The macOS setup for everyone (with free software only)

THIS LIST HAS BEEN DELETED DUE TO A BUG, SO IT MISSES SOME HONORABLE MENTIONS !

This is the apps for macOS that I would recommend to anyone who just got a Mac ! Some are the default that Apple offers but I tried to offers you free alternative to escape Apple Wall Garden if you need or want to

The same list for https://alternativeto.net/software/windows-10/ & https://alternativeto.net/software/windows-11/ : https://alternativeto.net/list/29653/my-windows-setup/ https://alternativeto.net/software/linux-kernel/about/ (GUI apps only) : https://alternativeto.net/list/29661/my-linux-setup/

Darlene Sonalder
Darlene SonalderList by Darlene Sonalder, last updated 2024-02-13
  1. Default apps

  2. Brave icon

    I prefer brave over Safari. It blocks ads and trackers by default. I just disable the optional cryptocrap ans sponsored wallpapers !

    Orion Browser In beta but a promising browser. Based on WebKit (Safari)

    • Web Browser
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • Snapcraft
    • Flathub
    • Homebrew
    • Chocolatey
    • ...
    Start Page
  3. Mullvad Browser icon

    Another great private browser that is based on firefox freeing you from Google monopoly on web technologies.

    Worth mentioning : Mozilla Firefox (with uBlock Origin) LibreWolf Similar to Mullvad Browser but community run

    • ...
    Mullvad Browser screenshot 1
  4. Browserosaurus icon

    If like my you use multiple browsers daily this one will be useful. Set it as your browser by default and when clicking on a link it will prompt which browser you want to open.

    • ...
    Browserosaurus screenshot 1
  5. IINA icon

    I prefer it over QuickTime Player and even the king VLC Media Player (still a great media player for macOS). It has beautiful modern design, Touch Bar support, System Media Control, Customizable UI, Online Subtitles, Music Mode, Mouse & Trackpad Gestures, Thumbnail Preview, Plugin System.

    Based on the worth mentioning MPV

    • ...
    IINA screenshot 1
  6. Koodo Reader icon

    If you read ePUB on your Mac I would recommend you this one. For manga lovers check : HakuNeko

    Worth mentioning : Bookshelf: Reading & TBR Tracker macOS only Thorium Reader AudioBooks also supported ! YACReader Comics focused calibre

    • Ebook Reader
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Flathub
    • ...
    Koodo Reader screenshot 1
  7. Foxit PDF Reader icon

    If you need advanced PDF features for free ! (mention as bundleware on AlternativeTo) Preview works great if you just need to open and read them.

    Worth mentioning : PDFsam Basic features on free tier

    • PDF Reader
    • Free PersonalProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • ReactOS
    • ...
    Foxit PDF Reader screenshot 1
  8. Keka icon

    Way better and faster than the built-in Archive tool

    Worth mentioning : The Unarchiver

    • ...
    Keka screenshot 1
  9. Music apps

  10. Cider icon

    If you use Apple Music this is an open source client that you might want to give a shot !

    • Audio Player
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Flathub
    • itch.io
    • Apple Music
    • ...
    Cider screenshot 1
  11. Psst icon

    If you are a Spotify person (premium account only) look at this !

    • ...
    Psst screenshot 1
  12. Nuage (Soundcloud) icon

    For the soundcloud people

    • ...
    Nuage (Soundcloud) screenshot 1
  13. Gaming

  14. Steam icon

    For casual gaming on my MacBook ! GOG GALAXY DRM-free games so you own them for real. Epic Games Store They gives free games every week, and 88% goes to the game editor/dev EA App For the sims Battle.net Why not itch.io BE CAREFUL TO DOWNLOAD TRUSTED GAMES BECAUSE SOME UNKNOWN SHITS ARE VIRUSES!!! ( more a thing on Windows 10 , but still)

    • Game Store
    • FreemiumProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • Windows Phone
    • iPad
    • Flathub
    • SteamOS
    • ...
    Steam Store
  15. GeForce NOW icon

    If you want to play some PC games on your Mac ! It's a cloud gaming service so you need a good internet connection. A lot of steam and Epic Store games (that you have to own) are available, but not all. They have a free tier which is reasonable.

