Every operating system offers a handful of important inbuilt applications that serve a number of purposes including music, office work, email, maps and navigation etc. So does Mac. A guide to default Mac apps And their functions.
Many new Mac users find the functions of these apps confusing. They cannot work out what the app does just by its name and icon. Here’s a complete guide containing all the default Mac apps and what they are meant to do. Also, whether or not each app would come in handy.
The Basic Mac Applications
The app has changed a lot over years and updates. It has become an all-rounder media management app. Containing media player, media library, online radio broadcaster, and mobile device management. Even the customers of different brands than Apple know about this app due to its immense popularity. However, most users prefer using the app to manage podcasts. Going for its alternatives for music and other sorts of media as iTunes, at times, can be really slow. Overall, the app is useful.
App Store app
The Mac app store is the only method to install new apps. However, if you do not need it on your system for that purpose, it also maintains the update cycle of many apps. Overall, the default app is useful.
FaceTime is Apple’s version of Skype. you can call your friends who are FaceTime users as well and receive their calls. (both video and audio). However, the app ONLY works for Apple devices. A user can connect with someone on FaceTime only when that person has the app on an Apple Device. Otherwise, applications such as Google Hangouts, Skype or Facebook have to be used. Overall, the app is useful.
For organizing their contacts, every Mac expert I spoke to relies on Apple’s own Contacts apps on the Mac and iOS. The app is a digital address book. It stores contact information of your family, friends and colleagues. Also, it syncs the contacts with iCloud which facilitates their use on iCloud apps like mail and besides. Overall, the app is useful.
The default calendar app keeps you on schedule. You can create separate calendars for different areas of your life—work, home, school, and so on. Manage your regular tasks in an efficient manner. Each separate calendar you create can be assigned a different color. The app syncs with iCloud as well. Overall, the app is very useful.
The most admired of all mac apps, this app uses point-and-click (or drag and drop) creation of workflows for automating repetitive tasks. In other words, you can automate a number of different system actions that you can combine and use without any need for knowledge of scripting or programming. Overall, the app is very useful.
DVD Player app
The app may not come handy in most situations. Technology has now achieved great heights and the DVD Player app has been removed from the recent MacBooks, iMacs, and other Apple Hardware. It had to be listed as it is a default app. DVD Player is only useful if you have an external DVD drive. VLC media player has long before replaced this app. Overall, the app is not useful.
The Dashboard app provides mac users a window in which they can load up all their widgets, it shows all the widgets on your Mac. A widget is a simple application extension that is often part of a larger application already installed on the device. These reside only in the Dashboard. Overall, the app is useful.
Not everyone knows that a full-featured chess game is one of the inbuilt mac apps. Why Apple considered protecting the application with System Integrity Protection is above my understanding. The app is offline-only one. Overall, the app is not useful.
If you ever need to access a dictionary, thesaurus or Wikipedia, this simple yet highly efficient app will be at your service. It is in accord to New Oxford American Dictionary and Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus. This can come in handy while writing a document, emails, or do some important office-work. Overall, the app is useful.
GarageBand for Mac has everything you need to learn, play, record, mix and share great-sounding music, even if you’ve never played a note. Use it to create loops, music, or even podcasts. Interestingly, this app many times is why. Windows users convert to Mac. Overall, the app is very useful.
Game Center app
Game Center is one spot on your Mac where you can find all kinds of games, single and multiplayer. play them with your friends or by your own. There are some drawbacks because of which the app has lost the limelight long ago. Better games are available online in bulk. Game Center doesn’t offer quite exciting games and the ones it has are not that notably popular. Overall the app is not useful.
iBooks lets you lose yourself in a good story from the comfort of your Mac. The app lets you have your favorites within reach in PDF and EPUB formats. Mac users can read and manage hundreds of ebooks with iBooks. It comes with a built-in store where one can purchase as many titles as they desire to. Also, they can import one themselves from the system. The design is simple and sophisticated which makes it fun to use. Overall, the app is useful.
iMovie for Mac lets you organize all your clips and turn them into your favorite films or trailers. You can then premiere them on the iMovie Theater. It can be called as GarageBand for movies. Import the video clips, edit them all together and add more text, graphics, music and post-processing effects for finishing touch. Overall, the app is useful.
