The best apps for M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air (2023)

The best apps for M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air (1)

Apple has introduced itsfirst Mac M1s based on Apple Silicon- the 13-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini late last year. If you recently got a new Mac M1, check out our roundup of some of the best apps for your new MacBook or Mac mini to unlock its full potential.

We've rounded up some of the best and most useful Mac apps that run natively on M1-powered MacBooks. Before moving on to the list of apps, let's understand the current status of apps on M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

Apple calls Mac apps Universal when they contain native code for both its new M1 chip and Intel CPU. When developers update their apps to run natively on Apple's silicon, they use something called a universal binary. If an application has not yet been updated to Universal 2, it will still run on a Mac running M1, but it does so by converting Intel x86-64 code using Rosetta 2 emulation software. Apple Silicon tends to perform much better on M1: Macs and don't affect battery life too much either.

Check out our handpicked list of some of the best Mac apps for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air powered by M1.

Best Apps for M1 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini

1. Mac Cleaner Pro

MacCleaner Pro is a comprehensive utility for your Mac. With MacCleaner Pro, you can easily find and remove junk files, remove files that slow down your Mac, and improve the performance of your Macbook. Thats not all. You can also remove duplicate files, uninstall apps, and analyze disk space.

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The M1 MacBook Air comes with a 256 GB SSD. They will fill that space in a few months. With MacCleaner Pro, you can easily make sure that you have enough free space to play on your device.

Download:MacCleaner Pro

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2. Duplicate File Finder Remover

If you just want to remove duplicate files from Mac, look no further than Duplicate File Finder app on Mac. You can always create a smart folder on Mac and set the system to find duplicate files. But it is time consuming and less productive. Enter a third-party solution called Duplicate File Finder Remover.

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Just open the app, import the Mac folder you want to check for duplicate files, and remove all irrelevant duplicates with one click. The app allows you to merge and organize files, view file history, scan multiple folders, and more.

Download:Duplicate File Finder Remover

3. Clean Shot X

The default screenshot tool in macOS works just fine, but CleanShot X takes the experience to the next level with more options like the ability to create GIFs, videos, auto time, etc. You can edit a screenshot with annotation tools like arrow, hide info, rectangle, multiple color options and more.

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CleanShot X is one of our favorite iPhone hack tools. You can get the software for $29 as a one-time purchase.

Download:clean shot X

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4. Filmora

Filmora is a powerful video editor developed for the M1 CPU. With Filmora, the company aims to simplify the complex video editing process with basic editing features and various advanced features in an intuitive interface.

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You can expect over 800 built-in video effects, including titles, transitions, filters, as well as a wide range of built-in transitions, blur effects, skins, color correction, and much more. There is something for everyone here. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, Filmora has you covered. Try it at the link below.


5. Good grades 5

GoodNotes is one of the best note taking apps for the Mac ecosystem. With the app you turn your Mac into a smart digital paper and powerful document management system. You can create digital notebooks and enter text with the keyboard, or write and draw on your iPad with your mouse/trackpad or Apple Pencil with Sidecar.

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You can organize your documents in folders and create unlimited subfolders and even bookmark them for easy access. If your daily workflow revolves around frequent writing, go ahead and download GoodNotes 5 from the Mac App Store.

Download:good marks 5

6. Parallels-Desktop

With the latest version 16.0, Parallels Desktop finally supports the M1 CPU on Mac. If you need to run Windows programs that don't have Mac versions, or if you're switching from PC to Mac and need to transfer your data, Parallels Desktop has you covered. got you covered.

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Parallels Desktop automatically detects what you need to get started, so you can be up and running in minutes. If you need Windows, you'll be prompted to download and install Windows 10 or use Boot Camp setup.


7. PixelmatorPro

Shortly after the release of the M1 MacBook Air and Pro, the team behind the Pixelmator Pro released a compatibility version 2.0 with a massive redesign and hood changes.

Calling this "the biggest update to Pixelmator Pro yet," Pixelmator includes an all-new design, support for Macs with Apple's new M1 chip, full compatibility with macOS Big Sur, and more.

