Voice Memos has existed on iPhone since the 2009 iPhone OS 3 software nine years ago. At its annual developer conference in June 2018, Apple announced it would make Voice Memos available for iPad and bring the app to macOS alongside a few other native iOS apps, like Stocks, Home and News.
Mac veterans have been singing Alfred's praises for years, but some of Apple’s newer users might not have heard about the mighty app launcher. Free to all but the most serious professionals.
Voice Memos is available on iPad with iOS 12 and Mac computers with macOS Mojave 10.14. With feature-parity across iOS and macOS, Voice Memos comes with iCloud support which lets it keep your recordings in perfect sync across all your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch devices and Mac computers.
Voice Memos is especially popular with journalists, bloggers, musicians and other people who conduct interviews for a living, but it can be used to record just about anything, like your thoughts, impressions and what not.
Voice Memos is unavailable as a web app through iCloud.com.
Voice Memos leaps onto Mac
Voice Memos is one of the apps that Mojave brings from iOS to the desktop. These ported apps were realized using Apple’s brand-new framework, coming next year, that it says was designed to make porting existing iPhone and iPad apps to macOS easier.
With Voice Memos, your Mac becomes a portable recording device.
While recording with your iPhone is more practical, it’s nice knowing you can use use your Mac to record that important lecture or meeting in case you forgot the phone at home.
TUTORIAL:How to use Apple’s News app on your Mac
Like on iOS, Voice Memos lets you create recordings with your Mac’s built-in microphone, a wired headphones, AirPods or another Bluetooth headset (ffor a higher-quality stereo recording, use an external stereo microphone that works with your Mac).
How to use Apple’s Voice Memos app on Mac
To open Voice Memos, find and click it in your /Applications folder or ask Siri to open it. By default, the Voice Memos app is not in your Mac’s Dock. To keep it there, launch it, then click and hold its icon in the Dock and select Options → Keep in Dock.
By default, Voice Memos is not in the Dock but you can keep it there if you like
With Voice Memos, you can make, edit and share recordings—and this is how.
Making a new recording
To make a brand-new voice memo, simply click the circular red Record.
The interface transforms and takes on a darkened appearance. Now your real-time waveform dominates the screen, with a scrubber and other playback and recording controls lined alongside the bottom of the window.
To pause recording, click the Pause button at the bottom.
If you click the Resume button, your Mac will to continue recording the memo right where you left off. Any recordings made in the app are encoded using the MPEG 4 Audio codec and shared or exported in the appropriate file format with the .M4A extension.
Click Done to finish recording and return to the memo list.
Your saved memos are automatically named after your current location. Alternatively, use a “New Recording” prefix followed by a number (“New Recording 1, New Recording 2,…), as defined in Voice Memos preferences.
Here are a few handy keyboard shortcuts to navigate your memo list:
- Select the previous memo: Upwards Arrow (↑)
- Select the next memo: Downwards Arrow (↓)
- Play/pause the selected memo: Space bar
- Fast-forward 15 seconds: Rightwards Arrow (→)
- Rewind 15 seconds: Leftwards Arrow (←)
- Start a new memo: Command (⌘)-N
- Trim a memo: Command (⌘)-T
- Duplicate a memo: Command (⌘)-D
- Delete a memo: Backspace
- Rename a memo: Double-click a memo in the list
- Undo: Command (⌘)-Z
- Preferences: Command (⌘)-,
- Enter full screen: Control (⌃)-Command (⌘)-F
Note a mini-waveform below the larger waveform that takes up the majority of the interface. See that blue vertical line? Click and drag it to quickly scrub to any point in the recording, then hit that Play button to start listening from that point.
Voice Memos provides a very basic editing interface that lets you trim a memo to take out unwanted parts, rerecord or deleted a memo segment and much more.
How to replace a segment
The app lets you rerecord part of a memo, which comes in handy during long recordings. This lets you fix simple errors on the spot: you’d pause your recording session, rewind to a desired point and resume recording: from that point.
To replace a segment, first select a saved memo from the list and click Edit near the window’s upper-right corner. Doing so will open the selected memo in the editing interface.
Now drag the vertical blue line alongside the mini-waveform until it reaches the part you’d like to record over (don’t forget you can use playback buttons for precise control: hit Play to start listening or click the icons on either side of the Play button to fast-forward or rewind 15 seconds).
