Updated: February 25, 2022
I bought a new computer (Mac) recently and wanted to make a list of all the tools I find useful in case other people find them useful too. I used to use a Windows computer, so a lot of these are things I used on Windows too, or equivalents.
So here it is:
New: AirDrop Location Selection
I find that AirDrop is often the fastest way to transfer individual files over to my computer. However, if you want to choose where the files end up, you’ll have to use an Automator Script. This site has a good description of how to set that up (ignore the phony notification request). I would suggest one twist: for the “Move Finder Items” action, click “Options” and check “Show this action when the workflow runs”. That way, you can select a specific folder every time you receive an AirDrop file.
New: Better Bluetooth Sound
This is a weird one, but macOS seems to do a poor job of picking the best Bluetooth codec for non-Apple headphones. However, with some tweaks to preferences via the command line, you can cajole your headphones into using the right codec (and not sounding like an old car radio).
I was able to find instructions and info about this issue on MacRumours and this Github gist by Daniel van Flymen. I had a lot of difficulty trying to download Bluetooth Explorer, so I would try the command line option first.
This is something Windows does better natively than Mac (in my opinion). However, as long as you’re comfortable with using your keyboard, Spectacle does a good job of bringing OSX up to par.
Note: Spectacle is no longer actively maintained. I’ve tried Rectangle which is partially based on Spectacle and found that it’s a good replacement.
Why isn’t this a thing that the Spotify app already does!? Anyway, in the meantime, you can see the title of each new song with this app.
Screw night shift. Flux is better.
Since the newer versions of OSX don’t have the battery time remaining indicator, I think this Battery Monitor App (App Store Link) is pretty useful.
I have a Logitech M570 Trackball Mouse and I like to use the trackball to scroll. It’s amazing and I don’t know why the Logitech software doesn’t allow you to do this already since it’s 1000% better than using the scroll wheel.
I got the trackball scrolling working using a hammerspoon script from this thread:
It has options for keybinding to start the scroll mode, or you can press a button on the mouse, which is what I do. I only changed two parts of the mouse button script:
local scrollmult = -2
The negative number makes it non-natural scrolling. I prefer the natural scrolling, but this helps me switch back to Windows, which I have to use at work. I also tamped down the speed a bit, from 4 to 2.
local shouldScroll = 2 == pressedMouseButton
Changed the button to OSX button 3 (middle button). I also remapped the fifth button (“forward”) in Logitech Options to be the middle button, which is how I had it set up in Windows. I find it easier to click than the mouse wheel.
Other than that, I kept the rest of the script the same. Works better than the Windows AHK script I was using.