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The Best Apps to Use on Macs With Apple Silicon

Apple's M1 computers have a lot of advantages over their Intel-based ancestors. Just make sure you're using apps that can make the most of it.

macbook m1
Apple

The Cupertino giant released its first batch of Mac computers with its M1 silicon chipsets, specifically the MacBook Air, entry-level MacBook Pro and Mac mini, and is expected to give its higher-end computers the same treatment in early 2021.

The combination of Apple hardware and software are what has made its iPhones and iPads some of the best smartphones and tablets for years and years. To get the maximum benefits of Apple's M1 computers you need to be using software that makes the most of this new combination.

Apps original designed for Intel processors will still work on M1 computers, but they have to be significantly reworked to gain M1 benefits. It's a process that's ongoing, so in the meantime it's best to make sure you're using optimized apps if your new computer has an M1 chip.

Here are some notable apps that have made the jump. You can find a full list here.

The Basics: All of Apple Apps

All of Apple's own apps that come preloaded on any new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini will be optimized for M1. This includes apps like Safari, Messages, Notes, Mail, Preview, iMovie and Pages — they'll all work great and efficiently.

Price: Free

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Video Conferencing: Zoom

As of December 21, Zoom officially rolled out an update to its video calling app so that it natively supports Apple's silicone. This is a big deal given that the holidays are bound to be a popular time for video calls. Also, video calls are one of the things that typically hit your laptop's battery life the hardest.

Price: Free

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Art and Photo Editing: Lightroom

Adobe's Lightroom is one of the first Adobe Creative Cloud apps to be optimized for the Apple M1 chip, for example, while it will release M1-optimized versions of Lightroom Classic, Photoshop and Camera Raw "as soon as they are ready."

Price: $10+/month

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Browsers: Chrome (or Safari)

Google has also released an M1-optimized version of its Chrome web browser — which you can download, here. It's a big deal for anybody who still uses Google's suite of apps and prefers to use Chrome instead of Safari.

Price: Free

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Best Productivity: Things 3

Things has been one of the most popular productivity apps for years. The app allows you to create to-do lists and easily check items off as you get down with them. According to the company, the app has been redesigned from the ground up to work widgets, notifications and all the new features that macOS delivers.

Price: $50

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Best Calendar: Fantastical

Fantastical was just awarded the "Mac of App of the Year" by Apple. It's a powerful calendar app that's compatible with a wide variety of third-party apps and works well across all your other Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

Price: Free

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Social Media: Twitter

If you're somebody who uses the Twitter app instead of just keeping a browser tab open (or you're a list master who uses TweetDeck), you'll be happy to know their app is one of the first that's fully optimized for M1.

Price: Free

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Password Management: 1Password

1Password is a great app for managing passwords across all your devices and services. It essentially takes away all the pressures of creating and remembering a password that's actually complex and secure. The app is now optimized for the new M1 chip

Price: $3/month

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