The best Mac apps for 2023: App recommendations for all areas of application

Since June 2021, I've been presenting you with five Mac apps each month in the "5 app recommendations" format that can help you with a wide variety of tasks. If you want to set up your Mac again at the turn of the year or equip the MacBook you received at Christmas for the coming year 2023, then take a look at the following summary of the 19 app recommendations so far. Many of the apps are free, plus you get recommendations for all sorts of categories: productivity, lifestyle, macOS tools, image and video editing, music, software development, and more. If you are interested in an app, simply call up the article linked to it.

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In order to offer you the best Mac app recommendations for 2023, I have listed all apps from June 2021 to December 2022 and summarized them for you. Graphics, design, music, productivity, programming, VPN, writing, lifestyle and many other categories are included.
In order to offer you the best Mac app recommendations for 2023, I have listed all apps from June 2021 to December 2022 and summarized them for you. Graphics, design, music, productivity, programming, VPN, writing, lifestyle and many other categories are included.

June 2021

Im June 2021 I introduced you to the following apps:

  1. Developer - News, information, how-tos and more for anyone programming for Apple systems. Keynotes and other videos from the WWDC events are also included.
  2. ImageOptim - App to compress photos to save disk or server space. Smaller image files ensure shorter loading times on websites.
  3. Shareful - Shareful extends the file sharing menu to open them faster in certain programs or to use them otherwise.
  4. GIPHY Capture - A software to help you create and share GIF files.
  5. crouton - Collecting recipes and pictures and putting together meal plans.

July 2021

Im July 2021 I presented these five programs to you:

  1. QuickLook Video – The program, also called QL Video for short, expands the possibility of playing videos via QuickLook (mark file and press space) – for example with the formats .avi, .webm, asf, .flv, .mkv, .rm and .wmf.
  2. photomill – Allows you to edit multiple photos at once, for example to convert them all to a uniform format, to implement a uniform naming or to change the metadata.
  3. vectornator - Free design software that can be used to create everything from logos to comics, and with a respectable range of functions.
  4. Encrypto - Simple app to place files in an encrypted and password-protected archive; for example for outsourcing to a cloud or for secure sending.
  5. Good Task - Reminders, tasks, appointments and to-do lists in one place and not only available for the Mac.

August 2021

Im August 2021 the Mac app recommendations consisted of this list:

  1. Vienna - Feed reader for SSL and Atom feeds to easily collect and read new posts from various websites.
  2. Sketch – Creation of app interfaces, websites, infographics and the like as image files in order to present them as sketches to developers and designers.
  3. Cloud battery - Keep an eye on the battery status of all devices registered in the same iCloud from a menu bar icon on Mac.
  4. AppCleaner - Removes not only apps, but also their associated folders and additional files that are outside of the Applications folder.
  5. Exchange - Compress videos and convert them to all kinds of video formats for various uses.

September 2021

Im September 2021 there were these Mac apps as recommendations for you:

  1. Mactracker - Encyclopedia of Apple devices from the first Macintosh to the latest AirPods.
  2. Hidden bar - Allows you to hide menu bar icons so they don't take over.
  3. - Website bookmarking program with different ways to organize in different categories and folders.
  4. Bear - Note and writing app for creating different texts with the possibility to style them for a better overview.
  5. Focused - Simple text editor designed to enable distraction-free writing; different designs can be selected to create the ideal writing environment.

October 2021

Im October 2021 I have given you descriptions and links to these programs:

  1. MacYTDL - Free and open app for downloading YouTube videos and playlists; various settings for format, subtitles, storage location, etc.
  2. paste - Show clipboard history to find copied links, images, files, text and more even after copying other things.
  3. HyperDock - Allows displaying a window preview when hovering the mouse cursor over the program's dock icon.
  4. Hazel - Sorting help for files and folders with various sorting and tagging options.
  5. KeyKey Typing Tutor - Tutorial for touch typing on different keyboards (different languages) with several exercises and error evaluation.