Font Book app
One of the default mac apps is FontBook, a utility for managing fonts on a Mac. You can group fonts into collections, which can then be used in all Cocoa programs. Unlike in Windows or Linux, Mac comes with a font app that makes it way easier to install, remove and organize all of the fonts on your Mac. If you’re one of the people who love fancy fonts, this can be your thing. Font Book can separate system fonts from user-installed fonts for user convenience. Overall, the app is useful.
The app may appear kind of limited at first glance, but there are actually two other calculator models contained within it. It can be used to calculate estimated tax payments or update some budgets. It may come in handy for random little calculations people weak at application can’t do mentally. Overall, the app is useful.
Not long ago there were no good email apps available for Mac. However, we have it as one of the default mac apps now. Use it to handle handling email accounts and inboxes. The mail app is great in terms of design and efficiency. Overall, the app is useful.
Image Capture app
It provides no organizational tools like iPhoto but is useful for collating pictures from a variety of sources with no need for drivers. if you have a scanner or a printer connected to your mac, you can easily use this app to capture images. However, with tech on a constant rise, we have other, simpler options like, maybe a card reader or WiFi sharing? Through which we can import images directly from a device. Overall, the app is not useful anymore.
The keynote app can be used to create attractive presentations of all kinds. Simple, professional ones or elegant, festive ones, all can be created in one app. Just like Microsoft has PowerPoint, Apple has Keynote app. Compatibility does not need to be worried about as it can import and export to PowerPoint formats. Overall, the app is useful.
Everyone is quite familiar with this app, even people who use some other brand than Apple. iMessages lets you send unlimited messages in the form of text, images, documents, audio clips, videos and others besides them to your friends who use iMessages as well. If you do not have many Apple fanatics as friends, however, Jabber and a few other IM protocols will do the trick. Overall, the app is useful.
Launchpad is basically an app launcher that is a ‘way to unify the experience between iOS and Mac’. However, of all the default mac apps, this one seems quite unnecessary. Its function is to help a user find and launch any app, uninstall the ones installed from Mac Store. The same purpose can easily, and more efficiently be served by Spotlight. In fact, Spotlight can find your lost files in fractions of a second. Press F4, or pinch with four or more fingers on a trackpad to address Launchpad. Overall, the app is not useful.
Maps app helps you explore new destinations. It includes gorgeous views and is smooth to use. The interface is straightforward without being conventional. Also, you can send directions to your iPhone or iPad through the share button. However, it still does not reach the Google Maps level. Overall, the app is useful.
Mission Control app
the app combines elements of Virtual Desktops (Spaces), an application switcher, and a window manager in one centralized window. When you activate it, everything zooms out so you can see all of your active apps at once. You can switch to another app quickly without having to command+tabbing over and over again. it can come in handy while managing multiple virtual desktops. Overall, the app is very useful.
Evernote and OneNote are the most-used apps when it comes to note-taking. However, Apple notes is just as good. It integrates with iCloud which is its best option. However, the app may come in handy if you’re both a Mac and iOS user. Overall, the app is useful.
The photos app is something we are all familiar with. It is a centralized location for all the photos and videos. Create slideshows with different animations to enhance your experience with Photos. You can create albums named according to what it is about. However, you cannot capture photos and videos with it. It lets you edit raw photos but people preferring advanced options should likely go for Lightroom. Overall, the app is useful.
Photo Booth app
Apple’s Photo Booth is a popular choice of app for those looking to capture or edit photos or videos. Take snapshots and videos with your friends and use 20 different fun effects on them. Take pictures using Mac’s built-in camera or an externally-connected camera. Overall, the app is useful.
The preview app makes it a lot easier to view PDF, images and other forms of files including PowerPoint Presentations, Photoshop PSDs and raw camera output. The app can handle almost all types of files you’ll want to preview. Overall, the app is very useful.
The app seems to be an alarm application that reminds you of some meeting or an important event. However, other than that feature it also has a to-do list feature. through which users can create multiple lists with multiple items in each list then set alarms for individual items in those lists according to location or time. Of all the mac apps, this one is the most basic one. Overall, the app is useful.
