Alfred 4 – one of your new productivity apps
So, first up in my favourite apps is Alfred. Currently, it’s on version 4. Alfred is an amazing replacement for Apple’s Spotlight Search. I’ve been using it for the past year and it’s completely boosted my productivity. Now, there’s no need to go to the Launchpad or to the Dock, or (who does this) use Siri! The way it works is through a simple keyboard shortcut (the default being Option+Spacebar), and the reason it’s so useful is because you can use it while you’re typing – no need to move your hand to the mouse or trackpad!
Alfred also lets you perform quick system actions, like putting your Mac to sleep or shutting it down! Over the past year, I’ve completely stopped using Launchpad, but instinctively I still go to the Dock. Hopefully, I’ll move away from that too! Oh, did I mention that Alfred is free? You can buy the Alfred Powerpack that lets you customise the app even further, and link up different hotkeys and actions, but Alfred is still really useful without them! I can’t say enough about Alfred – it has so many features that completely boost your productivity and make any work you do on your Mac so much quicker. Check it out here:
Rectangle – your window manager
Alright, so Windows has had this feature for a while – hit Window + any arrow key, and the window fits to the corresponding side of the screen! Rectangle is an app that enables this on macOS too, but with a lot more features! There’s a shortcut to maximise the window, center, Divide the window into 3, and more! It’s quick a basic addition to macOS, but it makes window management so much easier! I personally use it to have two Chrome tabs side by side, especially useful when making notes. Rectangle is also free, and you can check it out here.
Aerial – the screensaver for your apps
Aerial is a Mac screensaver, based off of the screensavers in tvOS. Those screensavers are Aerial views shot all over the world, from San Francisco to Dubai to China, and they look absolutely incredible! The developer, John Coates, has added an enormous range of options you can customise to find the perfect screensaver, from the countries shown to time-of-day to the scene. Additionally, the screensavers keep changing so you get a different screensaver nearly every time! On top of that, Aerial is free! Check it out here.
Dozer – your menu bar management app
So, after you start adding in all of these apps, your menu bar is probably going to look quite cluttered. In comes Dozer! It’s an app that lets you hide selected icons in your menu bar, and unhide them with the tap of a button. I’ve found it really useful, especially because I have 5 icons hidden behind Dozer, and in macOS Big Sur, menu bar icons got wider, so they take up much more room. There’s loads of alternatives that do the same thing, like Bartender, Hidden Bar and Vanilla but I’ve tried a few of them and decided that Dozer is the best free one. Check out Dozer here.
Displaperture – retro becomes current
Alright, so this is a weird one. It’s actually an app from 2007, but it’s just been brought back to life. But first, what’s the app for? In macOS Big Sur, windows, icons the dock, the menu bar and more have more rounded corners. But, our displays still have sharp corners! Displaperture comes in! I think the name is combination of Display and Curvature, but I’m not sure. Anyways, it lets you add curved corners to your display, and it looks really good with Big Sur. I’ve had it on for a few months now and it hasn’t affected my work at all, but still looks great!
There are still a few issues with the app, such as the corners sticking to individual virtual desktops rather than the display itself. You can set the corner radius from super small to ridiculous amounts, and can set the curves on individual displays. Check it out here.
I hope you liked some of the apps I’ve shown you today, and even downloaded some of them but there’s definitely a bunch more utilities and apps I haven’t covered in this post, so please leave them in the comments! What’s your favourite Mac App?