Free from, BetterTouchTool supercharges the gestures feature of your Mac’s trackpad, Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad so that any combination of fingers swiped in any direction will activate features within apps.


Growl lets apps tell you when they’ve finished a task, or have other vital info – a little like Notification Center, although Growl can be heavily personalised. Get it for £2.49/$3.99 in the Mac App Store.


Many apps install applets in the menu bar – so much so that it can get crowded. Bartender hides any or all of the applets behind a single icon. Grab it for £9.94/$15 from


Moom enables you to rearrange or zoom app windows at the click of a mouse or a keyboard shortcut. You can create ready-made window arrangements, too. It’s £6.99/$9.99 in the Mac App Store.


Caffeine keeps your Mac temporarily awake, avoiding the need to fiddle with Energy Saver settings. You might use it to ensure a download finishes without being interrupted. Caffeine is a free download in the Mac App Store.

Essential App Hacks

Little Snitch

Little Snitch offers you full control over your private data, informing you when applications want to send your data outside of your Mac so that you can decide exactly who can share your information and with whom.


Access and update your calendar without launching the default Calendar app. Fantastical sits in your menu bar and is opened with one click or keystroke, helping you to keep track of your diary quickly and easily.


Complete tasks on your Mac without leaving the application you’re working in with Quicksilver. Increase your productivity and get things done quickly, and without needing to think about it.


HyperDock injects some power into your Dock, beyond providing easy access to regularly used apps and documents. Control iTunes and Calendar without launching their apps, plus browse and switch between your open app windows.

Lion Designer

Customise the overall look of Mavericks’ menus and interfaces with Lion Designer. Change the colour of menus, your Login Screen background and also customise Finder and Launchpad icons.

Missing Mac Apps

VMware Fusion

Imagine having a spare Mac on which you could install OS X, Windows and Linux. VMware Fusion makes that a reality by emulating a complete Mac in software, and costs £45.95/$59.99 from

What’s Keeping Me?

Ever tried to empty the Trash yet been blocked because an app’s using a file? What’s Keeping Me? tells you what files are open by which apps. It’s free of charge from


XBMC turns your Mac into a media player, able to play just about any movie or audio file, and with a similar smooth look and feel to Apple’s old Front Row software. It’s available as a free download from


While Macs can create secure encrypted archives using Disk Utility, creating ones that Windows and Linux users can also read requires TrueCrypt, which is easy to use and free of charge from


BitTorrent gets a bad press for encouraging sharing of pirated media, but many legitimate files are distributed across its network too. Transmission is one of the best Mac BT clients and is free at

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