An Ultimate Guide of Apps for New Mac Users

ultimate mac apps guide

With the release of Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro, Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, it is believed that many people have bought a Mac computer as they are new to macOS. For the persons who buy Mac machines for the first time, they may be confused about macOS. They have no idea where they should go to download the Mac apps or what apps are commonly used.

In fact, there are many delicate and easy-to-use apps on Mac, and the download channels are more standardized than Windows apps. This article will answer the question “I don’t know where I should download the app”, and carefully select 25 excellent apps on Mac for the users who first use the Mac. You can surely choose the one you like from them.

Free Apps for macOS


As a person who has bought video players such as SPlayer and Movist, when I see IINA, my eyes are shining. IINA seems to be a macOS native player, which is simple and elegant, and its functions are also brilliant. Whether it’s video decoding or subtitle rendering, IINA is impeccable. In addition, IINA also has rich functions such as online subtitle downloading, picture-in-picture, video streaming, etc., which fully meets all your fantasies about a video player. Most importantly, IINA is free.

Caffeine & Amphetamine

Take notes for the courseware on the computer? Watch PPT? Upload video? At this time, if the screen sleeps, it will be embarrassed. Don’t worry. Try two free gadgets – Caffeine and Amphetamine. They can help you set the time when the screen is always on. Of course, you can also set it never to sleep so that there will be not any embarrassment mentioned above.

The core functions of Caffeine and Amphetamine are very similar. The difference is that Amphetamine also provides additional automation function, which can meet the advanced needs of some high-end users.


macOS Calendar app does not support to display in the menu bar, so if you want to view the calendars conveniently on the menu bar, free and exquisite Ityscal is a good choice. With this simple gadget, you can view the calendars and event list, and quickly create new events.


Maybe you are not used to the keyboard layout of Mac after you migrate from Windows computer to Mac, or the external keyboard layout you purchased is weird. Don’t worry, Karabiner-Elements allows you to customize the key position on your Mac, completely in line with the layout you are familiar with. In addition, Karabiner-Elements has some high-level functions, such as Hyper key.

Cheat Sheet

Whether you’re an efficiency user or not, you must want to simplify the operation by using shortcut keys. So, how can we remember the shortcut keys of so many applications? In fact, you don’t have to memorize mechanically. Cheat Sheet can help you to view all the shortcuts of the current app with one click. Just long-press “Command”, a floating window will appear, which records all shortcut keys. Open it every time you want to use it. If you use it several times, it will be remembered naturally.

GIF Brewery 3

As a common format, GIF plays an important role in our life. Some people take GIF pictures to do the demonstration in the article, while others use GIF pictures to make funny emoticons. In fact, you can easily make GIF pictures on Mac, just with GIF Brewery 3. If your requirements are simple, GIF Brewery 3 can directly convert the imported video or screen records into GIF pictures; if you have advanced requirements, GIF Brewery 3 can set complete parameters and add subtitles to meet all your requirements for your GIF pictures.


If you want to write with Markdown but don’t want to buy an expensive Markdown editor in the first place, Typora is worth a try. Although it’s free, the functions of Typora are unambiguous. There are many advanced functions such as the table insertion, code and mathematical formula input, directory outline support, etc. However, Typora is different from the general Markdown editor because it adopts the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) mode, and the Markdown statement you enter will be automatically converted to the corresponding rich text immediately, which is actually more friendly to the novice Markdown.


Calibre is not a stranger to those who like reading e-books. In fact, this powerful library management tool also has a macOS version. If you have used it before, you can continue to feel its power on the Mac. With Calibre, you can import, edit, transform and transfer e-books. With rich third-party plug-ins, you can even achieve many unexpected results.


Apple Music, Spotify and other music services do not provide desktop dynamic lyrics. LyricsX is an all-around lyrics tool on macOS. It can display dynamic lyrics on the desktop or menu bar for you. Of course, you can also use it to make lyrics.


PopClip is an app that many people will try when they first use Mac because its operation logic is very close to text processing on iOS. When you select a piece of text on the Mac, PopClip will pop up a floating bar like iOS, through which you can quickly copy, paste, search, make spelling corrections, dictionary query and other functions through the floating bar. PopClip also has rich plug-in resources, through which you can achieve more powerful functions.


Although macOS has its own iCloud Keychain function, it can only store passwords, credit cards and other simple information, and can only be used on Apple devices. 1Password should be the most famous password manager tool at present. It is not only very rich and powerful in function but also implements a full platform system of macOS, iOS, watchOS, Windows, Android, Linux, Chrome OS and Command-Line so that you can seamlessly synchronize all your passwords and other private information among multiple devices.


Moom is a well-known window management tool on macOS. With this app, you can easily use the mouse or keyboard shortcut to adjust the size and layout of the window to achieve the effect of multitasking.


Yoink is a temporary tool that acts as a temporary folder in macOS. In daily use, we often need to move some files from one folder to another one. At this time, it is very convenient to have a transfer station. With a drag, Yoink will appear on the edge of the screen, and you can just drag the file all the way to Yoink. When you need to use these files in other applications, just drag them out of Yoink.


