You’re the kind of Mac user that goes for app gusto so long as the price is right. Today, the price is righter than right. There’s no excuse not to have all these apps on your Mac.
They’re free. They’re classy classics. They’re useful. They’re powerful. Above all else, you need them.
Free As In Beer
For most Mac users, adding Microsoft’s Office for Mac or Apple’s iWork trio of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote is all you need to make your Mac life happy.
Well, that is until you realize all that you’re missing out on because there are plenty of Mac apps used by the rich and famous.
This PowerList is free. Both the list, and the apps on the list, including half a dozen Honorable Mentions.
All you need is a Mac, Mac OS X Lion, an internet connection, and a few minutes to download and install. I guarantee all apps on the list to be useful, classy, powerful, and free.
#12 – MenuMeters/Meteorologist: See? Right off the top you get an unscheduled bargain– two apps that reside in your Menubar to give you more functionality.
#11 – Onyx, Maintenance, Deeper: Singular apps of useful merit are one thing, two apps for the price of one are something else again, so what’s three apps for one? Talk about bargains.
Onyx, Maintenance, and Deeper are three free Mac apps that open hidden functionality on your Mac, perform specific maintenance functions, and customize various Mac settings and controls.
#10 – Evernote: Everyone needs to take notes. 21st century Mac users need notes that go everywhere and that’s what Evernote does. Mac, PC, Android or iPhone (or, iPad), Evernote is a word processor that follows you around and keeps your notes organized and in sync on all your useable devices.
#9 – Dropbox: Whatever you can say about Apple’s iCloud, now built-in to OS X Lion and iOS, Dropbox does more (you still need both).
More and more apps take advantage of storing files on Dropbox, which makes it a perfect place to keep photos and files. If you don’t use too much storage it’s free.
#8 – Bean: Yes, your Mac comes with TextEdit, a wannabe word processor. If you haven’t latched on to iWorks’ Pages, then take a look at Bean.
It’s a traditional word processor that’s free, easy to use, and stuffed with only the features you’ll actually use– oh, and it’s blazingly fast.
#7 – Skype: Everything you wanted in iChat and FaceTime is already here in Skype. It’s for Mac users, PC users, Android and iPhone users. It’s free to do video calls from here to there, but has options useful for business.
#6 – CyberDuck: If you know what FTP stands for, then CyberDuck is your friend. If not, but you need to move files from here to there across the internet or a network, CyberDuck will still be your friend.
FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, Windows Azure, Rackspace, and others, all bow to free freedom of files transfer in CyberDuck.
#5 – Xmarks: You know, I could have added Firefox or Google Chrome to the list of freebie apps, but they’re a gimme and on every free list of Mac apps in the 21st century.
No, what you need is Xmarks, the thoughtless Mac user’s way to manage and sync browser bookmarks Mac to Mac or to PC. Set it up, sync once, no more thinking required.
#4 – NetNewsWire: RSS is your friend. It’s built-in to Safari. It’s the only efficient, tried and true way to check on a few hundred websites without visiting them multiple times each day.
For Mac users, the defacto standard for RSS readers is NetNewsWire. More features, lowest price.
#3 – Flip4Mac: It’s bad enough that we Mac users have to endure the tragedy that is Adobe Flash, but there’s also plenty of web videos using some sort of crazy format made by Microsoft.
Flip4Mac WMV lets you play Windows Media Player files on your Mac for free.
#2 – Wunderlist: How do you keep track of to-do items, or tasks, or the various and sundry projects that make up your day? Use Wunderlist and fogettaboutit.
This is the task manager you’ve dreamed about. Mac, PC, Android, iPhone, iPad and free. Make lists and share them everywhere your device may be.
#1 – Carbon Copy Cloner: Saving the bestest for lastest. Carbon Copy Cloner works like the lovable, legendary SuperDuper! It clones your Mac’s hard disk drive creating the ultimate backup. It’s free, fast, fun, low in calories, and high in anti-oxidants.
Every app on the list is usable, worthy, power laden, and free. But what list would be worthwhile without a few Honorable Mentions?
Doodle your time away with professional tools. Use Sketchbook Express, the paint and drawing app to get started painting and drawing without spending money. Use Caffeine to keep your Mac’s screen from dimming while you watch Netflix.
You’ll fall in love with Growl because it’s the perfect pop up notification app for those Mac apps which need to tell you what’s going on when it happens. Speaking of apps, how do you know when to upgrade? Some apps tell, some don’t. AppFresh does. It checks your apps, widgets, preferences, and plugins to see which ones need a newer version.
You know what I hate more than dirty diapers? Actually, lots of things, but somewhere on the list is the tedium of changing file names by the dozens or hundreds on my Mac. Not fun. NameChanger won’t make it fun but will make it easier. Got money? But not enough to afford Intuit’s overpriced, underpowered Quicken for Mac? Try Cashculator. Free. Easy. Money.