I’ve been using Macs for quite a while now and one thing I love about the operating system is the wealth of well designed and useful software which is available. Windows has a large breadth of software available but since switching over in 2003 I’ve not had to go back to windows unless I am browser testing a website in Internet Explorer. For me, there is nothing that my Mac can’t do, be it work or play.
I’ve compiled a list of my favourite applications, most of them I use on at least a weekly basis, and in no particular order.
A must have download for anyone who wants to consume video content on their Mac. Install it and let Quicktime open all your video files with ease.
Tweet much? Well if you haven’t already downloaded Tweetie for your iPhone or your mac then you are missing out. It’s a wonderfully designed application that features multiple accounts, independent compose windows, search trends, threaded dm’s, user details & bookmarklets which make it my Twitter application of choice. Best of all, they offer a free version (ad supported)
Since starting my own business (ChillyBin Web Design & Consultancy) earlier in the year Billings has been an essential piece of my daily routine. It looks after all my job estimates, client briefs, time tracking, invoicing and accounting. It’s a very powerful little tool for small business and something that I could not do without.
I’ve been using the GTD method for a few years now to manage my tasks and Things is a neat little app for iPhone and mac that facilitates all my todo lists and syncs across both devices seamlessly. I no longer have to worry about forgetting anything either with ChillyBin or in my personal life. I’ve recently integrated it with Mail.app so I can send new items to it effortsly from my email.
I’ve recently just upgraded to Textmate after running BBedit for a number of years. Textmate now looks after all my text editing across my systems, it opens, reads and edits any file I throw at it. Since I spend most of my day writing and editing XHTML & CSS this is one tool I could not do without, it also has a set of really strong bundles inbuilt which allow textmate to be extended easily.
I use chat for business and for pleasure and Adium is my multiple protocol application of choice, there are tons of community developed plugins, icons, message lists and contact lists themes available which makes this app a constant on any system I run.
I love Transmit, it’s been my SFTP/FTP application since i first migrated to mac and it’s developed my the Panic team who really make some great software. I use this religiously to get web content around to both client and personal websites.
I don’t tend to download much through bittorrent anymore but when I do it’s with Transmission. It also monitors a folder hooked up to Dropbox so I can download even when I’m out of the office or on my iPhone.
Speed Download 5
Multiple threaded download management application which I use to download and sort anything downloaded through the web, it also allows me to connect it up with my rapidshare account.
Adobe Creative Suite
Photoshop, Illustrator, & Dreamweaver are my tools of choice out of this suite which has been the main tool of any creative project I’ve undertaken.
For those little image edits which I can’t be bothered opening up Photoshop for.
Alas, there are still times we need to run windows software, especially when testing and checking a new website design across multiple browsers, helps with streaming and decoding any files specifically written for windows too (I’m looking at you WMV!) I highly recommend checking it out and the new Unity mode in v3 is fantastic.
Backups are important, I use this little app in conjunction with Time Machine to keep backups of my hard disk content across on my 2TB NAS storage device.
Strong Password generator and management application that keeps all my passwords synced, strong and secure. Helps when I am setting up new passwords and websites for clients as it allows me a quick and simple way to archive these very strong passwords and bring them up when I need them very quickly. Oh, and it syncs across to my iPhone too.
Prototyping tool developed in Air which allows me to quickly send clients a basic mockup of their project quickly without having to worry about colours and/or opening up Photoshop at the first stage of a project. A real lifesaver!
Helps me manage online and offline database content for client websites.
iTunes notifier and last.fm scrobbler that sits alongside my dock and allows me to quickly see what track in playing in iTunes and either rate it or skip it, has a strong set of keyboard shortcuts too.
I love my dropbox, it allows me to send files around the web seamlessly and effortleessly. I can sync a new design file easily with a client which will then get downloaded to their dropbox folder on their system. I also use it to share large files over the net via email to clients or friends as I’ve got 2.5GB of storage to play with. I also sync my .torrent files here with Transmission.
Pages, Numbers & Keynote are all really undervalued applications in my opinion and they take care of all proposals, briefs, spreadsheet and presentation tasks I throw at it. They also all open ad export files in PDF and the Microsoft Office file formats so you can share this with PC users too.
Set of system tools which allow me to clean and maintain my snow leopard installations and keep them running up to spec. I also use it to clean my browser and DNS caches when editing and viewing website designs as well As repairing and corrupt file permissions.
A remote monitoring tool that allows me to check the status of any of my machines my iPhone.
Drive Genius 2
For anything that MainMenu can’t handle I load up Drive Genius, it also helps with defragmentation of my drives (yes, it happens even on a mac), repartitioning, shredding files, scanning & integrity checks.
If you own a mac you will have at least used these applications, but I really couldn’t do without iMovie, iPhoto & Garageband.
UnRarX & The Unarchiver
For all your unarchiving needs.