What does every Mac user want and need? Free apps. It seems that every website with inclinations to write about Apple products has a list of apps they like best. So do the folks at Mac360, except this year I’m going to poke holes in someone else’s list.
Michael Simon created a nice slideshow of 30 free macOS apps every Mac user should have? Nope. Wrong. Free? Sure, why not? But every Mac user? Hey, different strokes for different folks and some on this list just won’t and don’t and cannot appeal to every Mac user. I’ll show you which ones to avoid.
Free Is Good
Yes, free is good, but not everything that is free is worthwhile or beneficial to Apple’s well-heeled, highly educated customer. Facebook? Google? Nope. Likewise, a few of these are not for the common Mac user.
VLC Media Player – You don’t need it, Mr. or Mrs. Average Mac user. QuickTime Player works fine, free or not, VLC media player.
iBooks Author – Puhleeze. Every Mac user is going to write, design, and publish a book online? iBooks Author is great. For authors. Not for the mythical every Mac user.
Alfred – Mac veterans, yes. Mac power users who are keyboard centric, yes. Every Mac user? No, thanks, Alfred. It’s just something else to distract us from point and click.
Pocket – Get it. Free. Works on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Did I mention Pocket is free?
Dropbox – I use Dropbox. I recommend Dropbox. But only because iCloud is just so damned slow to sync up. Oh, and there’s that don’t put all your eggs in one cloud basket thing.
Simplenote – Why? Notes does more than Simplenote at the same price.
Chrome – Yes, we live in the golden age of browsers and Google’s Chrome is the most popular. Sheep. It’s also the browser that tracks more of what you do online and reports back to Google’s HQ.
uTorrent – Do you like to steal? Get uTorrent.
Itsycal – Cute, priced right, but easier to just leave Calendar open than to learn Itsycal’s quirks.
Onyx – If you have a geek gene get Onyx. If you like to tinker, get Onyx. Otherwise it’s a distraction. Unless you want to be distracted.
Amphetamine – Yes, Amphetamine is a good way to keep your Mac awake while you go to sleep watching Netflix. Then again, why are you watching Netflix on your Mac?
HandBrake – Oh, puhleeze. You can’t buy a Mac with a DVD player in 2017. HandBrake works but this isn’t 1999.
BBEdit – If you edit get BBEdit.
Wunderlist – You know who owns Wunderlist, right? Microsoft. Can Microsoft be trusted to keep a free utility around much longer?
Dr. Clean – Your Mac cleans up after itself. Dr. Cleaner cleans more but isn’t likely to improve performance despite the attractive price of free.
Tomahawk – Think iTunes Lite. If iTunes is too heavy, Tomahawk is lighter but streams Spotify, Google Play Music, and even YouTube.
Pages – Hey, you have that already. Numbers and Keynote, too. What kind of list is this?
Slack – Think teams and teamwork and all the people you’d rather not associate with online and you’ll, either, 1) love Slack, or, 2) hate people.
Simple Recorder – How many ways can I record audio on my Mac? Simple Recorder is free but if you want MP3 audio it’s $5.
Duplicate File Finder – Isn’t this just a way to scam Mac users with OCD? Who cares about duplicate files? Again, Duplicate File Finder is $5 if you don’t like advertisements, so, ipso facto and alakazam– not free.
Spark Email – I love this app. Free. Mac, iPhone, iPad, and even Watch. Get Spark. Thank me later.
Backup And Sync From Google – Noooooo!. It’s from Google. Backup and Sync from Google is akin to Know All About You from Google.
Polarr Photo Editor – This is nice, but the real value is the $20 version of Polarr with all the features that set it apart from the Mac’s Photos.
Audacity – This is a cross platform audio recorder app and priced for what it is worth. Garageband is better than Audacity.
Garageband – Hey, this is included on every Mac, iPhone, and iPad already.
Wake Up Time – Sadly, the Mac does not come with an app like Clock on iPhone and iPad. Why not? It’s not like Apple can’t afford to make Clock for Mac. Wake Up Time is worthy but it’s not Clock.
Shazam – Apple bought Shazam. I used Shazam. The future of Shazam Is Not About Music.
To MP3 Converter – Oddly, Garageband does not handle MP3 files well. To MP3 Converter gets good reviews but premium features have a price tag. How is an app like this good for every Mac user?
Kindle – Again, not for every Mac user. Kindle is good and all that but reading on an iPad or a Kindle is better. Are we not getting near the bottom of the barrel for apps that every Mac user will like?
Oh. Wait. Yes. That was the last one. And not a minute too soon. Some Mac apps are worthy of recommendation, but few on the list of 30 are worthy for every Mac user.