November 2021

Im November 2021 I listed the following programs again:

  1. PDF squeezer - As the name suggests, this app helps to compress PDF files - depending on the content, the document will be reduced in size by 90% or even more.
  2. motrix – help to organize downloads from different sources; primarily intended for larger downloads (operating systems, 4K or 8K videos, team projects, etc.).
  3. Silicon info - Shows whether the currently active app for Intel processors or the Apple silicon (M chips) is made.
  4. macupdater - Shows available updates for programs not downloaded from the App Store and helps with updating.
  5. noizio - Provides individually selected and combined ambient sounds to read, work or sleep better.

December 2021

Im December 2021 I have given you information and downloads for these programs:

  1. French - Client to merge 70+ chat tools and messenger apps, from WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to Skype and Discord to Slack and Gmail.
  2. GIMP – Graphics editing with numerous tools and extensive interface; now too optimized for M chips.
  3. Notion - Notes and organization app for texts, images, links and more, which can be used on different devices and in the browser; extensively presented in Guest post by Anastasia.
  4. Pocket - Filing web finds, whether blog posts, videos, recipes, pictures or messages - everything is presented in an attractive way, so that you can quickly find the items you have filed.
  5. GlueMotion - Create time-lapse videos from thousands of frames and analyze the images to find and, to some extent, fix errors or rapid changes.

January 2022

Im January 2022 we started the new year with these software recommendations:

  1. Broadband measurement desktop app – Offer from the Federal Network Agency, with which the bandwidth of the Internet connection can be logged in order to be able to show deviations from the tariff conditions.
  2. Sip - A useful color picker to select and use colors selected on any area of ​​the display.
  3. Ground Zero - A tool that helps reset any app to erase settings and customizations so they can be used again as they were when first installed.
  4. Tiny softbox - Turns the display into a light source with adjustable brightness, color temperature and color.
  5. SpeechCentral - Helps to read texts on Apple Mac as well as save as audio files to listen to later.

February 2022

Im February 2022 continued with this software list:

  1. SF symbols – An icon and pictogram library published by Apple, from which you can copy thousands of icons as text or images. Handy for how-to guides, app UI sketches, tech blog featured images, and more.
  2. MonitorControl – Brightness and volume control for integrated and external displays on Apple Mac, iMac, MacBook and Co. Numerous settings and simple design of the menu bar icon.
  3. kilobeats - A music player made for playing a local music library. A tip for everyone who uses their local MP3, FLAC– or other files you don't want to play with the Music app or iTunes.
  4. Screenshot Creator - Insert iPhone and iPad screenshots into images of their respective devices to create mockups for the App Store or your own website. Handy tool for developers.
  5. ClearVPN – Virtual Private Network, which allows the Internet data stream to be redirected through different servers. In this way, geo-restrictions can be circumvented and all other VPN use cases can be implemented.

March 2022

Im March 2022 I presented you this app selection for the Apple Mac:

  1. Stop The Mac App Store - A Safari extension that prevents the macOS App Store app from opening at the same time when the App Store website is opened. Handy if you frequently look for apps on the internet.
  2. Meter - Appointment list for video calls with useful additional functions. Upcoming dates for video calls can be displayed via notification and you can participate directly from the app.
  3. Play - Helps to sort and PiP watch YouTube videos. Faster and clearer management of the numerous videos watched and still to be watched is promised.
  4. aText - Automate text entry by linking appropriate shortcuts to predefined words, phrases or paragraphs. Ideal for anyone who has to write a lot of e-mails, documents, contracts or similar, often with the same wording.
  5. PhotosRevive - Helps to automatically colorize monochrome (black and white) photos. Can be used as an add-on in Apple Photos.