You can easily rerecord any segment of a memo
Clicking Replace starts recording from the selected part. You can pause or resume your rerecording at any time, as many times you want. To finish, click Done.
The red waveform denotes content being recorded over existing audio (white waveform).
It’s even possible to rerecord part of a memo while it’s being captured from scratch: to do so, you would first hit the Pause button while the memo is being recorded, then position the marker to the beginning of the part you want to rerecord and hit that red Replace button.
How to trim a recording
You can trim a memo from the beginning or end or both, during your recording session or after the fact. To trim the memo as you’re recording it, click the Pause button, then click the Trim icon in the upper-right corner.
Clicking this icon takes you to the trimming interface
To trim a saved memo, click it on the list and hit Edit, then click the Trim icon in the top-right corner. This will bring up a trimming interface not unlike that of the QuickTime or the Photos app. The yellow trimming bar appears around the mini-waveform, with handles on each end.
You can trim your memo from the beginning or end (or both)
Drag the handles to select the part to keep: to trim from the beginning, drag the leftmost handle. To trim from the end, drag the rightmost handle. You can also trim a memo from both sides and use the yellow dots on the larger waveform to fine tune the adjustments.
When trimming, click the Play button at the bottom to play back the part selected or swipe with two fingers across the trackpad to quickly scrub through the larger waveform. When everything looks the way you like, click Trim to remove any parts that are outside the yellow outlines. You can continue trimming the trimmed memo further.
Clicking Save keeps the changes, overwriting the original memo with its trimmed counterpart.
How to delete a segment
You can a delete a segment of your existing recording the same way you would trim a memo. As a matter of fact, the whole process is literally the same with the exception of the last step where you’d click the Delete button instead of Trim.
A voice memo can be shared with a friend or saved to a custom location on your Mac.
To send a voice memo to a friend, first select a desired recording in the list, then click the Share button near the window’s upper-right corner and choose a way to share, like through Messages or Mail or a social-media app like Twitter or Instagram.
You can save your memo to a custom location on your Mac. You won’t find any Save or Save As commands in the File menu, but don’t your worry the slightest thing: exporting is possible with good ol’ drag’n’drop.
Just click and hold a memo in the list, then drag it to the desktop or a custom folder on your Mac and let go off the finger. Doing so will export the selected memo as an audio file with the .M4A extension.
If you have a lot of memos saved in the app, identifying the one you’re looking for can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Click the search filed at the top of the memo list and type in a term to reveal matches.
As I mentioned earlier in this tutorial, the app defaults to naming recordings after your current location, which you can change in Voice Memos preferences. Only the memos that contain your search term in the title are surfaced—the app does not transcribe your recordings to make them thoroughly searchable.
To delete a recorded memo, click it in the list and press the Backspace key or choose Delete from the Edit menu. All deleted memos are first moved to the Recently Deleted folder within Voice Memos (it, too, syncs across devices via iCloud) before being permanently deleted.
”Deleted Recordings will be available in the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder for 30 days,” states a message when you deleted your first recording in Voice Memos. This special built-in folder behaves exactly as its description states, pretty much just like Recently Deleted folders in other Apple apps like Notes and Photos.
To restore a previously deleted memo, click Recently Deleted in the list, select an item and click Erase in the window’s upper-right corner. ”Recover recordings will be moved back to the library,” reads a popup message.
Click Recover Recording to confirm that’s what you want to do or Cancel to abort the action.
To rescue all of your deleted memos in one go, click Recover All in the window’s bottom-left corner. With the Recently Deleted folder emptied, the Recently Deleted entry automatically disappears from the memo list.
Permanently deleting recordings
To nuke a deleted item out of orbit, enter your Recently Deleted folder, select a deleted memo from the list and click the Erase button in the window’s upper-right corner. The item is immediately removed from this Mac and all your other iCloud devices.
To permanently delete all your wiped items in the Recently Deleted folder, click Erase All near the window’s bottom-left corner, then click Erase to confirm the operation. I suggest leaving the Recently Deleted folder as-is: emptying it manually robs you of any chances to resurrect your accidentally deleted recordings.
However, if you’re concerned about excess bandwidth consumption or simply don’t want deleted memos to be salvageable or synced across devices, tell the app to immediately delete your recordings.
The 30-day purge window applies to every deleted memo individually.
Select a recording in your memo list, then choose Rename from the File menu or directly click its on the list to rename it just like that. By default, the app names saved memos after your geographical location, but you can adjust that to your liking.
