10 Mac Apps

09 Sep 2005

Om Malik has started a meme, and as much as I try to fight it, I can’t resist butting into this one. The premise is:

ask Mac Lovers – their ten most favorite apps. Forget, the Microsoft Office, or any of the applications that are bundled with an Apple. Instead, focus on small freeware and shareware applications that have helped you get the most out of your Mac.

So Safari, iPhoto and Fireworks MX are out I guess! No problem, as I have a habit of buying a lot of shareware mac apps, even though (in some cases) I end up not using them after a few months. I hide the embarrassment of my spending by telling myself how good it is to support developers (which of course it is). Also, when it comes down to it, most apps (by the time the exchange rate has done its work) are the cost of a UK magazine. Bingo!

So with no more ado, these are my favourites:

Voodoo Pad – The desktop Wiki. How I love this app – I think of it as my brain dump. Anything I need to write down or remember goes in here. I can’t really express my love for this app, and version 2.0 has bought various features that have solidified it in my affection, especially categories. I’ve tried a lot of notebook style apps, but this one hits the spot for me. Thankyou Gus.

Skype – Not Mac only of course, but I use this such a lot. After overcoming the foolish feeling from wearing a headset (“Hicksdesign, how may I help you today?”), I find this a much more convenient way of talking. I can speak to clients in the U.S for free, and with an infinitely superior sound quality to my land line (most of the time).

Flickr Export” – If it wasn’t for this, I would never have started using Flickr, it’s as simple as that. I love it when I don’t have to open a separate app to do another job, and iPhoto (not eligible for this list) is a app of desire for me. Thankyou Fraser.

ChronosyncEthan tipped me on this one. It syncs everything I want it to – iTunes, iPhoto, NewsFire. Every day I connect my Powerbook to my G5 by firewire, and my home folders are kept up to date. I also use it to schedule backups. After a careful initial set up, its job done.

Transmit – Its kind of an obvious one these days, I rarely see other FTP apps talked about (with maybe the exception of Fugu).

Newsfire – my news reader of choice. Its made reading my feeds speedy and pleasurable, and the new 1.2 betas bring in features I’d missing – subscribing via services menu or dragging links to the dock icon. After it first came out, you saw a lot of news readers trying to copy the minimal, but slick style, but none have grasped it. Hey, it can even perform incredible feats of shopping!

Cocoalicious – An exception to my rule of ‘not liking to open a separate app’ rule. Whether its browsing delicious links, or adding them, its all done in cocoalicious.

Omniweb – I’ve wittered on about how much I like Omniweb too many times before, so I won’t repeat myself!

Camino – If I’m not in Omniweb, or I need to test something in Gecko (without going to Firefox), its Camino. Fast.

skEdit – I still try other text editors (and have licenses for BBEdit, Textmate and SubEthaEdit), and while Textmate is coming close, its not quite close enough to replace this. That code hinting, easy to configure snippets, site management and image preview has me hooked. It makes writing CSS and HTML painless.

There were a few that didn’t quite make the list here – Quicksilver and xScope for example. They only lost out because these I use these more.

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