Best Apps For Mac Big Sur

As a journalist, I think of Apple’s Mac OS as the most elegant operating system. In this post, I’ll share some of my favorite apps for Mac OS X (to be more specific, I’m focusing on Apple’s Mac OSX, from 10.6 – 10.8). Many of these apps are fairly new, so if you haven’t taken a look at them yet (or their iOS versions) give them a shot!

Best Apps For Mac Big Sur

1 Alfred

Alfred is a must-have productivity app that can effectively replace Spotlight on macOS. You can use this app to search for almost everything on your Mac — and beyond. We are talking about web searches, calculator entries, and system commands. Because Alfred integrates so well with macOS, you won’t have trouble when it comes to accessing in-app content, such as contacts or calendar entries.

The powers of Alfred go beyond searching across your Mac. For instance, there are useful functions like built-in define and spell. More importantly, you can launch the settings and customize almost everything. Still, we must add that some of these features require Powerpack, a premium upgrade that will cost $37. Having said that, if you just need a Spotlight alternative on steroids, the free plan of Alfred is enough.

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Pricing: Free, Upgrade ($37) available

2 Brave

Brave is a web browser app available for macOS and other platforms, including Android and iOS. While it is based on Chromium, Brave does not become a memory hog. It means you can enjoy super-fast web browsing without slowing down the rest of your Mac. There are also some additional features like built-in ad-blocking and anti-tracking.

This innovative web browser takes an extra step to support content creators while removing intrusive pop-ups and ads from the web. As a user, you can earn rewards by signing up for its Rewards program. In case you are just into the browsing part, you can count on features like advanced privacy reports, HTTPS upgrade, Tor support, etc. You should also note that you can stay off the Google radar.

Availability: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS

Pricing: Free

3 Evernote

Evernote is an advanced note-taking app that syncs everything with cloud storage. So, if you would like to take notes and share them quickly, you should check out Evernote for Mac. The developers have designed Evernote to help you organize almost everything, including checklists, photos, webpages, and documents of different file formats.

You should keep in mind that the Evernote app for macOS is only one of the many apps you can get for the service. Once you create an account and sign in, you get an accessible space from many devices. As a macOS app, Evernote helps you store everything necessary in a safe place. There are also many integrations you can check out.

Availability: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS

Pricing: Free, Premium available

4 Resilio Sync

Resilio Sync is a free-to-use Mac app that lets you transfer files between your Mac and other devices. In our case, we use Sync to transfer data from our Mac to Android devices quickly. This app comes from uTorrent and uses the same P2P protocol. As long as you have connected both your Mac and Android to the same Wi-Fi network, you can enjoy blazing speeds as well.

If you prefer using fewer cables, Resilio Sync is an excellent option for you. There are also options to add specific folders and keep them in sync. Even when you are away from your Mac, you can download the files to another device — given that both devices are connected to the internet. There are also advanced features such as selective sync and channel control in the Pro version.

Availability: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and NAS

Pricing: Free, Premium available

5 Amphetamine

Amphetamine is a keep-awake utility that you can use on Mac without paying anything. As you can guess, it prevents your Mac from going to sleep. While you can enable this feature manually, Amphetamine makes a lot of things easier. Compared to other apps that do the same job, we think this app offers more control over how things work.

For instance, you can enable the keep-awake mode for a specific duration, until a point in time or when you are downloading a file from the web. There are also options to automate the process based on accessories that you may connect. For instance, you can set up your Mac to stay awake if connected to an external display.

Availability: macOS

Pricing: Free

Best utility apps for Big Sur

Here are some apps that can help you save a lot of time. Most of these tools add features that we wish Mac had by default.

6 The Unarchiver

The Unarchiver is a free-to-use archive manager from MacPaw. Compared to the built-in archive utility that you can find on your Mac, The Unarchiver does the job done quickly. More importantly, the app comes with an intuitive User Interface that shows you the process of archiving/extracting files. If you want to manage a lot of compressed files, this is a must-have app.

You can always go to its Preferences section and control how the zipping/unzipping process works. Sure, you won’t get many automation or customization options. However, when we compare the experience to what the default compressor offers, you can’t go wrong with The Unarchiver. In the end, it all comes down to if you need a better way to manage multiple compressed files.

Availability: macOS

Pricing: Free

7 f.lux

f.lux is an impressive utility that can adjust the screen temperature of your Mac based on sunrise and sunset timings. Once you have provided your location — or the custom schedule —, f.lux would adjust the display temperature to suit the lighting outside. For instance, the display would shine bright as it should during the daytime and dim itself during mornings and evenings.

We think f.lux is a must-have app if you use your Mac for an extended period every day. This app can keep your eyes away from stress, with little effort from your side. There are some customization options, such as inputting your wake up time and choosing the desired color. You also have a few options to disable flux for some time. Last but not least, getting used to f.lux takes some time.