To create a duplicate of an existing recording, first select it in the main list, then choose the Duplicate operation from the File menu or press Command (⌘)-D on your Mac keyboard.
Before iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, Voice Memos did not use iCloud to synchronize recordings across devices. What you had to do instead was sync the device with iTunes so your audio files could be added to a Voice Memos playlist.
TUTORIAL:How to use Apple’s Stocks app on your Mac
Voice Memos on iOS 12 and Mojave uses iCloud to store your recordings and sync them seamlessly across devices. There’s no dedicated switch to toggle in iCloud settings: just fire up the app and it will automatically find and synchronize any new recordings and all the changes.
How to adjust Voice Memos settings
You have three basic features that can be adjusted to your needs in Voice Memo preferences.
In fact, you’ll find the same settings in Voice Memos for iPhone and iPad as well. To edit them to your liking, choose Preferences from the Voice Memos menu or press Command (⌘)-, on the keyboard. Voice Memos settings don’t sync via iCloud and must be adjusted individually on every device you use the app with.
You can change the following settings:
- Clear Deleted: Close when the Recently Deleted folder will permanently wipe your deleted memos clean. You can have it emptied Immediately, After 1 Day, After 7 Days, After 30 Days or Never.
- Audio Quality: Have Voice Memos encode recordings with Apple Music-grade AAC compression, which reduces file size significantly and audio quality imperceptibly, or save them without compression for full quality.
- Location-based naming: Tick this box to prompt Voice Memos to use Location Services on this Mac and use your current location as the default memo name (be sure that Voice Memos is enabled in System Preferences → Security & Privacy → Privacy and that the box Enable Location Services is ticked).
As evidenced, Voice Memos is not a settings-rich app.
More iOS apps are coming to your Mac
As mentioned earlier, Voice Memos is not the only iOS app to make a leap on the macOS platform. Other stock apps in iOS, like Home, Stocks and News, are also available on Macs for the firs time thanks to the macOS Mojave software.
And that, ladies and gents, is how you use Voice Memos for Mac like a pro!
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There are a bunch of great apps you can install on your Mac—no question there. Separating amazing apps from must-have apps is the hard part, and we don’t want you to spend hours analyzing the Mac App Store (or scouring the web) to find the very best and most useful apps. We’ve made a list of champions across four categories: productivity; Internet and communications; music, photos, and video; and utilities.
The Lifehacker Pack is an annual snapshot of our favorite, essential applications for each of our favorite platforms. For our always-updating directory of all the best apps, be sure to bookmark our App Directory, where we profile amazing apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS each week—browser extensions, too.
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You can do a lot with Spotlight in macOS, but Alfred is still our favorite application launcher for yourMac. This easy-to-use tool can do so much more than pull up apps, files, and and keyword-driven automation. Plunk down £19 for the Powerpack, and you’ll get a clipboard history, access to workflows (that you can use to combine different actions, hotkeys, and keywords to do even more), hotkeys, 1Password integration, and even text expansion. In other words, paying for Alfred covers a number of activities that you’d have to download separate apps for—some featured in this very Lifehacker Pack. If you’re a new Alfred buyer and feeling little overwhelmed, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide to the app to get a handle on all the amazing things you can do with it.
If you don’t want to pay anything for an app launcher that has similar (but fewer) features under the hood, check out LaunchBar 6: free, if you don’t mind a little bother here and there. That, or consider tricking out Spotlight.
This cutely named app is one of the best note-taking apps you can get, with one small caveat—to synchronize notes between your devices or use custom themes, you’ll need to pony up $15/year for the app’s subscription. Otherwise, Bear is completely free to use (and looks great).
Within the app, you organize your notes by hashtags rather than unwieldy folders. You can also link notes to one another, which makes it a lot easier to chain together related thoughts instead of having to dump everything into one giant Super Note or remember that you had a few things to say, split into different notes, about a particular topic. Install Bear’s browser extension for Safari, Chrome, or Firefox, and you’ll be able to create new notes from whatever portion of a webpage you select. Also, Bear makes it easy to import notes from other services, including Apple Notes, so you really have no reason to not give it a spin.
If you need to sync notes and don’t feel like paying for it, consider apps like OneNote, Google Keep, or Simplenote—all good choices, but none that can beat our Bear for usability and looks.
