22 July 2012

OS X Apps

This is a list of the OS X apps I currently use on my MacBook Air (2012 model), which runs OS X Lion. This is a useful reference; when someone asks me “what apps do you use?”, I can point them here. Maybe it’ll be useful for some other Mac users out there too. If nothing else, I’ll have it recorded for posterity. The list is in alphabetical order.

1Password. I use this to store all my account details (both online and offline accounts). It allows me to use very strong randomly generated passwords, and has great integration with Safari. I also use this on my iPhone and iPad. It seems expensive ($51.99), but absolutely worth it.

Caffeine. Prevent your Mac going to sleep with one click in the menu bar. Great in a variety of scenarios, but particularly useful when giving a presentation. Free.

CheatSheet. Hold down the command key to get a list of shortcuts for the active app. Free.

Day One. A journal app. I only got this a couple of weeks ago, prior to that I used Notational Velocity for journalling. It is nice to use, and syncs with the iOS version, but it does seem to crash a bit. I’m not yet sure if I will stick with it, or go back to the simpler Notational Velocity solution. $5.49.

Dropbox. Reliable and simple to use file storage and synchronisation service. It just works. I sync files between computers and my iPhone and iPad. Free (for up to 2 GB of storage).

iCal. Builtin calendar app. Works very well. I don’t see the need to use anything else.

iNodeMon. Monitors Internode ADSL usage. It runs in the menu bar. Free, unobtrusive and does the job well.

iPhoto. Builtin photo management app. It is easy to use, and works very well. I don’t see the need to use anything else.

iTunes. Everyone knows about iTunes. I don’t see the need to use anything else for music or video.

Keynote '09. Use it to create presentations. It’s like PowerPoint, but better. $20.99.

Marked. Simple previewer (not editor) for Markdown and other text formats. Works brilliantly. I used it to write this article. $4.49.

Money. I use this to keep track of my financial accounts and spending. It has some rough edges and a limited feature set. It does the basic job quite well, and does some things really well, like its simple modeless operation.

Moom. Advanced control of windows layout. Very handy! Doesn’t conform to Apple’s new sandboxing requirements, so probably don’t buy it from the App Store as it won’t be getting any updates there. $10.

Notational Velocity. It’s a note taking app, but for me, it is much more: it’s my personal knowledge management solution. I really love this app, simple and fast without frivolous features. I sync it with simplenote so that I can access my notes on my iPhone and iPad. Free.

Office 2011. You still need to interact with the rest of the world, most of which uses Windows and Office. Excel is a great tool; it’s better than Numbers. KeyNote and Pages are better than PowerPoint and Word.

OmniDiskSweeper. Shows files and directories in descending order by size, letting you quickly remove the worst offenders. Free.

OmniGraffle. Fantastic diagram editing tool. Simple and easy to use, yet powerful. $109.99.

Pages ’09. Simple and easy to use word processor. It’s better than Word. $20.99.

Parallels Desktop. Virtual machine manager. I use this to host a Windows 7 guest which I use whenever I need to run some Windows software (like e-tax), or for Windows development. I find Parallels easier to use and more reliable than VirtualBox (which is free).

QuickCursor. Makes it easy to edit text fields from any OS X app, using your favourite text editor, Sublime Text in my case.

Reeder. Brilliant app for reading RSS feeds. It syncs with Google Reader. I also use this on my iPhone and iPad. $5.49.

Remote Desktop Connection for Mac. Good for remote access to a computer running Windows.

Safari. Builtin web browser. I don’t see the need to use anything else.

Sublime Text. A super fast, powerful, extensible and cross platform text editor. I used to use TextMate (which is great too), but Sublime Text is cross platform, and suits me a little better. $59.

Terminal. Builtin terminal emulator. It works very well, I don’t see the need to install an alternative one.

TextExpander. Custom keyboard shortcuts expand into text. I only recently purchased this; it is very nifty, but I am yet to see how useful it really is, for me. Like Moom, it doesn’t conform to Apple’s sandboxing requirements, so buy it directly. $34.95 US.

Things. A brilliant and simple task management app that syncs with iPad and iPhone apps. For anyone who feels like they have a million things to do, but never enough time, this app may help. For me, it is almost perfect; it just needs cloud sync, which is coming soon. $51.99.

Transmit. FTP, SFTP, WebDAV and Amazon S3 file transfer client. I use it mainly for mounting remote file systems over SSH. $35.99.

Twitter. The official Twitter app. Simple and easy to use; I am not a Twitter power user. Free.

VLC. Free and open source multimedia player; plays almost anything!

Viscosity. Simple and reliable OpenVPN client. $9 well spent.

Xcode. For OS X and iOS app development.