April 2022

Im April 2022 there was again a five-part list for newly discovered Mac apps:

  1. Cider – Visually appealing alternative to Apple Music and iTunes. The interface can be individually adjusted and individual elements / areas can be repositioned.
  2. Nice Air - This app provides information about the air quality and air pollution at individually selectable locations, the information including forecast for the coming days can be called up directly from the menu bar.
  3. Photo Bulk - Batch edit multiple photos to resize, edit metadata, add watermarks and more.
  4. Itsycal - Calendar to fold out from the macOS menu bar with notifications of upcoming appointments.
  5. Daily - Extensive app for time tracking on Mac. Periods of time for different jobs can be recorded individually and output as time recording sheets in various formats.

May 2022

Im May 2022 five programs for the Apple computer were again summarized:

  1. Latest - Provides an overview of updates for software downloaded from the Internet. Not necessary for programs from the App Store, but very useful for many apps from websites.
  2. "No Distractions" for YouTube - Hides video recommendations, comments and other distractions on the YouTube website so you can focus on your subscription box or your own videos.
  3. ReadKit - Follow RSS feeds to get news from various websites in one place. Also available for iPad and iPhone.
  4. Blender – Extensive 3D and 2D animations can be created with this open source software. From the next Pixar competition to 21st century anime, anything is possible.
  5. Downie - Download help for videos from the Internet. Not only videos from YouTube but also from other websites can be downloaded thanks to this tool.

June 2022

Im June 2022 I presented you these recommendations:

  1. Alt Tab – Thanks to this tool, when you press the option and tab keys, not only the app icons of the open programs are displayed, but also their content / interface.
  2. NightOwl - Create schedules for switching between light and dark modes and assign the modes individually for individual apps.
  3. gestimer - Set reminders by dragging down the toolbar icon of this tool - the further you drag, the more time until the reminder is set. 
  4. alfred 4 - Combines and extends various macOS features to Spotlight, QuickLook, some Siri tasks and the like. 
  5. Time-out - Reminds you to take breaks with text overlays on the display. Texts and break times can be individually adjusted for this.

July 2022

Im July 2022 did you get even more recommendations with this list:

  1. gaplin - Free way to view SVG files and format them to other formats. Thanks to this software, vector graphics can be further processed as PNG, PDF and more.
  2. Astrofox - Provides different ways to graphically display audio playback. Wave animations, EQ bars and objects moving with the music or speech can be used individually or in combination and output as a video.
  3. Darktable - Open source project for sorting, finding and further use of photos. Editing can also be done directly in the software. For some maybe a viable Lightroom alternative.
  4. App fair - Catalog for Mac apps with over 3.000 entries, explanatory texts for each program and the official download sources for safe use. The software can also be used to load updates or uninstall apps.
  5. gifox – Record the screen or an individually defined area of ​​the screen in order to save the recording as a GIF file and share it with others.

August 2022

Im August 2022 there was funny named software with exciting features:

  1. Fig - Create notes, calculations, lists, formulas, overviews and more. Various documents can be filled with the necessary content in order to keep an overview.
  2. shottr – Creating screenshots and editing the individual recordings, including blurring out text, images and the like. Selecting and editing other image content is also possible.
  3. Homie - Provides access to HomeKit devices from the macOS menu bar, including light control, actions, scenes, speakers, shutters and more. 
  4. Tabby - Shows all tabs and tab groups from the used Chromium browsers (Safari, Chrome, Brave, Edge, etc.) to freely select from them. Opening content faster without having to switch between Browser- Windows need to be changed.
  5. screens – Ability to remotely access the home or office computer while keeping its screen locked. In this way, a computer can be used remotely, but is not vulnerable to local access.

