5 Free Well Designed & Useful Mac Store Apps [OSX]
Every so often, I open the Mac App Store in my Dock to see which new free apps I can try, and I’m rarely disappointed. Since you can’t download trial versions of apps in the Store, developers often provide free versions of their apps alongside the Pro versions that offer a few more enhanced features.
The apps I selected for this article have only thing in common – their style and design. Each app has a different practical use – from a simple notes tool to a slick visual desktop weather app. But they each complement the fun stylish features typical of Apple-related programs. Since they are all free, give them a try and tell us what you think. The developers always welcome your feedback.
There are plenty of note apps in the Mac App Store, and I’ve tried more than a few, but most of them just didn’t feel right or made the process of adding notes a little too complicated. So now I’m trying a new one called NotesTab, which is getting awesome reviews in the Store, by the way.
With this free version of NotesTab, you can simply use a keyboard shortcut to activate it from your menu bar to add a new note. All the notes get time-stamped, and you get Preferences options for keeping the app’s window visible in the background and above other apps.
If you want to quickly email a note there’s no need to copy and paste. Just hit the Share button and your current note gets copied to a new email.
The Pro version of NotesTab ($2.99) has several other features, including adding images, Dropbox syncing, stylizing text, and multiple skin themes.
Templates For iBooks Author Free
You may or may not have heard much about Apple’s iBook Author since it was released last January, but it’s still alive and well. iBooks Author is a multi-genre eBook authoring tool that works pretty much like Apple’s Pages.
iBooks Author comes with a great set of template eBooks to get you started, but the designers at Graphic Node have created 10 more themes, Templates for iBook, that provide you with some personal ideas for creating iBooks.
You don’t have to use iBooks Author to actually post a book in the Apple iBooks Store. You can use it to create personal iBooks for your iPad, or as a gift to other iPad users. For instance, you might create a First Year iBook using the “Starting Family” template. Or you might do a travel photography iBook using the “Classical Photography” theme.
When you double-click on a theme, it opens directly into iBooks Author. And of course Graphic Node provides an internal app link to 100 more templates that you can purchase for $16.99.
When I first came across Dunno, I couldn’t quite grasp what it does. The name doesn’t help, and it’s categorized under Lifestyle, so I didn’t know what to make of it until I downloaded it.
Well basically you could say that Dunno is just a slick well designed web browser, but it’s more than that. Dunno allows you to type and search a keyword(s), and in turn it delivers categories of results including webpages, blogs, Wikipedia, images, news, videos, songs, tweets, and more. All your search queries get listed chronologically, and you can go through and mark results which get added to a separate “Dunno” page for that particular query.
The developers say Dunno is a work in progress, and while there are features you will probably want to see added to it, it is nevertheless fast, clean, and a useful way to track search queries.
For you photographers out there, CollageIt Free is one of many image design tools in the Mac App Store that makes collage creation a lot easier and affordable than using programs like Photoshop.
With CollageIt, you simply drag and drop photos in one of 30 selected collage themes. While CollageIt doesn’t have built-in integration with iPhoto or Aperture, you can drag photos directly from those applications.
The CollageIt editor allows you to change the number of rows and columns of a theme, the spacing and margins, as well as the shadow blur, angle, and offset. When you’re done, you can either export for printing or share on Facebook.
It’s hard to imagine making a simple weather app aesthetically cool, but in the age of digital design, Swackett shows there’s no limit to creativity.
Swackett is a weather app for the Mac (as well as iOS versions) in 67 countries. It shows weather forecasts for throughout the day in a designated area. Instead of simple boring text reports, it communicates weather data using colorful columns and visuals. You can get the current weather conditions, along with the highs and lows for the day. Scroll down some more and you will get a 14-hour outlook and forecasts for the week.
If you want to view the weather from a meteorologist point of view, it also includes technical radar and satellite views.
If you’re looking for more free Mac App Store apps, check out these articles:
- Clean My Drive: Clean Your External Drive [Mac]
- 10 Mac Tools That Every Student Should Make Use Of
- 5 Apps To Bring Favorite Websites To Your Mac Desktop
Let us know what you think of the apps profiled in this post. Have you found any good Mac App Store apps lately?