macOS comes with a fantastic feature-set out of the box, but there are some crucial features that many Windows users switching to macOS will find missing. Not only that, but there are some fantastic third party applications and utilities that can make macOS a little more fun to use.
The vast majority of apps listed here integrate well with macOS’ existing tools and utilities. While tools such as Alfred (not listed here) might be good, for the sake of cleanness I prefer it when tools integrate within existing tools (like Finder, Terminal, Spotlight etc) rather than trying to replace them.
All prices are given in the currency listed on their home page to avoid any problems with conversion rates. All prices are correct as of publication and user takes all responsibility for any problems that may be caused by the installation of these apps. These are simply recommendations based on things I use on a regular basis, not fully vetted app suggestions.
1 – HyperDock
€6.95 – Christian Baumgart – https://bahoom.com/hyperdock/buy
The first app on this list is HyperDock. HyperDock mimics the Aero preview feature in Windows that Microsoft introduced with Windows Vista in 2006. Not only that, but HyperDock also has an added hidden feature: window snapping. HyperDock is a paid for app, but it’s well worth the €7 the developer is charging. There is a version available on the Mac App Store, but it has a few features missing (likely due to developer restrictions/sandboxing with App Store apps).
2 – HomeBrew
Free! – Howell et al – https://brew.sh
HomeBrew is a fantastic package manager for macOS (largely similar to those of other operating systems such as FreeBSD and the various distributions of Linux). It includes a plethora of packages that you can install and is a fantastic addition to macOS for any power-user or developer.
3 – FinderPath
Free! – Christian Baumgart – https://bahoom.com/finderpath/
This is another fabulous app by Christian Baumgart – this app allows users of macOS to have access to an address bar in Finder (just like the address bar in Windows Explorer and many desktop managers on the Unix/Linux side of things). Simply install the app, give it permissions in accessibility (it will prompt you to do this on first run) and then you’ll be able to double click on the current folder location in the top navigation bar of Finder and you’ll be presented with a text box (with auto-fill!) to use to navigate to the directory you need to go to.
4 – Permute
Permute is a fantastic video converter app. It has an incredibly clean UI and supports a plethora of file formats. There are likely free apps available, but this one is one of my favourites due to its ease of use.
5 – GPG Suite
Free!– GPGTools – https://gpgtools.com
GPG Suite is a free set of tools that allow users of macOS to work with PGP encryption and signing from within a GUI. The main appeal of GPG Suite for me is the integration within the default macOS Mail app – it allows users to check, sign, and encrypt emails all from the default macOS Mail app with very little faff.