In no particular order, and having installed several application “just to try” I have whittled down my must-have OSX apps to the following. I’m pretty sure these, although it’s early days yet, will remain on my Mac for quite a while, particularly as I’m happy with things and the only stuff I’m still mucking about with is stuff like the desktop background and so on.
Update: The wallpaper in the above screenshot can be found here.
- Adium – FREE – Instant Messaging client which hooks into all the usual protocols.
- Coda – $79 (~Â£40) – Homesite is my app of choice on my PC, and this is as close as I’ve seen to that for the Mac. I’ve not bought it yet but haven’t (yet) found an alternative.
- Cyberduck – FREE – an FTP client.
- Aurora – FREE – an alarm clock, interacts with iTunes, can wake your Mac from sleep.
- AppDelete – FREE – hunts down and removes all the files and changes an installed application makes (it’s like install in reverse).
- Firefox – FREE – Yes, Safari is there and it’s good. But I can’t use Google Browser sync with it so Firefox remains my browser of choice.
- Growl – FREE – displays notifications of system events. LOADS of scripts available, currently I use it for Google Mail, and iTunes and I’m investigating others.
- Handbrake – FREE – DVD ripper/converter application.
- iScrobbler – FREE – iTunes plugin that reports your usage to Last.fm.
- iStumbler – FREE – Wireless discovery tool, easily find open Wifi connections (and Bluetooth signals too).
- NeoOffice – FREE – A port of Open Office and means I can work with ‘office’ documents. Apparently the current point releases have solved a lot of speed issues, but that’s before my time.
- QuickSilver – FREE – THE app/file/action launcher supreme. There is so much to this that I’m still getting to grips with it. At the moment I’m not using it as much more than an application launcher but it’s capable of MUCH more.
- Seashore – FREE – A basic image editor, and all I really need for minor edits to graphics. Might need PhotoShop Elements in the future.. maybe..
- Skim – FREE – A PDF Reader, lighter than Adobe bloatware.
- Smultron – FREE – a smart text editor, still needs some work but looks promising. I’m used to having one application that deals with text-based files, providing auto-complete for file types that require it (in other words, .txt files are just text, whereas .htm files are highlighted and I get auto-complete functionality when typing tags).
- Transmission – FREE – BitTorrent client. Not used it much but seems pretty sleek.
- VLC – FREE – Video player that can play just about anything..
- Hazel – $16 (~Â£8) – prompted by this series of posts, and my incessant desire to have a clean desktop, Hazel is an automated ‘housekeeper’ that will help automate basic tasks. Very powerful.
In addition to what I’d call the “core applications” above, I’ve also installed a few “minor applications” which are mainly used to tweak the display or provide a small and specific piece of functionality:
- Slim Battery Monitor – FREE – a smaller battery monitor.
- TinkerTool – FREE – Lets you tweak some hidden settings, the TweakUI of the Mac world.
- Witch – FREE – a sort of Alt+Tab replacement, with the ability to activate minimised Windows. Not 100% reliable (doesn’t always ‘activate’ windows properly, but that’s probably the fault of the window not Witch) but I’ll see how it develops.
- YouTunes – FREE – which places a very nice little menu in your menubar to quickly control iTunes.
- MagiCal – FREE – a nice little app to give a smaller calendar in your menubar, and a nice dropout month view too.
- ClearDock – FREE – which removes the background to the Dock… a bit silly, really.
- InstantShot! – FREE – used to take the screenshot above.
So there you have it, I think that’s all of it but with websites like Cool OSX Apps around I’d warrant that a few more applications may soon find their way onto my MacBook.