Who would have thought that text expansion, otherwise known as typing shortcuts, would be so expensive? While it’s true that you can create these kinds of shortcuts yourself directly within macOS, a full-fledged text expansion app is going to save you a lot of time and trouble. We like aText if for nothing else than its price—$5—given that much-loved alternatives like Textexpander ($3.33/mo on an annual plan; $45 for an older standalone) and TypeIt4Me 6 ($20) are anywhere from a bit to a lot more expensive.
As for aText, using it is simple. You set it up so that whenever you enter little words or phrases, the app drops in something else. So, you can finally correct that annoying “ducking” issue forevermore,
Text expansion, also known as typing shortcuts, can save you hours of typing each day. You type a small word or combination of characters and it’ll expand into full, complex sentences that you often use. We love aText because it offers so many great features and only costs $5. If you haven’t yet jumped on the text expansion train, it’s time.
For simple note-taking and note-organizing, you can’t go wrong with Todoist. The app is completely free—unless you want to pay $39/yearly for more advanced features like automatic reminders, backups, themes, and an activity overview, to name a few features. Otherwise, the basics are great. It’s easy to create and synchronize tasks (and subtasks) across all of your Todoist-using devices, and browser extensions (including a Gmail addon) will help you make Todoist, and your growing task list, an ever-present part of your daily life. You won’t have that same kind of experience with plain ol’ Notes, especially if you’re trying to access your items on multiple platforms.
If you’re a big Google fan, we also love Google Tasks, which you’ll find directly integrated into the latest version of Gmail (and as a direct app for iOS and Android). You can also add to-do items into our note-taking app, Bear. The app Things 3 is a super-comprehensive task manager, but it costs quite a bit: $50 for Mac, $10 for iPhone, and $20 for your iPad. If the first item on your to-do list is “rob a bank,” however, it’s a gorgeous, fully featured app. And if you want to harass yourself about things you have to get done on your Mac, consider giving the quicky Effortless a try—which drops a countdown timer for your tasks directly into your Mac’s menu bar.
Google Drive and Office Online (free)
We don’t really have to introduce Google Drive, because Google’s offerings should be pretty well-known by everyone at this point. Docs and Sheets are great, free tools for creating and collaborating on documents and spreadsheets (of course), so much so, that a number of businesses solely rely on Google’s offerings instead of anything fancier or pricier.
If you’re a Microsoft convert, or you really love Word and Excel, you can access basic, online versions of both programs directly from Microsoft—no Office 365 subscription needed. If you’d rather work offline, Apple’s Pages and Numbers are the obvious, free choices, and LibreOffice is still the best open-source office app around.
If you really don’t feel like fussing around with Mail, which is fine enough for most macOS users, consider giving Airmail a try. It’s been our favorite third-party mail app for some time given its low price and ample customization. It also hooks into a ton of other third-party apps and services, including Trello, Evernote, your favorite cloud storage service, and Apple’s mighty Workflow app (on iOS, that is).
If you don’t need power options and want easy, simple email, the free Spark is definitely worth checking out—especially since it can help you automatically sort your inbox to make it feel less like an ever-growing pile of things you’ll never read. Boxy 2 is great if you’re a Gmail user who wants the powers of its Inbox app on your desktop (and don’t mind paying $5 for it), and Mailplane 4 ($30) is a solid app if you prefer an interface that looks like the regular ol’ Gmail. Power users might want to investigate Wavebox ($20/year), which lets you access Gmail, Inbox, Outlook, and all sorts of other amazing web apps directly from one, easy-to-use interface.
Internet and Communications
Google Chrome and Firefox Quantum (free)
The browser you use is likely going to be dictated by the browser you’ve been using. In other words, if you’re a Google Chrome loyalist, it’ll probably take a lot to get you to switch over to Firefox Quantum (if you’re at all intrigued). And if you’ve been with Firefox from day one, you’re probably a lot less likely to want to move all of your bookmarks, extensions, and other settings over to Chrome.
So, which browser is best? It’s not so much that one excels over the other; it’s more important to say that both, finally, are pretty competitive. Depending on the benchmarks you look at—here are a bunch from ZDNet, for example—the browsers appear evenly matched for speed. I haven’t gone through and assessed the most-recent version of each, but I have used both Firefox Quantum and Google Chrome, and they both feel, well, fast. That said, Chrome still feels a bit like a hog when you’re trying to load a ton of tabs at once, but it’s pretty good about using less of your CPU and memory than other browsers.
