Free
Apps

Handbrake Open Source Video Transcoder

The popular open source video conversion app Handbrake has gotten another major update — its first in two years — in the form of Handbrake 1.1. The latest version adds some significant polish to the user interface, and brings new presets for encoding 4K video for playback on Apple’s latest Apple TV, along with other 4K-capable devices, of course.

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Free
Apps

Vimeo for macOS

Vimeo has released a free macOS app targeted at professional film makers and power users of the popular video sharing service. More than just a simple uploader, Vimeo for macOS also provides seamless integration with Final Cut Pro so you can export ProRes videos, manage uploads, and share videos right from within your post-production workflow.

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$400
Apps

IK Multimedia Syntronik Deluxe

IK Multimedia has released Syntronik Deluxe, an expanded version of last year’s Syntronik synth powerhouse for Mac users, adding five new legendary synths along with 500 new instrument presents, 18 GB of new sounds, and more than 22,000 new samples, bringing the total to 22 synths, 2,600 instrument presents, 80 GB of sound content, and more than 120,000 samples.

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$40 / $2/month
Apps

AgileBits 1Password 7 Beta

AgileBits has released a public beta version of 1Password 7, previewing the latest update in the company’s award-winning password management solution. 1Password 7 gets a fresh coat of paint that significantly modernizes its look, with a dark-theme sidebar that shows all of a user’s vaults and allows for easy drag-and-drop between vaults, and even between different accounts. The update also provides tighter integration for users of 1Password’s cloud service, so you’ll be able to do a lot more in the app without the need to make a trip to your web browser. Vaults can now be managed directly from the sidebar, for instance, allowing the name, description and avatar to be edited from within the app or a vault to be directly shared with another user.

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$4
Apps

Charles Aroutiounian Hue Menu 3

Apple still hasn’t brought HomeKit support to the Mac, but if you’re a user of Philips’ Hue system, you have other options available. Charles Aroutiounian first brought his app for controlling Hue devices to the Mac five years ago, and now with Hue Menu 3 the app has undergone a major overhaul under the hood, and most significantly added TouchBar support for users of the newest MacBooks.

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$20
Apps

Coriolis Systems Aura

It’s a little-known feature of most Macs that the 3.5 mm headphone port actually doubles as a optical S/PDIF port, which means that given the right cable, you can get a high-quality PCM audio stream right into the optical input on your stereo receiver. Unfortunately, since macOS lacks native support for advanced codecs like Dolby Digital AC-3, you’ll be limited to two-channel audio unless you’re using an app like DVD Player. This is where Coriolis Systems’ new Aura comes in — it’s a little $20 utility from the developer known for iDefrag and iPartition, which runs in the background to encode multi-channel audio from your Mac into a Dolby Digital AC-3 stream that can then be handled by any compatible receiver.

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$200
Apps

Apple Logic Pro X 10.4

Apple has unveiled another big update to its Logic Pro X ($200) recording app, with version 10.4 adding new temp detection technology and a range of new effect plug-ins. The new Smart Tempo feature now automatically manages tempo across all of the content in a project so that users can record tracks more naturally without having to use a metronome or click track to stay in sync with other content in the same project. Similarly, recordings of varying tempos can be merged together and synced up in tempo from different sources.

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$70 / year
Apps

Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac

Although Apple’s own iWork suite provides a decent set of productivity tools for personal use, it’s pretty hard to argue that Microsoft’s Office suite remains the 800-pound gorilla in the room when it comes to features and compatibility for exchanging documents with others. Even though Microsoft tends to lag a bit behind in their Mac versions, they provide reasonably good support for the Mac platform, making it easier for users to work on files from their own computers, or even to use their Macs at work. With the latest update to Office 2016 for Mac, Microsoft has finally brought real-time collaboration and cloud-based autosave to the Mac apps, bringing them closer to their Windows brethren, and more importantly allowing Mac users into the collaborative playground of their Windows-using colleagues.

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$29, $151
Apps
$10/month
Apps

Adobe Lightroom CC

After moving its photo management tools to the cloud with the debut of Lightroom CC in 2015, Adobe has updated the program’s interface and streamlined its tools for easier use. Incorporating elements of the “Project Nimbus” app that leaked out this summer, the Lightroom CC update expands cloud storage to 1 TB (way up from the measly 20 GB previously offered to Creative Cloud subscribers) for the same $10 monthly price, allowing users enough space to truly make use of cloud-based photo editing that stores both photos and edits for use from multiple devices. The app’s search function — powered by Adobe Sensei — uses machine learning to organize photos by recognizing and automatically tagging the content of images. Sharing also got an upgrade, including the ability to generate links to send directly or post to social media.

