10 FREE Mac apps you can’t do without

I won’t list the obvious such as Illustrator, Photoshop, MS Word etc but more those little apps that you’ve probably not even heard of. There’s absolutely loads of them – yes, even for us Mac users – but which ones should you download. I’ve chosen 10 here that I use on a daily basis – I’m sure there’s others out there and I’d be interested to know what little hidden gems you know of that you think other should use… Remember it has to be FREE!

Unread Mail Count

Mail unread menu sits in your menu bar and lets you know, at-a-glance, how many unread emails you have in Apple Mail. You can also configure the app to exclude mailboxes so only notifying you of your important emails.

Search bookmarks from any browser

Allbookmarks sits in your menu bar and acts as a little search tool for all the web browsers you have on your Mac. If you’re anything like me I chop and change between Safari, Firefox and Camino and add bookmarks to each of them. From the menu

Follow up previously sent emails

How many times have you sent an email and then realised you’d forgotten to say something… It happens to me all the time. Mailfollowup adds another button in Apple Mail so when you select your previously sent email you can choose to Follow Up that message which is basically like a Reply function but sends to the recipient and not you. One of my used little apps

Force empty your trashcan (that’s a bin to us British folk!)

Every now and again there’s something in your trash that you can’t delete – don’t ask me why it can’t be deleted! Anyway, by running Force Empty Trash your trashcan will be all clean and empty once more.

Alternative Music and Video Player

iTunes and Quicktime player are great but there’s times when you have a folder full of music that you want to play without having to add it to iTunes and I do find that some DivX movies play a lot better in VLC Player with better audio sync and correct aspect ratios. Simply drag anything to it’s window and click Play – it will then play it in the order it appears.

BitTorrent Client

I’ve used pretty much all the torrent apps out there and always come back to Transmission. It only has a small window and really is very basic.


It seems the entire universe is into Twitter at the moment and whether it’s just another passing fad or whether it’s here to stay we all need a Twitter client that sits on our desktop informing of us of Stephen Fry’s latest twhirl is a lovely little Twitter app, allowing multiple accounts, notifications of new messages, shorten long urls, and lots of search functionality


I don’t like the way Apple have incorporated their Notes app into Mail. I just don’t think it works and because of that I never use it. Instead xPad is a great alternative, allowing you to add new notes within a single window. It’s an incredibly simple app but that’s what actually makes it great.

Video and Voice calls

If you haven’t already got Skype then where have you been? Skype allows you to communicate with other Skype users for free via video and/or voice. It also offers very cheap calls to most countries.

Files and Folder sizes

Ever wonder just what is taking up all that space on your Mac? Well, it can help if you can see everything in one clear and concise window so you can then decide what to move or delete to free up valuable some space. Whatsize does this fantastically well… It’s free for measuring up to 20gb of space or $12.95 to measure anything. Don’t just go and delete stuff willy-nilly as it might be vital for the functionality of your Mac – best to check first before you do.

And finally… One to get that’s not free but you should get

All I want from a task list is something very simple. On most of the task managers you end up taking more time adding tasks than it actually takes to perform them! I never need due dates, times, notifications etc etc etc so if you want something easy, quick and simple then look no further than Taskpaper. It’s actually so simple I’ve started to use it as a notes app as well… You can go ahead and download it before choosing to purchase it but I think you should as you’ll love it’s simplicity.

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