The Most Common & Excellent Software for Your Mac

Talk about Mac, people always think about the Mac must be the most fantastic computer in the world (at lease the Apple fans consider this). But how do you know such an excellent computer use which kind of software? Which software are the most common App for the Mac? In this article, we will lead you to learn about this. Let’s check it out.

Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac

office for macIn spite of being viewed as the “other guys” in some Mac users’ minds, Microsoft has generally put out an excellent productivity suite for the Mac with Microsoft Office. Though the latest package is still not on par with the Windows version (you get only the four main programs–a big difference when you consider the Windows version has 10), Microsoft made a big leap with this latest version for the Mac in several other ways. Not only has it nearly reached feature parity (and cross compatibility) with the Mac counterparts to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, but it has finally added Outlook, the e-mail and scheduling client Mac business fans have been clamoring for for years.

Once we dug deep into the feature set of Office 2011 for Mac, we saw there were several enhancements that made the whole suite better, and some of the niftier tweaks are even Mac-exclusive. Certainly many Mac users will look first at Apple’s iWork for a productivity suite, and it is a great office suite in its own right. But if you work with primarily Windows users who use Office, it’s tough to beat the automatic compatibility of using the same programs. Add the ease of compatibility with a strong feature set across the entire suite and you have a desktop office package that’s almost a must-have in both large and small businesses, and even home productivity settings.

One of the major new changes to the suite (on the Windows side, too) is the ability to collaborate and share your work using Web apps. New Coauthoring requires that you use SharePoint Foundation 2010 for enterprise use, but for personal or small businesses, you can save and access files over SkyDrive (25GB of available online storage) on Windows Live with a free registration.

All of the new tweaks to the interface and each of the apps in the suite make Office 2011 for Mac a great option, but with the rise of cloud-based computing and online office suites like Google Docs, we wonder how long the big desktop apps like Office will remain on top. This latest Office client for Mac is definitely a solid offering, but how long can Microsoft hold on to its dominance?

Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Mac

photoshop for macAdobe Photoshop CS6 only strengthens the benchmark software’s existing position as the unrivaled production suite and an indispensable tool for old and new generation creative minds: graphic designers, web developers, video editors, you name it.

Let’s start with the interface: dark is good. Photoshop CS6 brings a darker, more focused default work environment, with menus and toolbars painted in dark grays and blacks. Of course, if you’re itching for a brighter look, CS6 gives users lighter-colored interfaces, reminiscent of previous versions. Tools are more streamlined thanks to Adobe’s continuing move towards collapsible menus, while leaving the primary tools visible.

There are seriously way too many new features for us to cover in such a short overview: instead, we’ll briefly look at some of the more notable improvements. Photoshop CS6 finally empowers users with the ability to search within their layers, a crucial benefit for those who work on projects with many elements and layer groups like UI and Web designers. You can search by layer name, type, attribute, and color. Another major change is the ability to apply layer styles to groups. You can define the layer style for various folders, potentially opening the door to even more complex effects and filter combinations.

Photoshop also brings improved precision to setting colors and custom dimensions for shapes. Creative Suite 6 now accepts the standard 3-6 character HEX codes in their color selectors, which is key for designers who want to call out specific Web colors. You can also generate custom-size shapes by inputting numerical pixel values to add more precise mock-up elements. In addition, Photoshop CS6 also has a dummy “lorem ipsum” body text built into the app so designers can quickly paste sample paragraphs.

Safari for Mac

safari for macWith awareness of Internet security at an all-time high, keeping track of the unique passwords needed for logins can be difficult. LastPass for Safari for Mac allows a user to sign in with one password and save those multiple logins for use when needed.

Available as a free plugin for Safari, the program’s basic features do not require any payment to use. The program installs quickly into Safari without any user interaction needed. The only indication that the plugin is running is a small icon next to the URL bar in the Web browser. Users can access its settings and disable it if needed by going into Safari’s preferences section. Essentially, the plugin allows users to create one username and password combination that can be entered when beginning a browsing session. As a user browses through secure sites, the plugin enters previous stored login information, keeping the user from having to sift through multiple passwords to enter. Despite the lack of instructions, LastPass for Safari for Mac performs well. Additional features, including sending data and generating new random passwords, may be unlocked with a premium subscription for $1 per month. However, many of the program’s premium features are available in other, free programs. Despite this, the automatic retrieval of passwords as a user browses is a welcome advantage over other programs.

Apple iTunes for Mac

itunes for macDon’t forget this-iTunes! Apple iTunes for Mac continues doing its thing, managing and playing your media, constructing playlists, selling music, and renting movies; but the interface is always evolving.

We updated Apple iTunes for Mac via Apple’s Software Update, upgrading 10.7 to 11.0.4 without any issues. A dramatically redesigned interface was apparent right off the bat. The sidebar was gone–it can be restored–and all our albums were displayed in a grid of album covers. We scrolled through our 2,231 albums, smoothly and precisely, but iTunes 10 could not handle a library of this size very well, making browsing through our library a jerky, jumpy experience. When we clicked on an album cover, a list of songs and controls expands out right beneath it, in a dynamically created color scheme based off the album art–a very nice touch. We thought this was a vast improvement over Cover Flow, the previous, and now gone, integration of album art that was useless as a navigation tool. Clicking on a song now reveals a small arrow next to it, which when clicked opens up a context menu. From there, you can start a Genius-based shuffle, create a Genius playlist, or go to the song’s associated Album or Artist view. We found the interface redesign to be a vast improvement, even extending to a dramatically upgraded Mini Player. We will miss the iTunes DJ feature, which was replaced by Up Next. Up Next shows you the next batch of songs that will play, whether you’re listening to an album, playlist, or just shuffling. We were able to delete and reorder the songs listed, but couldn’t add specific songs, which iTunes DJ could do.

Though many will complain about lost features, the fact is that iTunes 11 is a major improvement with a significant performance boost. People avoiding Apple iTunes for Mac for fear of losing certain features are missing out on a superior app.

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