Mac apps are a great way to get more from your Yosemite toting Macbook Air or Mac Mini. The Mac App Store is filled with Mac games and handy apps, both free and paid, that can transform the way you use and enjoy your machine.
Maybe you've just splashed some cash on Apple's beautiful new all-metal Macbook or the latest Force Touch trackpad packing MacBook Pro, both of these are great machines - but apps make them better. Just like apps really took the iPhone to the next level, they've done the same on the Mac.
Check out these apps to give your machine a new lease of life. From useful diaries to to bargain Photoshop competitors, we’ve got your every need covered.
- Read more: The apps you must download for your iPhone
There's something which we'd guess most Mac users agree on - iTunes is nowhere near as good as it should be. It's cluttered, slow, full of useless features and a pain to use. Vox is the complete opposite. Unlike iTunes, this beautiful app is clean, simple and it just works as it should. It's what iTunes should be. Another plus it has over Apple's competition is a much wider support for high-res music codecs, like FLAC, ALAC and High-res Audio, so your tunes will sound far better. There's an equally stylish iPhone companion app and Vox offer up a cloud service for storing all your music - making it available across devices.
Free | Download VOX Player
If, like ours, your Mac desktop very quickly becomes a mess of files and notes, Unclutter could well become your favourite download. It's accessed by a quick swipe from the status bar, revealing a notepad, a store of your recently used files and a collection of your clipboard history. It can plug into Dropbox for syncing stuff together - a handy addition, but it works best as a handy companion for keeping your thoughts together.
£3.99 | Download Unclutter
More of a plug-in than a fully featured app, Flashlight builds into Apple's Spotlight search and increases the functionality of that search bar no-end. There's over 160 available add-ons, including directly opening URLS, logging out of your computer and sending an iMessage, plus developers seem to be constantly adding nifty ways to take advantage of the app.
Free | Download Flashlight
Fantastical 2 doesn't completely change everything we loved about the original calendar app, but it makes enough changes and introduces a Yosemite inspired UI overhaul to make it a worthwhile upgrade. There's now iCloud reminder support, a handy widget that'll sit in your notification panel and multiple themes. It'll also work in tandem with the iPad and iPhone versions, using Yosemite's Continuity feature so you can pick up on your phone where you left off.
£29.99 | Download Fantastical 2
If you do a lot of writing, yet barely ever touch half of the features offered in apps like Microsoft Word, Typed is a great alternative. Offering a much simplified writing experience, with a bunch of well designed fonts and a Zen mode for when you really want to concentrate, it lets you really focus on the words.
£13.99 | Download Typed
While it’s not on the cheap side, especially if you’re planning to invest in the the Mac, iPhone and iPad apps, Things is a really powerful to-do list and organisation suite that should kick your life into gear. The layout is great, grouping important things together so you know what to focus on and what can be left for later, while tags let you easily search for everything relating to one topic. Tasks can be set to be repeated, which is great for bills, and the new Notification centre Extension always shows what you need to do today.
Super sleek and thoroughly fully featured, Wunderlist is a great way to organise your life and have everything synced between all your devices. You can build your to-do lists in multiple sections, setting specific dates for when everything needs to be completed. The app has been completely rebuilt for Yosemite, with a new Notification Centre widget and support for Handoff - start a list on your iPhone or iPad rocking iOS 8 and you can continue at exactly the same spot on your Mac. While the app and majority of functionality is free, you can sign up to yearly membership which gets you more features, like improved sharing options.
Perfect if you’re always having countless items delivered, Parcel keeps a tracks of when they’ll be arriving without you having to log into different courier websites. Just pop in your tracking details and it’ll do the rest. A nice Yosemite update has included an Extension that sits in the Notification Centre, giving you a quick glance at what’s arriving in the post today.
Once just for smartphones, Shazam’s fantastic song recognition service is now available for you to download on your Mac, and it’s well worth it. Unlike on mobile versions, where you have to manually go into the app, the desktop version is always listening, alerting you to whenever a song is playing.
The Sims 2 Complete Collection
Ah, everyone’s favourite guilty time waster and arguably the finest addition to the series, The Sims 2 and all of its expansion packs (Bon Voyage, Seasons, Nightlife and so on) have been stuck together in this awesome collection. All the graphics have been upgraded to look pin-sharp on those Retina display toting Mac’s, which is impressive considering this is a pretty old game. It’s a bargain too, at just £13.99.
