Best Mac Software .com is a simple list of applications that will make almost every Mac user really, really happy. We aren't trying to be a complete listing of every mac app, and there are obviously some hugely significant pieces of Mac software (like Final Cut Pro) that aren't included, usually because of their cost or their specificity. We made this page to be a handy reference for all the folks who are buying new Macs and don't know about all the great stuff that doesn't come pre-installed. And we made it to help long time Mac users extend the basic capabilities of their Mac in as many awesome directions as possible. Most of all this is a work in progress. If you think we're missing any totally clutch Mac apps, let us know: info@bestfreesoftwarelist.com. Some of these links are affiliate links; all of these applications are ones we use and love.

My list of the most essential software to make your Mac more awesome. Not having some of these tools is like having half a Mac. Others are just plain fun. You have a very cool computer... enjoy it!

Graphics and Photo Editing

  • Download Page seashore


    "Photoshop" your photos without buying Photoshop. 100% free and open source, based on the open source image editor "Gimp".

IM - Instant Messaging

  • Download Page adium


    Why install three separate instant messengers when you can connect to AIM, MSN, Yahoo and GoogleTalk in a single, beautiful app? Plus it's 100% free and open source. Everybody needs Adium.

Video Player, BitTorrent, Podcasting

  • Download Page miro


    Miro can play any video format (much more than quicktime), download torrents, permanently save videos from YouTube, and watch video podcasts. Beautiful interface, 100% free and open source.

Application Launching

  • Download Page quicksilver


    Quicksilver lets you start applications (and do just about everything) with a few quick taps of your fingers. Warning: start using Quicksilver and you won't be able to imagine using a Mac without it.

Video Converter- MP4, iPhone, iPod


  • Download Page Pocket Doorbell

    Pocket Doorbell

    When you arrive at your friends house, just press the doorbell and it will text or call your friend. Knows where you are and who to ring.


  • Webpage OmniFocus for iPad Omnifocus


    Amazingly fast and powerful app for your todo lists. Perfect for use with Getting Things Done.

  • Webpage basecamp


    This is web software, but it will become as central to your work experience as any desktop app. Seriously, Basecamp will make you more productive and change the way your organization works. Try it!

Music Management

Power Management

  • Download Page low battery app

    Low Battery

    Low Battery is a simple, elegant app that lets you decide when to get a low battery warning, and safely sleeps or hibernates your Mac before it dies.

Auto Update

  • Download Page appfresh


    Keeps all of your Mac applications up-to-date, automatically. Still in beta, but so necessary.

Backup, Sync, and Share Files

  • Download Page dropbox


    Automatically backup your files and folders via the internet. Share them across your own computers or with others. 2GB free online storage, with more available.


  • Download Page spamsieve


    Anybody who uses "Mail" for Mac needs this. After a few days of training, SpamSieve will obliterate junk mail and leave good emails unscathed. Free for 30 days, then worth every penny.

Writing and Office

  • Download Page xPad


    For most writing a word processor is overkill. xPad is the perfect simple alternative. Your notes sit in a sidebar and save automatically when you quit. Way better than stickies or TextEdit.

  • Download Page libreoffice


    Big, full featured suite of tools for word processing and spreadsheets. Compatible with and a free replacement for Microsoft Word documents. Also supports OpenDocument Format.

  • Download Page writeroom


    A full-screen writing space that eliminates distractions. If you use your Mac for writing, you have to try this.


  • Download Page VLC


    Plays more video files than most players: Quicktime, AVI, DIVX, OGG, and more. Great for playing DVDs too.

Reading (e.g. books)

  • Download Page tofu


    Makes reading on your computer much more like reading a book. Drag or paste text into Tofu and it arranges everything in crisp, classy columns that scroll side to side (not up and down). Ergonomic reading for Mac.

Web Browser

  • Download Page firefox

    Mozilla Firefox

    The premier free, open-source browser, considered by many to be the world's best. Clutch for sites that don't support Safari. What sets it apart from Safari is the huge universe of plugins and extensions.

  • Download Page camino


    Based on the same Mozilla foundation as Firefox, Camino is a more native OS X app. Fast and simple.


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Running Windows Software on Macs

  • Download Page parallels


    Run Windows programs on your computer in their own window at full speed. You have a top of the line Intel chip; you deserve it.

  • Download Page Q

    Q Emulator

    Not as polished as Parallels, but 100% free and open source. Lets you run Windows on G4 and G5 Macs too (though this will be slow).

Video Ripping / Burning

  • Download Page burn


    Burns to DVD, VCD, and SVCD. Take your downloaded videos and burn them to disks you can watch on regular DVD players. For VCD and SVCD you don't even need a DVD burner. Free and open source!

  • Download Page handbrake icon


    DVD ripper with MPEG-4 / H.264 encoding. The simplest way to save DVDs on your computer.

Peer-to-Peer Filesharing

iPod Ripping


  • Mac App Store (free) telephone


    A great "SIP" client for the Mac. Make phone calls from your computer. 100% free and open source.

  • Download Page skype


    Talk with any Skype user for free. Buy some credits and you can call any number in the world, cheap. Perfect for when your cellphone is out of batteries... or on the other side of the room, lazy.

Alarm Clock

  • Download Page aurora


    Use your Mac as an alarm clock and wake up to your favorite music. Wakes from sleep, so no need to leave your computer on all night.

Nintendo Emulator


  • Download Page abletonlive

    Ableton Live

    For anyone who ever wanted to make a remix, DJ a party, or play with beats. A great manual, good tutorials and a super slick interface make Live so easy to learn. Free demo (hint: use AudioHijack for saving).

  • Download Page ieatbrainz


    iEatBrainz automatically adds the right song, artist, and album info to your iTunes music. No more messy iTunes Library.

Audio Recording

  • Website abletonlive


    Make a live recording of anything right now, without installing any new software. It’s completely free, offers good quality audio, and it’s easy to use.


Wifi Scanning

  • Download Page kismac


    The best wireless scanner for Mac. Find wireless access when you're on the go. 100% free and open source.

RSS Readers


Financial Transactions

  • Download Page bitcoin


    A "peer-to-peer" digital currency so you can buy things without paying transaction fees.


  • Download Page The Unarchiver

    The Unarchiver

    Uncompress RAR, 7zip, tar, and bz2 files on your Mac. Many new Mac users will be puzzled the first time they download a RAR file. Do them a favor and download UnRarX for them!


Web Development

  • Download Page wavemaker.gif


    An open-source visual development tool for building great-looking web and cloud applications.

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