By itself, MacOS is very capable but there are a few third-party apps that really make it shine. In this post, I highlight 5 free and super handy dandy utilities for the mac.
The first is Itsycal. Itsycal is a small calendar application that lives in the menubar. This makes it very easy and fast to quickly check date-related information. Do you want to know what day of the month is next Thursday? It is just one click. What is the week number of the current week? Again one click.
To install Itsycal start your browser, go to the itsycal website, click the download link and click save. Then unzip the itsycal.zip file and move the itsycal.app file to the Applications folder.
Start the application and when it asks permission to connect to your agenda click ok.
- Open > System preferences > Security & Privacy
- Select the Privacy tab
- Select Calendars
- Make sure itsycal is selected
Now run the application again and you can access it from the menubar.
Click on the gear icon on the bottom right. Click on preferences. On the General tab make sure that Launch at login is selected.
On the Appearance tab enable Show calendar weeks.
You now have a very handy calendar at your command.
Mactracker is a reference application. It is available on AppStore. Once it is installed start Mactracker and you have all the information you can think of about every mac product ever. Browse through the listed devices and click on the one you fancy, you get a wealth of information. The image below only shows the information behind the general tab. Do not forget to check out the other tabs as well. Mactracker is an extensive encyclopedia about all Apple devices.
The Unarchiver is a replacement for the archive utility that is standard on the Mac. It works exactly the same way it just supports more file formats. The unarchiver app is installed from the AppStore. After installation, the preferences window pops up.
As you can see The Unarchiver app supports a lot of file formats. To make the Unarchiver the default application to open a given file type (for example zip files) follow the following steps
- Right-click on the zip file
- Select Get info
- Click on the dropdown list below Open with:
- Select the Unarchiver.app
- Click on Change all
- Click on Continue
Now The Unarchiver app is the default to open zip files.
In the preferences, window click on the extraction tab. I recommend keeping the default options. The only change I made is to enable Move the archive to trash. There is no reason to keep the archive after extraction.
iMazing HEIC Converter
Apple's latest image format is great. It has the same quality but a much smaller footprint as JPG or PNG.
Older macOS versions can not do anything with it and neither can Windows. It is also not compatible with most web apps that accept photos.
MacOS does not come with an app to convert HEIC to JPG or PNG
iMazing to the rescue
iMazing HEIC Converter is a small and free app that lets you convert HEIC to JPG or PNG.
iMazing HEIC Converter is available on the AppStore so installing could not be easier.
Running it could not be easier as well. Start the application. Drag and drop the HEIC files on top of the big area that reads Drop HEIC files here, select the format (JPEG or PNG) Select the quality and click convert.
Amphetamine is an app that prevents your Mac from going to sleep. This is handy for long downloads or other lengthy processes that you do not want to be interrupted. It is installed from the AppStore.
Run the application, click on the icon in the menu bar, and select preferences. Customize to your liking. I usually do not have amphetamine running. Only when I want to prevent my Mac from sleeping do I launch Amphetamine. That is why I have Lunch Amphetamine at login disabled. When I do launch Amphetamine I want my Mac to stay awake until I decide otherwise. That is why I have Start session when Amphetamine launces is enabled and the default duration to infinite.
These are 5 free and very useful utilities. Enjoy.