£13.99 | Download from the Mac App Store
A modern tablature editor, Tabular gives you everything you need to transcribe your favourite songs and compose new ones for guitar, bass, drums and more. Browse your documents in a familiar, iTunes-like library and use the real-time playback to hone your skills.
Price: £13.99 | Download
The new version of this outlining app helps you to organize your to-do lists, keep track of your expenses, and store pretty much anything you write down on a daily basis. More advanced than your average outlining tool, the redesigned interface features a new sidebar, multiple columns, smart checkboxes, pop-up lists, and an extensive styles system. You can also drag and drop files into rows, paste hyperlinks, and record audio right from the toolbar.
Price: £34.99 | Download
Living Earth is an impressive-looking world clock and weather app for your Mac, Featuring an interactive 3D animated world globe with live weather forecasts. It combines a menubar icon and drop-down with a full display of the planet’s weather on your desktop or as a screensaver.
Price: £4.99 | Download
Keep an eye on your stocks with Investoscope, a portfolio tracker for the individual investor. Use the charts to monitor your investments and get the latest quotes or end-of-day quotes in any major currency.
Price: £39.99 | Download
Manage all your podcast subscriptions in one place. The Mac version of this widely renowned podcatcher features a well-designed user interface and an Up Next dynamic playlist function. The nice thing about Instacast is that you can sync it with your other devices, making it easy to listen on your Mac, and pick up where you left off on your iPhone, and vice versa.
Price: £13.99 | Download
News junkies will be pleased with the Hourly News app that uses different sources to keep you fully up-to-date with the days most important goings on. This simple app lives in your Mac’s menu bar and plays the most recent news summaries with one click.
Price: £1.99 | Download
This lets you connect to your existing Google Play music player, account and listen to your favourite music without being stuck in a Web browser, or having to install Flash Player. It features a simple iTunes-esque interface along with easy playlist and library management.
Price: £2.49 | Download
Fotor is a simple but easy to use photo editor for Mac that enables you to edit photos, without being an expert in Photoshop. Along with the usual tools, you can also add text, effects and borders, and create collages. Look good online with the beauty retouching tools and social media integration.
Free | Download
Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro is a sophisticated video editing program made by Apple. The latest version sees a radical redesign and a host of new features and tools, allowing for a faster and cleaner editing experience.
Price: £199.99 | Download
Cobook is a handy contact management app that brings together contact info from your computer, social networks and other sources. This intuitive address book can integrate with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, AngelList, LinkedIn and Foursquare to keep all your contacts in one place.
Free | Download
Pixelmator 3.0 FX
This alternative to Photoshop may not be quite as feature rich as the photo manipulation king, yet with a much lower price tag and a broad range of useful options, it’s a great app for a Mac. With support for layers, colour adjustments, re-touching, a multitude of effects and custom shapes, along with selection tools and paintbrushes it definitely doesn’t fall overly short of Adobe’s behemoth. The interface is great; stylish and simple while iCloud syncing means you can keep working across multiple machines.
Pixelmator has just upgraded to the latest version, and it’s the best one yet. You can now quickly colour layer styles, add lovely looking gradients and shape images with the fantastic liquefy tool. There’s a new image editing engine, and Pixelmator 3 FX takes full advantage of OSX Mavericks.
Price: £20.99 | Download Pixelmator 3.0 FX
Logic Pro X
While most of the apps on this list are from smaller companies, Logic Pro X is a supremely powerful piece of software from Apple themselves. This, the latest version of the music production suite, comes packing a new and improved design, 64-bit architecture, drum production and loads of effects. Basically, this thing is jammed full of stuff.
Price: £139.99 | Download Logic Pro X
Unibox tries to do email a bit different, putting everything into a much more chat like view and ditching the traditional interface. Emails are organised by person, conversations are threaded and everything opens in one single window, so you’re not searching for that missing pane. It’s compatible with a whole load of email services, including iCloud, GMail, Outlook, Hotmail, along with Yahoo and other Exchange services.
Price: £6.99 | Download Unibox
Keep track of all your hundreds and hundreds (and hundred) of books, DVDs and CDs with this really useful, yet simple to figure out app. You can store upwards of 10,000 items, complete with artwork and info, though thanks to barcode scanning software, all you have to do is hold your item up to a webcam.
Price: £17.49 | Download Delicious Library
With every online service you sign up for, comes another new password you have to find space to somehow remember. Yet, most of the time you’ll forget it and head straight for the ‘new password’ button and an endless cycle of different passwords begins. 1Password aims to rid you of this pain, instead keeping all your passwords securely housed together. A particularly nifty addition is the creator, which invents a unique password every time you need one so you don’t have to rack your brains for the name of your first pet.
