Security researchers have independently found apps "exfiltrating" data to servers without the user's knowledge, all of which were available to download from Apple's Mac App Store. Each of the apps managed to get past Apple's submission process for the store and were available to download alongside other legitimate apps.
The biggest app of the list is Adware Doctor, which topped the chart for paid utilities in the Mac App Store, before being removed after the reports about it first emerged on Friday. The app claims to remove adware threats from a Mac, including extensions and cookies in browsers, but Patrick Wardle advises the "cleaning" process involves collecting the browsing history of the user, as well as a list of all running processes, and a list of software downloaded to the Mac.
A second app, Open Any Files, takes over a system's ability to handle documents that are not associated with an existing app, using the opportunity to advertise other apps that supposedly could open files. Aside from the extra affiliate-based behavior, the app was also found to have similar characteristics to Adware Doctor, in acquiring the browsing and search history of Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, as well as the App Store.
The discoveries of the malware calls into question the safety of apps available from the Mac App Store, and Apple's ability to make sure they are safe before making them available to purchase or download. According to Malwarebytes, the company has reported such instances of malware to Apple for "years," with barely any immediate actions undertaken to remove the offending apps.
There is also the issue of developers found to be distributing malware failing to be blocked from the Mac App Store, as the creators are sometimes able to bring the exact same apps back to the store in a short space of time.
MalwareBytes encourages users to "treat the App Store just like you would any other download location: as potentially dangerous." While free apps may seem harmless, "if you have to give that app access to any of your data as part of its expected functionality, you can't know how it will use that data."
frantisek said: Please could you clearly and simply list apps we have to avoid? Not burden it into text.-Adware Doctor-Adware Medic-Open Any Files-Dr. Cleaner (I had downloaded this one, dammit!)
In general, paid apps tend to offer more features and values than free apps. Among those paid apps, pricing models also vary. For example, some apps charge based on subscription ($ per month or per year), while some others offer a one-time purchase option.
Based on my observation, paid Mac cleaning apps usually offer higher-quality, more timely customer support than free apps. This is unfortunate but reasonable, as adding a new channel for support means extra cost to the developer.
New update: now you can also get Gemini from Setapp, a Mac app subscription service that offers a 7-day free trial and includes access to a few hundred paid apps including CleanMyMac and Gemini. Read our detailed Setapp review for more.
The app is actually an all-in-one solution with over 30 tools built for macOS. One of the tools, Clean Drive, can detect and clean 9 types of files: log files, cache files, trash, browser data, Mail cache, mobile apps, iTunes temp files, iOS device backups, and old updates.
I knew only two or three from the list. Cleanmymac seems to be good so far. Free apps didnt work well for me compared to paid ones. Still having mixed feelings with other storage cleaning process in mac.
Hey. Thanks so much for the research. I got a message, ostensibly from Apple, that my MACBook Pro had been invaded by destructive and privacy-invading malware that could steal my personal banking details. I had exactly 4.5 minutes to respond before complete destruction. There was a free version and a paid one. It was called Mac Cleanup Pro. I almost bought into it and decided to research the validity of the APP. I came across your blog.
I really like Onyx and it is free but I just tested Clean My Mac X and to be fait it is a great piece of software for Mac maintenance. I am always having cache issues when working on my sites and the cache cleaning feature comes really handy at times. I also like the fact that you can easily spot and remove 32bits apps which will no longer be supported soon by MacOS. Thanks for all your great tips JP!
I appreciate your reviews of Mac maintenance utility apps. I have used CleanMyMac 3 for quite a while and have been more than satisfied with the program. As a current user, the company is offering me an upgrade to the X version at half-price. Have you reviewed CleanMyMac X? Just wondering if it is worth the subscription.
It depends on how you define \u201csafe\u201d. All the software and apps I tested are free of viruses or malware, but when it comes to deleting files the apps suggest you do, better be careful as you might delete the wrong files.
