5 Best Free MacBook Apps in 2022

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A lot of Mac apps have exorbitant prices. Final Cut Pro, the premier Apple app for professional video enthusiasts, demands a price tag of $300, but it’s not fair to assume that all apps on the Mac App Store will break the bank. 

There are hundreds of amazing apps on the App Store that will supercharge your work and daily life flow for free, and you just have to look for the right ones! 

However, given the hundreds to thousand of apps on the App Store, finding the right app for yourself can be a chore, and no one wants to do their chores, right? That’s what we, the Tech Detectives are here for. 

Selection Criteria

Researching for the best free apps for MacBook (Air & Pro, both) can take a lot of time. But since I had a clear-cut criteria in mind, I selected the following apps based on a few critical grounds:

  1. The app is free (duh)
  2. The app has an almost universal demand
  3. It’s not limited to use by niche users
  4. It is highly rated by users
  5. The apps do not necessarily require further purchases to work well.

With these criteria in mind, I’ve selected the following free mac apps that will go a long way to serve you as a Mac user.

So here are 5 free Mac Apps that you can get without paying a dime!

VLC Media Player

VLC - Free Mac App

Video is a huge part of our lives, and even though YouTube is now more popular than the TV itself was at some point in history, we still feel the need to watch stuff natively on our MacBooks. But video files come in different formats, and not all media players are adept at encoding all formats and playing back the videos.

Enter VLC, and your problem is solved. This media player is light years ahead of Apple’s own QuickTime, and no matter what video format you throw at VLC, it will play it for you smoothly. It’s free and open-source, and it’s not just available for your MacBook, but for your iPhone and iPad as well.

No matter what video format you throw at VLC (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, MKV, WebM, WMV, MP3) it plays it without a stutter, which cannot be said about other video players!

And if you’re wondering if the app is supported through ads, then, no! There are no ads, no spyware, no nothing! Just straight to video business.

And yes, it’s been optimized for the Apple silicon, so it works like magic if you have the new M1 or M2 MacBook Pro, Air, or the Pro or Max silicon MacBook Pros!

Alfred 5

Alfred 5 - free Mac App

If you want to search for something in macOS, the menu bar on top has a search icon; you can either press that, or Press command⌘+spacebar to launch search. However, search on MacBook isn’t that powerful, so you need a more robust solution.

That’s where Batman’s trusted butler comes in: Alfred!

Okay, fine, it’s not really the butler, Alfred. It’s just a cool name for a really cool app that you absolutely must have on your MacBook!

Alfred basically boosts your macOS’s efficiency with hotkeys, keywords, text expansion and other features!

You can even switch the native search shortcut (command⌘+spacebar) top open Alfred instead of the native search, and that will essentially supercharge your productivity with its unique interface that allows you to search your Mac’s huge database in seconds!

Not only that, but you can search the web directly with Alfred as well instead of launching Safari or Chrome and then typing away your query.

But there’s tons more feature that you can explore with Alfred, and I suggest you give it a try to see how much powerful your macOS can be with just the addition of this free app!  

Amphetamine

Amphetamine - free Mac App

“Amphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant that is used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, narcolepsy, and obesity.” – Wikipedia

But that’s not what we’re interested in, are we? We’re interested in the app that keeps your macOS awake for a set amount of time. But why do you need this app? Because by default, your Mac goes to sleep after some time of inactivity. That happens to save battery life on your Mac, but there are tonnes of reasons why you wouldn’t want your Mac to go to sleep.

For example, if you’ve left something to download and it will take a few hours to do so, you wouldn’t want your computer to go to sleep after every half hour, would you? That’s where Amphetamine comes in handy!

Once you install Ampethamine on your Mac, it sits idly on your menu bar until you Start New Session and tell the macOS to not sleep for, let’s say, 2 hours. There are tonnes of timing options to choose from, and I’ve used almost all of them for different scenarios.

So while the app does a simple job of keeping your macOS stay awake, it’s super handy, and I can’t think of getting work down on my MacBook without this app running in the background!

WhatsApp Desktop

WhatsApp Desktop - free Mac app

Over 2 billion people use WhatsApp to communicate. That’s almost 1/3rd of the world, so there’s a probability that you also rely heavily on WhatsApp to talk to your peers. Most people, though use it on their smartphones or on WhatsApp Web, which is also a good alternative.

However, if you send a lot of messages using the app, and if you think using your Mac’s keyboard can speed up your communication, then you need to get WhatsApp Desktop for your Mac right away.

On the surface, there’s isn’t much to this simple app. If you’ve used WhatsApp Web, it’s basically it but in a separate window! However, WhatsApp Web can sometimes be a little choppy, while this standalone app works exactly as intended and makes messaging and sending files over WhatsApp a breeze.

It keeps all your chats and messages synced as well so you don’t have to keep reaching out for your phone every time you need to read or send a message!

Google Chrome

Google Chrome - Free Mac App

Safari is a great browser. But Google Chrome outshines Safari in many ways, which is why it’s crucial to keep Google Chrome in your App arsenal.

And of course, Safari is light-weight and works well with Apple’s own software, but that comes at a price of functionality, and Google Chrome more than makes up for it.

Most importantly, Chrome’s vast library of extensions has no match and you can customize the browser to your liking and make it your own! Even when it comes to performance, Chrome (while being a RAM hogger) makes full use of its intensive use of resources and results if much faster performance. And then you can sync all your settings and extensions across other devices like a Windows laptop as well if you need to!

Overall, Google Chrome is a great browser for you to have even if you use Safari mostly!

These 5 free MacBook Apps make up a great list of the apps you need to have on your MacBook no matter what work you do.

If you don’t, then you don’t; I’m not going to beat you over the head with a stick for not listening to me!


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