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Free
Apps
Extras

Twelve South Charleston at Sea Level Dual-Screen Wallpaper Collection

If you’re among our regular readers, you probably know by now that we’re pretty big fans of Twelve South’s product lineup — their stands and cases are well-made and fit in so well with the Mac aesthetic that they could have been designed by Apple. However, we also like it when accessory makers allow a little bit of personality to show through, and this is the case with Twelve South’s latest offering: A free collection of stunning wallpapers from the company’s own hometown that are specifically designed to look great on a dual-monitor setup. Twelve South’s new Charleston at Sea Level collection is actually the fifth collection the company has released since 2014, but is unique among these in that it features the company’s own hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, rather than the more popular tourist areas of prior collections.

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Free
Apps

Apple GarageBand

Apple’s latest version of GarageBand for Mac has added Touch Bar support for the newest MacBooks and a newly designed interface. Users working on a MacBook with a Touch Bar can now use that to quickly navigate through a project or even perform instruments in a similar way to how iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch devices are used as Touch Instruments on GarageBand for iOS. Three new Drummers have also been added in Pop, Songwriter, and Latin styles. The app is still free and available for download in the Mac App Store.

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$150
July 2017
Apps

IK Multimedia Syntronik

IK Multimedia has built a well-deserved reputation for creating powerful and authentic digital music tools, and the company’s new Syntronik is sure to be another hit with musicians. The new virtual synthesizer promises to take the virtual instrument game up another big notch with 38 iconic synths and string machines samples with IK Multimedia’s usual attention to detail. The app features a new hybrid sampling and modelling synthesis engine combined with a large set of high-quality modelled effects. Over 2,000 preset sounds are included that cover a huge selection of vintage synths, including some ultra-rare classic synthesizers that few will ever have an opportunity to lay their hands on.

yntronik includes 17 amazing instruments, available as a collection or separately, with over 2,000 preset sounds covering a wide selection from 38 of the most iconic to ultra-rare and painstakingly multi-sampled vintage synthesizers. Syntronik’s synthesis engine goes well beyond traditional sampling thanks to a brand new analog modeled filter section created with the utmost expertise from IK, the pioneer in virtual crcuit modeling. This is coupled with exclusive DRIFT™ technology to accurately reproduce the behavior of oscillators from real hardware synths. All of this combined with an effects section that is unrivaled in the world of virtual instruments along with advanced features like 4-part layers, splits and arpeggiators make Syntronik the ultimate source of inspiration with the widest palette of synthesizer sounds ranging from exact reproductions of the originals to sounds never heard before that will stand out from the crowd in productions covering any genre and style.

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$40
Apps

Aspyr Media Mafia III

More than half a year after its release, Aspyr Media has brought its action-adventure game Mafia III ($40) to the Mac. The third-person shooter follows Vietnam veteran Lincoln Clay as he uses the skills he learned in war to avenge the deaths of his mob brethren at the hands of the Italian mob. The game features epic gun fights, intense hand-to-hand combat situations, plenty of fast-paced driving and more subtle spoken interactions showing off the main character’s street smarts as Clay attempts to rebuild what he lost and rise to the top of his city’s criminal underworld. The game is large and graphically intensive, requiring some pretty daunting minimum system requirements — a minimum four-core Intel i5 3.2 GHz CPU and an AMD Radeon R9 290X graphics card with at least 2GB of VRAM — so only users with a recent iMac or a mid-2015 or later MacBook Pro can really play it.

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$10
Apps

Bloop Airmail 3.2.5

Bloop has rolled out a handy update to Airmail 3 for Mac ($10), its advanced e-mail client that it debuted last year, adding some key improvements that all heavy e-mail users can appreciate. The app now provides the ability to set an auto-response for when you’re out of the office and includes new HTML templates to make it quick and easy to send polished messages. The update also adds support for the Bear write and DEVONthink knowledge management apps, making it simpler to transfer text from either source into an email. Google legacy accounts are also now supported as well, and privacy enhancements offer more peace of mind that you’re the only one reading your messages.

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