Mac OSX Apps are a part of my daily life as they are for all Mac users. But not all Mac OSX Apps are equal, some perform better, some are more useful than others, and some are just downright amazing. In this post I hope to share the Mac OSX Apps that I have found to be the most helpful, useful, and effective. Or in other words I hope to share my favorite Mac OSX Apps.
My Favorite Mac OSX Apps
I have already done a review previously on Textmate. But it is definitely my go to app each day. As a web developer I need to have tools that help me craft code quickly and efficiently. There are so many apps out there that try to hard and become very cluttered, which make it difficult for me to use. But with Textmate they found the perfect balance, loads of features and wildly extendable so I can customize commands to match my individual requirements. But with a very clean and simplistic interface I don’t have to worry about which button to push, I just write code, and learn the keystrokes that do the things I want.
This next app is also used daily because I am a Developer. I am a developer, a linux server user/administrator, and I love doing things from the command line. But despite that I really like using a good GUI application, especially if it streamlines my tasks. That is exactly what SourceTree does… I could run to the command line and use GIT from there, but SourceTree makes it very easy for me to see the overview of changes to my code, and easily add/update changes, or pull changes from the source repository. It easily integrates with Git repositories that are hosted online by Bitbucket (the Developer and provider of Sourcetree) and GitHub.
3: Google Chrome
I know some of you are saying Google Chrome, it’s just a web browser… Why list it as one of your Mac OSX Apps? Well Google Chrome has worked its way into my list because of one feature which I have yet to find in any other browser. The first of these is the Task Manager. The task manager shows me a list of my open tabs and browser extensions. The listed items have their CPU and Memory usage displayed, which allows me to kill individual tabs that are consuming to much ram/cpu without having to kill the whole browser. If I need the contents of a killed tab I just open that tab again and refresh the page… and the page is back. Needless to say I use this feature constantly.
Being a web developer I work with many clients usernames and passwords, they all have their own hosting accounts, domain management accounts, merchant accounts, youtube accounts, facebook accounts, etc… Having all these usernames and passwords to remember can be a very difficult matter. 1Password not only allows me to securely store my clients credentials, but they have some plugins/extensions that work with the most popular browsers to let me retrieve my clients credentials and automatically populate the login forms without ever leaving my browser. I would be truly lost without it.
Evernote has just recently made its way onto my list. I resisted using online note storage apps for quite a while, but then after some insistance from friends I gave it a try. Now I can take notes at a work meeting on my mobile device, review them on my work computer, and add a last minute bit of inspiration about one of the topics discussed either while I am on the road or at home. Evernote does a great job of not only cataloging my text notes, but audio notes, images (which are also sent through an OCR process so you can search for them based on the text you snapped a picture of), etc… It has been a great addition, and helps to keep me organized.
While not a specifically Mac OSX App, Skype has become an indispensable part of my workflow. Wether I need to shoot off a quick question to a Co-Worker or Family Member, or if I need to do a Screen Sharing/Video Conference, Skype takes good care of this Web Developer. I have also added a telephone number to my Skype username, so I can take my phone wherever I go, Home, Work, or on the road. I used to waffle between other IM clients, MSN, Yahoo, etc… but with Skype I think I have finally found the swiss army knife of communication clients.
I have weathered many development storms clinging tightly to my cyberducky. Cyberduck is an great Open Source Storage Communication Client. Cyberduck supports many different storage protocols. You can use it for FTP, FTP-SSL, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, Google Cloud, Idisk, Google Docs, Swift, Dropbox, etc… The developers who have built and maintained the Cyberduck project have done a great job of making a seamless easy to use UI that is featureful without being overwhelming. I have yet to be let down by this amazing tool.
A giant leap above the default Terminal App that comes bundled with OSX. Yes it is just a simple terminal app itself. But adding tabbed browsing, default tab profiles and hotkeys iTerm makes it much easier to work with the terminal, and deal with several servers/consoles open at the same time without littering your screen. This lightweight app lets me keep my server logs and server command consoles all up and accessible but not use up much in the way of resources, so I can keep them available for other development tasks.
Ok so Asana may not be a Mac OSX App, it’s a Web App. But it is one of the best Task Management utilities that I have ever used. I have tried many different task management apps only to stop within a few days of getting the app, either because of having a tedious task entry process, or not synchronizing properly between devices. Asana has added a slew of keystrokes to make it amazingly easy to add and manage tasks. An added benefit is that as a web app it is also extremely easy to share tasks with a group of individuals working on a project with you. Asana has made it onto this list by being the task management software that I have been able to stick with the longest, primarily because it is brilliantly easy to use. And a special thanks to my colleague for directing me to this amazing web app.
This amazing little and recent addition to my list of Mac OSX Apps is a very useful single purpose app. It does one thing and one thing only… When you press your command key for a user configured amount of time KeyCue displays a window in the middle of your screen that shows all of the keystroke commands currently available in the application that currently has focus. KeyCue makes it very easy to quickly find and master the keystroke commands available in any new app.
Well there you have it my Top 10 Favorite Mac OSX Apps that I use Everyday. Without these little apps my daily job would be much more difficult, but with them it becomes much easier to manage my time and maximize my productivity. I hope that they help you as much as they have helped me.