7 Best Image Viewer Apps for Mac
Apple’s Preview is a decent Image Viewer on macOS, but it has limitations. One major drawback is the lack of GIF playback. As a Mac user, I began searching for alternatives to Preview on my MacBook Air. I wanted lightweight, fast, and straightforward options, similar to the top 5 alternatives for the Photos app on Windows 10.
Preview is the default option for seasoned Mac users. However, fresh converts from Windows often feel frustrated by it. With that in mind, I aim to strike a balance with the shortlisted apps. Also, I wouldn’t recommend apps that annoy you with “Buy the Pro Plan” prompts as soon as you launch them. If it bothers me, I can only imagine how much it would bother you. Let’s check out the options.
To set any of the options as the default viewer, select different image files (PNG, JPG, BMP, etc.). Right-click on them and select Get Info. In the Info window, click the drop-down arrow below Open With and choose a relevant app from the list. Then, click Change All to apply the changes to relevant files across the system.
Now, let’s look at the top Image Viewer apps for Mac.
The free Phiewer version allows you to view one image at a time. Opening a photo displays the main image with thumbnails on the left side. While being one of the fastest image viewers, Phiewer shows thumbnails on the left with an option to start a slideshow. However, the blurring effect backdrop might steal your attention. Phiewer stands out by displaying basic photo details distinctly. Besides photos, it also supports various media formats. This becomes apparent when syncing media folders with the app. You can try out different effects on photos and unlock more features with the Pro version.
If you want a simpler alternative to XnView MP, try this version.
Xee is a straightforward alternative to Preview. Xee has a few unique features that set it apart. The Previews and Next buttons for browsing images are located in the top left corner, along with other options neatly placed next to them. The status bar in Xee displays additional details about the image, such as dimensions, file type, file size, and color details. However, Xee did not automatically adopt the Dark theme of my macOS, so I had to manually select Black in Xee’s Preferences > Style. Xee is solely an Image Viewer and does not offer editing options. This app is streamlined, fast, and responsive.
Unfortunately, Xee isn’t free. You will have to pay $3.99 to buy it from the App Store on your Mac.
3. XnView MP
XnView is not just an image viewer but also a popular cross-platform media management software. Many Windows users prefer XnView as their default image viewer on Windows 10. With support for over 500 image formats, the developers have included several useful features that require payment. Fortunately, you can also customize the app’s layout.
When the app is open, go to View>Layout and choose Free from the menu. Then click the x-shaped icon to close irrelevant windows. In summary, you have multiple viewing and sorting modes to switch between based on your needs. The app’s performance setting optimizes your onboard GPU chip, resulting in faster processing and caching on MacBook Pros.
Lyn is a replacement for the Photos app with built-in Image Viewer capabilities. The interface of Lyn app is familiar so you won’t feel out of place. When you launch it, you will notice the basic adjustment options at the top, similar to Preview.
Apart from viewing options, you can also link other cloud-based services like Flickr, Facebook, Dropbox, and more. The i-shaped button is the hidden information panel that presents you with details of the image from resolution to metering mode. If you check photos with your digital camera, DSLR, or Mirrorless, then Lyn is a suitable image viewer app. You can customize the layout from preferences for quick access to frequently used folders. Lyn supports various picture formats, and you can share photos with your friends via email, Flickr, or Smugmug. The basic version comes with a 15-day trial, decent enough to try. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay $20 one time to remove the trial limitation.
If you’re searching for a straightforward image viewer for your photos and screenshots, qView is the top choice. It’s a minimalist photo viewer that looks great with the dark theme on macOS.
View is available on Windows, making it a perfect cross-platform photo viewer. It works best as a no-nonsense viewer on Mac, without editing or tweaking options.
The ApolloOne app utilizes Core Image graphics and hardware features like multi-threading to provide an exceptional photo gallery and organization experience.
The photo viewer can handle RAW photos and support over 1000 digital cameras. It allows you to edit EXIF details and try out the Slideshow feature. This viewer offers additional settings and support through purchase.
Pixea is the ideal macOS photo viewer for those who appreciate a minimalist interface and extensive image format support. It provides features such as histogram, EXIF data, photo rotation, and image flipping. Additionally, Pixea conveniently displays images from ZIP or RAR archives without the need to open them separately, making it perfect for reviewing backup data or exploring new archives.
Pixea for macOS supports a wide range of image formats, including JPG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, PSD, BMP, WebP, and others. It also allows you to view camera-specific RAW images from brands like Leica, Sony, Olympus, Minolta, Nikon, Fuji, Canon, and Hasselblad. However, please note that Pixea only allows you to export the final image in JPEG, JPEG-2000, PNG, BMP, and TIFF formats. This should be sufficient for editing and sharing your photos. The app also offers support for keyboard shortcuts, which can greatly enhance your browsing experience. Pixea is available for free, with no hidden charges.
Change Is Good
Apple’s Preview is inadequate, especially for users who switch between macOS and Windows 10. My preferred choice is ApolloOne, as it supports importing images from multiple cameras. For simply browsing photos on my Mac, I utilize qView. Which one will you choose?
As Fred Humiston, the author behind Twothirds.us, I focus on providing practical and easy-to-follow guides and solutions for a variety of technical issues that people commonly face.
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