    • ...
    GeForce NOW screenshot 1
  16. OpenEmu icon

    The best user friendly all in one emulator on macOS

    Worth mentioning : RetroArch

    If you want standalone emulators :

    GBA : VisualBoyAdvance NDS : melonDS Gamecube and Wii : Dolphin Emulator 3DS : Citra

    PlayStation : DuckStation PS2 : PCSX2 PSP : PPSSPP PSVita : Vita3K

    Xbox (OG) : xemu

    Master System : Mame Saturn : Mednafen (MAME can also emulate saturn) DreamCast : Redream

    For more check : https://alternativeto.net/list/29770/the-ultimate-emulator-list/

    • ...
    OpenEmu screenshot 1
  17. Enjoyable icon

    If you want to play a game with a controller that don't support it you can map keyboard/mouse input to your favorite gamepad thanks to this software. Isn't required with Steam games.

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • ...
    Enjoyable screenshot 1
  18. Whisky icon

    This is a GUI for wine and it let you easily install Windows application (.exe) and games on your mac. You can install the Windows version of Steam to expand your librairy on your apple device.

    • ...
    Whisky screenshot 1
  19. Discord icon

    If your friends game on PC, they probably use this one to communicate !

    • Group Chat App
    • FreemiumProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • Epic Games Store
    • Flathub
    • Electron / Atom Shell
    • Playstation
    • Xbox
    • Snapcraft
    • ...
    Discord screenshot 1
  20. Nox App Player icon

    To play android game on your Mac

    Worth mentioning : BlueStacks

    • ...
    Nox App Player screenshot 1
  21. Art & Design

  22. Photopea icon

    If I have to do some image manipulation or photo editing ! (it's a WebApp)

    Worth mentioning : GIMP with PhotoGIMP

    • ...
    Photopea screenshot 1
  23. darktable icon

    If you do photography this is useful for photo editing !

    Worth mentioning : Polarr

    • ...
    Darktable’s lighttable mode showing a collection
  24. Linearity Curve icon

    If you need to draw or modify vector images !

    Worth mentioning : Inkscape Vectr WebApp

    • ...
    Linearity Curve screenshot 1
  25. BirdFont icon

    If you want to create font and make typography !

    Worth mentioning : FontForge 100% free

    • ...
    Background image on windows
  26. Krita icon

    If you want to draw !

    Worth mentioning : FireAlpaca

    • Image Editor
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android Tablet
    • Epic Games Store
    • PortableApps.com
    • Steam
    • ...
    Main Window
  27. Aseprite icon

    If you want to do pixel art this one is gold !

    Worth mentioning : Piskel also in WebApp LibreSprite BETA

    • ...
    Aseprite screenshot 1
  28. MagicaVoxel icon

    Free lightweight 8-bit voxel art editor and interactive path tracing renderer.

    Worth mentioning : Goxel

    • FreeProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • ...
    MagicaVoxel screenshot 1
  29. Blender icon

    For 3D render and 3D animation. Nice UI, powerful tool and awesome community !

    Worth mentioning : Blockbench Widely used for Minecraft modeling but it's easy, fast and fun to use but still gives impressive results !

    • 3D Modeler
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • Flathub
    • PortableApps.com
    • Haiku
    • Steam
    • Flatpak
    • ...
    Cycles is Blender’s ray-trace based production render engine.
  30. Unreal Engine icon

    For making video games or 3D environment ! For a fullyfeatured UE you will need to run on Windows.

    Worth mentioning : Godot Engine

    • ...
    A screenshot of the new Unreal Engine 5. Source: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/unreal-engine-5-is-now-available-in-early-access
  31. Story Architect (STARC) icon

    For story writing, plot making etc...

    Worth mentioning : Highland bibisco Manuskript

    • ...
    Story Architect (STARC) screenshot 1
  32. Storyboarder icon

    To quickly makes storyboard on Mac !

    • ...
    Storyboarder screenshot 1
  33. iMovie icon

    A simple free video editor for mac users

    For more advanced users : Shotcut (Still quite simple) VN Video Editor (Still quite simple) DaVinci Resolve Kdenlive

    • ...
    Whether you’re using a Mac or an iOS device, it’s never been easier to make it in the movies. Just choose your clips, then add titles, music, and effects. iMovie even supports 4K video for stunning cinema-quality films. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a wrap.
  34. Natron icon

    For making visual FX for movie production or videos.

