After posting my list of 10 essential, must-have free apps for PC owners, I received a flood of requests to compile the same list of indispensable freeware for the Mac.
"If you're going to do one for Windows, you have to do one for Mac!" the argument went. I was inundated with the same request over and over, like a radio DJ in 1999 the day after Smash Mouth's "All Star" came out.
Now is, after all, a great time to buy a new Apple computer, if you're in the market for one. Apple recently refreshed its laptops with the latest processors from Intel and also introduced a drool-worthy MacBook Pro with Retina display, which most reviewers agree is one of the best laptops you can buy (if you can afford it).
So, if you're reading this from a new Mac (hi!), you may be wondering: What free apps should you download for it? Or, if you've had your Apple computer for awhile, which freeware should you have already downloaded? Below, just as we did for Windows, we've compiled a list of the most vital free applications for Mac owners, along with their download links for your convenience. Enjoy, and let us know what we missed in the comments:
These 11 apps are but the tip of the iceberg, of course. For further reading, I recommend Lex Friedman's article on Macworld about how he sets up a new computer, PCMag's thorough list of the Best Free Mac Software of 2012 and AppStorm's lengthy countdown of the 100 Incredibly Useful Free Mac Apps.