Best Apps For Mac Air

Thanks to the large Mac user base, there are a lot of great Mac Apps out there to choose from. Here are some of the best ones that we’ve tried and used. Not all of these may be available in the App Store – some may be available on their own websites. Also, this is not an exhaustive list, but rather a few of our favorites. Happy app hunting!

The 11 best apps for your new Mac - The Verge

Best Apps For Mac Air

It’s a Mac app that 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 on its own. Version 4 improves the workflow creator, introduces rich text snippets, and more.


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Amphetamine running on a Mac.
Always a favorite, Amphetamine keeps your computer from going into sleep mode, starting the screensaver, or performing the auto-dim function. It’s ideal for Mac users who want to watch streams, videos, or any other activity in which they don’t touch the keyboard or mouse for an extended period.

Note that Amphetamine no longer works with versions of MacOS before Yosemite.


Buy at Apple
Bartender 2 running on a MacBook.
Bartender 4 is an app made for when you’re utilizing too many apps. Put simply, it lets you choose which apps appear in the menu bar and rearrange their position to your liking. 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.

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 Monterey and M1 devices, a quick reveal to show/hide apps, and the ability to adjust the icon sizes. You can choose a four-week free trial before purchasing.

Buy at Apple

Dropzone 3 running on a MacBook.
Once installed, Dropzone feels like an integral part of MacOS. This bare-bones app functions as a shortcut tool, meaning you can use it to quickly copy and move files, launch apps, 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.


Magnet running on a MacBook.
It’s not always easy to view multiple windows side by side, but Magnet gives you tons of options. The app is made for the multitasking Mac user inside all of us and 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.


Quiet 3
Quiet running on a Mac.
While Macs have a cleaner interface than their Windows counterparts, it can still quickly become cluttered and distracting. Combine that with desktop notifications from co-workers and social media, it can be hard to focus when you really need to. That’s why an app like Quiet 3 is crucial for Mac users.

Quiet 3 is a content blocker that will stop notifications and pop-ups while using Safari. Quiet 3 is also surprisingly customizable, and users can create a variety of rulesets depending on what they do and don’t want to be blocked. Quiet for iPhone and iPad just works on the Safari app, but the Mac app has a system-wide filter. Users can even block analytics gathering and crypto mining scripts.

If you’re looking for a way to filter all the noise out of your work, Quiet 3 is one of the best and simplest ways to do it.


Unclutter running on a MacBook.
Unclutter is a basic piece of software that suits its name. This Mac 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 (although MacOS Catalina now has a native dark mode) 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.


A screenshot of Bear for Mac.
Bear is one of the most seamless writing experiences around, and it’s perfect for Mac users who write on multiple devices, including their iPhone and iPad. It’s a markdown editor, which offers a lot of versatility and a smooth writing experience, and the app’s minimalist design is pleasant and limits distractions.

The base version is free, but for only $15 per year, users can pick between a number of themes, export to .docx or copy text as HTML, and sync with multiple devices.

It’s a lovely and flexible experience for writers on the go.


Dark Noise
Dark Noise running on an iPad and an iPhone.
Dark Noise is an ambient noise app available for iPad and iPhone, but now that M1 Macs and Big Sur support iOS apps, it’s up and running on them as well. Dark Noise is a great app for people who like having background noise as they write. But instead of playing a predetermined playlist, users can go in and customize the sounds, their intensity, and the overall ambiance of the app. It gives users complete control over what they’re listening to, and it is a must-have app for professionals who want to drown out other noise with something peaceful and serene.


Day One
Day One running on a MacBook.
Journals are an age-old tradition — just ask Benjamin Franklin. That said, the aptly titled Day One serves as a digital companion for those looking to capture life’s little moments. Aside from text, the app also incorporates photos, reminders, and tags, the latter of which helps tremendously with staying organized. The best part? Password protection keeps potential prying eyes at bay.

The Day One Mac app is free to use, but for unlimited journals and photos — not to mention all future updates — you’ll want to consider the premium subscription ($2.92 per month billed annually).


Evernote running on a MacBook.
Evernote is the undisputed king of note-taking apps, and for good reason. It’s simple, organized intuitively, and syncs with just about any web-based service you can imagine. And since it’s one of the most popular apps in existence, there’s a veritable boatload of browser extensions and add-ons available for it as well.

Evernote offers a free version that provides a slew of basic functionality, up to 60MB of uploads a month, and syncing for two machines, but if you’re a heavy user, you’ll want to opt for the premium version ($8 per month).


Fantastical 2 running on a Mac
Fantastical is the only calendar app you’ll ever need, so long as you’re willing to pay for it. A subscription grants you access to a powerful set of tools as well as a full-screen calendar window that’s as beautiful as it is practical. The app’s true hallmark, however, is in the way you create reminders; just type in that you have “Dinner with Alexa on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.” and watch the app schedule it with a reminder.

The free edition is minimal at best with the ability to add and delete events, get the three-day forecast, and a few other features. For a premium experience, Flexibits provides subscriptions for both individuals and families starting at $3.33 per month (when billed annually). Premium features include the 10-day weather forecast, priority email support, and much more.


GoodTask running on a Mac.
Apple redesigned its Reminders app in MacOS Catalina. We gave it a try, and while it’s a definite improvement over its lackluster predecessor, it still feels only halfway there. Instead, Apple should take some pointers from GoodTask — it’s the best reminders app out there, bar none.

