25 Must Have Free Apps for your New Mac

One of the best parts of owning a Mac is the cool free apps that you get to download! Just like the iPhone, there’s an app for your every need, and they exceed expectations most of the time. I will go over free basic apps as well, for those with a new setup. A lot of the apps that will be showcased are open source, which basically means that you can view it’s source code and contribute to the project.

1. Skype

Skype lets you make voice calls, as well as video conferencing online to anyone else with this free app installed. You can also make conference calls effortlessly, as well as participate in text chats and file transfers. With Skype To Go, you can make calls from your mobile phone and from your computer, you can dial international landlines and to cell phones with prepaid minutes.

2. Anxiety

This great little app is a to-do list manager. It’s easy to use, out of the way, and can be integrated with iCal and Mail. Melting into your desktop – and out of your way, you can effortlessly add new tasks and task sheets, to keep areas of your life separate with multiple lists.

3. Cyberduck

Cyberduck is a “FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Cloud Files, Google Docs and Amazon S3″ browser for your mac. With an easy to use interface, super cool features and seamless integration with external text editors, this app is not one to miss!


GIMP is an image editor (raster), which quite possibly to many is a free alternative to Adobe Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro. It has tons of cool features, and is a great free alternative to other software.

5. Monolingual

Monolingual is a utility that removes unwanted languages from OS X, and in doing to can recover disk space you never knew you had. By removing those unwanted languages, you can seriously save sever hundred mbs of space.

6. Firefox

Firefox is a leading open source web browser, with a tons of skins and expansions. This modern browser has features like Tabs, CSS3/HTML5 support, Private Browsing, an Awesome Bar, easy bookmarking and a built in Feed Reader.

7. TextWrangler

TextWrangler is a powerful text editor that makes editing files a breeze with remote FTP support, Keychain support, syntax coloring, auto indenting, built-in text transformations and so much more.

8. VLC

VLC is an application that lets you view any type of video file without hassle. Features like handling subtitles, DVDs, CDs, web streams, VLC is a powerful media player. If you are a Mac Developer, the people behind VLC are looking for more developers for the Mac OS X port of VLC.

9. Growl

Growl is a notification system for Mac that lets supported applications send you notices in an unobtrusive way. With customizable skins, and add-ons for even more growl-goodness, you control all aspects of the notifications that get sent your way.

10. Transmission

Transmission is an open source, non-commerical BitTorrent client that is easy to use and comes with tons of cool features, like; having a small footprint, seamless integration, uses Growl Notifications and is quite powerful.

11. ClamXAV

Macs are not prone to getting infected with viruses, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t transmit them to a machine that can be. ClamXAV is a free virus scanner that checks for files that can infect other operating systems as well.

12. Google Notifier

Google Notifier is an application that lets you check your email and calendar events without even visiting a browser. Much like Growl, but for Gmail and Google Calendar.


13. Adium

Adium is a small, yet powerful Instant Messaging client that lets you connect to multiple networks, such as AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, ICQ, and Facebook Chat – just to name a few. It also has customizable ‘Xtras’, file transfers, and an events system.

14. Thunderbird

Thunderbird is another one of Mozilla’s creations; a messaging application that enhances your email experience. Features tabs, search, archives and add-on support. Its open source and totally secure and not to mention, easy to use.

15. Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a fully featured yet functional web browser. With themes and extensions, you can totally transform it to make it your own. Being amazingly fast, plus with a built in Google Search, Chrome is the way to go.

16. Quinn

Quinn is a Tetris mock for Mac! Have fun playing this addicting game on your local network, or with the globe against the highscore database.

17. Inkscape

Inkscape is a free vector graphics editor, similar to Illustrator and Corel Draw that supports many advanced features. Not only is Inkscape open source, but there is a great community behind it that creates articles, tutorials and maintains a gallery for users.

18. AppCleaner

AppCleaner makes it easier to uninstall unwanted apps by removing all small, yet unnecessary files that an application dumps on your system – once you decided it’s time to remove the app. And all it takes is moving the app’s icon to the trash!

19. Seashore

Seashore is a small lightweight graphics editor for Mac OS X; it features gradients, anti-aliasing, textures, layers and alpha channel editing. Seashore is based off of GIMP, yet remains different in many ways.

20. Caffeine

Caffeine is a small, out of the way application that gives you the option of preventing your Mac from going to sleep. Residing in the menu bar – caffeine is always there when you need it.

21. Paparazzi

Paparazzi is a small utility that allows you to generate full-page screenshots of a certain webpage. This app can prove to be very useful for web designers in need of large screenshots.

22. Burn

Burn offers amazingly simple yet powerful disk burning for your Mac. Features include automatic converting, interactive menu creation, custom icons and file permissions.

23. OpenOffice

OpenOffice is a free productivity suite that gives you abilities like word processing, creating spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more!

24. Miro

Miro is an open-source, non profit video player that downloads torrents and podcasts, and plays videos. Designed with HD in mind, Miro is a better way to watch your videos.

25. AppFresh

Now that you’ve downloaded all of these cool apps, AppFresh helps you keep track of updates for all of your applications! osx.iusethis.com functionality as well.

Anything missed? Feel free to share via comments. Which one is your favorite free mac app?

Nicole Dominguez

Nicole Dominguez is a self-taught teenage web designer, that founded SoDevious.Net, a resource for teenage bloggers and designers like herself. Check out her portfolio or follow her on Twitter, @sodevious.

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  1. korax says

    Some of my personal favs
    Little Snitch (Firewall Monitor and interceptor)
    Sophos (Anti-V)
    Carbon Copy (HD cloner)

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  5. says

    Nice list. Here are a couple more to add to the list:

    – Kigo Video Converter (video converter)
    – Mikogo (for setting up Webinars)
    – PhoneGap (iPhone programming)
    – Carbon Copy Cloner (backup)
    – Mind Node (mind mapping, brainstorming)
    – ISOlator (copy CD/DVD as an .iso)
    – Fairmount (unencrypt DVD’s for easy drag and drop copy)
    – Truecrypt (create hidden, encrypted volumes on your computer)

    There are others, but these should be enough to add to the list above for those just looking for new cool apps for the Mac.

  6. dli says

    mmm…thanks fo rinfo, as for me for network monitoring I like to use ProteMac NetMine (protemac.com)

  7. Hanne says

    One small application you missed is Flux! (http://www.stereopsis.com/flux/) A small program that dims the screen after the sun has gone down. No more getting blended by the screen when turning the computer on in the middle of the night.

  8. sheena says

    Hi, nice useful post!

    Just thought i’d add one more item to your list of great mac apps.
    Don’t forget to check out Agile Web Solutions “1Password”:


    It’s a fantastic app that can generate strong, unique passwords for you, remember them all, and restore them – all directly in your web browser with the click of one button.

    It’s saves me so much time and all i have to remember is one master password. It’s not free but so worth the money!!!

  9. Adam Bushman says

    Quicksilver is a must. I can’t remember who said it, but “Every Mac is broken without Quicksilver.”

  10. wong says

    Sound like it is lots of thing to install once I got my Mac :lol: Miro is one great entertainment.

  11. David Parsons says

    Thank you for the awesome list. I have learned about 2 new apps I have never heard of before!

  12. says

    Lovely list, thanks!

    There are, of course, hundreds of other great apps for free, but here are a couple of my favourites that I couldn’t live without.

    Tweetie (Twitter Client)
    Notational Velocity (Note-taking App)
    NetNewsWire (RSS Reader)

    If you’re on the look out for new apps, Bodega is a free app which showcases lots of apps for you to browse and check out what you want. Definitely worth trying.