The best MacOS utility apps: 6 amazing tools and tweaks

MacOS utility apps

Trying to find the best best MacOS utility apps? Now we’re going to try to identify the six best MacOS utility apps.

MacOS may not be as popular as Windows, but it’s full of great Mac apps that can enhance your everyday computing life. Whether you want to edit your photos or write a bestselling novel, there’s an app for that.

One area in which Mac developers have really excelled is in utility apps. These small, lightweight apps usually focus on one or two functions, but do so well that you wonder why Apple didn’t think of them in the first place. We found six of the best of them, so if you’re looking for a brand new app to customize your Mac, you’ve come to the right place.

Swish ($15)

Every once in a while you come across an app that looks like it was designed by Apple, but it’s not. Swish is just such an app. It equips your trackpad with a number of new gestures for controlling windows: Swipe down to minimize, up to expand, left or right to get to the edge of the screen, and more.

Once you get the hang of it, Swish shows itself to be much more powerful than it first appears. You can staple windows into all sorts of formations and even move windows around the desktop. It integrates so well into MacOS that it feels like a native Mac feature, so natural.

BetterTouchTool ($8.50 with free trial)

Swish isn’t the only great gesture utility in MacOS. BetterTouchTool is another great app that rebuilds trackpad gestures. If Swish works quickly and simply, BetterTouchTool gives you the ability to customize exactly how you want it. You can customize any gesture on your Magic Trackpad or create your own, giving you the ability to make your Mac truly your own.

But it doesn’t just work with the Magic Trackpad. You can customize Magic Mouse controls, keyboard shortcuts, and even the Touch Bar to your liking. Apple may be trying to keep its Macs under lock and key, but BetterTouchTool proves that things don’t have to stay the way they are.

Slidepad ($13 with free trial)

Every year people keep talking about how Apple will merge MacOS and iOS (spoiler: it’s not going to happen). But no matter what Apple does, you can bring the two systems a little closer together with the handy Slidepad app.

This app brings the Slide Over feature of the iPad to the Mac. At your command, it briefly moves a small app window on top of whatever you’re working on – for example, you’re typing an email and then use Slidepad to move the Slack window to respond to a colleague’s message. It’s perfect for a quick interaction, and once you’re done, it’s out of your way again. Perfect.

Service Station (free with in-app purchases)

This may seem insignificant, but the right-click menu in macOS is a real pain. Changing the default application used to open files is a long and tedious affair, and the applications it offers are often completely inappropriate. However, it is impossible to change this.

Unless, of course, you use Service Station. We have already praised this wonderful application and now it’s easy to see why. It allows you to add applications to the right-click menu, allowing you to quickly open files. The applications are context-sensitive (for example, it won’t prompt you to open a photo in TextEdit), and you can even run scripts directly from the menu. It’s a simple solution to a persistent MacOS problem.

Bartender ($15 with free trial)

The more you use your Mac, the more your menu bar gets filled with icons. Unlike the Windows taskbar, there’s no built-in way to hide this clutter, or even a way to bring order to the chaos. With Bartender, however, all of this is a thing of the past.

In its simplest form, Bartender lets you hide as many icons from view as you want. Click on the menu bar (or just hover over it) and they will reappear. It’s a great quick fix to a problem that Apple still hasn’t solved.

But dig a little deeper, and it has features suitable for power users. You can set triggers — for example, when the battery runs out or when you disconnect from Wi-Fi — that will hide or show menu bar icons. There’s a Bartender Bar that shows hidden icons in a separate area below the menu bar. You can even adjust the distance between the icons if you want. If the insanity of the menu bar is giving you heart palpitations, it’s time to install Bartender.

TextSniper ($7)

If you spend a lot of time decoding text from images, you know how time-consuming and tedious it is. Add the lightweight TextSniper app to your arsenal, and everything becomes much easier.

TextSniper is very simple to set up, but it works fantastically well. All you have to do is press a key combination and drag the selection box over the text you want to copy. The text will be copied to the clipboard and ready to paste where you want it. It also comes with a text-to-speech program and a QR code scanner, which makes it even more useful.

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