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Out of the box, the MacBook offers various tools and applications that enable you to do most of what you would like to do on your computer. But you don’t have to be limited to built-in functions, which are not always the best option for getting the job done. Since macOS supports third-party software, there are many additional utilities that you can install on your Mac to make your work much easier.
These utilities will really pump your Mac.
In the Mac App Store and elsewhere, you’ll find hundreds, even thousands, of solutions to improve nearly every macOS feature, from copy and paste to multitasking. Here are some smart (and most importantly, free) apps you can install on your Mac to get the most out of your laptop.
Dropover is the most user-friendly file copying app.
When you want to move files from one location to another (for example, from an external drive to your computer), you have to move between different folders. Dropover is a third-party app that saves you the hassle of opening multiple Finder windows and lets you drag and drop all your files in one go.
Dropover creates a temporary floating folder where you drag and drop files and folders. You can move anything there, move to the next location and add another file or folder. Etc. Once you’ve dragged all the files you want to move into the Dropover window, drag them wherever you want. The application works with any format, including text from the clipboard.
Move all the files you want to this window, and then copy them where you want!
The service is compatible with cloud services such as Google Drive and Dropbox, so you have the option to create a public link for all files and then share it.
You can try the app for free for two weeks. After this period, the developer will ask you to pay $5 at a time. Yes, no subscription. I’ve been using this app for several days now, and I’m ready to pay at least $10. It saves a lot of time.
Keysmith – turns any action into a keyboard shortcut.
Keyboard shortcuts allow you to perform tasks that would otherwise take a few clicks to complete. However, by default, you have restrictions on what you can do with the keyboard on macOS. This is where the Keysmith utility comes to the rescue.
Using Keysmith, you can turn almost any action into a keyboard shortcut. Whether you want to postpone an email until next week in Gmail or use the Slack app, Keysmith can help you. And not only with this.
The process of creating a keyboard shortcut is straightforward. All you have to do is perform the action as usual, and Keysmith will automatically record each step. You can then assign a keyboard shortcut to the action so that you only need to press that shortcut next time.
The application will record the action, and you can set a keyboard shortcut on it.
The cool thing is that if you use up to five keyboard shortcuts, you don’t have to pay for Keysmith at all. If more than five, then prepare to shell out $34. Three was enough for me.
Background Music – Changes the volume of each app separately.
Your Mac’s volume buttons work like a universal remote control, which means you have to adjust the volume for different audio sources constantly. For example, you want music on Spotify to play loudly but lower the volume on Google Chrome, where some pesky websites have automatic video playback.
Fortunately, a simple-named app can help with this. Background music… It allows you to adjust the volume level for each application. After installation, it is located in the top panel of the system, and you need to open the icon to change the volume for a particular application quickly. Alternatively, you can activate a feature that automatically pauses the current playback when you press the play button in another application. For example, if you play music on Spotify, the YouTube video will be paused automatically.
You can change the volume in any of the running applications.
The app is free with no in-app purchases or subscriptions. I would take it without hesitation.
OpenIn – opens links in any application.
If you use multiple apps for the same file type and often run different browsers, try Openin.
With this app, when you open a link or file of any type, you can immediately choose which app to launch. Therefore, you no longer need to go to the context menu to select an application other than the default one or constantly change the default settings for a particular file type.
The application will automatically suggest all programs in which to open the file.
OpenIn is especially link-friendly. You can set the default browser for a specific site. For example, if Zoom works best in Chrome and for everything else Safari as your primary browser, you can use OpenIn to automate this process instead of manually selecting two browsers each time.
OpenIn is free, and you can download it from the Mac App Store right now.
Bartender 4 – hides unnecessary icons in the top bar of Mac.
This application actually needs no introduction, but I can’t help but say about it. Bartender allows you to customize the top menu as you please, right up to Spotlight, Clock, or Action Center. A useful utility with a free trial period for a month. Then, if you wish, you can purchase it for $15.
Coolest top menu customization app
For some system functions, you can also configure triggers and display them based on the event. For example, you can customize the Wi-Fi drop-down menu so that it only appears in the menu bar when you’re not connected to a network.
I advise you to try it definitely, and if you like it, then buy it already.
I discovered some of these utilities quite recently. Others have been using for a long time: for example, Bartender on my Mac since 2013. What programs for Mac would you recommend?