A new Mac buyer recently asked me for the best starter set of software for a new Mac. I am very Apple — which means I have an iPhone, a Mac, an Apple TV and an iPad, so I like things that let me work across all my devices seamlessly. For all office work I highly recommend Apple’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps — they are very very good, are free, and work everywhere (except the Apple TV). You won’t find a note-taking app in my list because I’m using Apple’s inbuilt Notes. I also use Mail, Calendar and Address Book — all default apps. And I can’t even begin to talk about how good iMovie is for video editing (I have been editing video since 2005, and while my professional video editing days are behind me, I love how easy iMovie makes life for me).
Anyway, here’s my list (and I would recommend installing in this order):
Run it once and then set it up to auto-execute on a weekly/monthly basis. It will clear your system of un-needed files.
Dropbox (iOS + OSX)
I used only free storage for around a year, now I pay for a Terabyte of storage. I cannot imagine life without Dropbox.
And not just FTP, supports S3, Azure etc.
My favorite way to download files — uTorrent is a very good alternative, but for some reason I’ve always preferred Transmission.
Zip, Rar and almost every other file compression format is supported
Plays every media file out there. I use it instead of Quicktime.
Video Format Transcoder
This is what I use to convert video files into formats supported by iTunes so I copy stuff over to my phone/ipad.
If you code, you’re going to love this. If you like text-editors, you are going to love this.
As powerful as Photoshop and ridiculous overkill for most people.
Pixelmator (Especially, if Gimp feels like too much)
Powerful image editing — most of you will be happy with this.
Ridiculously good. Seriously.
Pocket (iOS + OSX)
Article Reader / Saver
My favorite way to save articles I live/love — I have a pocket button in my browser, the app on all my devices and I love it. And I love the clean interface it gives me to read articles.
Reeder (iOS + OSX)
Old school 🙂 Still use an RSS Reeder and send almost everything I like to Pocket to read later.
Removes unwanted language files (saved 3+ GB of space when I ran it recently)