September 2022

Im September 2022 there were these Mac apps as recommendations for you:

  1. mock view - Super tool to put images, photos, screenshots and more on the display of various Apple devices and position them in 3D. The mockups created in this way can then be saved as graphics and processed further.
  2. KeyBell - Set and customize sounds for keyboard and mouse use and set exceptions. Ideal for typewriter fans or anyone who wants to hear when the Mac is being used without permission in the next room. 
  3. SponsorBlock for YouTube - Extension for Safari that shows sponsor areas in videos and helps to skip them. Since the segments are not recognized automatically, but are fed in by members of the project, your favorite channel may fall out of the filter.
  4. one thing - This small but powerful tool puts a single task as text (optionally with emoji) in the menu bar, so that you don't have to deal with a large to-do list, but you can proceed step by step.
  5. Focus - Block individual apps, websites and social media platforms to use Mac without distractions. Schedules and breaks can be set, during which the otherwise blocked content can be accessed.

October 2022

Im October 2022 I have also knitted you a list with five programs:

  1. strimio – Collection of radio streams from all over the world. Whether MDR 1, WDR 5 or a radio station in Hawaii - here you will find a selection of thousands of stations. You can also filter by genres and decades.
  2. ray cast – A multifunctional search help that is constantly updated with new features. Ideal for anyone who doesn't have enough functionality with Spotlight search on Mac.
  3. Orbital - Shows dock icons, open programs and similar in an arrangement around the mouse pointer. So it doesn't have to be moved to the dock first. Ideal for working with multiple monitors.
  4. Skitch - Create and edit screenshots, e.g. B. to point out important content of the screenshots. Arrows, markers, borders, text and more can be used.
  5. type face - This app is useful for everyone who deals with fonts a lot and uses them in themes, media and elsewhere. It helps to sort, search and view fonts in detail.

November 2022

Im November 2022 By the way, I collected these app recommendations for you:

  1. Anki - Learning aid, with which you can learn new things in the flashcard system. In addition to text, images, audio clips and even videos can also be used. Thanks to the synchronization across different devices, the learning cards are always with you.
  2. RedLine's tools – Design help for digitally designed media. Guides, a protractor and colored areas can be placed on the display to provide support for work in the photo editing, design or publishing program.
  3. moom - A window manager that helps to arrange and resize program windows on the display. 
  4. macupdater - Shows available updates for programs not downloaded from the App Store and helps with updating.
  5. Repeat - Record and track the daily completion of new routines so that they flow into normal everyday life more quickly and life becomes more beautiful.

December 2022

Im December 2022 there were these Mac apps as recommendations for you:

  1. Hidden bar - Allows you to hide menu bar icons so they don't take over.
  2. Battery - Helps keep MacBook battery level at 80%. This works even when the power cord is plugged in. The battery does not overheat and lasts longer.
  3. Sticklets – Notes that are always on top, remove formatting from text, carry a calculator with you and can be arranged/tagged individually for different projects. 
  4. Today - Menu bar extension showing which appointments are in the calendar for the day.
  5. Pixel Snap - Shows pixel-precise distances on the display. Can be useful as a design aid, to create mockups and in other graphic and design areas.

Duplicate recommendations only show how good an app is

Surely you've noticed the duplicate referrals that have crept in for more than just a month. Actually, I have a list in which I enter all the apps that have already been presented in order to keep track of them. But with so many app recommendations, I sometimes overlook something here and there. So if you find one of the best Mac apps for 2023 in several of the posts linked above, that's partly because I didn't look closely. But also because it is probably really good software for the Apple Mac :D Happy New Year!

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4 comments on “The best Mac apps for 2023: app recommendations for all uses”

  1. “Ground Zero – A tool that helps reset any app to erase settings and customizations so they can be used like they were when you first installed them.”

    Hard to find “Ground Zero”. On the Ipad I had the same page that told me that I had 3 viruses on the computer.

    1. Can be found in Google by searching "Ground Zero Mac App". Or via this link get it directly from the App Store. Don't install apps that tell you how many viruses you have on your Mac. They already cheat with the report and I'm sure it will continue like this...

    2. Hello Grafzahn,

      that's why the posts in which the apps were originally presented are linked. There you will find further details about the software as well as links to the (official and secure) websites of the developers or to GitHub or the App Store. The Ground Zero section you can find it here.

      Best regards

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