If you don’t like either, Opera is a viable alternative that’s actually pretty speedy in its own right—and we can’t complain about its built-in VPN, either, nor its awesome integration of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram directly into an easy-to-launch sidebar.
Goofy and Franz (free)
Years ago, it felt like everyone used one chat client to cover a bunch of services (ICQ, AIM, IRC, Jabber, et cetera). Most people nowadays probably have their favorites locked in: Messages for texting, Facebook Messenger for everything else, WhatsApp for sending government secrets or expiring pictures of your booty, Discord for any and all things gaming, Slack for all things not-gaming, et cetera. So, rather than go into detail with all the more obvious apps, we’ll highlight two unique ones.
Facebook Messenger, as you know, requires you to be on Facebook to use it. If I’m correct, you used to be able to essentially connect Facebook’s service to Messages itself, so you could send and receive your Facebook chats without having to have your browser open all the time. And if I’m right (again), you can no longer do that. Instead, you’ll want an app like Goofy, which basically drops the Facebook Messenger interface into a simple application that you can access from your desktop.
We’re also fans of Franz, which offers the same treatment for a variety of other services (as well as Facebook Messenger). If you don’t want to keep 20 programs open to chat with people, Franz lets you access apps like Slack, WeChat, WhatsApp, Skype, Google Hangouts, and Facebook Messenger all from one, single interface.
Everyone also probably has a video chat app they love to use. And there are plenty to pick from: FaceTime, which comes baked into macOS by default; the aforementioned WhatsApp; Google Hangouts; Houseparty; and even good ol’ Facebook Messenger itself.
If you’re looking for a standalone messaging app that can do it all—for personal and business use, too—we still recommend Skype, which Microsoft recently overhauled. Its interface feels cleaner (and comes with a dark mode), it’s still as easy as ever to send text messages, video messages, and files to contacts, and you can even @ message your friends to get their attention.
That said, we live in an time where most messaging apps have some kind of video or calling component—or so it feels. So if you need that human contact beyond simple texting and emoji, odds are good that you can already do it in the chat app you love.
Music, Photos, and Video
VLC is the best media player you can put on your Mac, period. It works perfectly with minimal fuss once you install it, and it can play almost any file you throw at it. If you’re a power user, it has a sea of options that would take the entire rest of this article to describe to you.
We enjoy all the improvements VideoLAN tosses VLC’s way, including its new support for 10-bit color depth and HDR, 360 videos, and improved decoding that allows less-powerful systems to play full 4K videos—even if that’s overkill for your Mac’s display resolution. You can drop a number of plug-ins and extensions into VLC to extend its functionality, and you can even use the app to stream videos to your Chromecast, if you’ve allowed Google to get a foothold into your Apple-only household.
HandBrake is a free video conversion tool that, when coupled with an app like MakeMKV, will turn you into a ripping and converting powerhouse. HandBrake is pretty easy to use, but there are still plenty of settings that might give you a little anxiety when you first load the app. We have a guide to help out with that. Once you’ve mastered the basics, queuing up multiple videos and converting them to all kinds of different formats will feel second-nature. Also, don’t forget to grab VLC, mentioned above, so you can actually watch all of your creations.
Adobe Bridge CC, digiKam, and Google Backup and Sync (free)
Apple’s standard Photos app does a pretty decent job organizing your sprawling photo, thanks to collections, tags, and the ability to view photos by when (and where) they were taken. You can even do a little light editing, too.
If you need a little more organizational oomph, consider Adobe Bridge CC—completely free to use, even though you might have assumed it was a paid app. You can’t do a lot of editing in Bridge (well, any retouching, really), but what it lacks in tools, it makes up for in data. You can easily see all sorts of compelling metadata about the images you’ve taken, and organizing them via ratings, keywords, and labels is easy. Well, setting it up is easy. Actually organizing your sprawling photo library might take a little time, but it’ll be worth it in the end, trust me.
The open-source app digiKam has organizing, editing, and a UI that’s fairly similar to what you’d find in Adobe Bridge CC. If you’re not used apps like Adobe’s Lightroom, digiKam might feel a bit advanced—possibly even overkill for your needs—but it’s a powerful app for pro users that would rather spend their cash on camera hardware than more software.
Best Apple Mac Computer
Google Backup and Sync isn’t a photo organizing app itself, but it’s what you’ll want to use to get your photos uploaded into Google Photos—a great online tool and compelling alternative to iCloud as a result of the unlimited storage space you get for photos. It’s easy to create collections and share photos with others (Google will even make suggestions for you based around where and when you’ve taken your shots). And we also like that you can get pretty creative with your searches when sorting and organizing your sprawling photo library.