Availability: macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Pricing: Free

8 CopyClip

CopyClip from FIPLAB is one of the best clipboard manager utilities for macOS. Fortunately, it offers a fully-functional free version. You can use this app to keep track of every piece of text you copy to your clipboard. Unfortunately, you don’t have options to access media-based clipboard entries. This app stays on your Mac’s menu bar, which is convenient.

You can click on the menu-bar icon and access any number of clipboard entries from the past. You also can control how many entries get recorded, and you can clear the clipboard entries after some time. You should indeed check out CopyClip if you have to do clerical tasks where you need to copy and paste various text entries, multiple times.

Availability: macOS

Pricing: Free

9 AppCleaner

AppCleaner is a completely free Mac cleaning utility app that helps you to uninstall applications correctly. In case you didn’t know, Mac apps also leave residual files when you uninstall them from your device. These files might slow down your Mac and cause security issues. AppCleaner solves this issue by removing all files belonging to an app intelligently.

Currently, AppCleaner is available for Macs running up to Catalina, but we should expect Big Sur compatibility soon. You can use AppCleaner in two ways. One, you can drag the application to the interface, and it would do the job. You can also see the list of apps and inspect individual apps to know how much space it takes in the system. Either way, it removes every trace of the app from your Mac.

Availability: macOS

Pricing: Free

10 Tiles

Tiles, a powerful macOS utility, fixes one of the most underdeveloped areas in the OS: window management. It makes it easy for you to resize and place multiple windows on your Mac screen. When you drag a window to a part of the screen, it will preview how the window would look. You can drop the window, and it will take the right size.

Tiles also resides in the menu bar of your Mac. You can also access various window spaces using several keyboard shortcuts or drop-down menu entries. We recommend this app if you recently shifted to macOS from Windows. Even otherwise, Tiles can improve your productivity since it simplifies the whole process of window management.

Best mac apps 2022

BetterSnapTool ($3)
Yes, you can use Split View on MacOS to view two applications side by side, but it’s nowhere near as intuitive as it is on Microsoft’s Windows, where you can simply drag a window to a corner and have it snap into place. This app is worth the $3 if you don’t want to mess with resizing window borders constantly. Magnet ($8) is another good option, although now that they’ve raised the price from $3, BetterSnapTool is a better deal.

Amphetamine (Free)
If you’ve ever had to keep wiggling a finger on the trackpad during a movie or YouTube video to stop the screen from going to sleep over and over (or maybe during a particularly long download), you’ll appreciate an app that lets you keep the screen on for certain tasks. It even works with external displays. Sure, you can keep going into your system preferences to change the screensaver and hard disk shutdown settings, but that can get tiresome quickly.

Tweetbot ($10)
Twitter can be an overwhelming hive stream of consciousness, and finding the tweets you want can feel like looking for a handful of needles in a big, international haystack. Tweetbot’s sidebar makes using Twitter more manageable by giving you one-click access to your timelines, saved searches, and DMs. You can also select from a list of filters to block out tweets you don’t want to see, such as spoilers, sponsored tweets, and specific keywords, users, and hashtags that you personally customize.

Alfred (Free)
The default search tool on MacOS isn’t bad, but there’s room for it to go deeper. Alfred is a supercharged alternative that lets you create custom shortcuts to programs and file folders, activate system commands by typing, create automated custom workflows that begin with the push of a button or a typed phrase, and, well, a lot more. It’s free, but you can purchase a version called Powerpack that has more features, such as contacts and app integrations. It costs 29 British pounds (around $38) for a single user license or 49 pounds (around $64) for a lifetime of free upgrades to subsequent versions of Alfred.

AdGuard ($30 per year)
AdGuard’s stand-alone MacOS app lets you choose from and custom-toggle a huge array of filters to block social media extensions, pop-up ads, URL redirects, and a whole lot more. It works not only on your browser but also on other apps you have installed. There’s a free two-week trial, but you’ll need to pay for a license to use it after the trial expires. For $2.49 a month, you get access to the service on three devices simultaneously.

For a Better Writing Experience
Screenshot of Ulysses writing app for Mac
LibreOffice (Free)
Tired of paying for Microsoft Office, unimpressed with Apple’s default office suite, and unable or unwilling to switch entirely over to Google’s G Suite on the cloud for everything? Download LibreOffice, a full-featured suite that includes the usual applications, such as a word processor and spreadsheet editor. It’s completely compatible with all the usual Microsoft file types, including legacy formats such as .doc. It’s open source and costs nothing to use, even commercially. For goodwill, donate a few bucks if you end up liking it and using it a lot.

