Despite all the great reviews Macintosh computers have garnered over the years, we rarely see it stated that Apple’s groundbreaking platform has attracted some of the best designed software on the market today. In fact, we would venture to say that with few exceptions, the Mac has the best possible software for the task at hand.
And that’s from a former Windows user. That’s partly due to the fact that Apple was first on the market with an integrated smartphone solution, pointing the way for Mac developers to create seamless synchronization solutions. Below are my picks for the most ubercool Macintosh software:
1Password can create strong, unique passwords, organize them, and insert them in web pages using a handy button installed in your web browser. There is a new 4.0 but I am sticking with v3 until I hear that 1Password works better, specifically in the area of capturing name and password for a site, it sometimes fails.
Publisher: Agile Bits
Adobe Creative Suite CS6
Adobe’s Creative Suite includes Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop and Acrobat X Pro. If you’re a designer, you can’t do without these famous tools. Pricey but necessary, and now that Adobe has gone Creative Cloud, CS6 is your last opportunity to own Adobe’s core tools outright. Don’t miss this opportunity!
Publisher: Adobe Systems
<p>This latest version of Aperture now shares your iPhoto library for greater simplicity in use.</p>
<p>Publisher: Apple Inc. <br />Website: <a href=http://www.ubercool.com/83-macintosh-apps-i-cant-live-without/%22>http://www.apple.com/aperture/
AppDelete is a great program uninstaller that removes not only applications but also any other associated files that reside anywhere on your Mac.
Publisher: Reggie Ashworth
Balsamiq Mockups is a cross-platform rapid software prototyping tool that lets a UX designer quickly create a mockup of software screens. One minor quibble: no ready-made icons for folders or documents. The image above shows the author’s concept for a next-generation CRM program, used in a ReadWrite story.
Category: Developer Tools
Bento is a simple database manager with built-in, predesigned forms that also lets you connect to, or edit, records in your Address Book.
Breeze is a window management application that is perfect for people who want quickly split-screen a window, or someone like me who needs to quickly replicate a standard windows size for screenshots.
Publisher: Autumn Apps LLC
BusyCal is far better than the Mountain Lion calendar because it works just like the calendar in Leopard. It can also be shared easily via iCloud or Google.
Publisher: BusyCal LLC
Great solution for backing up and synchronizing files with an external hard disk or other storage device.
Publisher: Econ Technologies
Gives Mac users a nice Windows 7 feature: Drag a window until the mouse cursor touches either left or right edges of the screen, and the window “”cinches”” into place. Cinch will resize a window to half screen, allowing you to easily compare two windows side-by-side.
Publisher: Irradiated Software
Need a central place to organize your videos? Cinematica is like iTunes for music or iPhoto for photos, only it can search your collection by technical properties like resolution, aspect ratio, frame rate or video codec.
Publisher: Xeric Design Ltd.
E-mails, Windows, and, yes, even some sloppy publishers produce files that are filled with funny characters. Use Clean Text to remove unwanted paragraph breaks, tabs, the quote marks in e-mails, etc.
Cobook resides in your Mac menu bar and can be called up any time to search, add and edit entries in your Address Book. Simply indispensable.
Edit HTML code simply and quickly with this very nice web development tool. Coda lets you simply click on a file name and you can start editing web pages.
Category: Developer Tools
Daylite is becoming my preferred CRM solution. As I noted in my other post, CRM for the Mac, this category was seriously lacking but is seeing a lot of capable new tools being released.
Publisher: Marketcircle Inc.
Direct Mail is a freemium program that lets you create e-mail messages and send them to lists using either your e-mail account or Direct Mail’s pre-paid e3 delivery service.
Publisher: e3 Software
Drive Genius is reportedly used by Apple to check storage devices, and can perform a number of functions, including defragging, permission repair and other optimization tasks.
Publisher: Prosoft Engineering Inc
Dropbox lets you save files to the cloud, so you can instantly access them on other computers, your iPhone or your iPad. A must have.
Email Extractor extracts email addresses from text files, which is a great way to build a customer contact list using your mailbox data.
This email verification tool actually connects to your mail server and checks whether an email address exists or not, and disconnects without sending.
Evernote saves notes or web clippings and lets you access them from any platform. Indispensable for people who do a lot of research, like yours truly.
Export Address Book
Apple’s Address Book does not let you export contacts by group. Export Address Book does that and a lot more. Totally worth $4, don’t you agree?
Publisher: Stefan Keller
Need software to transcribe your Sony or Olympus digital voice recordings? Download the freemium ExpressScribe software and you have a good solution.
Publisher: NCH Software
Fantastical has become my go-to calendar program. Yes I use BusyCal too, but I can always access Fantastical from the menu bar when I need it, and its scheduling intelligence is great. It also looks beautiful and there is an iPhone app.
