Third-party tools work better than some of the default MacOS apps

I’m a big fan of some of the default Mac OS apps, but like everything else out there, there are software tools and applications that can do MacOS tasks better, faster, and more efficiently. more fruitful. We would be sorely missed if we didn’t point them out to you.

Compared to some of the bloatware that Windows packs on top of their operating systems, the MacOS equivalents are really good. My wife recently bought a new Windows laptop and we had a hard time uninstalling Avira antivirus from it. You don’t have these problems with a Mac.

The Mac’s default apps for things like Mail, Calendar, Notes, etc. are flexible and suitable for most people. But someone somewhere will always find a missing feature that they need urgently.

If that’s the case, here are some alternatives for you to consider. You can’t uninstall default apps though, so just throw them in a folder and forget about them if you don’t intend to use them.

Replace Mail with Mozilla Thunderbird

Thunderbird mail client window

I haven’t used an email client in years, preferring the portability and flexibility of web-based email instead. But if you still want to download emails to your computer, you should use Mozilla Thunderbird.

Thunderbird gives you all the things Mail does, as well as support for reading RSS feeds and instant messaging via Jabber (XMPP). You can also set up mailing lists and events, and encrypt your messages.

Replace calendar with ItsyCal

ItsyCal window on iPhone screen

I briefly mentioned ItsyCal in a recent post so I’m not going to increase my word count by re-emphasizing things. I will refer you to another article. But since I started using ItsyCal, I have never required to use Apple’s default calendar.

Simply add your events to Google Calendar online, then ItsyCal syncs with Google Calendar and shows all your events and appointments in a handy little widget next to your watch. .

Replace books with Kindle

Kindle Application Window

The whole iBooks has been going through a bit of work lately but in my opinion, Apple has totally made a dog dinner of the whole thing. Now you can’t hide iCloud books and the whole interface is just hideous.

This is good news for Amazon as anyone who feels the same way as me and hates the new Apple Books, can switch to Amazon’s Kindle macOS app instead. The Kindle app is more relaxing to the eyes, has a more minimalist design, and syncs easily with the Kindle app on iOS devices.

However, it is really annoying if you have bought a lot of ePUB books on Apple, but they are not compatible on Kindle….

Replace FaceTime with Skype

Skype application window

FaceTime gets the job done, and it’s really handy if your iPhone is in another room – you can answer your calls on your Mac using FaceTime instead. But in terms of features, FaceTime is still a bit poor. That’s why I tend to look elsewhere for a better video conferencing app.

Until recently, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Zoom as an alternative. But then there were rumors that the company was running a secret web server on users’ Macs without their permission. This means my loyalty is now back to Skype. Kiss the Holy ring, Skype.

Replace Safari with Mozilla Firefox

Mac laptop with Mozilla Firefox browser

I assume this is more of a personal preference thing as there are a lot of die-hard Safari fans out there. I prefer Mozilla Firefox because of its wide selection of extensions, and I generally feel that Firefox is faster and more privacy-focused than Safari.

But hey, if Safari makes your boat more buoyant, then stick with it. My wife admire Hunting.

Replace messages with WhatsApp

WhatsApp chat window

I never understood the allure of Messages, except for sending free SMS messages to other Mac and iOS device users. I prefer a cross-platform solution where I can message everyone, regardless of their computer and phone operating systems.

For my tin-hat, paranoid friends, that solution is Signal, which I’ve mentioned many times before. To the others, those indignantly declared “I have nothing to hide!”, the one to use is WhatsApp, which has a desktop version. Signal also has a desktop version.

Replace pages with LibreOffice

LibreOffice application window

Apple’s office suite, led by Pages, is something I’ve never really enjoyed. Perhaps I was too used to using Microsoft Office or perhaps by the time I got my first Mac I was too hypnotized to use LibreOffice.

For an amazing total free price, LibreOffice gives you pretty much everything that Apple’s office suite does. Plus, it’s lighter and runs faster.

You can also open Microsoft Office and Apple Office documents with LibreOffice and save them in the same formats.

Replace Quicktime with VLC Player

Image of a red Cadillac in VLC Player

I’m actually a huge fan of QuickTime, but its big Achilles heel is that it doesn’t play every type of media file out there. Two examples are AVI and MKV files. This makes QuickTime quite limited in its usefulness.

As a result, I’m forced to run VLC Player on Mac, which can take over when QuickTime crashes. VLC is the grandpa of running media files that other apps can’t.

People I don’t mind recommending an alternative to

  • iTunes – as of MacOS Catalina (coming out in the next few months), iTunes in its current form will officially cease to exist for Mac.
  • To take a photo – for document scanning, Image Capture works surprisingly well. You can also access your scanner via Preview or through Printers & Scanners option in System Preferences. So no need to reinvent the wheel here.
  • Picture – not so long ago, I advocated using Google Picasa but since it was killed by Google, Apple’s Photos app is just as good.
  • Note – you can use Evernote or Microsoft OneNote, but they are not free. Plus, Apple has really improved their Notes app.
  • Remind – this used to be so simple but with iOS 13 Reminders is now an absolute monster with reminder pop-ups when you message a specific person.
  • Time machine – Honestly, I don’t know of anything that might be best Time Machine in the backup department.
  • Inventory and Voice memos – who actually uses them?

Obviously “best” is a very subjective term so what I think is best may not match your opinion. But hopefully, this article helped you know more about some other options.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.