Saturday, January 4, 2014

List of Our Favorite Mac Apps

With 2013 coming to an end and 2014 starting, it was time to create a compilation of our favorite Mac apps (in no particular order) for both existing and new users.

Mac AppStore Apps

Evernote is a popular note taking app at heart with reminders, handy organization features and best of all the ability to sync everything over all of your devices. Evernote is available for free on the Mac AppStore.

Skitch is an Evernote companion app that allows you to make quick sketches or draw notes on web pages, maps or PDFs. This is especially useful when used in conjunction with a smart phone for its easy interface and the ability to sync to Evernote. Skitch is also available for free on the Mac AppStore.

Clear is an extremely simple list keeping app and that, is its biggest advantage. Many times the extra features can become obtrusive and a straightforward and elegant app is best for the job. Clear is available on the Mac AppStore for $9.99 and also allows for syncing over iCloud with the Clear iOS app.

Everyone should use at least one "read it later" service. Pocket is one of our favourites. Personally, I use it in Chrome (Chrome extension available for download) and in Flipboard on my iPhone. A read it later app basically compiles any articles videos or web pages you want to "read later" or view later. Pocket is available for free on the Mac AppStore.

Wunderlist is a powerful To-Do list app that was featured by Apple as the Best Mac App of 2013. Wunderlist offers everything you may want a To-Do app to do including syncing and is available for free on the Mac AppStore.

While Spotlight Search is great for finding anything on your machine, Found and Alfred offer more. This includes the ability to search within Gmail or Evernote on Found or using commands to search within folders or even search Amazon with Alfred. Both apps are available on the Mac AppStore for free.

Photoshop Alternatives
If you are not willing to spend a fortune to edit or create pictures here are a few alternatives:
 Other Great Apps on the Mac AppStore

Non-Mac AppStore Apps

OpenEmu is by far the best emulator allowing you to play ROMs for Game Boy, NES, SNES, DS, Sega Genesis and more. OpenEmu is beautiful and simple to use and is available for download at the OpenEmu website for free.

Steam is the best place for purchasing games for your Mac. It features all the popular titles and most purchased titles are available universally to both PC and Mac. Steam also offers better sales on games offered on the Mac AppStore. Steam is available on the Steam website for free.

If you use iOS, the fact that you can't AirPlay mirror your iOS device to your Mac for iOS demonstrations, recording your devices screen or presentations may be disappointing. AirServer does exactly that very seamlessly. AirServer is available for purchase at the AirServer website for $14.99 with special student pricing and a 7-day trial.

If you're like me and constantly forget a lot of the keyboard shortcuts for a specific app, then CheatSheet is for you. By simply holding down the command key, you get a "cheat sheet" with all the shortcuts. I recommend tweaking the delay time to your liking, personally I keep it at the longest. CheatSheet is available for free at the CheatSheet website.

Other Great Mac Apps
Last but not least, it is worth considering any of the OMNI group's apps as they offer some of the best productivity apps despite a much higher price tag. Also, Apple's Aperture offers professional photo editing for $79.99 however, it didn't make the list because an Aperture X update is expected and the AppStore doesn't offer upgrade pricing.