CUPERTINO, CA. = This year marked the introduction of the first Macs to be powered by Apple’s own silicon instead of Intel chips. As is evidenced by our reviews of the M1 MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini, these machines are incredibly powerful and offer wicked fast performance. This is especially true for apps that are designed to run natively on them and take full advantage of Apple’s latest technologies.
So in that vein, this year’s Mac apps list is going to focus on some of the software that has already been optimized for this new era of Apple hardware. Last year’s picks remain just as relevant and useful today if you’re on an Intel machine. But if you’ve been gifted (or are gifting yourself) one of these new speed-demon Macs, these are a few great ways of sampling what they can do.
We’ve rounded up our favorite and most-used games, apps, and entertainment. Check out our app picks for iPhones, Android phones, Windows PCs, and M1-equipped Macs; our favorite mobile games from Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass; and our top choices for gaming PCs, the PS5, Xbox One and Series X / S, Nintendo Switch, and VR. We’ve also listed our favorite streaming shows on Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN Plus, and Netflix; some great sci-fi books; and exciting new podcasts. (Note: pricing was accurate at the time of publishing but may change.)