App Essentials for first-time Mac user?

Discussion in 'Mac & OS X' started by SilentWalker, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. SilentWalker

    SilentWalker Retired Moderator

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    Hey guys. I'm getting my new MacBook Pro sometime this week, and it's be my first Apple computer. So, for a new user making the switch to Mac, what are some essential apps that I should get?

    Note: I'm not asking for the top Mac apps, or best apps. There are already two threads out there that extensively covers the best/useful Mac apps, but I'm pretty sure that most of them are for users who are already accustomed to the Mac environment.

    What I want are apps/plugins that I will need to install, such as: Flash (do I need to download and install it or does it come pre-installed))? Java? IM clients? Video chat? Simple notepad replacement? Replacement for all the essentials that come built in with Windows? etc. And I would like free, well known apps, meaning that they probably exist on almost every Mac system; not some anonymous app from an unknown developer (as Windows Live Messenger is on a PC, or MS Office, Chrome, etc.)

    And one more request: please don't give me a long, extensive list, as I don't want to search through pages and pages to decide for myself (I hope I don't sound too rude or lazy, but if I didn't state that, I'm sure I'll end up with a million IM apps that I'd have to search through when I just need the most well-known one). Just give me one of two that I probably will use. It might help to mention that I'm a university student (that should narrow down 'the essentials').

    Thanks a lot,
    ~SW

    EDIT: Another specific request: is there a free, non-trial Sharepod replacement and an iFunbox replacement (non-SSH) for Mac? Thanks.

    Oh and also, does a Mac come out of the box with the latest version of OSX, or do I need to download updates?
  2. jimbeam

    jimbeam Active Member

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    Everything here. All free.
  3. jmwerkus

    jmwerkus Active Member

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    Cyberduck, PageSpinner, and AppFresh are my reccomendations, but only if you code in html will you like PageSpinner.

    Edit: Skype or iChat for video chat, Adium or iChat for IM.
  4. jimbeam

    jimbeam Active Member

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    Dragthing is another app I recently fell in love with. It's a paid app, well, if you want all the features enabled. It puts little customizable tabs on the side of the desktop that you can load with whatever you want and allow a crazy amount of customization.
  5. bobby681

    bobby681 Active Member

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    I've had bad experiences with chrome on osx, while I use it as my main and only browser on windows (and would sing its praises until i went blue in the face) it just didn't work well on osx. I'd suggest sticking to safari.

    Growl is always a good choice and RAR Expander is pretty good to have in reserve. Its not often you'll be dealing with rar files, but with winrar not really supporting osx much its nice to have.

    As for updates, they're supplied via the built in updater. Its pretty much the same as Apple Software Update that you've probably used on windows. It should come with the latest updates but thats how you'll update when you need to. Adium is your best bet for an IM client, I've tried others but they're not really up to par. However it doesn't really meet the standards of WLM on windows
  6. SilentWalker

    SilentWalker Retired Moderator

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    Thanks so much for that

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    .

    Yup. I already decided to stick with Safari (and as much native apps as I can). I prefer native integration over 3rd party apps when it comes to OSX.

    And I've heard a lot about Growl. I'll grab that, thanks.

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