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The best apps for your new Mac

The best apps for your new Mac

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macbook pro 2016

So you got a new Mac, huh? Lucky! I've been using a Mac as my primary computer on and off for about 20 years. I have a PC for games, but nothing beats a Mac yet for the modern media professional. Here are a few apps I use to get the job done.

We've rounded up our favorite and most-used apps and utilities for the technology we use every day. Check out our other picks for iPhones, Android phones, PCs, and Macs. We've also listed our favorite games for iOS and Android from this year.


This is the most straightforward way to make GIFs from video clips or whatever is happening on your screen. For more advanced GIF creation I use GIFBrewery, but for quick-and-dirty stuff GIPHY CAPTURE is a real treasure.

4K Video Downloader

Maybe this is a niche thing, I'm not sure, but I frequently find myself wanting to download a YouTube video, and 4K Video Downloader makes it really easy. The app publisher also makes a tool called 4K Stogram for downloading photos from Instagram, and 4K YouTube to MP3 that does what it says on the tin.


I use Google Inbox instead of vanilla Gmail. There are a lot of mail clients and browser shells to turn Gmail into a desktop app, but I've never found a good desktop client for Inbox until WMail.

Notational Velocity

I'm a writer, and Notational Velocity makes it really easy to create, find, and sync my notes. Unlike a lot of apps, Notational Velocity has an option to both sync with Simplenote, and store notes as plain text files. I keep my notes folder in iCloud Drive (Dropbox or Google Drive work just as well) so they're accessible from anywhere and from any app. Sadly, Notational Velocity is basically abandonware — it's open source, but not actively maintained — and I fear the day when it will stop working. I'll keep using it until it does.


One reason I like to keep my notes as plain text files is so I can edit them in my text editor of choice. When I'm doing longer-form writing and I want a pretty, distraction-free editor, I open up Byword. I've also used Byword's Markdown preview to print invoices when I was a freelancer, because I'll do just about anything to avoid traditional word processors like Pages and Word.

Visual Studio Code

And yet another text editor! Visual Studio Code is slick and extensible. I still do a lot of coding in Vim, but when I want to be lazy and have a nice point-and-click project view, Visual Studio Code's Vim mode is totally acceptable.


Guess what? A text editor. But this one is really special. I wish there were 100 more apps like Calca. It really makes my computer feel like a computer, you know? Basically, it lets you do math with text instead of a calculator. There's a small learning curve, but it's great when you have a math heavy project and you're tired of summing everything up every time a variable changes.


I really like how you can snap windows to different edges of the screen in Windows, and BetterSnapTool replicates that functionality perfectly. There are a bunch of great window managers available for Mac, so pick which one works best for you. I like this one.


I'm still not sure about this whole "emoji" thing the kids are talking about, but the best possible way to add emojis to any message is the Slack way, where you just type a colon and start typing name of the emoji and it autocompletes. Rocket makes it so you can type emoji like that anywhere on your Mac.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 4 minutes ago Midjourneys

Alex Cranz4 minutes ago
After DART smashed into Dimorphos, I can’t stop thinking about the best “blow up an asteroid” story.

LucasArts and Steven Spielberg came up with The Dig, a game about an astronaut, scientist, and journalist blowing up an asteroid and finding a spaceship inside, and they did it years before Bruce Willis, or NASA. You can still buy and play it on Steam!

Richard Lawler16 minutes ago
Everything looks better in slow motion.

Apple’s Dynamic Island alert system isn’t sitting still around your iPhone 14’s front-facing camera array. We’ve been enjoying its contextual animations — and even an Android copycat — since it was unveiled, but take a look at it here, captured at 240fps, to see exactly how iOS applies animations that make it feel a bit more lively.

External Link
Russell BrandomAn hour ago
Oracle will pay $23 million to settle foreign bribery charges.

The SEC alleges that Oracle used a slush fund to bribe officials in India, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

This behavior is sadly common among software companies doing business overseas, and it’s not unique to Oracle. In March, a former Microsoft executive claimed the company spent as much as $200 million a year in bribes for foreign officials.

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Emma Roth3:16 PM UTC
Celsius’ CEO is out.

Alex Mashinsky, the head of the bankrupt crypto lending firm Celsius, announced his resignation today, but not after patting himself on the back for working “tirelessly to help the company.”

In Mashinsky’s eyes, I guess that means designing “Unbankrupt yourself” t-shirts on Cafepress and then selling them to a user base that just had their funds vaporized.

At least customers of the embattled Voyager Digital crypto firm are in slightly better shape, as the Sam Bankman-Fried-owned FTX just bought out the company’s assets.

Mary Beth Griggs2:46 PM UTC
NASA’s SLS rocket is secure as Hurricane Ian barrels towards Florida.

The rocket — and the Orion spacecraft on top — are now back inside the massive Vehicle Assembly Building. Facing menacing forecasts, NASA decided to roll it away from the launchpad yesterday.

External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins1:30 PM UTC
Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle brand is about to go public via SPAC

LiveWire has completed its merger with a blank-check company and will make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today. Harley-Davison CEO Jochen Zeitz called it “a proud and exciting milestone for LiveWire towards its ambition to become the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world.” Hopefully it also manages to avoid the cash crunch of other EV SPACs, like Canoo, Arrival, Faraday Future, and Lordstown.

The Verge
Andrew Webster1:06 PM UTC
“There’s an endless array of drama going on surrounding Twitch right now.”

That’s Ryan Morrison, CEO of Evolved Talent Agency, which represents some of the biggest streamers around. And he’s right — as you can read in this investigation from my colleague Ash Parrish, who looked into just what’s going on with Amazon’s livestreaming service.

The Verge
Richard Lawler12:59 PM UTC
Green light.

NASA’s spacecraft crashed, and everyone is very happy about it.

Otherwise, Mitchell Clark is kicking off the day with a deeper look at Dish Network’s definitely-real 5G wireless service , and Walmart’s metaverse vision in Roblox is not looking good at all.

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Jess Weatherbed11:49 AM UTC
Won’t anyone think of the billionaires?

Forbes reports that rising inflation and falling stock prices have collectively cost members of the Forbes 400 US rich list $500 billion in 2022 with tech tycoons suffering the biggest losses.

Jeff Bezos (worth $151 billion) lost $50 billion, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin (worth a collective $182b) lost almost $60b, Mark Zuckerberg (worth $57.7b) lost $76.8b, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (worth $4.5b) lost $10.4b. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (worth $83b) lost $13.5b while his ex-boss Bill Gates (worth $106b) lost $28b, albeit $20b of that via charity donations.