1. RevJar's Avatar
    I just bought my first MBP (will be here on the 19th) and now I need to look at what software and apps to install . Here are some questions:

    1. Coming from Windows, should I purchase Parallels?
    2. What about Office? Will iWork do the same or do I need Office?
    3. Is Outlook worth the extra price?
    4. What's a good mail app? Is the standard Apple app good enough or should I look at Outlook or Sparrow or something else?
    5. What are some app suggestions or software that I should definitely have installed?

    Thanks in advance.

    Jared
    09-14-2013 07:31 PM
  2. Jaguarr40's Avatar
    Jared I would love to be able to help you but would like to congratulate you on your new MBP but I am not in that world yet. I wanted to acknowledge your question and if you can be patient there are many of my friends and also many members highly qualified to help you and I am sure they will answer you soon. Again good luck with your new MacBook Pro.
    RevJar likes this.
    09-14-2013 07:42 PM
  3. warcraftWidow's Avatar
    I just bought my first MBP (will be here on the 19th) and now I need to look at what software and apps to install . Here are some questions:

    1. Coming from Windows, should I purchase Parallels?
    Depends on if you have any essential Windows apps that are not available on the Mac. I would suggest making a clean break and finding Mac equivalents. For instance I use iBank vs Quicken. Took some getting used to, but overall it is easier than using a VM. Feel free to ask in the forums for equivalents. There are many of us that have made the switch in the past few years.
    2. What about Office? Will iWork do the same or do I need Office?
    Again, depends on your tolerance for change. For most home uses, iWork is plenty. If it's being used in a small business or something like that, then I may suggest Office not because iWork can't get the job done, but because it would affect your job productivity for a whole until you were used to it. Also if you need to send a non-Mac user files, iWork can save in Office formats with reasonable fidelity.
    3. Is Outlook worth the extra price?
    No. Not unless being used on a corporate network.
    4. What's a good mail app? Is the standard Apple app good enough or should I look at Outlook or Sparrow or something else?
    I just used the standard mail app. Never caused me any trouble.
    5. What are some app suggestions or software that I should definitely have installed?
    Chrome or Firefox-I'm primarily a Safari user, but every rare once in a while will encounter a website that doesn't work well.
    1Password-love this password manager and how it integrates with all browsers and the iOS apps
    Acorn-a reasonable cheap Photoshop replacement for photo editing
    Bartender-hides all those icons that collect it your top status bar
    Carbon Copy Cloner-Time Machine backups are great and I so do them, but it is also nice to be able to make full bootable disc images
    Crashplan-cloud based backup service. Yes I have a losing data paranoia
    DragonDrop-little utility that pops up a small box when you grab a file to love or copy and shake it. Then you can change to a different desktop and grab the file from the little box and put it where it was going
    Fluid-allows you to make a website into an app
    Growl-notifications for apps that don't support the built in notification Center
    Handbrake-the video conversion app
    iBank-my Quicken replacement
    MacPilot-good utility to modify "hidden" settings rather than going to Terminal
    Dropbox, Evernote, other cloud services.

    If you're looking for a specific recommendation for a category of software let me know or ask on the forums.
    Just_Me_D, Fausty82, Trees and 2 others like this.
    09-14-2013 07:55 PM
  4. warcraftWidow's Avatar
    Jared I would love to be able to help you but would like to congratulate you on your new MBP but I am not in that world yet. I wanted to acknowledge your question and if you can be patient there are many of my friends and also many members highly qualified to help you and I am sure they will answer you soon. Again good luck with your new MacBook Pro.
    Ok, ok!!! I had to have a bit of time to type my answer out on mobile! ;-)
    RevJar likes this.
    09-14-2013 07:56 PM
  5. warcraftWidow's Avatar
    If you do decide to get Parallels, version 9 either has been, or will be, released soon so make sure you get that one or it includes a free upgrade to 9.
    RevJar likes this.
    09-14-2013 07:58 PM
  6. RevJar's Avatar
    If you do decide to get Parallels, version 9 either has been, or will be, released soon so make sure you get that one or it includes a free upgrade to 9.
    Some time ago, I bought Parallels 6 for $10, even though I didn't have a Mac yet. Unfortunately, the upgrade price is for v7 and up. Rats!
    09-14-2013 08:01 PM
  7. Alli's Avatar
    Go Windowless. If nothing else, you'll save a ton of space without Parallels or Boot Camp...or any of the other options.

    The first software I bought with my first Mac was iWorks. Lasted two weeks with it and then went and got MS Office. I still prefer it over iWorks.

    ​Get yourself a good app to delete apps, like AppDelete. Chrome and DataVault, and you're all set.
    Fausty82 and RevJar like this.
    09-14-2013 09:56 PM
  8. Fausty82's Avatar
    I agree with Alli's comments on Parallels. There are good programs to do the same function as Windows programs... and my personal choice was to ditch as much Microsoft stuff as possible. I do have MS Office installed (ironic, eh?) primarily for Excel. I use Pages and Keynote, but for some reason can’t deal with Numbers...

    Karen gave you a good list of programs to start with, and I have many of those as well (1Password, Growl, Handbreak, Bartender).