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In terms of tools, Pixelmator Pro 2.0 includes a new effects browser, a new preset browser (with over 200 new presets), and much more. There are seven new color adjustment preset collections and eight new effects preset collections. While you don't need a Mac with the M1 chip to take advantage of the new features in Pixelmator Pro 2.0, the software particularly benefits from the performance improvements the M1 chip offers.

Pixelmator Pro is available to new customers for $39.99.

Download:Pixelador Pro

8. Alfredo 4

Alfred is a must-have app for macOS that boosts your efficiency with hotkeys, keywords, text expansion, and more. You can search your Mac and the web, and be more productive with custom actions to control your Mac. You can also launch apps and search for files. Alfred learns how you use your Mac and prioritizes results.

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Alfred 4 already supports the M1 architecture. The company promises more features and better performance tailored to the Mac M1.

Download:Alfredo 4

9. Microsoft 365 Apps

It took Microsoft a while, but the software giant is ready to support the M1 CPU in the MacBook. The updates make the apps universal, which means these versions will run on Intel and Apple Silicon Macs, so any future updates or features will be available for both platforms at the same time.

The list of apps includes Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and OneNote. However, Teams is particularly absent. Office users with automatic updates turned on should have the new versions available on their Macs.

Download:microsoft 365

10. Enlarge

Zoom needs no introduction unless you've been living under a rock for the past year. Zoom used to work fine on the M1 laptop with Rosetta 2 emulation, but it was hard on the MacBook M1's battery life.

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On December 21, Zoom officially released an update to its video calling app to natively support Apple's silicon. This is important as the holidays are often a popular time for video calls. Also, video calls are one of the things that typically have the biggest impact on your laptop's battery life.


11. Light room

Adobe Lightroom is one of the first Adobe Creative Cloud applications optimized for the Apple M1 chip. For many creatives and professionals, it's the default option for editing and organizing photos. Lightroom Classic works fine with the MacBook M1, but with the latest universal software update, you'll notice faster editing and export times without sacrificing battery life.

Download:light room

12. Google chrome

Even after a major overhaul and expansion of the Safari browser in macOS Big Sur, Google Chrome is still the default choice for most. The search giant recently introduced the M1 compatible browser.

With Chrome, just make sure to select "Mac with Apple chip" when downloading; otherwise, you'll end up installing the Intel version, which will still run, just not as efficiently. Firefox is also built into the MacBook M1. Microsoft Edge, another popular browser on Mac, has yet to be updated for the MacBook M1.

Download:Google Chrome

13. Things 3

Things 3 is one of the best task management apps on the Mac platform. The company intends to build the app from scratch to support the latest range of M1 MacBooks. The app allows you to create to-do lists and easily check off items as you edit them. With the latest update, Things 3 supports notifications, Big Sur widgets, and all the latest additions to macOS. The software is also available for iOS and Apple Watch.

The best apps for M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air (11)

Download:things 3

14. fantastic

Fantastical recently received Apple's Mac App of the Year award. It's beautiful, clean, easy to use, and lets you manage events and tasks like a pro on iPhone and Mac. You can customize the calendar display exactly how you want it, and Fantastical also has widgets that you can place on your "Today" sidebar. your Mac.

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The free version is limited in several ways. To use its full potential, you need to pay for a subscription that starts at $4.99 per month.


15. Tweetbot for Twitter

Tweetbot is an award-winning, full-featured Twitter client for Mac. It has a beautiful interface with light and dark themes, multi-column support, and more. You can enjoy an expandable sidebar, drag and drop columns, timeline filters, silence filters, lists, multi-account support and much more in the boring native Twitter app for Mac.

Please note that Twitter does not provide third-party applications with access to all of the features available on the Twitter website.


16. Waiter 4

If you have a cluttered menu bar at the top of your Mac screen, a bartender can help you put things in order. You can smartly arrange the menu bar area and arrange app icons in an expandable but invisible stack that hides automatically. The app also allows you to manually rearrange icons based on usage and selection.

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If you tend to run multiple apps, you can even use the keyboard shortcut to switch between those app icons. Alternatively, you can also search for the app using the search box. Hiding certain apps protects your privacy from others and also clears up the menu bar.

