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5 Best Mac Apps in 2018

As Mac owners, we are born with a natural affinity for well-designed apps, which is also why we prefer Mac computers in the first place. No other app ecosystem in existence boasts such an extensive collection of incredibly useful and highly polished apps that address problems large and small.

Duet

Duet is a brain-child of two ex-Apple engineers who saw an opportunity to use the iPad as an extra display for Mac computers. Their solution works on all Mac computers with macOS 10.9 or newer and Windows 7 or newer, and it is compatible with all iPads with iOS 7.0 or newer.

Because Duet comes from people who have actually worked on the macOS operating system, its level of polish matches that of Apple’s own software products. It delivers a retina display at 60 frames per second with zero lag using the Lightning or 30-pin cable, and it can even add Touch Bar to any iPad from any Mac running Sierra 10.12.2 or newer.

1Password

By now, you’ve probably heard or read somewhere that you should use a password manager to improve your online and offline security. You may even know that Apple has included a password manager, Keychain, in macOS—that’s how important password managers are. But if you’re still on the fence, unsure whether a password manager is worth the hassle of learning how to use it, we guarantee that 1Password will change your mind.

1Password has been created with one goal in mind: to ensure that you only need to memorize a single password. No, 1Password won’t force you to use the same password for every account—quite the opposite! This trusted and popular password manager creates a cryptographically secured password vault protected by a single Master Password—the only password to remember. It then encourages you to use a unique password for every account and helps you save your existing passwords. When you need to log in to one of your accounts, you simply type in the Master Password or authenticate with your fingerprint and 1Password will log you in.

Even though you as a user only have to worry about the Master Password, 1Password does a whole lot more to keep your password vault protected. It starts with AES 256-bit encryption, the same encryption used by various government agencies and the military, continues with a zero-knowledge protocol that encrypts all traffic over the network, and end a unique, locally generated 128-bit identifier that never leaves your devices.

Fantastical 2

What started as a simple menu bar app has become the best calendar app for macOS. Fantastical 2 is like a professional, yet still accessible and fun, version of the Calendar app from Apple. It supports iCloud, Google, Microsoft Exchange, Facebook, Yahoo, and other calendars, and it also doesn’t have a problem with the local calendars in your Mac’s built-in Calendar app.

Fantastical 2 integrates with the Notification Center, allowing you to see your upcoming appointments at a glance. You can also get data into Fantastical 2 directly from apps like Safari and Mail thanks to the Share and Action Extensions. And if that’s not convenient enough for you, why not take advantage of Fantastical’s natural language engine and create events and set reminders with your voice?

Fantastical 2 understands that there’s time for work, and then there’s time for play and family. To stop you from mixing the two at the expense of both, it lets you quickly toggle multiple calendars on or off with a single click, helping you focus on what’s important at that moment.

PopClip

If you’ve never heard of PopClip, you’re in for a real treat. This incredibly useful utility automatically appears when you select text with your mouse on your Mac computer and displays various helpful actions that you can perform with the selected text.

For example, you can copy and paste the text, search it online, fix spelling issues, open a dictionary, highlight it or change its formatting in apps like Pages, Evernote, or Scrivener, display helpful text statistics, access an online translator, have your Mac read the selected text aloud for you, and much more.

Bear

Bear is a versatile writing app for people who care more about notes and prose than they do about software development and syntax highlighting, even though it can be used for coding as well. It works on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, supports iCloud synchronization, and stores files in plain text, which means you can open them in any text editor.

Bear features an advanced Markup editor with highlights for over 20 programming languages. You can bring your writing to life with in-line images and export the finished piece as HTML, PDF, DOCX, MD, JPG, and other file formats. Switching between various themes with professional typography is a matter of a simple click, and hashtags make searching and organizing effortless.

The core version of Bear for iOS and Mac is available for free, but you must pay $1.49 monthly or $14.99 annually to enjoy Bear Pro and all the above-mentioned features.

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