My Favorite Mac Apps

January 18, 2011

I’m planning on doing a series of posts of my favorite things:

These posts will mostly be a reminder to myself; I don’t want to forget about my favorite apps. Instead of static posts, I intend to keep them up-to-date. They will help me remember what I need to install when setting up a new system. Though, I can see this not being a problem in the near future (or present day) with everything “auto-remembered” for me: iPhone App Store, Mac App Store, Chrome Sync, Firefox Sync, etc.

Anyways, here are my Mac must-have apps:

  • Alfred - Application Launcher First App I found in the Mac App Store. I had been doing the Quicksilver / Quick Search Box thing, but I liked Alfred’s UI better. And it seemed quicker. I mostly use it for launching apps, though (like its competitors) it does more than just that.
  • Dropbox - File Syncer Dropbox is pretty much a necessity now-a-days when needing to get files synced across computers. I find the 2GB (plus the extra space they give away time-to-time) plenty of room for what I need.
  • Firefox - Browser While I lean heavily on Google Chrome now for my daily browsing, some of the web development addons that aren’t available in Chrome are enough to keep Firefox on my Mac.
  • Flickr Uploadr - … Flicker Uploader? I use Flickr to host my never ending photostream of my kids (or dogs). Flickr Uploadr is the only tool I’ve ever used to upload I think. It’s not been updated much (that I’ve ever noticed) but I don’t think it needs to be. It easy, fast, and works.
  • Google Chrome - Browser For the last several months Chrome has become my primary browser. My main reasons for switching from Firefox were: faster, quicker, speedier, nimbler, and faster. It also didn’t hurt that Google gave me a laptop to test their OS written on top of it.
  • GrabBox - Screenshot uploader This little tool is pretty neat. It automatically uploads screenshots you take on your Mac to a public folder on your Dropbox account. Quickly sharing photos has never been easier. I mostly use it for screenshots that I temporarily want to share, because as soon as you delete the photo from your Dropbox folder, the link becomes a 404.
  • Isolator - Productivity enhancer This guy sits in your menu and let’s you switch into productivity / reading mode with a keybinding or by clicking the icon in the menu. I have dual monitors so I tend to get distracted when reading, so that’s when I start Isolator. It’s quite configurable, too.
  • MacVim - Text Editor I recently decided to give Vim a try, and this is the GUI Vim editor for Mac OS X.
  • MenuPop - Quick Apple Menu Opener Cause sometimes you want to get to the Mac Menu with your keyboard and you don’t want to press Ctrl + Fn + F2 to do it.
  • Picasa - Photo Editor / Manager I hate iPhoto. Picasa fills the gap. I especially like the “I’m Feeling Lucky” option. Gets my photos fixed 80% of the time. The other 20% I can manually fix with its tuning options. All my Flickr photos go through Picasa.
  • Pixelmator - Photo Editor Photoshop is $1000, Pixelmator is $30. Because I’ve recently decided not to pirate any software what-so-ever, I’ve had to ditch Photoshop and pay for my first application. I don’t like paying for software, but I don’t like Gimp, either.
  • Reeder - Google Reader App I’ve tried switching to a prettier Google Reader interface before, but never stuck with one until Reeder came along. I’ve got in on the iPhone too, but  I don’t really do much reading on it anymore. My favorite feature on it is the option to view the post with the “readability” fix. Keyboard shorcuts are somewhat different than the default Google Reader webapp, which is annoying!
  • Remote Desktop Connection - RDP Client At work I’m a PC, so this is app is a must.
  • Sizeup - Window Management I’m using this app in “demo” mode, so that it nags me to purchase it after several uses. I don’t like it enough to pay for it, but I like it enough that the nagging doesn’t annoy me enough to remove it. The Mac lacks any kind of window management, and this app greatly helps in this area.
  • The Unarchiver - Compressed File Decompressor Unzips most file formats, except it seems to have trouble with some encrypted ones (7z, for example).
  • Transmission - Bittorrent Client Every now and then (before my switch to legal software/music only it was every day) I need to use bittorrent. I chose Transmission over uTorrent because it was simpler.
  • Twitter - Twitter Client I really like the new, but this app is too cool, and it doesn’t take up much screen space.