Before you buy a Mac device, you should know the Mac software included in it and what you might have to install yourself.
Spending on a cool new tech can be a bit confusing at times. But with some proper research, you can get to know whether your purchase is worth the cost or not.
Talking about cool tech, the MacBook has been gaining popularity. Said popularity is due to the laptop’s innovative features, modern design, impressive specs, and high performance.
Even though the overall features of Macbook Pro and Macbook Air have notable differences, the Mac software included is the same in both.
So whether you plan on buying the Macbook Air or Pro, here is a list with info of free Mac software included you should get familiar with:
- Siri – Virtual Assistant
- Mail – View emails
- Safari – Standard Browser
- FaceTime – Standard Browser
- Messages – Send texts
- News – Receive Personalized News
- Maps – View Maps
- Music. Podcast, Apple TV – Listen to music, podcasts and enjoy TV shows
- Books – Access PDFs
- Home – Manages home applications
- Notes – Takes Notes
- Contacts – Organize Phone Numbers
- App Store – Install New Apps
- Voice Memos – Record Audio
- Stocks – Gain Info On Stock Market
Software That Comes With Every MacBook Air/Pro
An OS, short for Operating System, is system software that manages an interface between the user and computer hardware. It does so by providing standard services and controlling the execution of all other application programs on a computer.
The operating system benefits the computer by performing basic tasks such as file management, device and memory management, input and output handling, and more.
It also functions in starting programs, controlling display and sound, and controls devices like printers, disk drives, etc. In short, all applications that run on a computer use the operating system to interact either with the user or other computer components.
The Mac operating system is a line of proprietary graphical operating systems developed by Apple Inc. The macOS is the second most widely used PC operating system after Microsoft Windows.
This primary OS for Mac computers was previously known as macOS X. But in 2012, Apple changed the name to OS X and later to macOS in 2016.
Every year Apple comes out with a new version of their operating system. In 2020, Apple presented macOS version 11, also called macOS Big Sur. Then next year, in 2021, they released version 12, called macOS Monterey.
Since Apple Inc. has not announced a new operating system version for 2022 yet, the current Mac software included in your MacBook will be MacOS Monterey. It could also be macOS Big Sur which can easily be updated to the latest version.
Siri on Mac
Similar to Amazon’s Alexa and Samsung’s Bixby, etc., Siri is a built-in intelligent virtual and voice-controlled assistant developed by Apple Inc.
This voice assistant was initially released in 2010 as an iOS application, but later in 2011, it was integrated into the iPhone 4S.
Since then, Siri has been a pre-installed feature of Apple devices, including the iPad, iPhone, iPod, Mac, Airpods, Apple Watch, and more.
The Mac software included with Siri is available on macOS Sierra and versions afterward.
Like other virtual assistants, Siri functions through voice queries, focus tracking, gesture-based controls, and a user interface with natural language.
Hence, you can ask questions, get recommendations, make phone calls, set alarms or reminders, or even search content over the internet. You can do much more with Siri on your Mac with just a click or through a simple ‘Hey Siri’ voice command.
The Mac software included Safari is a graphical web browser developed by Apple Inc. Safari was first introduced in January 2003 with macOS X Panther and since then has been the default browser for all Apple products.
Though you can download other web browsers such as Chrome or Firefox, the Mac software included with Safari is preferred by Apple users. The browser has a condensed and minimalistic interface that delivers a faster browsing experience with fewer interruptions.
Mail, also known as Apple Mail, is a Mac software included email client designed by Apple Inc. It was first released on macOS X Panther and later was included in all Mac operating system versions.
This email client is an easy-to-use software with minimal features that allow you to send and read emails easily. You can also sort messages, send attachments with your emails and even organize emails in folders to avoid clutter.
FaceTime on Mac
FaceTime is a proprietary video and audio chatting platform developed by Apple Inc. This platform is available on any Mac with a face-forward camera and allows users to communicate with one another.
The initial release of FaceTime for Mac was with macOS 10.6.6 in 2011. It became a free Mac software included with the macOS 10.7 (Lion) and later versions.
With the release of macOS Monterey and iOS 15, it is now possible for non-Apple users to take part in FaceTime calls by using a web client.
Another feature of FaceTime is that it can also make regular phone calls by connecting to your iPhone.
Messages on Mac
Messages is an instant messaging software application designed by Apple for devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, etc. Messages app was introduced in 2012 with macOS 10.7, which replaced the iChat application as the default messaging client.
Through Messages on Mac, you can share various links to websites, files, or photos or even choose to drag and drop them for sharing.
The best feature of Mac software included Messages is that it also supports FaceTime and iMessage. Hence you can video call and receive iMessages with Wi-Fi rather than cellular data.
The News app or Apple News is a newsreader/aggregator application developed for Apple devices. This Mac software in 2015 replaced the Newsstand application.
Since then, Apple users have browsed and read news articles from various sources and created a personalized news feed based on their interests and location.
Apple also announced a subscription-based app service in 2019 called Apple News+. This paid service allows users to access premium content from different magazines and newspapers.