If you just need to quickly create entries, GoodTask gets out of your way and lets you do that. But it comes alive when you start to use its power features. You can make smart lists based on specified criteria, add new reminders using text snippets that GoodTask intuitively understands, and everything from the calendar view to almost every function can be tweaked to your liking.

Best apps for macbook air m1

Pixelmator Pro
Pixelmator Pro
Pixelmator Pro is one of the very best image editing apps for the Mac. It has the usual set of RAW editing tools, presets, sophisticated layer editing, and photo filters, and makes it easy to control every detail of your images. What sets Pixelmator Pro apart are the automatic adjustments it can make through a machine learning algorithm that has been trained with over 20 million photos. The latest update also allows greater customizability over the interface, letting you put everything where it makes the most sense for your workflow. And in a world where many creative apps demand a subscription, I really appreciate the one-time $19.99 price for everything this app gives you.

Pixelmator Pro’s iPad app ($4.99) is also wonderful — especially if you like retouching things with your Apple Pencil, which is how I edit many of my review photos.

Pixelmator Pro

$19.99 from the Mac App Store
Lightroom is the first of Adobe’s hugely popular apps to be optimized for Apple’s M1 silicon. And for many people, it’s the default choice for editing and organizing their photo collection. Now the app has been updated to leverage the power of Apple’s M1 chip to make that editing go even quicker.

Keep in mind this is the regular version of Lightroom; Lightroom Classic doesn’t run natively on M1, but Adobe says there are no known issues running it through Rosetta 2 translation. In my experience, Lightroom Classic feels very similar to its performance on Intel Macs.

A native M1 version of Photoshop is set to follow sometime next year, but Adobe hasn’t given release time frames for other apps such as Premiere Pro.

Adobe Lightroom

Free from the Mac App Store (Creative Cloud subscription required)
Adobe Creative Cloud

$52.99 monthly from Adobe
Google Chrome
Google Chrome
Two major browsers, Chrome and Firefox, have already been updated to run natively on M1 Macs, so you shouldn’t encounter any issues or irregular performance drops when using either. In the case of Chrome, just be sure that you select “Mac with Apple chip” when downloading — otherwise you’ll end up installing the Intel version, which will still run, but not as efficiently.

Microsoft Edge currently has M1 support in its beta channel, so that shouldn’t be too far off either.

Google Chrome

Free from Google

Free from Mozilla
If Apple’s built-in Calendar app isn’t doing it for you, then Fantastical might be the more advanced alternative you’re looking for. Its natural language parser can turn normal sentences about your plans into a perfectly formatted appointment entry. You can set your calendar view in exactly the way you want, and Fantastical also has widgets that you can pop into your Mac’s “Today” sidebar. There is a basic free version; the Premium version, which starts at $4.99 a month, offers additional features such as the ability to add tasks, full screen views, and calendar syncing.


Free on the Mac App Store
Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365
Microsoft has quickly updated its entire Mac suite to fully optimize Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and OneNote for M1. So you should notice very speedy performance when doing work with any of them. I’m sure many people will prefer these over Apple’s own productivity apps like Pages and Numbers.

Microsoft 365 for iMac

Free from the Mac App Store, Microsoft 365 subscription required
Microsoft 365

Subscription starts at $69.99 / year
Hear me out: the Twitter app for macOS has actually gotten very good. It took some polishing and bug fixes to reach this point, but Twitter for Mac is now full-featured, responsive, and not nearly as crash-prone as before. If you haven’t given Twitter’s native app a chance yet, now’s a great time.

If you still prefer a third-party app, Tweetbot remains the go-to, and it’s also universal and M1-ready.


Free from the Mac App Store
iMazing is a great device manager for digging into everything residing on your iPhone or iPad. You can create backups (different from the regular Apple ones) and grab your messages, photos, music, and more right off the device.

But it was also discovered soon after the launch of M1 Macs that this software can be used to “side load” and install iPhone apps — even those that have not yet opted in — to macOS. If you’re experimenting with this, just expect that not everything will work flawlessly.

iMazing also recently added the option to clearly see which apps on your system are universal or developed for Intel.


Free trial, personal licenses start at $45
If you’ve got a cluttered mess of a menu bar at the top of your Mac’s screen, Bartender can help you bring order to things. A longtime favorite macOS utility of ours, this app lets you neatly hide everything under one menu bar icon to ease up on the chaos. You can also set triggers so that certain icons only show at those times when it makes the most sense.


Free trial, $15 to purchase
Neural Mix Pro
Neural Mix Pro
Neural Mix Pro is an app that lets you separate the various parts of a song — vocals, instrumentation, and beats — and listen to them individually. You can also change up the tempo of a song without ruining the pitch. A handy tool for DJs and musicians, it also just appeals to my inner music nerd. The end result can still sometimes sound a bit phase-y (like most vocal remover software) and have some artifacts, but it does a better job than other apps I’ve tried for this purpose. Just know that it’s pricey compared to other recommendations here; you’ll have to pay $50 to unlock the app.

Neural Mix Pro

Free from Mac App Store, $49.99 to unlock all features
If you’ve got the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Apple’s M1 chip, well, that means you’ve also got the love-it-or-hate-it Touch Bar above your keyboard. There are ways of customizing it to your liking in macOS settings, but BetterTouchTool is a utility that gives you even greater flexibility over what goes where when using the Touch Bar, allowing you to quickly tap useful shortcuts for your most important apps.


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