These are the Best apps for Apple Silicon Macs: Ulysses, Magnet, Fantastical, and more!

These are the Best apps for Apple Silicon Macs: Ulysses, Magnet, Fantastical, and more!

More than half of Apple’s Mac lineup is now powered by the company’s own silicon, and the remaining devices will also jump on the bandwagon sooner or later. This shift has meant that the app developers have had to quickly rewrite their apps to run natively on Apple’s M1 chip. Fortunately, in a short period of time, hundreds of apps have been updated to take full advantage of Apple’s latest technologies. Here, we have compiled the best apps that can run natively on Apple Silicon Macs, including the brand-new 24-inch iMac.

Navigate this guide:

Best Productivity Apps

In this category, we are listing some of the best apps for the Apple Silicon Macs that can enhance your productivity. There are a ton of apps here. While not every app will be useful for everyone, there are quite a few that every Mac user should install. The productivity apps range from a writing app to a third-party calendar to a password manager.

Ulysses

Ulysses for Mac

Ulysses is arguably one of the best writing apps for Mac. It features an extensive feature-set, ranging from a full suite of organization tools to multiple export options, including a Markdown file. Moreover, Ulysses sports a clean and distraction-free interface for effective writing. It also has apps for iPad and iPhone, making it even better for someone who lives in the Apple ecosystem.

    Ulysses
    Ulysses offers a 14-day trial, after which you will have to choose a monthly ($5.99) or yearly ($49.99) subscription.

Todoist

Todoist for Mac

Looking for a way to effectively keep track of things to do? You can’t go wrong with Todoist. This popular service not only packs basic task management features but also supports tons of app integrations, allowing you to do a multitude of things with your tasks, using other services like Gmail, Google Calendar, Slack and Alexa.

    Todoist
    Todoist offers a fairly decent free version. But if you want additional features, you can always opt for the Pro or Business plan.

Magnet

Magnet for Mac

Window management can be a mess on Mac. That’s where Magnet comes in. It helps you keep your workspace organized. With Magnet, you can organize windows by dragging them, using keyboard shortcuts, or via the menu bar. It declutters your desktop space by snapping windows into organized tiles. You can have apps snapped into a variety of ways as per your preference.

    Magnet
    Magnet is a window management tool that can be purchased for $7.99.

PDF Expert

PDF Expert for Mac

If you work with PDFs quite a bit, then an app like PDF Expert is a must-have for you. With it, you can view, edit, merge and even convert PDFs. The app also allows you to annotate, sign and fill out PDFs. Pretty much everything that you can think of doing with PDFs can be done with PDF Expert.

    PDF Expert
    PDF Expert is free to download but you will need the Pro subscription for features like signing documents, merging PDF and editing PDF text/ images.

Fantastical

Fantastical for Mac

If you want something more powerful than Apple’s built-in calendar on Mac, Fantastical can help. It can turn normal sentences into clearly formatted appointment entries using natural language processing. You can also connect all your calendars and keep your events and tasks synced in one place. Additionally, Fantastical offers widgets so that you can keep an eye on your upcoming appointments. There are a ton of other features in this great app as well.

    Fantastical
    Fantastical is free to use but you will need a premium subscription to access all the features.

Zoom

Zoom for Mac

The coronavirus pandemic has made Zoom a must-have app for a lot of people. Whether you are working from home or connecting with your friends and family, Zoom is an easy-to-use video conferencing app. Apart from video calls, you can also use Zoom to chat with your connections and share stuff. Moreover, Zoom’s built-in search makes it easier to find contacts, messages, and files.

    Zoom
    Zoom is free to download and its basic plan allows you to host up to 100 participants for meetings of up to 40 minutes. For longer meetings, you will have to opt for the Pro, Business or Enterprise plan.

Simplenote

Simplenote for Mac

If you are looking for a no-frills note-taking app, Simplenote is for you. It offers basic note-taking and syncing support. Additionally, there are collaboration features onboard, so you can share notes and lists for others to view or edit. Simplenote is also available across all major platforms.

    Simplenote
    Simplenote is free to download and use across platforms.

1Password

1Password for Mac

With so many passwords to keep track of, having a password management app is a no-brainer and 1Password is one of the best password managers around. It not only allows you to save unlimited passwords and items, but there is also 1GB storage for storing important documents. 1Password will also notify you about compromised websites and vulnerable passwords so that you can take action and remain safe.

    1Password
    1Password app is free to download and comes with a 14-day trial. For continued usage, you will need to buy a subscription.

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 for Mac

Microsoft was one of the first developers to update its apps for M1 support. So your Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote apps can smoothly run and utilize the full power of Apple Silicon. If you are not a fan of Apple’s Pages and Numbers apps or you already use Microsoft’s 365 apps on other platforms, exploring their Mac versions makes total sense.

    Microsoft 365
    The Microsoft 365 bundle or its individual apps can be downloaded for free but you will need a Microsoft 365 subscription to use Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook. There is a one-month trial available as well.

Best Browsers

This category is pretty self-explanatory. We all need a good web browser and while Apple bundles its own Safari with macOS, not everyone likes to use it.

Chrome/ Edge/ Firefox

Chrome for Mac

Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla were quick to update their browsers to support Apple Silicon. So if you are looking beyond Safari, there are plenty of options. In terms of features, Chrome and Firefox have an advantage over Edge as its Chromium-based version is still relatively newer. Choose your pick!

    Chrome

    Make sure you choose Mac with Apple Chip version.
    Microsoft Edge

    Edge is free to download and use.
    Firefox

    Firefox is free to download and use.