Apple released an additional feature of audio stories in 2020 for Apple News+. This feature lets subscribers listen to audible versions of articles similar to podcasts.
Hence with the Apple News Mac software included in your device, stay updated with the current information around the world.
If you love reading, the Books application is a treat for you. Previously the app was known as iBooks and now as Apple Books. It is an e-book store and reading application for Apple users.
This reading platform is available in various languages and stores the books purchased from the Book Store.
With this app, you can enhance your reading experience by changing fonts, selecting a background theme, and adjusting the text size and screen brightness according to your preference.
You can also highlight passages, select and search words, and find definitions of different words with just a tap.
The Stocks app is a Mac software included with Apple devices that gives basic stock info to investors. You can track market activity and follow your stock’s performance with it.
Along with it, you can view quotes and daily performance of stocks through a customizable watchlist and receive price quotes on the Notification Center on your Mac.
In addition to this, the Stocks app also keeps you updated on trending business news from around the world.
The Home app is a personal controller for Apple HomeKit compatible devices. The Home app allows you to control various devices through your Mac while maintaining a smart home. From switching on lights or adjusting the temperature to providing home security, this software can do it all.
Moreover, you can set schedules for these smart controls and pair the Home app with Siri to have an even better Home app experience.
Developed by Apple Inc., Voice Memos are the easiest way to record audio notes. With Voice Memos Mac software included in your device, you can create recordings on your Mac via the built-in microphone, external mic, or even through a supported headset.
Once done with your recording, you can save it and then play it on any Apple device. Moreover, you can edit the saved recording by trimming or renaming it.
The best part of Voice Memos is that you can convert the recordings from audio to text. So, no more typing or writing down notes in a hurry while in meetings or during lectures.
Mac software included Notes app is a simple note-taking application that is user-friendly. You can make lists or write notes and change their format, including font size and emphasis.
You can also attach media to your notes, such as videos, pictures, and map locations. The collaboration feature allows users to share their notes with others while working together on it.
With the Calendar Mac software included in your device, you can stay updated and never miss out on any event. Calendar manages events stored on multiple accounts and sorts them for your ease in a single place.
You can also color-code spots and create separate calendars for special days you would like to remember. With Calendar, you can create your event and send invites to people with details, including date, time, and location.
Through Contacts, gather your contacts spread over different internet accounts such as Google, iCloud, or Yahoo into one easily accessible space. Contacts can automatically create groups of your contacts when commonalities are detected among them. You can also locate contacts through the map available on the application.
Keep track of different tasks with Reminders on your Mac. You can add notes, set a date and time to be reminded, and even tag or flag reminders. With the option of subtasks, you can organize your lists even better and get things done on time.
Photo Booth allows you to capture pictures and videos with your Mac. You can use the built-in camera or attach an external camera to take pictures and make your selfies comical with the available effects.
Users can also share photos and videos through Messages, email, or Airdrop to nearby people.
Preview on Mac lets users view images and PDF files. Other than viewing, it can also print files and allow editing media. With Preview’s Markup tools, you can fill forms, add your signature and even protect files by adding a password.
Additionally, if an image or PDF file does open on your Mac with Preview, you can convert it to a different file type.
Time Machine is built-in backup software designed for Mac computers. Apple introduced it first with macOS 10.5 (Leopard), and since then, it has enabled users to recover deleted or inaccessible files.
Time Machine automatically creates hourly, daily or weekly backups on your Mac for personal data such as documents, emails, pictures, music, and more.
Replacing iTunes, Apple Music is a subscription-based music streaming platform available as Mac software included. This platform lets you stream, create playlists, view lyrics, and even lets you download millions of songs from the library.
With the Share Play feature on Apple Music, you can sync music and listen to it with others over FaceTime calls.
Get your entertainment fix with Apple TV’s service on your Mac computer. It lets you browse and watch movies or TV shows while providing you with a complete TV experience.
Also, with Apple TV+, you can stream Apple Originals within the comfort of your computer or any other Apple device.
With Apple Podcasts, you can stream and play audio shows on your Mac. Browse podcasts from various genres and have the power to adjust playback speed and save episodes you love. You can also follow your favorite podcast shows and get notified whenever a new episode is available to stream.
If you feel like adding more apps, the App Store is your perfect solution. With it, you can discover and download different applications belonging to various categories.
You can also get Safari web extensions to optimize the browser and download and play various Apple Arcade games available on the App store.
Two other popular software suites can be downloaded free from the Mac App Store. The 2 software suites include iLife apps and iWork.
The iLife app is a software suite developed by Apple Inc. for Mac operating systems and iOS. Previously the iLife apps included various applications such as iDVD, iWeb, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand. These programs were designed to create, edit, publish, and organize different media.
Out of all these, only iMovie and GarageBand still exist and are also available to download free from Apple’s Mac App Store.
As mentioned above, iTunes and iPhotos were replaced by newer applications such as Apple Music and Photos, respectively, in Apple’s more recent releases.
The iLife apps still come pre-installed on new Mac computers but only contain iMovie and GarageBand that can be uninstalled whenever you want.
