Like most operating systems, your Mac comes loaded with a handful of default apps that cover all kinds of use cases: office work, web browsing, email, tasks and todos, maps and navigation, photo management, music and podcasts, and more.
While Apple has done an overall great job in naming these apps,you may still be confused by what they do or whether you actually need some of them — and this is true whether you’re a recent convert to Mac Switched: The Convert's Guide to the Mac and OS X Switched: The Convert's Guide to the Mac and OS X Thinking of switching from your Windows-based PC to a Mac? Learn everything you need to know in order to make that transition painless. Read More or a long-time satisfied Mac veteran Drinking the Kool Aid: 8 Reasons People Love Their Macs Drinking the Kool Aid: 8 Reasons People Love Their Macs When you can buy a laptop for under $500, and a Chromebook will satisfy most people's computing needs, why do people insist on spending well over $1000 on a Mac? Read More .
In this post, we’ll go through ALL of the default applications that come installed with Apple’s desktop operating system, explain what they do, and whether you should care about them or not.
Your Basic Mac Apps
App Store.app (Useful):The App Store is one method for installing new apps How to Install & Remove Mac Software: 5 Easy Methods How to Install & Remove Mac Software: 5 Easy Methods Switched to a Mac and getting to grips with the basics? Wondering how to install software from the command line? Got old Windows apps that you simply must run on your Apple computer? Read More on your system, but even if you never use it for this reason, it still serves an important purpose: maintaining the update cycle of El Capitan itself.
Automator.app (Very Useful):This app provides a way for you to automate hundreds of different system actions that you can combine and use to perform complex tasks without any programming or scripting knowledge. Do you need it? Not really. Should you learn it? Absolutely.
Calculator.app (Useful):I personally use this app on a daily basis, whether to update my personal budgets, calculate estimated tax payments Yes, You Need to Pay Taxes on eBay & Craigslist Sales Yes, You Need to Pay Taxes on eBay & Craigslist Sales Read More , or just offload whatever bit of mental math I don’t feel like doing at the moment — but it’s often faster to use Spotlight’s instant math feature instead Search More Efficiently In Mac OS X With Our Top Spotlight Tips Search More Efficiently In Mac OS X With Our Top Spotlight Tips Spotlight has been a killer Mac feature for years, with Cupertino regularly schooling Redmond in the art of desktop search. Here are a few tips to help you find more on your Mac. Read More .
Calendar.app (Very Useful):This app is a clean and efficient way to manage your day-to-day tasks. It may not be the most advanced calendar app out there, but it’s more than enough for most users who aren’t, say, running a small business. Syncs with iCloud.
Chess.app (Not Useful):Why is Chess a system application in Mac? Furthermore, why did Apple think it was necessary to protect it with System Integrity Protection What Mac Users Need To Know About El Capitan Security What Mac Users Need To Know About El Capitan Security Security is the biggest change to OS X 10.11 El Capitan. OS X is now so locked down even root users can't modify the operating system – let's go over what that means, shall we? Read More ? But I digress. Chess is just a straightforward offline-only chess app.
Contacts.app (Useful):This app is essentially a digital Rolodex that stores contact information on your friends, family members, and acquaintances. It syncs with iCloud, allowing the information to be used in other iCloud apps like Mail.
Dashboard.app (Useful):Dashboard provides a central screen that you can load up with widgets. A widget is like an interactive “mini-app” that only resides on Dashboard, like a calendar viewer or a weather forecast. And yes, you can install third-party widgets if you want 11 Mac Dashboard Widgets You'll Actually Use 11 Mac Dashboard Widgets You'll Actually Use How long has it been since you used your Mac's Dashboard? If you're like most users, it's been a long time – and that's too bad. Read More .