With the team of FreeTechTips we have for some time started the book of buying guides for the best smartphones, laptops and other technological gadgets. Today, however, we begin with another appointment in which we tell you how we use our products to work every day and we show you which are the programs that should not be missing on your devices.
This is the first episode dedicated to the best applications for MacOS, but the next few weeks will come more for other systems.
To fully understand the operation of some applications, we recommend watching the video where it is clearly shown how they behave.
- RESIZE MASTER
- TOTAL FINDER
- EXTERNAL DISPLAY BRIGHTNESS
- COLOR TAG GEN
The Magnet application goes to "patch up" one of the most important shortcomings of the MacOS operating system: the absence of "windows snapping". On Windows we are used to literally slam windows on the edges of the screen in order to use them in predefined positions and sizes: full screen, left or right half screen, etc ..
The operation of Magnet is very similar to the one developed by Microsoft and can be managed either by manually moving the windows or by using keyboard combinations. The system remains very stable and is convenient to be able to quickly set up layouts to be more productive. For example, I love working with a third of the screen with my text manager and the rest with Chrome to be able to search online. As an alternative there is also BetterSnapTools, the operation is similar.
Link Download Magnet – € 3.99
On Windows PCs I usually use 7zip as a program to archive my files. When for the first time I approached a PC with MacOS system I could not find my favorite application, me on the same site Keka is recommended as an alternative app for Apple computers.
Keka is free and its basic functions make it very simple and intuitive. I have set it as default to open compressed folders because it is compatible with many formats.
Link Download Keka – Free
Very often I find myself having to work with several large photos, but the web cannot digest them properly when they have too high a resolution. To ensure that these images are accepted without too many problems by the various online sites, I usually use Resize Master which does nothing but reduce the size of the photo by following some parameters.
There are several options, but most of the time I use the "Fit to rectangle" mode which shrinks the photo to fit a 3000 x 2000 pixel rectangle. You can also set watermarks, change formats and decide the quality level of the final image.
Link Download Resize Master – Free
If, on the other hand, I just need to make sure that my photos have a lower weight to be uploaded online quickly, then I use an even simpler app called ImageOptim. Just select a group of files, move it over the program and it will start working. You can set the final quality level for jpg, png and gif formats.
Link Download ImageOptim – Free
If you have never used this application, you should know that from the first moment you install it, it will change your life. Total Finder acts on the system finder (MacOS file explorer) to add important functions. The customization options are numerous but I mainly use it for 4 things:
- adding tabs (Google Chrome style) to easily navigate the system and work simultaneously with multiple open folders without creating too much clutter with too many windows;
- tiling of tabs for convenience to compare different versions of documents;
- cut option in right click menu
- adding a loading bar to the dock icon for a quick overview while copying or moving files.
Lindk Download Total Finder – € 10.51
This is the last application I discovered also because I didn't think there was any such thing. When using an external monitor we often find ourselves having to change the brightness according to the conditions of the room, especially during the night hours in order not to have a headlight that blinds us and destroys our vision. Changing these parameters, however, is one of the most inconvenient and annoying operations as the rear buttons are always difficult to reach and are never found at the first try.
External Display Brightness does nothing but send these commands through the video cable and we can therefore increase or decrease the brightness of the screen through simple keyboard combinations. I also tested it with a Type C cable on my MacBook and it worked correctly, but compatibility with all monitors is not ascertained.
Link Download External Display Brightness – Free
Taking a screenshot on macOS has always been a fairly simple operation, but with Skitch some features are added that can come in handy on several occasions. With this application you can in fact make a selection of the space we want to capture, which is also possible for the system but thanks to this you can manually insert the pixels to be cut without having to point with the mouse.
After making the screen you enter the "edit" mode and here we can add arrows of different colors, text, highlight the writings, approval or denial buttons and finally the most convenient function is the one that allows you to "pixelate" some parts and comes in handy when we need to show a part of a document and want to hide our sensitive data.
Link Download Skitch – Free
The current technological period is increasingly characterized by a growing attention to the care of privacy. Users are becoming more and more savvy and Lulu could be a useful tool to strengthen the security of our data. Once it is installed and given access to boot, Lulu will show a pop-up window whenever a new program wants to connect to the internet.
It is then shown which server you are trying to connect to and we can decide whether to approve or deny the operation. You can also select whether to give permissions temporarily or permanently. In case you have made a mistake it is always possible to enter the settings to review your preferences.
Link Download Lulu – Free
Pock's application is not actually addressed to all owners of an Apple computer, but only to those who own a MacBook with touchbar because this program acts on the options and graphics of the bar. Its operation is based on 5 widgets:
- Dock widget: the dock we have on the screen is cloned and we can set whether to show only open programs, notifications and multiple windows;
Now Playing widget: quick management of the tracks being played on Spotify, Apple Music, VLC, etc;
ESC widget: to show the ESC key on MacBooks which do not have it physically;
Status widget: gives quick information on the status of the WiFi, battery and time;
Control Center widget: to quickly control the volume and brightness of the screen without having to rely on the slider.
The program is free and was developed by an Italian boy.
Link Download Pock – Free
For graphic designers, finding the right color can often be more difficult than expected. The Color Tag Gen application comes in handy because it allows you to easily know which color is shown in a certain point of our screen. The interface is quite sparse but once started it overlaps what we are doing and through a selector we can identify the desired color and this will be shown both with RGB values and with the HTML code.
Link Download Color Tag Gen – Free
Finally, the latest Dozer application puts some order in the menu bar that with all these little programs will be filled with useless icons. Once installed, two more "dots" will be shown in the top menu and these will serve two purposes: the one on the right serves as an input to boot the system. The second on the left is used as a starting point from which the icons will be hidden onwards.
Dozer is very stable and does not cause problems. I also tested it on the new MacOS Big Sur and it is already compatible, which is not obvious given the upheaval that the operating system has undergone.
Link Download Dozer – Free