The GarageBand is a digital audio workstation for Apple’s Mac operating system computers. Users can create music or podcasts with GarageBand and share them on various platforms.
This application consists of a massive sound library with instruments, preset for Voice, and includes a wide range of audio loops from different music genres such as EDM, Indie, Hip Hop, and more to use in your projects.
Therefore you can create music without buying instruments and easily edit and finesse the sound of your creation through GarageBand.
Moreover, if you are a newbie to musical instruments, such as the piano or guitar, you can learn to play them through GarageBand’s built-in lessons.
iMovie is a digital video editing software that allows users to create movies and edit them on Mac computers. With iMovie, you can add special effects, titles, split videos, and even pictures to any movie you create. The option to import and add soundtracks from the audio library is also available to enhance your video project.
This software suite consists of 3 applications: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. These 3 are equivalent to Microsoft Office’s applications, such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, respectively.
Pages is a word processing app that lets you create documents. Numbers is a spreadsheet application that manages and organizes your data, while Keynote is a presentation application that allows users to create and deliver visually stunning presentations.
Software That DOES Not Come With Macs
Until now, we’ve discussed applications that are already included in your device, but here is some software that is not available with the macOS but can be downloaded through the App Store!
MS Office on Mac
The MS Office suite is not included with Mac devices. But does that mean you cannot work with MS Office suite applications on your Mac? The iWork software suite provides applications alternative to MS Office. But Mac users can purchase or download MS Office applications on their computers.
To get MS Office on Mac, you can buy separate applications or purchase the whole Office suite from Microsoft’s website. Although to get the software for free, here’s what you need to do:
How to Get Microsoft Word or Excel on MacBook for Free?
- You can download separate MS Office applications available on the App Store and skip the payment option. However, you would not be able to edit documents as this version opens documents in read-only mode.
- The best tip is to have a Microsoft account. You can either sign up for one or sign in with a pre-existing Hotmail, Outlook, or Live.com account. Once logged in, click on the “Free Office for the web” option. This will direct you to the Office homepage, where you can access all MS Office applications.
- You can also get an MS Office license from your workplace or educational institute for free to install the software on your Mac.
Photos is the pre-installed software alternative to Photoshop on Mac. Although not included with Mac software, users can download Adobe Photoshop to edit and enhance pictures on their macOS systems.
A 7-day free trial is available, after which you would have to get a monthly subscription from the available plans to keep using Photoshop.
Final Cut Pro X And Logic Pro X
Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X are high-performance video and audio editing software. Although not part of Mac software, it can be purchased through the App Store and used on a macOS PC.
Macs do not come with built-in antivirus applications. Their absence does not make them any less susceptible to malware. So to protect your MacBook or other Mac computer, you can download either a free antivirus app or purchase a premium anti-malware application.
Zoom, Skype, And Teams
Video conference applications such as Zoom, Skype, Team, and more are not pre-installed on Macs but can be easily downloaded for free through the App Store.
The Mac operating system does not come with pre-installed games compared to built-in games on the Windows operating system. Mac users can download and purchase games from Apple Arcade’s variety available on the App Store.
Here are some answers to common questions related to Mac software included in a Mac device.
What Software Comes Free With a Mac?
There is a variety of software that comes free with a Mac. Mac software included with Apple include App Store, Time Machine, Apple Music and Podcast, Safari, Apple TV, Preview, FaceTime, and Photo Booth. Other software includes Maps, Contacts, Calendar, Reminder, Voice Memos, Notes, Mail, and Messages. There is also free innovative software available such as Siri, Apple Home, and Stocks.
What OS Comes With MacBook Pro?
Each year Apple comes out with a new version of their operating system. As of 2022, there has not been a new version announced yet. Therefore the current operating system that comes with MacBook Pro is version 12 of mac OS also known as macOS Monterey.
Is MacOS Better Than Windows 10?
The answer is purely dependent upon a user’s preference and experience. Both the Mac operating system and the Windows 10 operating system have pros and cons.
When it comes to the availability of various applications, Windows 10 operating system is ahead in its game. It supports a wide variety of significant applications and software. When talking about computer performance, the Mac operating system has proved to yield better results.
Can You Install Windows On a Mac?
To make it simple, yes, you can install Microsoft Windows on a Mac. There are 2 ways through which you can install Windows. You can either use a virtualization program or Apple’s built-in Boot Camp Assistant.
The virtualization program runs Windows like an app on Mac, while the Boot Camp program divides the hard drive to dual-boot Windows with the Mac operating system. Hence you can switch between Microsoft Windows and macOS when turning on your Mac.
Is Microsoft Word Free On Mac?
Microsoft Word is not available for free on Mac. The included Mac alternative to MS Word is Pages. The Microsoft Office applications are not included, but you can purchase the suite or download separate apps.
To use Microsoft Word or other MS Office apps, a OneDrive account is required. Also, a 30-day free trial is offered, after which users have to pay for a monthly subscription to activate features.
Although you might require to purchase some software for work and leisure, the Mac software included in a Mac device will get basic tasks done. We hope this article helped you learn more about the different Mac software that comes included in Mac devices to make the best buying decision.