Microsoft 365 ($84 per year)
OK, OK, I know I just presented a very worthy, free alternative to Microsoft Office, but there are two features that make paying $7 a month for a Microsoft 365 subscription worth it, if you use them. First, Word’s included Editor feature, which scans for grammatical mistakes and makes suggestions, is as useful and easy to use as Grammarly. Second, Microsoft quietly rolled out free in-app voice transcription in Word, and it’s as accurate as any expensive stand-alone voice transcription software I’ve used.

Ulysses ($50 per year)
I love Ulysses’ plain text and clean interface for writing longer stories, but it’s also perfect for short stories, novels, poetry, and scripts. It strips away all the unnecessary icons, buttons, and settings and lets you focus on your work. You can get a free trial before committing to the subscription fee. (You can opt for $6 per month instead of the annual payment plan.) If you do shell out, the iOS app is bundled with the MacOS version.

MacBook Air displaying Highland 2 app
Highland 2 (Free)
Highland is a plain text editor designed primarily for screenplays and stage plays, but there are templates for things like novel writing as well. What’s nice is that it’ll automatically configure exported scripts in industry-standard formats, and there’s a new gender analysis tool that’ll break down how many lines are spoken by your characters, categorized by gender. The basic version (which watermarks PDFs with the company logo) is free, but a one-time $50 purchase nets you upgrades and more features, and it gets rid of the intrusive watermark.

Day One ($35 per year)
Journaling is a meditative experience, but if you’re like me and your handwriting looks like an SOS message carved into a rock, you tend to avoid writing on paper. Day One is a great digital journaling experience that lets you insert photos, save voice recordings, and export your logs in various formats, like PDFs. Your journal entries are end-to-end encrypted, automatically backed up, and secured with a passcode or biometrics too. There’s a free version, but it’s severely limited, so you’re better off paying the $35 per year for the full suite of features. There’s a seven-day free trial available.

Dark Noise ($10)
Working in a noisy place—or a dead-quiet one—can be monumentally distracting. Dark Noise lets you custom-mix its 50 built-in sounds to create the perfect audio illusions, whether “perfect” to you is raindrops falling on a tent or a box fan thrumming away on a windowsill. Even if you’re not under audio attack, a smooth layer of background noise might boost your concentration.

For a Better Viewing Experience
Screenshot of VLC Media Player app for Mac
ApolloOne ($12 per year)
If you need a heavy-duty image viewer that lets you edit and view metadata, batch-process catalogs of RAW image files, and set up automated processes to sort and classify photos for you, then step up to ApolloOne. This is a program for serious photographers—or at least people who take a lot of pictures and want to organize them. The 14-day free trial has limits on what you can do, but it’s a good way to see if you’ll want to pay $12 a year for the Standard Edition or $20 a year for the Pro Edition. (You can use the free trial past 14 days if you don’t mind the annoying pop-up reminders to subscribe.) Another alternative is XnView MP (free).

Xee³ ($4)
A lightweight image viewer, this app doesn’t come with all the options and clutter of more advanced programs, but it’s nicer to use if you don’t need all those features. Xee³ is clean, like MacOS’ default viewer, but it lets you browse through folders of images and move photographs more easily. For $4, it’s yours for life. It reminds me of Windows Photo Viewer—in a good way.

VLC Media Player (Free)
An oldie from 2001, this is a great video player that’s continually supported. It works with a ton of file formats and codecs, even allowing you to convert from one file type to another, and it gives you a range of audio and video compression methods for making smaller files out of raw or larger ones. If you download a lot of videos, it’s a no-brainer. It’s also an open source product, so be nice and donate a few bucks for the creator if you end up using it a lot.

Skitch (Free)
From the folks who brought us Evernote, Skitch one-ups MacOS’ built-in Screenshot app. Once you capture a screenshot of a program window, a portion of the screen, or the whole screen, you can edit and annotate it with arrows, shapes, textual callouts, and more. You can also pixelate (make fuzzy) portions of an image to obscure sensitive information, or to draw focus.

For Better Organization
Screenshot of Paprika Recipe Manager app for Mac
Paprika Recipe Manager COURTESY OF PAPRIKA APP
Hazel ($42)
Tidying up folders is a slog, and sorting all your files into place never ends because you have to keep doing it over and over as you continue using your computer. That’s where Hazel steps in. You tell it which folders to watch—say, your Downloads folder—and it’ll automatically move files to new destination folders and sort them by name, date, type, what site they came from, and more. Newly created or downloaded files are moved automatically. It’s a one-time purchase.

Shift (Free)
Instead of having to sign in to all your email, workflow, and social media accounts with individual browser tabs, you can link all of them into Shift. That means having just one app window open for all your work tasks. You can hook up Gmail, Slack, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Airbnb, LinkedIn, Spotify, Google Docs, and more (plus Chrome extensions!). The Advanced tier unlocks everything you’ll want for, uh, $100 per year. Try the basic (and free) tier first.

Deliveries ($5 per year)


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