Essential Mac apps not on Apple’s ‘Best Mac Apps of 2012’ List

Yesterday I linked to a few of Apple’s top listed apps for 2012. I realized that if you’re new to Mac, there are a few more apps you should probably check out.

Here are the first few free apps you probably will want to download on any Mac (I already mentioned Evernote and MintQuickView in the other post):

Document Storage

Dropbox – I love knowing that no matter what happens to my computer, all of my important work files are saved up to the magical cloud. Dropbox is the first thing I install on any computer, because that’s where all my files are stored. It’s a simple concept if you haven’t used it: a folder that gets backed up. Anything you put in that folder is saved and accessible online.

Video Playback

VLC Player – The player on Mac is lightweight and free. It’s a go-to media play for any codec you can throw at it. Once you start using it, you’ll wonder why Apple doesn’t bundle it in the first place.

Text Editing

TextWrangler – I actually use BBEdit. However, until recently when I made the purchase, TextWrangler was my go to text editor on the Mac. It’s simple, powerful and works very well. If you plan to write any code, or work on any non-trivial text files, this is the app for you.

The Little Ones

Caffeine is a nifty little tool that I’ve come to love. It’s simple: click the icon in your menu bar and your Mac won’t go to sleep.

Nocturne is a very nice tool if you share a bed with someone. It will turn the whites black, and the blacks white on your screen. Night screen.

App Cleaner is a great tool. Apple doesn’t give you a way to clean up after an app you delete, this app does.

smcFanControl is a little app that lets you control the fan speed on your Mac. If it’s getting hot you can turn them up, if they’re too loud, you can turn them down.

Spirited Away will hide any apps you haven’t used after a certain amount of time.

UnRarX lets you get your archive expanding on.

Dock Dodger is for any apps that you have running consistently that you don’t necessarily want in your dock.

Hope you enjoy this list. It was a lot of fun to make.

Joshua Howland

Joshua is a mobile application developer, entrepreneur, and technology enthusiast. He is currently building a company that focuses on educational mobile applications: LearnStack. His favorite posts to write compare companies and products. He loves sports and start ups and talks about them (along with tech) on Twitter (@jkhowland) and his blog (

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