac App Store


Flux App Thumb

F.lux is a tiny utility that makes the color of your display adapt to more accurately mimic outside light. If you stare at a bright computer screen late into the evening, all that blue light from your screen can screw with the melatonin levels in your brain and make it hard for you to fall asleep. Fortunately, f.lux helps fix this problem. You don’t need f.lux if you’re running MacOS Sierra 10.12.14 or later, however, because Apple introduced its own blue light filter, Night Shift. Still, if you’re using an older version of MacOS, then f.lux will help get you to sleep.

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Google Chrome

Google Chrome Mac App

Safari will never boast the kind of intuitive integration afforded by Google’s proprietary browser. Chrome is one of the fastest browser available for desktop platforms, one that also features the ability to automatically sync all your information — bookmarks, open tabs, recent searches, etc. — across multiple computers and mobile devices. That, combined with its robust customization and instant search capabilities, make it worthwhile.

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Magnet ($1)

Magnet App Thumb

It’s not always easy to view multiple windows side by side, at least, not without Magnet. The app is made for the multitasker inside all of us, and thus presents a quick way to arrange your desktop. With Magnet, you can drag and snap windows to the edges and corners of your screen, which will then lock into place. It’s a terrific tool, complete with predefined keyboard shortcuts, if you want to copy content from one app to another.

Purchase now from:

Mac App Store

Unclutter ($10)

Unclutter Mac App

Unclutter is a basic piece of software that suits its name. The app is accessible with a quick swipe from the top of your screen, and, better yet, functions as a convenient place for storing quick notes, recent files, and clipboard information. Recent updates also allow for a light or dark theme, and include an option for dragging cards on top of other desktop windows. Files and notes even automatically sync across your devices via Dropbox, a suitable addition that adds to the app’s lasting appeal.

Purchase now from:

Mac App Store

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