Just bought a new Mac? These are the apps you should download right out of the box!
There's very little in life that's more exciting than unboxing a brand new Mac. Once you've unpacked everything and set it up just so, it's time to open start loading it up with apps. From cool conveniences to useful utilities to getting more done to simply having a ton of fun, we've got the apps you need to help you make your OS X Mavericks experience the very best!
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FaceTime is built right into your Mac but not everyone has a FaceTime compatible device (iPhone, iPad, or Mac). For those times, there's Skype. Not only can you take voice calls from computer to computer with Skype, you can chat and hold video conferences with multiple people. It's also one of the few communications apps that offers real cross-platform support. (Google Hangouts, for example, doesn't work on Windows Phone or BlackBerry.) Also, if you need to call internationally often, you can buy Skype credits that are only a fraction of the cost of actual minutes with your cell phone carrier, and they work across mobile and desktop.
Whether you call internationally regularly or want an alternative voice and video conferencing solution, Skype's one of the best.
If you use Dropbox, Dropbox for Mac is a must. The OS X app integrates everything in your Dropbox so any file or folder is merely a click away. It sits on your menu bar if you ask it to and can even sync all your files in the background on its own whenever you have an internet connection so you never have to. That means shared files from friends, family and coworkers are right at your fingertips.
If you use Dropbox, the Mac client is a no brainer.
Fantastical is a calendar app for Mac that's more convenient than the default Calendar app. It supports natural language input and sits right in your menu bar until you need it. Just click on it and get a quick view of your month and a list view of each day that integrates not only your calendar events, but your reminders as well. Set up a keyboard shortcut for quick event entry and your hands never even have to leave the keyboard again to add something to your calendar.
If you don't like Apple's Calendar app in OS X, look no further than Fantastical for Mac to fill the gap.
Evernote is a simple note taking app that syncs with every platform you could possibly think of. No matter what smartphone or tablet you use, Evernote most likely has an app for it. The Mac app can sync all your notes with any of their other apps and completely for free. With support for image upload, tags, multiple notebooks, and more, Evernote is a simple but powerful option for taking notes on Mac.
If you want a good note taking app that's easy to use and available on several platforms, you want Evernote.
The selection of really good Twitter apps for Mac is quite limited but if you're looking for the best, it's Tweetbot. From list support to push notification to everything in between, it's the most feature rich and complete Twitter experience available for Mac. The official Twitter app for Mac has gotten better recently but still lacks the feature set and control that only Tweetbot can offer.
If you want the best Twitter experience available for Mac, Tweetbot is a must.
Not everyone needs Photoshop to edit images but if you want something a little more powerful than what iPhoto gives you out of the box, Pixelmator is a great option. It offers fine tuned control over common adjustments such as exposure, noise, white balance, and more. You can even edit objects out of photos and use many of the featured you'd find in Photoshop but for a fraction of the price.
If you're just getting started with image editing on your Mac and don't want to drop the cash for Photoshop, Pixelmator is a great starting point at a fraction of the price.
Macs are known for pretty good memory and power management but there's always a few apps that fall through the cracks and cause problems. iStat Menus helps you prevent issues like that before they even start. Choose the types of functions you want to monitor and they'll sit in your menu bar and allow one click access to a complete picture of everything using memory, CPU, and battery.
If you want complete control over your Mac's resources and power management, you want iStat Menus by Bjango.
If the stock Mail app in OS X isn't doing it for you, there's always Airmail. From power users to hardcore Gmail fans, Airmail is completely customizable and most likely has the options you want including send and archive, shortcuts for composing new messages system wide, and more. You can even choose what folders you want Airmail to sync. It's fast and completely customizable.
For complete control of your email inboxes on your Mac, look no further than Airmail.
Passwords are a necessarily evil for everyone but that doesn't have to mean managing them has to be. 1Password for Mac can autofill passwords, forms, and everything in between so you don't have to remember a password ever again. It can also generate strong random passwords too so you aren't using the same passwords for any two login, because that's bad! It then syncs with other Dropbox apps and integrates with the 1Password plugins for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari so you're never without your sensitive information.
Everyone with logins should have a good password manager, which means they should have 1Password.
MacUpdate Desktop 5 lets you automatically update thousands of Mac apps not available in the App Store with no effort on your part. It scans over 40,000 apps continuously for updates and takes care of the ones you have installed. It also alerts you to Mac App Store updates as soon as they're available too. One of the biggest pain points for apps purchased outside of Apple's ecosystem is updates and MacUpdate Desktop 5 fills the gap.
If you download a good amount of apps outside of Apple's Mac App Store, MacUpdate Desktop 5 is a small price to pay for the large convenience it provides.
Battery shaming is something OS X Mavericks Energy Saver does but it doesn't give you the option to force your Mac to use either discrete or integrated graphics in order to save battery. The Retina display can suck a lot of power and gfxCardStatus can help you pinpoint problem apps like battery shaming but with more detail and control. When you aren't using it, gfxCardStatus just sits in your menu bar and shows a single letter, D or I, so you know which GPU you're using at all times.
If you own a Mac equipped with a Retina display and need to monitor GPU performance, check out gfxCardStatus.
These are the apps we typically load up right out of the box but that doesn't mean it ends there. We know everyone uses their Macs differently whether for school or for entertainment. So be sure to check out our best Mac apps series for even more app recommendations for your new Mac!
These are the apps us here at iMore load up first before anything else when we purchase new Macs. We want to know what ones are your favorites too so make sure you let us know in the comments below! Does your list match up with any of ours — and if so — which ones?