With its latest update, 1Password has a completely new, great looking UI and a whole host of new security enhancements.
Price: £34.99 | Download 1Password 4
Ember is best described as a scrapbook, in which you place anything interesting you come across online. Based mainly around images, the app lets you save things from the web, through a neat browser extension, but also through subscriptions. These subscriptions are regularly updated with content and are a great way to browse pictures. We hope support for mobile apps is added in the future as this would be a bonus.
Price: £34.99 | Ember
Straightforward and quick photo-editing tools are all over mobile devices these days, yet Touch Retouch brings the phenomenon to the Mac. With blemish removal tools, multiple crop features and colour adjustments this is more than just a simple mobile port. Add to this a new clone stamp tool for repairing backgrounds and you’ve got a great piece of software.
Price: £6.99 | ADVA
If you’re not a fan of all the added features and cluttered interface of Microsoft Word, yet still need a powerful and easy-to-use word processor, then iA Writer is the perfect choice. Instead of buttons and options everywhere, iA Writer leaves you with a blank sheet, so you can type easily without distractions. The unique focus mode lets you take concentration to another level, only highlighting the sentence you’re currently writing, so mistakes should be kept to a minimum. There’s also added Dropbox syncing, so your documents will be always with you in the cloud
Price: £2.99 | Download
Think of Alfred as Spotlight for Mac, but souped up on steroids. With the tap of a designated hot-key, Alfred appears and allows you to search for anything - local files, Wikipedia entries, Google, contacts and more. That’s not all though, you can create your own workflows so with a simple key press you could open Safari and iTunes. Serious productivity, plus it’s free.
Price: Free (Extra features can be added for £15) | Download
While it may look overly simple, Clear does its job perfectly and makes creating to-do lists a breeze. Using a series of gestures, along with the colour based interface, you can create multiple lists and make sure you stay up-to-date with your daily chores. It’s great on the move too; with the companion iPhone app your lists will be synced between your devices for improved productivity.
Price: £6.99 | Download
The idea of writing a daily diary may seem a bit…well childish, yet Day One brings the diary into the 21st century with a great user experience and simple, yet powerful features. Aside from writing down all your inner most thoughts, you can use pictures to make things a bit more visual, add reminders and utilise tags so everything is easy to find. All your musings can be password protected too, so no need to worry about stray eyes reading about your long lost love.
Price: £6.99 | Download
There are so many options these days for sharing files with different devices - like syncing, Dropbox, Google Drive and even the classic emailing it to yourself. Yet Instashare is possibly the simplest - just drag your files up to your status bar and it will appear in the companion app for iOS. It also works the other round, for getting pictures and such like off your phone. There’s no limit on file types, no pesky passwords to remember and it even works without an online connection through local Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Price: Free | Download (Beta)
There’s so many well written articles on the internet (not just on T3.com) yet there’s just not enough time to read them all. Pocket allows you to save these interesting reads and have them ready and waiting for when you have a spare moment. This app houses all your stories, complete with pictures and links in a clean and white space, so it’s easy on the old eyes. There’s even a little extension for browsers for quick page saving.
Price: Free | Download
Djay brings the power of DJ decks right onto your Mac, allowing you to use your iTunes library to create the perfect mix. Features include Automix - for having a constant stream of music, multi-touch controls, EQ controls and professional hardware integration. Harmonic Match takes the time out of finding songs that go well together, by detecting tunes with a matching key in your library; while live recording lets you easily share your latest top class performance.
Price: £13.99 | Download
The natural language engine, which forms the basis of the Fantastical experience, makes it really simple and quick to create appointments without fiddling with annoying toggles and menus. Just type what you’re going to be doing, for example ‘lunch with Sarah at 1 o’clock tomorrow’ and it will add it to your calendar. The interface is slick, with a useful drop-down menu in the status bar that makes it even quicker to add an appointment. There’s also support for a myriad of popular calendar services like Google Calendar, iCloud and Yahoo, to keep you synced up everywhere.
Price: £13.99 | Download
The premise of Reflector is simple; mirror whatever is on your iOS device right onto your Mac through the ingenious AirPlay tech. Presentations, games and apps can all be shown, making it easy to show off something you created on your iPad, on a projector or large screen. There’s no set-up required, a record feature and password protection, plus you can display multiple devices at the same time.
Price: $12.99 (£8.50) | Download