Recently a few of my friends have made the switch from using a PC to a Mac for their primary workstation. One of the first things people want to know when making that switch is what applications are available that would help them achieve the most optimal user experience on their new operating system. Since this is such a common concern and one of the first things I would want to know as well, I have decided to post a quick list of my current, personal favorites. These are apps that I typically run through and install right away when setting up a new workstation because they have become such a major part of my daily workflow.
Considering that I am a web developer, some of these listed will apply specifically to my craft and may not quite as be useful to someone outside the field. I, however, have also listed many general-purpose apps that any Mac user may find quite useful.
- My text editor of choice. In addition to a bunch of great features out of the box, Sublime Text 2 also has a great community and plugin library. Not OS X specific.
- Free to use but $59 for continued use.
- MAMP (Mac, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) allows you to get a local development server set up in no time.
- You have the option of downloading the free version or MAMP Pro, which is set at $59.
- A replacement for Terminal, iTerm2 adds a bunch of convenient features and additions to your command line experience.
- An easy to use MySQL database manager for Mac OSX
- CodeKit makes preprocessing your CSS extremely easy. Additional features include: Live browser refresh, JS minification and image optimization.
- A Finder plugin that enhances the app with several useful features: tabs, dual panel, folders and more.
- CloudApp allows you to upload and share images, links, music, videos and files via a shortlink.
- The official desktop Twitter client for Mac OSX.
- A lightweight app that allows you to thoroughly uninstall unwanted software.
- Allows you to pop up an app’s menu at the current mouse location using a shortcut or button.
- A search/launcher application. Similar concept to the native Spotlight but with more features.
- Adds a list of great features to your dock, as well as advanced window management.
- Brings enhanced clipboard functionality – saves previously copied items to your clipboard, accessable through a keyboard shortcut.
- A full featured Google Reader desktop client.
- A chat application. I currently prefer this over Chat because it allows you to connect to IRC.
And that concludes my list of must-have Mac apps. I’m always interested in exploring new applications that can improve my daily workflow. If you have any personal favorites that I have not included in my list, please do share in the comments below.