These are the ten best Apps I use to speed up everyday tasks, provide capabilities macOS lacks, and are solid alternatives to expensive commercial software. Click the name or logo to get the App.

Affinity Photo

If you can’t afford Photoshop, this is a superb alternative. The interface is similar to Photoshop and you get some terrific additional tools. $54.99 buys a lifetime licence that can be used on any Mac signed into the same Apple ID. That’s about half the price of a 1 year Photoshop licence.

Affinity Photo

App Cleaner

App Cleaner

App Cleaner tracks the location of every file written during an App installation. When you delete an App, it ensures every single file is erased. Keeps your Mac clean and… it’s free.


Audacity lets you edit, manipulate and export sound files in a variety of formats. I’ve used it to import audiobooks from tape, strip sound from video files, and edit music to fit the exact length of a presentation. Audacity is free open source software and is now available for the M1 Mac.


Blue Ray Player Pro

Blu-Ray Player One Pro

To play Blu-rays on a Mac, you need two things: a Blu-ray Player and Blu-ray software. When it comes to hardware we reccomend the Pioneer BDR-XD07UHD. With software, there are several free options, but I’ve found many are unreliable. At $64.99 Blue-ray Player Pro is not cheap, but it always works.

Capture One 22

If you shoot photos in RAW or Apple’s ProRAW format, you need software to manipulate those files. In the past, most photographers used Adobe Lightroom, but many are now moving to Capture One. It’s fast, well-designed and produces outstanding results. Capture One is about $200, but you can download and use Capture One Express for free.

Capture One

Copy ‘Em

Copy 'Em

The clipboard on the Mac is limited to copying and pasting one item at a time. Copy ‘Em stores multiple copied items with a drop down menu letting you choose what to paste. It can copy text, images, sound and movie files. Commonly used text can be stored as a permanent item to be pasted over and over again. You can also sync the clipboard across multiple Macs. I use it every day and it’s well worth the $14.99 purchase price.


Omnidisksweeper catalogs and sizes all files stored on the Mac. It’s a great way to quickly discover what’s hogging storage space. Free from Omni Labs. Make sure you download the correct version for your macOS.



Ringer Ringtone Creator

Ringer simplifies the process of creating ringtones for your iPhone. Drag and drop a file from iTunes and use a simple slider to choose the 10 or 15 seconds you want to use. Ringer costs $7.99 and is available in the App Store.


TypeIt4Me is a text expander. It lets you create text shortcuts, that expand into complete sentences or entire paragraphs. e.g; you type ‘tfw’, hit the space bar and this is replaced by the line ‘Thanks for writing to me’. It saves a great deal of time. Well worth $19.99.


VLC Player

VLC Player

In 20 years, I’ve never come across a media file VLC Player wouldn’t play. Check out a more detailed review of this App here – Cool Apps – VLC Media Player… What Are You Watching?

Other Apps To Check Out

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