Published by Simon Schoeters

Mac apps for switchers

Today another colleague of mine got himeself an iMac. After a sleepless night he is looking for some extra software so I took a look in my Applications folder and here is my list of most useful Mac OS X apps. The ones with a ♥ are the ones I need, the others are great applications I don't need evey day or the ones I download again next time I need them for a specific task.

  • Adobe Photoshop ♥ is the image editor, no questions asked. Tried numerous alternatives from Pixelmator to GIMP but I keep going back to Photoshop.
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom ♥ a must have if you regularly edit photos or shoot in RAW.
  • TextMate ♥ is an editor that combines the power of command line editing with a nice GUI wrapped around it.
  • Firefox ♥ as development browser. I use Safari for my daily browsing stuff but the Firefox extensions make it indispensable for web development.
  • Aquisition X a peer-to-peer file sharing program which connects to Gnutella and BitTorrent networks.
  • Adium X ♥ is a free and open source instant messaging application that can connect to AIM, MSN, Jabber, Facebook, GTalk and more.
  • Skype ♥ makes calls from your computer - free to other people on Skype and cheap to phones and mobiles around the world.
  • Transmission is a fast, easy, and free BitTorrent client with a focus on being lightweight yet feature-filled.
  • Transmit ♥ is still the best FTP program for Mac OS X in my opinion. It supports Amazon S3, iDisk, WebDAV, FTP, SFTP, TLS/SSL.
  • Spanning Sync ♥ syncs your iCal with Google Calendar on a scheduled basis.
  • Handbrake is a free and open source multithreaded DVD to MPEG-4 converter.
  • iSquint is free movie converter from numerous movie formats to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV compatible formats.
  • VLC Media Player ♥ plays all the more obscure movie formats QuickTime doesn't know about.
  • With Flip4Mac ♥ you can play Windows Media files (.wma and .wmv) directly in QuickTime player and view these files in your browser.
  • Screenflick ♥ is a screen capturing app that can record portions of the screen and record audio simultaneous from microphones and the system audio.
  • Zattoo free real streaming TV. For Belgium it shows VT4, VIJFtv and La Une.
  • Versions ♥ is still in beta and it already replaced my command line SVN skills or how a GUI can make your life easier.
  • Quicksilver is a fantastic launcher I used to start applications with a simple shortcut but Spotlight kind of replaced it. Still, it's much more powerfull and has loads of plug-ins.
  • HoudaGeo ♥ is a one-stop photo geo coding application which can read GPS log files or use Google Maps to add geographic coordinates to your photos.
  • The Unarchiver ♥ is designed to handle many more formats than BOMArchiveHelper, the built-in archive unpacker program in Mac OS X. It supports Zip, Tar-GZip, Tar-BZip2, Rar, 7-zip, LhA, StuffIt and many other more or less obscure formats.
  • Yojimbo ♥ is an information organizer to store unstructured information like password, notes, etc. Use it to keep website payment confirmations, flight numbers, passwords, code snippets and others but looking for a free alternative here.
  • Parallels is a OS virtualization tool that let's you run Windows or Linux on your Mac side by side.
  • Caffeine ♥ is a tiny program that puts an icon your your menu bar. Click it to prevent your Mac from automatically going to sleep, dimming the screen or starting screen savers. Click it again to go back. Greet free app to keep around.
  • MacPorts is a software package manager for Mac OS X, not the tool for everyone but a great help if you need to install UNIX software from time to time and don't like the ‘configure, make, make’ install way. Free, of course.

A few duplicates or applications that do more or less the same things as the ones above but for free.

  • Cabos ♥ is a free open source alternative for Aquisition X. The UI doesn't look as good but hey, it's free.
  • Cyberduck is a free and open source alternative for Transmit. It supports FTP, SFTP, WebDAV & Amazon S3. Again, the UI is the trade of but offers great value for, well, no money.

This blog post is open source. Did you spot a mistake? Have any ideas for improvements? Contribute to this post via Github. Thank you!