Best Free Mac Apps

Lifehacker has made this “Pack for Mac”.  This is their fourth annual list.  

They have this categorized into the following groups:

  • Productivity
  • Internet/Communications
  • Music, Photos, and Video
  • Utilities
  • The Extended Pack

Under Productivity, they list:

  • Quicksilver
  • Notational Velocity
  • DashExpander
  • Wunderlist

Under Internet/Communications is:

  • Chrome
  • Sparrow Lite
  • Adium
  • Skype
  • NetNewsWire

Music, Photos, and Video:

  • VLC
  • Handbrake
  • StreamToMe
  • Picasa
  • Spotify


  • Dropbox
  • uTorrent
  • Skitch
  • Growl
  • Crashplan
  • Unarchiver

The Extended Pack

  • Calendar
  • Found
  • Cobook
  • CheatSheet
  • Read Later

The full article not only explains briefly what these programs do, but offers some alternatives.  Out of the Productivity group, Quicksilver was the only one that I have tried and I found it simpler just to use Spotlight as my app launcher.

In the second group, (Internet/Communications), I have tried Chrome and like it.  Also like Adium, Skype and NetNewsWire. I also like them but have found that I don’t use them much currently.  Guess I will have to try Sparrow Lite, although I believe it is now owed by Google and being developed only for Android.

In the Music, Photos, and Video group I have tried them all but StreamToMe.  I am planning a user group meeting on “Cutting the Cord” and will look at it for possible inclusion in that topic. I haven’t given HandBrake much use, but it is possible I will use it more in the future.

In Utilities, I have used Dropbox and Unarchiver pretty regularly.  I used Growl for awhile, but found it more annoying than useful.  I have been investigating the use of Crashplan as I am convinced we all need offsite backup.

In the Extended group, I have downloaded CoBook, but haven’t used it.  The others sound like ones I would like to try out.

See what you think at this site:

Don’t forget to read the comments where alternatives are also mentioned.

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