Best Social Apps

Many of the popular social apps reside on our phones and even though the M1 Macs now support iOS apps, you won’t find the likes of TikTok and Instagram here as they’ve opted out from officially being available on the Mac. So it’s slim pickings in this category of the best apps for the Apple Silicon Macs.

Apollo for Reddit

Apollo for Mac

With the inclusion of the ARM-based M1 chip, Apple has started supporting iOS apps on select Macs. While many of the iOS apps don’t offer a great experience on laptops and desktops, Apollo for Reddit is an outlier. It looks and works quite nicely on the Mac. With Apollo, you get features like a Jump bar to hop between subreddits, a tabbed interface for easy navigating, and full inline Imgur uploading. There is tons of other stuff as well.

    Apollo
    Apollo is free to download and use. You can also go for the Pro or Ultra subscription for extra features.

Twitter

Twitter for Mac

If you haven’t been a fan of Twitter’s official Mac app, it is time to give it another try. The app has become a lot better in recent years and is now more responsive and full-featured. The app’s design is also pleasing to look at, and you can easily switch between accounts.

    Twitter
    Twitter is free to download and use.

Best Audio/ Video Apps

Same as social apps, pretty much all streaming services have opted out of officially being available on the M1 Macs. Fortunately, the iOS app support on the M1 Macs is not a complete failure as the Overcast app for iOS makes an appearance in this category.

Overcast

Overcast for Mac

Like Apollo for Reddit, Overcast is another iOS app that works great on the Mac. If you want a good podcast player, look no further. It sports a simple and intuitive interface, and there are tons of useful features like Voice Boost, Smart Speed, Smart Playlists and Sleep timer. You can also download podcasts, search for new podcasts and even get personalized recommendations. Furthermore, the app has powerful playback customization options.

    Overcast
    Overcast is free to download and use but you can purchase Overcast Premium to get rid of the ads.

VLC

VLC for Mac

VLC needs no introduction. It’s one of the most popular cross-platform multimedia players out there. If you want a solid video player, this is it. It can play a plethora of file formats and supports a wide variety of codecs.

    VLC
    VLC is free to download and use.

Best Photo Apps

Photographs are a big part of our lives and thanks to smartphones, humans are taking more photos than ever. So whether you are a professional photographer or not, chances are that you will want a photo editing app to take your photos to the next level.

Pixelmator Pro

Pixelmator Pro for Mac

Pixelmator Pro is one of the best image editing software available for Mac. What sets it apart from other photo editors are the built-in automatic retouching tools that are powered by a machine learning algorithm. You also get advanced photo manipulation capabilities, including the usual RAW editing options, presets, filters, and layer editing. Additionally, Pixelmator Pro packs a full set of vector tools for creating designs and lots of other features for creative professionals.

    Pixelmator Pro
    Pixelmator Pro offers a 15-day trial, following which you will have to purchase it for $19.99.

Darkroom

Darkroom for Mac

Darkroom is another powerful photo editing app that you should explore. While it is a relatively new entrant in the Mac space, it has become a very popular photo app on iPhone and iPad. Darkroom not only packs powerful management and editing workflows, it also features a deep iCloud Photo Library integration. The app is a dream to look at and has pretty much everything that you would need to enhance your photos, including RAW editing.

    Darkroom
    Darkroom is free to download and includes several in-app purchases to unlock premium features, including a one-time purchase of $49.99 that unlocks everything forever.

Best Utility Apps

Lastly, we have the best utility apps for Apple Silicon Mac users. If you want your Mac to keep providing excellent performance in the long run, these apps can help.

MacCleaner Pro

MacCleaner Pro for Mac

MacCleaner Pro is an effective junk file cleaner and speed optimizer for the Mac. With the app, you can clean up RAM, disable startup programs, clear caches, remove installation files and delete unneeded localization files. MacCleaner Pro can also help you identify apps or files hogging disk space. Additionally, the app comes with tools to find duplicate files and completely remove programs.

    MacCleaner Pro
    MacCleaner Pro offers a 7-day trial, following which you will have to purchase it for a price of $44.95.

AppCleaner

AppCleaner for Mac

While it is super easy to uninstall a program on the Mac, the uninstallation process leaves behind a ton of temporary and junk files. AppCleaner helps you clean this junk so that you don’t have unnecessary stuff clogging your Mac. It is pretty straightforward and very easy to use.

    AppCleaner
    AppCleaner is free to download and use.

Bartender

Bartender for Mac

If you don’t like a cluttered menu bar, Bartender is the app to get. It helps you take control of your Mac’s menu bar, allowing you to hide everything behind one icon. The app also lets you set up triggers to show select menu bar items only when you need them.

    Bartender
    Bartender offers a four-week trial, following which you will have to purchase it for $15.

There are our top picks for the best apps for the Apple Silicon Macs. Given that many of the good Mac apps are still waiting to be updated for the M1 chip, this list is only going to grow longer in the coming months. If you are feeling adventurous, you can even use Windows apps on Apple Silicon Macs with Windows 10, though we wouldn’t recommend that route for the average user.

Which apps are you planning to install on your M1 Mac? Do you think we missed an app? Let us know in the comments section!

About author

Gaurav Shukla
Gaurav Shukla

Gaurav has been covering technology for over a decade now. From blogging about Android to reporting the latest from the world of Internet giants, he has done it all. When he is not writing about the tech companies, he can be found binge-watching new TV series on the web.