Gift Guides: Mac Apps

We're all for free software, but some apps are definitely worth paying for — and giving as gifts. Here are five apps any Mac owner would be happy to find in their virtual stocking.

Apps in the Mac App Store are particularly easy to give as gifts, since there's a built-in process for it.


Parallels Desktop ($89.95)

Parallels is a useful program for all types of people. If you know someone who recently switched from Windows to a Mac, it's our favourite virtualisation software because it makes it possible to run any version of Windows right inside a Mac. It's also ideal for students who occasionally need to run a piece of Windows software, or anyone else on your list who has been stockpiling Windows apps even though they primarily use a Mac. Simply put, it's a great gift for anyone new to a Mac, or for anyone who just needs to occasionally use a Windows machine.


Tweetbot ($20.99)

Okay, $20.99 for a Twitter client is an insane price, but Tweetbot is seriously good. With Tweetbot, your recipient will be able to manage lists, fine-tune what they see on Twitter, and make custom timelines, amongst other features. If you have a Twitter junkie on your gift list, they'll definitely appreciate Tweetbot and there's a good chance they won't buy it themselves.


Downcast ($10.49)

Downcast is a pretty pricey podcatcher. That said, it's still a fantastic app, and if you have a podcast-lover on your gift list it makes for a great choice. Just like the mobile version, they'll be able to subscribe to podcasts, create playlists, and plenty more. The really nice thing is that this all syncs up across devices, so if they're using Downcast on their iPhone or iPad, everything they do will be in sync with the desktop version


Fantastical ($20.99)

At $20.99, it's hard to really justify buying the great calendar app, Fantastical for yourself. Despite the price, it's still an awesome calendar that stuffs a lot of information into the menu bar so you don't need to bother actually opening a calendar app just to figure out what's going on. A solid choice for organisational fanatics.


Adobe Creative Suite ($599.88)

If price isn't really an issue and you have a creative type on your list, then a 12-month subscription to Adobe's Creative Suite — complete with full versions of PhotoShop, Premiere, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, After Effects and Muse — will make you very popular on Christmas morning. If $49.99 a month seems a little extravagant for your gifting budget, the Creative Cloud version of Photoshop is a little cheaper at $19.99 a month.


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