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Downloads

5 essential downloads every Mac user needs

It’s been said that Mac users are a spoiled bunch, and it’s hard to disagree. Compared to PCs, which tend to come packed with bloatware and useless apps, the programs baked into MacOS are often simple and expertly designed.

In fact, the flexibility of MacOS is the reason it’s cited as a great computer for beginners. Like how iPads come with fantastic software anyone can use, Macs are easy to pick up and learn to navigate, no matter what app you’ve opened. Tap or click to learn the best tricks you forgot your Mac could do.

But what about software outside of the box? As it turns out, there’s a thriving ecosystem of excellent third-party software for MacOS. Some of these programs are so good, pro users swear by them. To help you get the most out of your system, try these programs you can download today.

1. Mac to the future

Apple’s default calendar is good, but many of its features leave something to be desired.

That’s where Fantastical comes in. This sleek piece of software actually won Apple’s Design Award in 2015; and since then, it’s only solidified its reputation as one of the best third-party calendars you can download.

Fantastical was built using natural language to input events and dates. All you need to do is type something like “vet appointment at two on Friday” and the software will take care of the rest. It also includes location-based services, calendar sharing and even synchronization with iCloud and Microsoft Office.

2. Self Control helps you break bad habits

Do you have a social media addiction? If so, you’re not alone. People tend to waste countless hours on platforms like Facebook. And once that time’s gone, there’s no getting it back. Tap or click here to get Kim’s take on social media addiction.

But quitting social media for good can be just as hard, if not harder, than breaking other bad habits. This goes double if it’s the only way you talk to friends and family.

But Self Control is here to help. This app will lock down any websites or mail servers you specify, and will keep the lock set for as long as it takes. Even restarting your entire system won’t be enough to remove the lock, nor will deleting the app.

3. Alfred makes you feel like Batman

Ever feel like Siri isn’t quite cutting it these days? Siri is definitely a flexible assistant, but it isn’t all that reliable when it comes to heavy-duty tasks.

That’s where Alfred comes in. Think of Alfred as a personal butler for your Mac that can do almost anything you type on your computer.

Just set Alfred to a specific key combination, type your request and access your apps and documents right from your keyboard. You won’t even need to pick up your mouse or hover down to your trackpad with Alfred installed. You won’t believe how much you’ll get done.

4. 1password: A space for all your passwords

One of the most functional password logging apps out there is 1password.

Rather than needing to remember hundreds of passwords, 1password only needs you to remember one “master password.” This grants you access to your entire library of entry codes, and can help you better organize your logins while keeping them secure.

Previous versions of 1password did suffer from some privacy-related issues in the past, but new options like real-time breach alerts and phishing protection make it a winner. It’s time to drop the pen and paper for good!

5. Stack presents a better way to browse the web

Macs spoil us in terms of quality software, and our mobile devices tend to spoil us with how we think software should look. A perfect example is mobile multitasking on the iPad Pro, which can display multiple windows in split-screen mode with each page in full view.

RELATED: 10 clever things you never knew your iPad could do

Usually, web browsers will only show full windows and allow you to switch between tabs. This forces many a user to adopt a dual monitor setup for even more screen real estate. But Stack makes it so you never need more than the screen your mac came with.

Stack builds on the idea of in-browser multitasking, and will let you run numerous pages side-by-side with custom apps and software. It’s a great program for those who do most of their work on the web, and Apple would be wise to pay attention to some of the program’s smarter design choices. An instant classic.

These are just some of the many excellent third-party apps you can install on your Mac. If you’re dying to see what else your computer is capable of, make sure to keep exploring the Mac App Store from your desktop for even more great software.

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