    Worth mentioning : Hitfilm Express

    • ...
    Natron screenshot 1
  35. GarageBand icon

    An awesome easy to learn free DAW for music production that will lock you in the Apple ecosystem !

    Worth mentioning : Waveform LMMS

    • ...
    iPad Version: Tracks
  36. Synfig Studio icon

    If you want to do 2D animation !

    • ...
    Main window
  37. Audacity icon

    If you need to quickly transform or manipulate a sound file audacity is the way to go !

    Worth mentioning : Sneedacity Tenacity Ocenaudio

    • Audio Editor
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • AppImageHub
    • Flathub
    • PortableApps.com
    • LAME
    • ...
    Editing Audio
  38. MuseScore icon

    If you want to compose / write music partition this open source app is awesome !

    • ...
    MuseScore screenshot 1
  39. Mixxx icon

    If you want to play music like a DJ this free and open source tool supports tons of decks from different brands !

    Worth mentioning : Blueberry - DJ Mixing Software If you don't have any turntables.

    • ...
    Mixxx screenshot 1
  40. FreeCAD icon

    3D CAD for free :)

    Worth mentioning : Sweet Home 3D SketchUp

    • CAD Software
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • PortableApps.com
    • ...
    FreeCAD screenshot 1
  41. Productivity

  42. ONLYOFFICE icon

    Open source alternative to Microsoft 365 (Office)

    Worth mentioning : LibreOffice

    • Word Processor
    • Free PersonalOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • Self-Hosted
    • AppImageHub
    • Snapcraft
    • Flathub
    • Software as a Service (SaaS)
    • Flatpak
    • Cloudron
    • ...
    ONLYOFFICE screenshot 1
  43. Thunderbird icon

    Not as good as Microsoft Outlook but if you care about privacy this is a nice e-mail client !

    Worth mentionning : DejaLu IN BETA

    • Email Client
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • AppImageHub
    • Snapcraft
    • Flathub
    • PortableApps.com
    • Haiku
    • Homebrew
    • Chocolatey
    • ...
    Thunderbird screenshot 1
  44. Fluent Reader icon

    A modern UI for your RSS feed :D

    • RSS Reader
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • ...
    Fluent Reader screenshot 1
  45. Trex icon

    An open source tool that transform screenshots to text

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • ...
    Trex screenshot 1
  46. Shottr icon

    A more advanced screenshot tool if the default one isn't enough for you

    • ...
    Shottr screenshot 1
  47. For invoice making. It's an updated fork of Manta which is no longer maintained. Invoncify adds new features !

    • ...
    Invoncify screenshot 1
  48. Signal icon

    Having an Android and a Mac sucks for file, notes and idea sharing but I do it that way so it sucks less ^^

    • Instant Messenger
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • iPad
    • Flathub
    • Ubuntu
    • Debian
    • ...
    Signal screenshot 1
  49. Obsidian icon

    Super powerful note making workflow ! Second brain for your Mac

    • Note-taking Tool
    • Free PersonalProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • Snapcraft
    • Flathub
    • ...
    Obsidian screenshot 1
  50. Zotero icon

    Zotero help you collect, organize, manage, search and cite your research sources or books.

    • Research Manager
    • FreemiumOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • iPhone
    • iPad
    • Microsoft Edge
    • Google Chrome
    • Safari
    • Microsoft Office Word
    • Google Drive - Docs
    • LibreOffice
    • Firefox
    • ...
    Main Interface
Page 1 of 2

This list was created by Darlene Sonalder Jan 13, 2022 and was last updated Feb 13, 2024. The list has 91 apps.

You can create your own lists from our large database of apps either for your own sake or if you want to share some great apps with other people.


Comments

Kastlet
CommentMay 11, 2022

Thanks for this list, wanted to suggest an alternative to Photopea which is Pixlr, I like it a lot.

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Tori
CommentFeb 14, 2022

You're doing God's work with your lists!

2 replies
Amani The Lion

Thanks. :-)

Reply written Feb 19, 2022

If this reply contains spam or other abuse, notify admins about it.
Darlene Sonalder

There is newly realeased lists on my profile that you might wanna check ;) Just sayin

Reply written Jan 8, 2024

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Gu