The Mac App Store has a wealth of content to help you find the right apps for your daily computing life. New apps arrive in the Mac App Store every single day, which makes it nearly impossible for one to keep track of the latest and greatest. We've dedicated our time (a lot of it) to track down and test out the best of the best. We even made a list of the best free apps for Mac. Here are the best paid apps for the Mac.
- Logic Pro X
- Affinity Photo
- MacX Dvd Ripper
- Scrivener 3
- Markdown Pro
- OmniFocus 3
- Gemini 2
- Final Cut Pro
- Day One
- Fantastical 2
Every computer should be equipped with 1Password. It's our personal favorite password manager, as it stores all of our web logins (I have hundreds), credit card info, bank accounts, drivers licenses, social security info, and more, and everything is encrypted and locked behind a Master Password that only you should know. It's also fantastic for randomly generating strong and secure passwords, auditing your existing passwords (don't reuse them and change them often), and you can log in with just a few clicks.
1Password is free to download and use (30-day free trial), but afterward, you'll need an individual ($4/mo) or family ($7/mo for up to five people) plan to continue using. However, it's simply the best password manager there is and well worth it.
Logic Pro X
Logic Pro X is Apple's pro-level audio program. If you are a songwriter, producer, or engineer, you probably already have Logic in some form or another. If you don't already have it, Logic Pro X is the one for you. It has hundreds of tools for recording and editing both digital and analog music. You can create an entire album's worth of music using nothing more than a computer, or you can connect to a mixing board and edit tracks recorded by a live band. If the drummer forgets to show up for a recording session, no problem! You can add a virtual drummer with a distinct sound.
If you're new to recording music, Logic Pro X can be a little intimidating, but there are a lot of video tutorials and online how-to guides that can help get you started. It's a hefty investment at first, but worth the initial startup cost if you're planning on becoming a self-recording artist or want to have a home-grown studio.
Affinity Photo is one of the most comprehensive photo editing apps you can get on the Mac. It has professional-quality tools, like advanced color manipulation and 32-bit channel editing. It also has dozens of useful features, like multiple editable layers, vector graphics tools, advanced image processing, and retouching and correction masking tools. View the Histogram, manually make color and lighting adjustments, or select from the suggested default options. There are so many tools it would take you months to actually try them all out.
Affinity Photo also comes with paint, clone stamp, annotation, cropping, and selection tools. It's not entirely unlike Photoshop, but it is specially designed for Mac and has a better user interface.
It is somewhat intimidating for new users, but there is a fantastic in-house tutorial section to help photo editors of all levels of experience. You'll be able to call yourself an expert in no time at all.
MacX DVD Ripper
If you're ready to turn your DVD collection into a digital library in iTunes, MacX DVD Ripper is currently the best option for the Mac. I gave MacX DVD Ripper a try a few months ago and realized that it is definitely my new favorite digitizer. It has dozens of great features, like 1:1 copying with original video quality, excellent protection bypass tools (including for region codes and Disney DRM), and batch conversion. The ISO copy takes a long time but produces perfect quality digital files every single time. If you don't want to take the time, you can get faster ripping speed with hyperthreading. You can select which type of device to output the digital file to, including iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. You can also use MacX to clip video segments to upload to YouTube, Vimeo, and more.
And if your Mac does not have an optical drive, we recommend picking up an Apple Superdrive. It's affordable and connects to your USB port, so you can still use that physical media laying around the house.
For the aspiring writer in all of us, Scrivener is nothing short of the most comprehensive writing program around. It features all of the tools you need to get started, like brainstorming tools, note cards, and a virtual draft board for pinning your ideas. Once you're ready to actually start writing, Scrivener makes the process smooth with pre-made templates for building scripts, novels, academic papers, and more.
There is a section where you can keep research documents close at hand for quick access. It comes with half-a-dozen templates for different types of documents, including screenplays, novels, short stories, scripts, and more. It has everything a writer needs to prepare for writing that novel they've always wanted to tackle.
If you're in the coding biz, especially if you spend a lot of time using Markdown, Markdown Pro is the best writing app for Mac that you can get your hands on. It shows you a real-time preview of your content, so you'll always know if you've made a mistake or if the end result doesn't look the way you intended. You can add a custom CSS template so you can always have your blog pages ready to go. All files can be saved as HTML or PDF. There is even a handy help guide with the most popular codes for Markdown listed for your convenience.
