Are you missing any of these apps?

Must Have Apps for a general Mac OS X user, May 2014, Mavericks (10.9)


Note: This list does not include app reviews for browsers, and office apps, they deserve a separate entry!


Calendar Apps:

While the default calendar app for OS X Mavericks is very well built and full of features, one might like the taste of these third party apps that act as add ons.

Fantastical (Rating: 4.7/5)

This is a menubar app for accessing the calendar, and does it’s job pretty efficiently. The features include good design, fast access, natural language input. The app is available for 14 days as a free trial, but there is a high chance that you will not be able to resist yourself from buying it. It’s one of a kind! The app costs $19.99, on the Mac App Store, the price is quite high.

Blotter (Rating: 4/5)

This goes out for those who like to personalize their home screens. This calendar shows all the events for the week ahead right on your desktop with a clean translucent design. The app’s design is similar to iOS 7. It must be noted that the app is just a display of events and you don’t get any access to manipulate events (from the desktop, however a menubar item does give you some access)… not like fantastical. The app costs $9.99 on the Mac App Store.

Having these two apps will surely satisfy the needs of a calendar dependent user. Fantastical is a must have app if you can bear the cost.


Cloud Services:

With the increasing speed and availability of the internet, cloud storage and services are being preferred more and more. That is one of the reasons that internal storage needs are also reducing.

Apple has it’s own cloud service known as iCloud, which works pretty well. Though it does not have a service for directly storing files, almost everything that you need to store in a Mac environment can be stored on iCloud. Apps like iTunes can store your entire purchased library on the cloud (at some cost!). With the recent release of icloud.com the access to all your calendar and stuff are made even easier. Also, it provides a cool free interface to create and edit iWork documents!

Other more direct way of storing files are Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive.

Preferences over these apps highly vary, and each app has it’s own benefit. Dropbox has better app connectivity, whereas Google Drive has the Google Factor. OneDrive has the features of microsoft documents sharing, and it also provides an Office Online environment similar to the icloud.com. All the three apps have separate Mac apps which create a folder for you to keep documents inside.

If you are concerned about the storage available, I would suggest you to visit this link for a direct comparison.

Which one to use?: I would say that all of these are excellent apps, and I use all the three as and when required. I like the design of office online, and whenever I have to edit a word or excel document I just copy that into the OneDrive and go access it at the Office online site. Dropbox is a must have as it is used by many apps for sync services. Google Drive is for the Google users which in this era is almost everyone!


Video Players:

This one goes out for those who like to keep movies in their stock and watch whenever they like. I am listing only two apps below, as they have nearly all the features one would expect from a good video player.

MPlayerX(Rating: 4.5/5)

I personally prefer this one for watching movies as it handles HD files more smoothly than VLC in my experience. The app is quite personalizable, and does a good job for watching videos peacefully.

VLC(Rating 4.5/5)

This is a famous beast for video playback. It supports nearly every format you can think of and has a complete nerdy preference list for you to select from. One more feature is that you can boost the volume to 200% if you want. This feature is not available in MPlayerX.

Both the apps are free, one should definitely try both and then decide which one to use. I have decided to stay with MPlayerX.


Task Management:

Todoist (Rating 4.8/5)

This app provides nearly every feature you would require from a task management app. Though there can be some improvements like menubar and dashboard widget. But it’s still the best with the vast variety of cross platform apps. The Todoist team is doing a great job.

I go with only one name in this category which in my opinion beats every other app. You can check out my review for this app here. The app is available for free, and a premium version also exists.


Note Taking:

Well this category is quite interesting and there are a bunch of great apps out there in the market, I would go with 3 different apps.

Evernote (Rating: 5/5)

This app deserves a win because of the apps’ novelty at the time it came out. The cross platform apps, the sync, everything was just great and everyone appreciated the app for being free. With the rise of competition in the field, we now have some more note taking apps out in the market which can be better suited for some category of Mac users. Evernote gives you the features for tagging notes, creating notebooks, marking photos, OCR, tagging notes with location, audio notes, video notes, and every possible feature you would like. The app is available in great design for iPad, iPhone and more platforms. The sync is smooth and the web interface is also cool. Evernote also offers some more related apps like its web clipper than can be integrated with the main app. The app also provides menubar app which can be called out any time by a editable shortcut.

Microsoft OneNote (Rating: 4.7/5)

This came out recently as a free app for mac, and it was praised by critics. This app provides the unique design of infinite notes, giving some more features like attributing links to other paragraphs within OneNote notes. The sync is also okay, and is available for other platforms too. If you use windows devices, you should definitely go for the app, otherwise you can still give it a try.

Noteworthy (Rating: 4.5/5)

This app is for the user who doesn’t like writes short notes , and wants fast access to his notes. This is a menubar app. It’s a pretty cool design, and always hangs there in your menubar so you can access from anywhere. You also have the ability to search within the notes.

All of the above apps are free. Try and then decide which one to use. I have decided to stay with Evernote.


Some Bonus Apps which made a mark!:

Day One (Rating: 4.8/5)

The excellent daily journalling app only for Apple users.. ☺. If you maintain a diary for preserving your memories, watch out for the new technology!. Use this app for maintaining your digital journal. Also available in paid apps with great designs for the iPad and iPhone. The app costs $9.99.

DynamicLyrics (Rating: 4.5/5)

That’s some badass app from some badass developer. This app gives you floating lyrics on your screen and the menubar. Most of the times it finds the correct lyrics from some chinese repository, but sometimes it does fail. The app is free to check out, go ahead if you want lyrics in your Mac!

Menubar Countdown (Rating: 4/5)

That’s a free, simple, countdown for your menubar.. Go for it if you need it.

Folx 3 (Rating 4.3/5) & ClipGrab (Rating: 4.5/5)

For those who need IDM for windows. Folx 3 is a file downloader, and ClipGrab is a video grabber from sites like YouTube. Both work great.


Thanks for reading, and post a comment where I made any mistake or left out a great app! Peace!

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