QuickTime Player app
Basically, the app handles various formats of digital video, picture, sound, panoramic images, and interactivity. The user can then upload those videos to YouTube via the app itself. Overall, the app is useful.
This app is widely called as the ‘word processor’ of Mac. However, that contradicts the fact that t is more like the Notepad than Word. There are lots of text editing applications out there now with more efficient working and better options. TextEdit is probably not being used by many people anymore. Overall the app is not useful.
Time Machine App
One of many very handy mac apps, the Time Machine makes it possible, and way more easy to migrate your personal data to a fresh Mac installation. Also, it can restore your system to a previous point if something goes wrong. This makes the app a must to know about for every Mac user. Overall, the app is useful.
The excel users can get a clear idea of what Numbers App does as it is Apple’s version of the same application. All the mac apps have been named quite well. Except for this one, its name provides a very lousy outlook to the app, Apple’s job of course. If you’re someone who has to do a lot of spreadsheet and database related work, this app might be for you. Overall, the app is useful.
Safari is a web browser developed by Apple based on the WebKit engine. A majority of MacBook users recommend using Chrome over Safari. However, there are many reasons chrome is not a better option at all. Overall, the app is very useful.
Quite impressively, Apple attempted to provide an efficient alternative to Microsoft Word. Pages App is simple and straightforward. It is user-friendly in many ways as well. However, it still fails to achieve Word’s level as it is not as rich in features. Noting down words on a page is enough for many people, they will find the app useful. If you need to be completely equipped with writing apps, you have to go for Word or other alternatives available for download online. Overall, the app is useful.
Stickies lets you make sticky notes that appear on your desktop. This concept was really popular 10 or 12 years ago and with all the updates and new MacBook releases, it still prevails for an unknown reason. However it may come in handy as a quick note or reminder, but we have two different mac apps for those purposes. Overall, the app is not useful.
What Utilities Folder has to offer
There’s a ‘Utilities’ subfolder under the Applications Folder. It offers a number of mac apps that may prove to be useful to some users and not to other depending on what they use their laptop for. Here are the apps and what they do.
Once you learn how to operate the tool, it might be very useful for finding and troubleshooting system errors. The app mainly focuses on letting you view various diagnostic reports and system logos.
Activity Monitor App
It can look positively frightening when you first launch it. But as soon as you look past the information overload and find out what to focus on it can become an invaluable tool. View CPU usage per process, RAM availability, energy impact per process as well as overall network activity with this gem hidden between the mac apps.
AirPort Utility App
Use AirPort Utility to manage your Wi-Fi network and AirPort base stations, including AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule. All three of which are Apple’s proprietary line of Wi-Fi cards and routers.
Capture screenshots easily. However, the app is not that useful now as Mac has system-wide screenshot keyboard shortcuts. It has a feature of 10-second delayed screenshot which can be useful. Therefore the app can’t be called obsolete.
Keychain Access App
It is a password management system which can be used to instantly long into social accounts, websites, WiFi networks and more. Your passwords can be complex and long because you do not need to remember them anymore. This saves time and provides tough security.
Provides detailed information about your Mac which involves the hardware, software, and network of your system. for instance, if you need the version and memory information, this is where you look.
This is a command line utility designed for Mac. Beginning from OS X 10.3, the default shell is Bash. Meaning the command line experience between a fresh install of Mac and Ubuntu is almost the same. Learning the command is advised if you want full command of your system.
Grapher app: Use this app to enter one or more mathematical equations and it will graph them for you. Saves time and is very convenient.
Digital Color Meter app: A utility that displays the color value of any pixel on your screen. The app will even display color values in different formats including Abode RGB.
Disk Utility app: This tool that gives you basic information and control over your disk drives. Use it to erase disk drives, including USB and external drives.
Bluetooth File Exchange app: Use the tool to set up and manage Bluetooth connections with nearby compatible devices.
ColorSync Utility app: Provides control over the color display and color profiles of your system. If your colours look dull and off due to any reason at all, this tool may come in handy.