Everyone has their ‘must-have’ apps. What are yours?
There are approximately 1.96 million apps available for download from the App Store and it can be nearly impossible to sift through them all to determine which ones will be most beneficial to you. Everyone has their ‘go-to’ apps — you know, the apps you can’t live without. It’s taken me a long time and several computers to settle on my Top 5 apps.
With the brand new Apple MacBook Pro (M1 Pro/Max) released, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss five of my must-have apps on the Mac. Anytime I do a fresh install of macOS or buy a new Mac, I always find myself installing these five apps before anything else. I find these are some of the most important apps I use almost daily. Let’s go down the list.
The first thing I always install on a new computer is 1Password. I know Apple’s Keychain is a great option for storing user names and passwords but alas Keychain just doesn’t have all the features I use with 1Password. I find the software license, secure notes and other features of 1Password keep me coming back to it over other password managers. I still use Keychain but I find myself always inside of 1Password. So it always ends up the first application installed on my new computer.
- Create strong, unique passwords and memorizable pass-phrases for your online accounts
- Fill usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and addresses into websites and supported apps
- Access your information on all your mobile devices and computers
- Store items in more than a dozen categories: logins, credit cards, addresses, notes, bank accounts, driver’s licenses, passports, and more
- Create multiple vaults to keep different areas of your life separate
- Organize your information with tags and favorites
- Add custom fields to your items to store security questions, extra URLs, and any other information you can think of
- Use Spotlight to search for information when you need it
- Unlock the app quickly and securely with Face ID
- Lock the app automatically to ensure your data is protected, even if your device is lost or stolen
- Use 1Password as your authenticator: store two-factor authentication codes and access them quickly when it’s time to sign in
- Get alerts when a site you use has been compromised and you need to change your passwords
- Add all your accounts — family, team, individual — and see all your information in one place
- Easily migrate information between accounts
- Share passwords, documents, and more with teammates and family members
For more information, visit 1password.com.
Chronicle Pro is the second app installed on my Mac as it helps me keep track of all my bills. This Mac app has been an absolute beast at keeping me organized and knowing what I am spending. I am able to use it to keep track of confirmation numbers and how much I spend with each payment. Honestly, I don’t remember what I did before I started using Chronicle.
- Never Forget A Bill: With notifications, and upcoming bills in your menu bar and notification center, Chronicle will always keep you up-to-date.
- See How Much Is OK To Spend: Chronicle takes into account your monthly income, your bills, and even bills you have to set aside a little for each month (such as insurance payments, annual memberships, etc), and tells you how much money you can safely spend each month.
- Plan For Expenses: Forecast View shows you upcoming bills months in advance.
- Know How Much To Save: Amount-To-Save feature calculates how much you need to save each month for bills that repeat less often, like an annual insurance bill or car registration.
- Eliminate Surprises: Intelligent Estimated Amount Due feature estimates how much is due for bills that vary, like credit cards or utilities, using your payment history and the time of year.
- Remove the Hassle From Paying & Keeping Track of Bills: Pay bills online and log them in seconds using Chronicle’s integrated browser, and keep proof of all your payments, including storing receipts.
- Understand Your Spending: With month-by-month payment history, and annual reports, you can break down your spending by bill or by specific tags, so you can understand where your money is going.
- Chronicle can also sync with the iOS version.
For more information, visit chronicleapp.com.
Deliveries are always the third app I install. Because I work in the field of reviewing products I am constantly receiving packages and with Deliveries, I am able to keep track of what is coming and when it will arrive. Deliveries have helped me to be able to know when packages are lost or when they have been dropped off. This is one of the apps that keep me from being in a much more stressed-out predicament.
- Keep track of all your packages
- Summary of all shipments with count down
- See delivery on a map
- View the shipping company’s web page
- Share shipments over email, iMessage, or AirDrop
- Add estimated delivery dates to your calendar
- Quickly check packages with the Notification Center widget
- Supports dozens of services including UPS, FedEx, US Postal Service, DHL, TNT, Canada Post, DPD, and many more
For more information, deliveries.app.
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Adobe Lightroom Classic has always been my fourth installed app and that’s because not only am I a writer for this website, but I am also a professional photographer. Outside of MacSources, I use Lightroom to edit my wedding photos and portraits. Lightroom has many alternatives to edit in but it’s the catalog that keeps me with Adobe. Lightroom is a must-have for me.
- Anywhere editing
- Smarter organization
- Worry-free storage
- Easy sharing
- Learn from pros
For more information, visit adobe.com.
Finally, we are left with last but not least of my must-have apps — Amphetamine. This Mac app allows me to keep my laptop awake while installing apps or leaving my computer while my lightroom imports or exports photos. This is a very simple, easy-to-use utility that is completely free to use.
- Keep-awake sessions can be set for Indefinitely, while a file is downloading, or while a specific app is running
- Keep-awake sessions choose to allow or prevent the display sleep, screen saver activation, system sleep when built-in display is closed, automated mouse cursor movement, locking of the screen
- Users can create a trigger to automatically keep your Mac awake
- While an external display is connected
- While your Mac’s display is being mirrored
- While a USB or Bluetooth device is connected
- While a specific app is running
- While a specific app is running and is frontmost
- While your Mac’s battery is charging and/or when the battery is above a threshold
- While your Mac’s power adapter is connected or disconnected
- While your Mac has a specific IP address
- While your Mac is on a specific Wi-Fi network
- While your Mac is connected to Cisco AnyConnect VPN service
- While your Mac is using a specific DNS servers
- While headphones or another audio output is in use
- While a specific drive or volume is mounted
- While your Mac’s CPU is being utilized to a specific threshold
- When your Mac has been idle for a specific threshold
Honorable Mention Apps
Here are some other apps I frequently install on a new Mac computer – they just aren’t one of the first five. So, I consider them honorable mention apps. With each of these apps, you can find something as an alternative but I have found over the years I enjoy the interface of these the best.
- JPEG Mini
- Topaz Labs
- AI Writer
- iStat Menus
- App Cleaner
- PDF Expert
- Final Cut Pro
None of the honorable mentions are in any order. These are some of the apps installed on all my brand new MacBook Pros. What Apps are a must-have for you and do you have alternative apps to the ones I have mentioned above?