When it comes to taking notes, Notability is tops. It has powerful note-taking and annotation features that make it a must-have for college students. You can drag images, PDFs, and other documents into a note. When you record while taking notes, you can tap a word to skip ahead to that specific spot in the recording to playback what was said at that moment. Its note-taking tools are its most ... notable feature. You won't be caught without pen and paper if you have Notability on your Mac.
OmniFocus is bursting at the seams with features. It has dozens of organizational options and lets you create project lists with sub-categories. You can add due dates, flag important items on a list, and view tasks like an email inbox. It definitely scratches my itch for list-making and organizing.
OmniFocus 3 is definitely worth downloading if you need a task manager that can cover every aspect of your working life. If you need a powerful GTD (getting things done) style organizer, OmniFocus 3 is the best one available on the Mac. It's free to download and includes a 14-day free trial. Afterward, you can get the Standard features for $50 or the Pro features for $100.
Gemini 2 is a flexible, user-friendly duplicate file finder that lets you scan your entire computer or individual files for duplicates. Whether you are trying to track down songs, movies, photos, or documents that are doubles, Gemini has you covered. This is a great app for people that are a little nervous about going around deleting files from their computer.
It has a great looking interface with clear and understandable instructions. You can select a folder to scan. Then, review the duplicates, select the ones you want to get rid of, and hit the Trash button. It is simplified, but still gives you the freedom to scan your entire computer or just specific folders you want to check.
The app is free to download and includes a trial. Afterward, you can purchase a license for $20.
Airmail treats your email like a to-do list. You can triage your inbox by scheduling when you are going to take care of an email. If you can't get to it right now, snooze it for later. If it's an email that requires an action, send it to your to-do folder. If it's something important that you'll want quick access to, mark it as a memo. And, when you've finished dealing with your email, send it to the "Done" folder to get that sweet satisfaction of having completed something on your task list.
Final Cut Pro
If you deal with video editing on a daily basis, then iMovie may not be enough for you. That's when you need Final Cut Pro.
Final Cut Pro is packed with a ton of powerful features to make your job of video editing easier. You'll have access to plenty of cool tools to streamline your editing, and organizing your media is a breeze with tools like smart collections. There are fun things like 2D and 3D titles, plenty of different transitions, and more. You can customize it with a large variety of third-party plug-ins and custom interfaces. The program utilizes all of the GPUs in your Mac for superior playback performance and speedy background rendering, so if you have a powerful machine, it's fully put to use with Final Cut Pro.
If you work in multiple workspaces on your Mac, then Magnet is a must.
Magnet makes it super easy to automatically adjust the window size of any app you're working in, so you don't have to manually drag and resize every window each time. With Magnet, just select what size you want the active window to be, and voila, it will change it with one click. Then pick the other app you want to work with side-by-side, select the size you want (and the side), and boom! Now you have two apps side-by-side (or however you want to work it) with just a few clicks. No dragging and rearranging. Magnet lives in the menu bar, but you can also activate it with keyboard shortcuts if you're a keyboard wizard.
Journaling is a great way to reflect and capture important memories or thoughts, and Day One is the best journaling app you can get on Mac.
Day One has a beautiful interface that is pleasant and relaxing to work with. You can have multiple journals, and the ability to add multiple photos and audio clips to entries makes them more personable than ever. You can organize by tags, see where you were, format your entries with rich text, and more.
Day One is free to download and use, but you'll only have basic features. If you opt for a Premium subscription for $25 a year, you'll get unlimited photo storage, unlimited journals, cloud sync, unlimited encrypted cloud storage, and more.
While Apple has a built-in Calendar app, it's just not fantastic enough. That's when Fantastical comes in.
With Fantastical, you get a gorgeous interface that makes it easy to see your schedule at-a-glance, whether you're looking at the full app or just the mini menu-bar version. Inputting events is super easy, thanks to the natural language parser. Just type in something like "Get coffee with Lory tomorrow at 3 pm at Stumptown Coffee Roasters" and Fantastical will take care of the rest. There is also full integration with Apple Reminders, so you can have your schedule and tasks in one place.
What are the go-to paid apps for Mac you have on your laptop or desktop right now? Put them in the comments and let us know why they are so important to you.
July 2019: Updated to reflect the latest versions of apps, and added some new options. These are the best paid apps for your Mac!
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