As for aText, using it is simple.
The New Setup
You set it up so that whenever you enter little words or phrases, the app drops in something else. Text expansion, also known as typing shortcuts, can save you hours of typing each day. Otherwise, the basics are great. You can also add to-do items into our note-taking app, Bear.
55 Best Mac OS X Apps Of
The app Things 3 is a super-comprehensive task manager, but it costs quite a bit: So, which browser is best? Depending on the benchmarks you look at—here are a bunch from ZDNet , for example—the browsers appear evenly matched for speed. Most people nowadays probably have their favorites locked in: Messages for texting, Facebook Messenger for everything else, WhatsApp for sending government secrets or expiring pictures of your booty, Discord for any and all things gaming, Slack for all things not-gaming, et cetera.
Facebook Messenger, as you know, requires you to be on Facebook to use it. Everyone also probably has a video chat app they love to use. And there are plenty to pick from: That said, we live in an time where most messaging apps have some kind of video or calling component—or so it feels.
So if you need that human contact beyond simple texting and emoji, odds are good that you can already do it in the chat app you love. VLC is the best media player you can put on your Mac, period. It works perfectly with minimal fuss once you install it, and it can play almost any file you throw at it. HandBrake is a free video conversion tool that, when coupled with an app like MakeMKV , will turn you into a ripping and converting powerhouse. HandBrake is pretty easy to use, but there are still plenty of settings that might give you a little anxiety when you first load the app.
We have a guide to help out with that. You can even do a little light editing, too. If you need a little more organizational oomph, consider Adobe Bridge CC —completely free to use, even though you might have assumed it was a paid app. Well, setting it up is easy. And we also like that you can get pretty creative with your searches when sorting and organizing your sprawling photo library. Which music streaming service you pick is largely a matter of preference: It has a huge library, its social features are great, and we love the thought it puts into its playlists—human-curated and automatically generated.
What it lacks in polish, it makes up for in price. These cloud storage services should all be household names at this point.
My Must-Have Mac Apps, 2012 Edition
Which one you go with depends on your budget, preferences, and needs. Google Drive is a no-brainer, since you get 15GB of space and can easily synchronize files to your laptop or desktop to work on them offline. That, however, has come at a cost. Developers of existing apps had to cope with removing features to be accepted or stay on the Mac App Store.
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These changes relate to Sandboxing, a technology aimed at making Mac software work within a controlled environment. On the flip side, developers were somewhat forced to embrace the Mac App Store if they wanted to offer support for the latest features offered by Apple on Mountain Lion. Namely, Notification Center and iCloud, which users have come to expect from third-party software that has sync and notifications. Providing support for the latest features of OS X has become essential to end up in sections regularly updated by Apple such as Enhanced for Mountain Lion.
Dropbox is still the preferred solution for file-based sync in several apps, and many long-time Mac developers have decided to continue investing in their own sync engines rather than adopting iCloud. First, gone is the self-imposed limit of 25 apps: Notably, four of them are menubar apps and three of them are related to plain text and my writing workflow. Two of them, Chrome and Sparrow , are directly related to Mountain Lion. Last year, I mentioned how I was using Chrome because of its better process management, extensions, and sync across devices.
With Mountain Lion and Safari 6 , Apple has drastically enhanced the performance of the browser — now Chrome is starting to be the bloated one — while bringing native iCloud sync for tabs. For email, after Google announced they had acquired Sparrow I had a feeling the app would begin showing its age with a lack of updates and unreliability. This has indeed been the case in the past few months. Fortunately, switching to Mail. Last month, I officially said goodbye to Tweetie.
You can assign hotkeys to your clipboard history or groups of oft-used text snippets. Other apps like Alfred and Keyboard Maestro offer clipboard support, but I like the simplicity and native aspect of Clipmenu better. I love it. I use Evernote to store reference material PDF, screenshots , sketches made in Paper and Penultimate, and images annotated with Skitch. Their Mac app is getting a serious overhaul with version 5. The Unarchiver: My unarchiving utility of choice.
RAR archives, plus a lot other formats. Fast, and free. My password manager since Sounds obvious, but I use the Dropbox app quite a bit, background syncing aside. I liked the new interface Dropbox designed for the OS X beta client, but the company decided not to ship it.
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My task manager of choice. One thing not so many people know about is the Transmit Disk functionality, which gives you a menubar shortcut to mount remote locations in the Finder. Still my RSS client of choice. Still, one of my favorite features remains the simple S shortcut to mark a post as starred. Day One: More than a productivity tool, Day One is a personal experience.
You can read more in my review of the iOS app , which works exactly like the Mac client. If I had to pick only five apps to install on my Mac, Hazel would be one of them. I started using it last year for some lightweight automation on my MacBook Air. A few months later, when I got a mini on Macminicolo , I discovered the full potential of Hazel as a background utility that runs actions for you.
Our Hazel tag on MacStories is a good way to get an idea of what this app is capable of. Keyboard Maestro: Same story as Hazel.