Download:waiter 4

17. 1 password

1Password is the easiest way to store and use secure passwords. With a single click, you can log in to websites and fill out forms securely. Essentially, it takes all the pressure out of creating and remembering a password that is really complex and strong. The app is now optimized for the new M1 chip. 1Password offers personal and family plans to get you started.

The best apps for M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air (14)

Download:1 password

18. Affinity Apps

The Affinity suite offers further savings compared to an expensive Adobe Creative Suite subscription. Affinity apps like Photo, Designer, and Publisher are already supported on the MacBook M1. If you're tired of waiting for Adobe to update Photoshop and other applications, you should seriously consider Affinity's Mac offering.

Download:affinity apps

19. BetterTouch Tool

If you bought the M1 MacBook Pro with TouchBar, you are satisfied with the BetterTouchTool application. macOS Big Sur offers a degree of customization for the TouchBar, but BetterTouchTool is a utility that gives you even more flexibility in using the Touch Bar so you can quickly tap on useful shortcuts to your most important apps.

The best apps for M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air (15)

Download:BetterTouch Tool

20. Employee 3

Scrivener 3, a popular writing app for the Mac platform, recently received a major overhaul with a host of new features. Scrivener 3 is a major update to Scrivener that is now available for macOS. It is a paid upgrade for existing users and it comes with a bunch of cool tweaks and a nice updated UI. The company claims to have modernized the code base and rewritten to 64-bit for faster and more stable performance.

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Download:employee 3

21. PDF Expert

I've been using PDF Expert for a few years now and I can't recommend it highly enough. With the optimized PDF Editor M1, you can edit, read, annotate, modify text and images, fill out forms and sign documents like a pro on Mac. That's not all. You can even use the app to read books with different modes like day, night, or sepia through the advanced settings menu.

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Download:PDF specialist

22. Clean up my Mac X

CleanMyMac X is an all-in-one package to clean your Mac's junk and cache files. It cleans up megatons of junk and makes your computer run faster. CleanMyMac X replaces dozens of Mac optimization tools. It could be anything you say: a macOS cleaner, a performance monitor, and a malware remover.

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It can remove tons of junk lurking in iTunes, Mail, and Photos, and even find gigabyte-sized hidden files. The Mac cleanup tools in CleanMyMac X shave off the extra weight in seconds.

Download:clean up my mac x

23. DaVinci Solution

DaVinci Resolve is a powerful multimedia tool that combines editing, color correction, visual effects, motion graphics, and audio post-production in one easy-to-use interface. DaVinci Resolve 17 introduces new image processing for the latest wide-gamut HDR, a powerful audio engine, immersive 3D audio workflows, and more.

DaVinci Resolve is divided into "Pages", each of which offers its own workspace and tools for a specific task. A single click is enough to switch between tasks.

Download:davinci resolution

24. Block Ads

No, it is not another ad blocker extension for your browser. AdLock is a native ad blocker for Mac. AdLock takes care of all the ad clutter and makes your web browsing experience clear, clean and hassle-free.

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The software filters Internet advertisements to prevent access to unsafe web resources. These resources include phishing websites and sites that host malicious or unwanted software. AdLock also allows you to filter apps and services to show acceptable ads. Plus, you can rest easy with standard DNS filtering, HTTPS filtering, autorun, and live monitoring. Try it at the link below.

Download:ad blocking

25. Liberation

This one needs no introduction, right? Slack is a team chat tool that helps businesses optimize conversion across the organization. The company recently added the ability to send direct messages to anyone on the platform. Slack aims to replace decades-old email functionality. While I don't see it as a complete success, it has managed to clear up the mess within the company.

The best apps for M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air (19)

Download:day off

26. Just notice

Simplenote is a great alternative to Notes for Mac. It's clean, works across platforms, syncs perfectly, and gets the job done with tons of features. You can use tags to organize notes, go back in time to view reviews, share notes, and use standard markdown support.

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Download:simple note

Get started with your MacBook M1

Scroll through the list of apps above and enhance your new MacBook experience with amazing apps and tools optimized for the M1 CPU. It's only a matter of time before more developers jump on the latest macOS trend. Let us know which apps you decide to use in the comments section below.


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