Spotify ($10) and Amazon Music Unlimited ($8)
Which music streaming service you pick is largely a matter of preference: one might carry your favorite band, one might have an app interface you greatly prefer, one might have all your friends on it. If you aren’t into Apple Music for these, or any other valid reasons, Spotify is the next obvious choice (sorry Tidal). It has a huge library, its social features are great, and we love the thought it puts into its playlists—human-curated and automatically generated.
If you’re already an Amazon Prime subscriber, you should also consider checking out the company’s Amazon Music Unlimited service. You’ll have to pay $8 on top of your Prime subscription, but that still makes it slightly cheaper than an Apple Music ($10) or Spotify Premium ($10).
Pixelmator ($30) and Affinity Photo ($50)
Pixelmator is one of the best image editors on the Mac, but it’s no longer the only game in town. Though its $30 asking price might seem high, it’s a bargain considering all the incredible editing tools you get to play with—rivaling more comprehensive apps like Adobe’s Photoshop CC for a fraction of the price. (And if you want features like Touch Bar support, automatic color adjustments, and advanced compression—as well as HEIF exporting—you’ll want to pick up the pricier Pixelmator Pro for $60)
Affinity Photo is a compelling, albeit costlier alternative to Pixelmator that’ll set you back $50 for a professional-grade suite of tools, including full RAW editing and a UI that looks a lot like the Photoshop you might prefer (but don’t want to pay a subscription to get). That includes support for “Personas,” which mimics Photoshop’s Workspaces feature by allowing you to set your screen’s many options and buttons based on whatever it is you’re working on—if you prefer one set of tools for a simple editing and another set of tools for something more complex, like pre-processing images for print.
If you’re looking for basic image editing and your Mac’s built-in Photos app isn’t enough, you can always give the open-source app GIMP a try. What it lacks in polish, it makes up for in price.
Dropbox, Google Drive, and Mega (free-ish)
These cloud storage services should all be household names at this point. We’ve covered their costs, and their peers’ pricing models, pretty extensively. Which one you go with depends on your budget, preferences, and needs. Dropbox is a great, all-encompassing solution for cloud storage, but you’ll need to get creative to get more than 2GB of free space with the service. Google Drive is a no-brainer, since you get 15GB of space and can easily synchronize files to your laptop or desktop to work on them offline.
With Mega, you get 50GB of free cloud storage to play with and a handy app (MEGAsync) that you can use across your Windows and Mac computers. Mega does have an annoying transfer quota of around 1GB or so in a 24-hour time span, but that’s a small price to pay for a free 50 gigs. Take that, thumbdrives
Best Free Apps For Mac
qBittorrent or Deluge (free)
Ever since Transmission had all those malware issues some time ago, and uTorrent filled its installer full of crap and cryptocurrency miners, we’ve been on the hunt for a simple BitTorrent app, and we’ve settled on qBittorrent. It’s an open-source downloading tool that should look pretty familiar for anyone who has used an app like uTorrent or Transmission previously. No big surprises with qBittorrent’s UI or features. We like that the app is ad- and crap-free, is completely open source, and can automatically quit or shut down your PC when your download is done. Deluge is a good BitTorrent app alternative, but the app hasn’t been updated since May of 2017 (when we wrote this), and we prefer something with more active development.
If you want to keep your important files on the cloud, rather than a Time Machine backup, that’s fine—you might not have spare storage sitting around, after all. Backblaze is our new top pick for backup services, since it costs half the price of Crashplan (previously great) and does all the same things. Install the app, pick the files and folders you want to back up (encrypted, no less), and hope you never have to use the service’s restoration features.
The Unarchiver (free)
Free Apps For Mac Computer
If you have file archives that your Mac can’t open, give The Unarchiver a shot at them. It’s free, it’s quick, and it does a good job of opening that which your Mac cannot open itself. It also works directly out of Finder, so you won’t have to (annoyingly) open up a separate app before you take a crack at your archives.
A good alternative is Keka, which is also free, also opens a bunch of different archive formats, and can even be faster than The Unarchiver depending on the archive format and size. If you have issues with one app, try the other, and you might find that it does a better job extracting your files.
Apple Mac Best Buy
(This story originally ran in July 2016, written by Alan Henry. It was updated in July 2018 by David Murphy.)