People who are used to windows know that when you put the mouse on the icon of the taskbar, thumbnails of all windows of the application will appear. It is very convenient to move and click the mouse to switch between windows. If you want to achieve a similar effect on macOS, you need to trigger the app expose function through the touch version. Hyperdock can help you find the same experience as windows. You can also put the mouse on the icon to display the thumbnail and switch back and forth at will. In addition, HyperDock can also realize window management, application control and other functions.


The clipboard is also something we must use in our daily use of the computer, but the Mac does not bring its own clipboard tool. Copied is a macOS and iOS platform clipboard manager tool, which can synchronize clipboard history between devices through iCloud. In addition, you can also set the text processing and clipboard rules on Copied to meet more advanced requirements.


Unlike windows system, macOS does not automatically hide the application icon in the menu bar, so it is easy to have a long column of icons in the upper right corner, or even affect the display of the application menu. The most famous menu bar management tool on Mac is Bartender. With this application, you can freely choose to hide/show the application icon on the menu, control the display/hide interface through the keyboard, and even find the application in the menu bar through Search.

iStat Menu 6

Does your CPU run too much? Is your memory not enough? Is your computer so hot? To understand all the dynamics of a Mac, all you need is an iStat Menu 6. With this application, you can monitor the system 360 degrees without a dead angle, and then visually see all the details in its beautiful and concrete chart. In addition, iStat Menu 6 can notify you for the first time when your CPU usage is high, your memory is not enough, a component is hot, and the battery power is low.

Tooth Fairy

Although W1 chips are built into headphones such as AirPods and Beats X, which can seamlessly switch between multiple Apple devices, the experience on Mac is not as good as iOS. The reason is very simple. When you need to connect headphones on the Mac, you need to click the volume icon in the menu bar first, and then select the corresponding headphones as the output.

Tooth Fairly can remember all your Bluetooth headsets, and then switch the connection/disconnection status by setting the shortcut key one button, so as to achieve seamless switching of multiple devices.

CleanMyMac X

For new users of macOS, in addition to the basic functions of cleaning, protection, optimization, uninstallation, etc., in the new version, CleanMyMac X can even detect the update of Mac applications and provide one-click Update function.

mac cleaner home


I believe that in the eyes of many people, iTunes is a nightmare, and there are always a variety of problems when using it. If you just want to manage your iOS devices, iMazing may be the best choice. This application can not only manage applications, pictures, files, music, video, phone, information and other data on iOS devices but also create and manage backups. I think the most convenient function of iMazing is that it can establish data transmission through Wi-Fi and multiple iOS devices at the same time.

PDF Expert

It can also read PDF files in the Preview application of macOS, but its function is very limited, and there will be obvious jamming when opening large PDF files, the effect is not very good. At this time, we need a professional PDF reader. PDF Expert which comes from a developer, Readdle, is a PDF reader on both macOS and iOS platforms, with an almost seamless experience on both platforms. In addition to opening large PDF files without pressure, PDF Expert is excellent in annotation, editing, reading experience, etc., which can be said to be the first choice for viewing PDF on Mac.


The next two apps have a strong macOS style because you will not use such a powerful launcher on Windows. The functions of LaunchBar and Alfred are very close. You can use them to search files, launch applications, move files, run scripts, manage clipboard, etc., they are very powerful. By using them in the correct way, they can bring you a lot of conveniences. They are absolutely necessary tools on Mac.


There are many GTD task management tools on Mac, and Things is one of the most representative applications. It is more concise than OmniFocus in functions and more beautiful in UI design, so it is an excellent choice of entry for new users. Things have Clients on macOS, iOS and WatchOS, so you can manage and view your task list on multiple platforms.


With the popularity of Kindle and e-book, it’s more convenient for everyone to make a book extract when reading. You just need to select a paragraph in the Kindle and choose “Mark”. But have you ever thought about how to aggregate these annotations? Klib provides an elegant and efficient solution. In this application, all annotations in the Kindle will be classified according to books, and the corresponding book information will be automatically matched to generate a “Book Extract”. You can directly convert this “Book Extract” into a PDF file, or export it to a Markdown file.

Download Channels on macOS

1. Mac App Store

As Apple’s official store, the Mac App Store is certainly the first choice for downloading apps. After you log in to your Apple ID, you can download free apps in the Mac App Store, or you can download paid apps after you set the payment method.

2. Official website of certified third-party developers

In addition to the Mac App Store, some developers will also put the app on their own official website to provide download or purchase services. Of course, there are also some developers only putting apps in their own official website applications. When you open the application downloaded from the website, the system will pop up the window to remind you and then click it to open.

3. Application subscription service provider

With the rise of the APP subscription system, now you can subscribe to an entire app store, among which Setapp is the representative. You only need to pay a monthly fee, and then you can use more than 100 apps provided by Setapp.

4. GitHub

Some developers will put their open-source projects on GitHub, so you can also find many free and easy-to-use Mac applications.

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