    A few of my favorites:

    Mountain Lion Tweaks for enabling some hidden features
    Moom for managing window placement
    TextExpander for managing keyboard "macros"
    Tincta as a text editor/programming editor
    Tweetbot for Twitter (though the Twitter native app is decent)
    PathFinder as a Finder replacement
    Evernote
    DiskConnect to share files between your Mac and your iOS devices
    MacTracker - as a time killer - it is an app/database of all Apple products through the years - machine specs, lreleas dates, etc.
    RevJar and eastbayrae like this.
    09-15-2013 12:16 AM
  9. warcraftWidow's Avatar
    I'd hold off on getting PathFinder though because Mavericks brings with it multi tab Finder and that may cover your needs.
    09-15-2013 08:33 AM
  10. Alli's Avatar
    I've had PathFinder and never used it. I'm looking forward to Mavericks.

    ​TextExpander is something I couldn't live without for my second job. I use it in conjunction with Evernote.
    09-15-2013 10:48 AM
  11. Fausty82's Avatar
    I've had PathFinder and never used it. I'm looking forward to Mavericks.

    ​TextExpander is something I couldn't live without for my second job. I use it in conjunction with Evernote.
    I had an app called WindowsCommander (later renamed to TotalCommander after M$ sent the developer a cease and desist letter) that I used back in my windows days... loved it and got really dependent on it. PathFinder is very close in terms of functionality for OS X.

    Though I have Mavericks DP, I can’t get used to tabs within Finder... I set them up, but over an hour or so, I end up closing each tab and am left with the original, non-tabbed version of Finder. Muscle memory is a bad task master.
    09-15-2013 10:55 AM
  12. jclisenby's Avatar
    You definitely need Microsoft Office. As far as everything else, the standard Apple offerings work well. Mail is great on Mac.


    Tappin and Talkin from my iPhone 5
    eastbayrae and Alli like this.
    09-15-2013 11:07 AM
  13. eastbayrae's Avatar
    Flavours looked great and I bought it. After using any of the themes my MBA is 15-20% slower. Good stuff!

    Anyone know if there is a performance monitor utility akin to the one in Windows that looks like a speedometer?
    09-15-2013 11:54 AM
  14. Massie's Avatar
    If you do any sort of graphics work, Pixelmator is a HUGE bargain as a stand-in for Photoshop.
    Alli likes this.
    09-15-2013 12:10 PM
  15. EauRouge's Avatar
    I made this switch a few years ago and I love it!

    But here is my advice:

    1. Stay with office. the mac apps just aren't as robust. The industry standard also is still Office, and its just easier to stay with that template imo
    2. As for mail client, I didnt like the UI for apple mail. What I use is Mozilla's Thunderbird. I love it! and feel that its much more full featured and powerful. Doesn't feel so "lite"
    3. CHROME!
    09-15-2013 12:55 PM
  16. Fausty82's Avatar
    Regarding the Mail client... I use Apple Mail, as it’s included and just seems to work for me. There was an issue with Mail when Mountain Lion was released that cause issues when replying to emails (if you had multiple email addresses, the "from" address was often NOT the address to which the message was addressed). That got sorted out and everything is good again. BTW, sometimes, even good apps have issues.

    Regarding browsers, I use Safari some, but my "go to" browser is FireFox. I also have Chrome installed. I always have multiple browsers installed on my computers - sometimes it’s the only way to troubleshoot an internet issue. If one browser doesn’t/won't connect, you can’t tell what the issue is. If multiple browsers fail, then you can pretty much eliminate the browser as the problem.

    And for office suites, I use MS Office. As I said above, I cannot get comfortable with Numbers. And to be totally honest, I use Excel a lot and Word/Pages some - but not nearly as much as I use Excel.

    A few more of my favorites:

    WiFi Explorer (Mac App Store). It’s a great tool for monitoring wireless networks - signal strength, and finding wireless networks. Very similar to the Windows app NetStumbler.

    Fantastical - hands down my favorite calendar app on OS X. It runs in the tool bar, is unobtrusive, but always a mouse click away. Uses natural language for scheduling events, as well.

    Easy Remote Desktop - great for accessing other Macs from your computer. I have a Mac Mini that I use as a media server for my home entertainment system. WIth ERD, I can access the Mini and do whatever is necessary without having to drag out the Mini's mouse/keyboard and switching my TV to that screen.

    HandyPrint - handy utility for sharing printers with your iOS devices - for those whose printers don’t natively support airport printing.

    Padlock - Handy utility for enabling quick, configurable keystroke to lock your keyboard and/or invoke the screen saver.

    Home Inventory - App for cataloging your possessions, and information about them - where you bought it, purchase date, purchase price. You can add photos, receipts, warranty info, etc.

    PDFPenPro - Create PDF forms, fill in PDF forms, etc.
    Last edited by Fausty82; 09-15-2013 at 01:54 PM.
    09-15-2013 01:08 PM
  17. phreddyl's Avatar
    I use ms office as well. Never really liked pages or numbers. For mail I like the airmail app. I like this it has a unified mailbox. Of course to be honest I rarely use it and rely on iPhone and ipad.
    09-15-2013 01:44 PM
  18. Alli's Avatar
    @Massie, Thanks for the recommendation for Pixelmator. Just bought it.

    ​Now if only I could find a database app equal to Access without breaking the bank, I'd have it all.
    09-15-2013 03:55 PM
  19. Massie's Avatar
    @Massie, Thanks for the recommendation for Pixelmator. Just bought it.

    ​Now if only I could find a database app equal to Access without breaking the bank, I'd have it all.
    My pleasure, I'm sure you'll get a lot of use out of it—I bought it back when it was $29.99 and it's still the best bargain I've ever had in the App Store!
    09-16-2013 12:08 AM

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