Native applications with high level of polish that follows Apple's guidelines and rules is promoted.
If an app have the same polish as a premium macOS app, it will be promoted on the list.
I try to avoid any kind of software that uses web/hybrid-frameworks which violates the UI/UX.
The software eco-system for macOS over the last decade has been in a huge growing state. There's a lot of new software and apps which offers high quality, native and polished experience, or just enhancing the existing macOS experience to suit personal needs.
Due to the requirements and promotional work by Mac App Store, sooner or later it has made it hard to browse for hidden gems and new upcoming software.
I originally made a personal awesome-list as a goto when others ask me for good software recommendations which I integraded into a site. This site has no commercial purpose other other than pointing users to support the developers and a link to the Mac App Store. If you want to support this site and the work I put into this to keep finding new apps, you can send a donation of choice to my PayPal which will be highly appriciated.
This collection is by no mean perfect. If you want me to add a software to the list or change things up, please give me feedback trough the links in the top right corner or suggest a change on the specific category page. You can also create a GitLab issue.
I do not promote or include any software that require lowering the security or disable SIP ("rootless"). Apps should improve the experience of MacOS without any kind of "hacks" and so on. Therefore applications like MacForge or cDock etc. is rejected.
In the Apple eco-system, there's a lot higher degree of paid/subscription software with a higher expectency to support developers which has made a great well-crafted app that instead of using example a "free web app" that's just a webpage wrapper. Example of a paid application would be Sketch, while a free web app like Figma would be rejected.
If an app is FOSS (Free and Open-Source Software) but also feature the same quality as a premium Mac app, that will be on the list. Apps of this kind is VLC or Transmission, in contrast to GIMP or Audacity that even tho it does the job, the UI/UX polish, OS integration etc. is not on the same level and therefore rejected. Same reason why a closed-source software like Screenflow and Wirecast is on the list, but not OBS.
This is a class of apps that's often found as malicious towards the user and very much an app to app case if it's acceptable software.
When these apps does not have a malicious intent they often lie in its marketing even when it comes to open-source software. Statements you often find is claims to make your computer faster by cleaning e.g Internet cache. In reality, the next time the user visit those websites, they are forced to download same cache in the background just as a first-time visitor and clearning things like "cookies" forces the user to get the cookies-popup on every website again.
Then you have apps like CleanMyMac that straight up lie in it's marketing and scripts. They claim they can remove stuff that "can't be manually removed" or because their app is notarized by Apple means you can "trust it". Just do a quick google from last year and you'll find many cases of notarized and signed software by Apple that was or had malware.
Software that hasn't been updated but also isn't relevant anymore is rejected. Examples would be apps like Growl or Hyperdock while others that even tho hasn't been updated in years can be still relevant and useful today, such as Burn even tho most of us don't own a DVD-burner anymore.
As for UI, libraries, frameworks etc, the more native look and feel of a software where it looks like a part of the OS it self is what's promoted. Example of what's preferred is Cocoa, Qt, AppKit, SwiftUI, Catalyst etc. while rejecting most CEF, Electron, JavaFX, Swing etc. frameworks.
Most web applications wrappers does not comply with the UI guidelines, drains the battery, increase both your internet bandwidth and RAM usage, reimplement existing OS features while many times lacking native OS features and therefore is rejected.
In this day and age it's hard to stay away from software that in one or another way collect personal data on you as it's not always told, or discovered until much later due to the nature of closed-source software. But as a general guideline, apps that's been known to be privacy infringing, do inferious data collecting etc. will mostly be rejected.
For any software that's specific to a single platform or company is rejected. Things of that kind would be Github Desktop or Tunnelbear VPN, while a app like Sourcetree made by Atlassian would be on the list.
All graphical assets such as symbols and logos is made by Philip Andersen.
"Mac App Collection" is an independent site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc.
"Mac App Store" and "macOS" is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Mac is a trademark of Apple Inc.