I have literally dozens of applications installed on my Macs. Everthing from productivity software to full 3D games. I rely on most of these apps every day, some more then others. While all of these apps are important, there are always ten apps that I just couldn’t live without.
As a web developer I rely heavily on apps like Coda and Transmit, but they don’t really apply to the average user. I wanted to make a list that could apply to everyone using a Mac. So…here is the list I complied of ten applications that I think everyone should be using:
- Dropbox No application or program has changed the way I use my computers more then Dropbox. The days of worrying about file changes and transferring files between computers are over! Dropbox syncronizes all your files in your Dropbox folder to all your Mac, Windows and Linux computers. The synchronization is so fast both ways that most files take just seconds before the changes appear on all your computers. All files are kept locally as well so you can access all your files even when you are offline. This is the one application I believe that everybody can benefit from.
Price: FREE for 2GB, $99.95/year for 50GB
- Google Chrome is now my default web browser. It is the first thing I install on any new computer, and is what I spend my whole day in. I find Chrome to be the fastest, and most stable browser available, and it’s sync ability between the different Macs is a great way to keep yourself organized. Chrome automatically updates in the background so that you don’t have to install the updates yourself. Chrome is at version 12 as of this writing, but the browser update cycles releases a new version every two months or so.
- Sparrow is my new default email client on the mac. Sparrow has an incredibly clean interface and brings the power of Gmail to the desktop. You can use Sparrow with just about any email provider, but you really feel like this app was made for Gmail and Google Apps. I was previously using MailPlane, but it was essentially just the Gmail interface windowed in a Safari browser window. Sparrow gives all the features I love with Gmail, but in a native and clean Mac interface.
Price: $9.99 on the Mac App store
- Divvy is a great little application that organizes your open windows and applications. It does that one simple task, and does it extremely well. When you activate Divvy, using either a keyboard command, or by clicking the menu bar icon, an overlay pops-up allowing you to select where on the screen you would like the application to appear. For quickly organizing a lot of windows and apps, there is nothing better.
Price: $13.99 on the Mac App store
- Reeder makes it’s way onto the Mac via it’s port from the wonderfully sucessful iPad and iPhone editions. Reeder keeps your Google Reader in complete sync with the desktop client. It allows you to read all your Google Reader feeds in a clean interface, and them post them to third parties like Instapaper or Twitter. I really can’t do this app justice talking about it. It is one of those apps you have to use to understand why it is so great. If you are using Google Reader currently to consume your RSS feeds, you have to give Reeder a try.
Price: $9.99 on the Mac App store
- LaunchBar 5 is an application and file launcher taken to the next level. I was a little bit hesitant to try LaunchBar because I thought Spotlight did a good enough job, but when I finally took the plunge, I got hooked. LaunchBar can not only launch applications, but can access data within them, go through your contacts, add events to iCal and so much more. Any power user must check out this application.
Price: 30-Day Free Trial then $35.00 USD
- OmniFocus is productivity for the person who likes to get stuff done! To really explain everything that OmniFocus can do, I would need about 5 posts, and a 30 minute walk-through video. To sum everything up, it is a professional-grade task management system.
Price: $79.99 on the Mac App store
- BusyCal is everything iCal should be. BusyCal replaces iCal as your calendar app on your Mac. It will sync with MobileMe, Google Calendar, Yahoo! Calendar, and more. It has Core Animation support for beautiful effects, and allows for rich text snippets to be embedded into events. If your schedule requires exceptional planning then you must get this app to replace the now “dated” iCal.
Price: $49.99 on the Mac App store
- Text Expander is a tiny application that runs quietly in the background of your Mac. It allows you to enter snipplets (small text phrases) that will expand into preset text or graphic strings. For example; say you keeping having to enter your email address like firstname.lastname@example.org. You could setup a key so everytime you type bob@ the text is automatically replaced with email@example.com. You can even program in complete email signatures, and photos to pop up, just about anything you can think of. This is a great time saving application that has saved me from a lot of excess typing.
Price: $29.99 on the Mac App store
- Cloud App is more of a web service then a mac application. The service itself allows you to store files online so that you can share them with friends, family, or co-workers. The Mac client allows you to easily files onto the menu bar icon, then the file is uploaded and the url of the file is copied to your clipboard. There is a premium services which allows for larger file uploads and custom domain support, but the base version is free.
Price: FREE on the Mac App store
This list is by no means a comprehensive list. As I said earlier, I use dozens of different apps on my Macs. This list just composes the top ten I felt are most important to me.
What apps do you use most often? Do you feel I’ve overlooked something incredibly important and useful?