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Mac Software

One of the things I expected to be a potential problem when I first switched to Mac was the software. There just wasn’t as much as there was for Windows. But a lot of the things I used at the time were cross-platform, so I figured I’d probably keep using those. I actually found that in most cases, there were better and nicer apps that were Mac-only, in many cases.

The Basics

  • I use 1Password as my password manager. Apple’s built-in password management is getting to the point I could probably manage ok with just that now, but 1Password is really good.


  • Apple Photos. Yes, I just use that. No Lightroom. All my photo management, and the vast majority of my editing, is done in Apple Photos. Yes, it’s a bit limited, but it’s enough for me. Most photographers don’t agree.
  • Affinity Photo. Just for the odd occasions I need a more advanced editor. Does most of what PhotoShop can do, for a much lower price. I have the whole Affinity suite, and it cost less than a single year of Lightroom alone.
  • Photomator. Sometimes useful in between those extremes. A bit more powerful than Photos, but way easier than Affinity for anything that’s not too complicated.

Dev Stuff

Just to be clear: I’m not a developer. I really can’t code. But I dabble a bit, and I do sometimes do things that need developer tools.


My text editor of choice. Think VSCode, but beautifully designed for the Mac. Costs more than I really should have spent on a text editor when VSCode is there being free, but I do enjoy using it. I’m typing this in it right now.


If you do a lot of work in the terminal, you almost certainly need Brew. If you only use it occasionally, it still might be very nice to have. Installs with a single command. Installs other stuff with a single command. Updates things with a couple of commands. If you’ve used something like Debian’s APT, it’s very much like that, on the Mac.

To use Astro and Starlight for making this site, I needed Node and NPM installing. In Brew, that’s just…

brew install node

For a lot of terminal (or command line) stuff on the Mac, the instructions will assume you’re using Homebrew, so it’s very much the easy path.