While most of the apps in this list are free, some of them offer a paid option. That being said, when it comes to paid apps, I have only included those options that offer a generous free tier. I am using free versions of all the apps (that offer paid options) and find them suitable for most users. No app with a free trial or heavily restricted free tier has been included.
Raycast also connects directly with popular native and third-party apps like Things 3, Apple Notes, Spotify, Apple Music, Notion, and dozens of others, and allows you to supercharge your workflow. For example, you can connect the Notion account and create new pages and search for existing pages using Raycast. Similarly, you can search and manage your to-dos inside the Reminders app or Things 3. The possibilities are just limitless.
Rectangle is one of the apps that I install instantly on a new Mac. Macs are good at many things, but window management is not one of them. Apple has not solved the window management problem in the latest macOS Monterey, so we have to wait one more year to see if the company is willing to do something about this issue or not. If you are also fed up with Apple's native approach towards window management, you should Install Rectangle.
macOS Mojave introduced dark mode to our favorite desktop operating system. The dark mode on macOS Mojave is not half-cooked as it is on windows. When you turn on the dark mode on your Mac, not only it turns the system UI but also the stock apps. Not only that, apps that support automatic dark mode also adhere to the same guideline. Once you turn it on, they automatically default to dark mode.
While that's great in most situation, I wish Apple included a way to create a whitelist for apps that are not functional in dark mode. The default Mail app and the Evernote app are a few examples of an app that still work best in light mode. That's where NightOwl comes in. It's a menu bar app that allows you to create a whitelist of apps that you don't want to use in dark mode. Not only that, but it also allows you to quickly switch between dark and light mode with a simple click at its icon. You can read more about the app in our article here. The app is completely free to download and use with a voluntary donation.
ImageOptim is one of the most used free Mac apps on my MacBook Pro. In my line of work, I have to attach a ton of screenshots (like in this article). And before I upload any picture on my website, I pass it through ImageOptim. The app deletes all the unnecessary metadata such as GPS position and camera's serial number and compresses the image. This allows me to upload the image on the web without any privacy hazards and ensures that the file sizes are low.
The app is pretty easy to use. You just drag and drop images into its window and then click on the button at the bottom-right corner. If you share a ton of images on the web (whether on your blog or social media websites like Twitter and Facebook), it will be good for you to pass it through ImageOptim first. I have used paid image compression apps but nothing has been as good and as easy to use as ImageOptim.
Basically, it is super powerful photo editing app for Mac that allows you to use pro-level photo editing features for free. You are required to learn the app as it has a steep learning curve but once you get used to it, you won't go back to even the best-paid photo editing apps on the market. This one is definitely one of the free Mac apps that you can download in 2019.
Focus to-do is one of the top productivity apps for your iPhone around. It even has a desktop client that you can connect to effortlessly. The app is built around two things: the Pomodoro technique and task management. It achieves these things with amazing balance. All that you have to do is create a task and then set the timer right within the app itself.
Mac users who need to edit PDF files have many options available to them. There are free applications as well as paid solutions from which to choose. Some of them offer greater functionality than others and may be more suited to your needs.
Adobe is the creator of the PDF format and has consistently been a leader in applications that allow users to interact with PDF documents. The Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is a stripped-down version of its full Acrobat tool which we will talk about in the paid software section of this article.
FineReader Pro is another paid PDF editing solution that has a free trial available for customer evaluation. The product is sold with a perpetual license and is available through the Apple Store. It has many features that make it an attractive tool for users working with PDF files.
More extensive work with PDF files probably warrant the use of a full-featured, paid application. All of the tools mentioned above can get the job done and offer free trial versions. See which ones look good to you and give them a try. Once you find the one you want, it is usually more cost-effective to purchase the tool outright than use it on a subscription basis.
With the following best animation apps for motion design, making your own cartoon will not be as difficult as it may seem. Check out free animation apps for iPad and pick the right animation apps for Mac, iPhone, Android, or any other OS. 2b1af7f3a8