Really good pre-installed macOS software

Everyone loves to scoff at some pre-installed software that comes standard with every macOS computer. Okay, some of them To be bad (Stocks? Dashboard?) but also some amazingly good.

Even my wife (who is extremely anti-Apple in her opinion) had to grudgingly admit that iMovie was a great piece of software back in the day. Talk about knocking me down with a feather.

So today I wanted to take a look at some of the pre-installed macOS software that Apple has done amazingly.


iMovie project window

Let’s start with iMovie because it’s my favorite Apple software ever. This is extremely easy to get into, and while you’ll quickly see its limitations when you try to do something it’s not capable of, it can still make some great videos nonetheless. .

When you start a new project, it gives you templates to work with, or you can start with a clean plan and design everything yourself.

iMovie + button where you create a new movie or trailer

Then it’s a case of importing all your video and photo footage, dragging it to the bottom, and editing it however you want.

video in iMovie timeline

You can right-click a part of the movie to get options like split the video at that point, add a fade-in effect, and “split audio” which you can then use to completely remove the audio. bar and replace it with something else, such as background music.

Right click menu in iMovie

Truly professional video editors will not be satisfied with iMovie as it has limitations on what it can do. It also has some annoyances like some really cheesy backgrounds and headers (and no way to import anything from the web). But for the basics, like family vacation videos, iMovie is a great fit.


The main window of the note-taking program

The next one that I really like is Notes. I used to be a huge fan of Evernote but then they raised the prices to absurd levels and the quality of the product started to suffer, especially with all the unnecessary features. Notes is a free alternative for Mac users, and functionality has gotten seriously better with the latest few versions of MacOS.

Notes sync across all iOS and macOS platforms via iCloud, and changes happen incredibly quickly. Images can be pasted into notes, and you can “pin” important notes to the top for easier reference.

Right click on the menu selected “Pin”

You can also lock a note so that anyone who wants to see it must enter a password. This password can be set in Notes preferences, but if you forget the password, you will never be able to view those locked notes again. So choose wisely.

This note has been locked in the warning window


iPhone window

It took me a long time to like Photos because I often view my photos on my iPhone or iPad. The idea of ​​looking at them on a Macbook isn’t appealing for a number of reasons. But after playing with Photos, I have to admit it is starting to change my mind.

As with Notes, all photos are synced across all your iOS and macOS devices. You can organize your photos into albums, as well as edit them. If you have big, fat fingers like me, it’s much easier to do these tweaks on a MacBook than on an iPhone.

Edit menus in iPhotos

You can also set an image as your Mac desktop wallpaper directly from Photos, and you can edit the metadata.

Adjust the date and time of the selected photo window


Black and white movies open in Quicktime

Am I the only one who likes QuickTime? It definitely feels like it sometimes. Sure, VLC Player is great too but I seem to have a weird inexplicable attachment to QuickTime. Not only does it play really good media files (well, MP4 and MOV), but it also has a few other nifty features.

After opening Quicktime, clicking the File menu brings up three features – New Movie Recording, New Audio Recording, and New Screen Recording.

Quicktime file menu with new Movie Recording, New Audio Recording and New Screen Recording options

If you connect your iDevice to your MacBook and run QuickTime, you can select iDevice –

Select your iDevice in the Quicktime popup

And play your phone screen on your MacBook screen.

iPhone is being screencast on Mac computer screen

QuickTime is also capable of performing other handy tasks such as trimming videos, merging videos together, capturing clips, etc. All in all, a very powerful piece of software that is underrated and neglected.


Finally, I would be remiss not to mention Siri. I will soon write an article comparing Siri with Google Now and Cortana, but for now I can say with certainty that Siri is the best of the three. She understood my Scottish accent perfectly, even when I coughed, whispered or stammered. Now THAT is an achievement.

I have a love-hate relationship with Siri because I’ve had two women in my life bothering me. But Siri proves to be remarkably useful if you need to type an SMS, make a call, or be reminded of something and you’re too weak to touch those phone keys……

Siri task window

And she can tell jokes too. Just the bad ones… ..

Siri's "tell me a joke" screen

Siri has improved by leaps and bounds over the years, and I love how she’s completely connected to all the different Apple services. The day they brought Siri to the MacBook, allowing you to dictate the address of the website and the software that was opened, that was when Siri really became indispensable.

The People I Missed….

Before you email me, tweet me, send me a shipping pigeon, or whatever, let me know what cool ones I missed, let me clarify a few thing.

iTunes is not mentioned because, although I love it, with the next operating system – Catalina – iTunes will be phased out in favor of two separate new apps. To say I was extremely attacked would be explained lightly.

People tell me that GarageBand is a great app – and I’m sure it is – but I personally don’t use it to be able to speak about it. Same goes for Pages, Numbers, and KeyNote. People love them – but I don’t use them.

And I’m sure there’s a loner out there who loves Stocks who doesn’t talk to me anymore….

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