Fetch is file transfer utility that is easy of use and supports FTP and SFTP, the most popular file transfer protocols used to manage your web site or blog.
Publisher: Fetch Softworks
Category: Developer Tools
FileMaker Pro 12
FileMaker Pro is fully programmable database design tool that can be used to create custom relational databases that can be deployed in all platforms, Mac, iPhone and iPad. This database listing was originally created in FileMaker.
Want to write a screen play or Broadway book? FinalDraft lets you approach it the right way, seamlessly formatting your script as you type.
Publisher: Final Draft Inc.
Need to organize and repair your fonts? FontDoctor does this very well.
Publisher: FontGear Inc.
Free Ruler is a floating horizontal and vertical ruler that measures on-screen items in pixels, inches, picas,or centimeters. A necessity for web designers.
Now here’s a tool for today’s economy. GarageSale is basically an eBay management tool. Use pre-designed templates to make your old stuff look good and GarageSale manages uploading of the content and seller communication. Slick.
Publisher: iwascoding GmbH
If you use GitHub, and what technocrat doesn’t, you already know about this app.
Version: Drum ‘n’ Rebase (150)
Category: Developer Tools
Google Chrome has become the most popular browser because it’s frequently updated in the background, lighting fast and easily extensible.
Put the world at your fingertips. Fly to any place around the globe and see maps with 3D buildings and street-view terrains. Mindbendingly fun.
If you produce or attend webinars or online presentations, GoToMeeting is definitely one of the gold standards of the online meeting world. Work with anyone, anywhere, as long as you can afford the monthly $49 entrance fee.
Publisher: Citrix Online LLC
Category: Online Meeting
Create invoices and estimates with a customized design. Automatically attaches a PDF invoice to email for quick sending. Great for consultants.
Publisher: Stefan Frst
From Apple comes e-books love in the form of iBooks Author, which lets you create sophisticated e-books with video, photo gallery widgets and much more. Download your free copy now.
Do you need to design a favicon for your website? Then you must use Icon Slate, which is an easy-to-use tool that generates favicons, including Retina versions.
Publisher: Jeremy Marchand
Category: Developer Tools
Do you want your very own copy of a YouTube video to show off in your presentations? Then you must download the free iLivid app. It’s the only one that works.
Publisher: Bandoo Media Inc.
iMovie lets you edit your camcorder and iPhone movies and organizes them for easy browsing and watching. Totally Apple, totally ubercool.
Publisher: Apple Inc.
iPhoto grabs photos from your digicam, organizes them by event or import date, lets you retouch photos and sends them to your friend’s inbox or mailbox.
If you code you know how often you have to compare two pieces of code to detect the differences. Kaleidoscope makes this easy and sports a beautiful interface too. Unfortunately, Black Pixel decided to nearly double its price to $70. Not totally ubercool but worth it if you compare files a lot.
Publisher: Black Pixel
Category: Developer Tools
Keynote was the program that made yours truly switch back to the Mac. It’s that good. Outstanding ease of use and power, makes PPT fans green with envy.
Kindle for Mac
Want to read Kindle books on your MacBook? No problem with the free Kindle for Mac app makes, which can now be also downloaded in the App Store.
<p>Need to take screenshots of entire web pages, i.e. more than is shown on your screen? LittleSnapper not only takes these screenshots but organizes them too.</p>
<p>Publisher: Realmac Software <br />Website: <a href=http://www.ubercool.com/83-macintosh-apps-i-cant-live-without/%22>http://www.realmacsoftware.com/littlesnapper/
MailSteward archives huge volumes of email by storing them in a database that offers sophisticated searches plus the ability to extract mail addresses.
This Macintosh application is a companion program to the Mint website. It brings the same beautiful graphics to the desktop but adds another nicety: a menu icon that tells you when a bank transaction has occurred. Great tool for organizing your financial life.
Publisher: Intuit Inc.
Mountain Tweaks, and Lion Tweaks, lets you customize and correct certain features in Mac OS X 10.7, many of which are undoubtedly annoying to you. After you download this free app, donate to developer Fredrik Wiker, so he can get a college education.
Publisher: Fredrik Wiker
Website: <h6>Name Mangler</h6>
<p>Need to rename a large set of files, like for instance add their size in pixels to the file name? Name Mangler will do this chore.</p>
<p>Publisher: Many Tricks <br />Website: <a href=http://www.ubercool.com/83-macintosh-apps-i-cant-live-without/%22>http://manytricks.com/namemangler/
Numbers is the Excel of the Mac. It has much of its power, but some might feel it’s not enough. While Apple needs to update the iWorks suite badly, it’s well worth $20.
OmniOutliner is our favorite tool for creating to-do lists, data lists, or any task that requires outlining. While its unconvential formatting techiques demand a steep learning curve, it does offer many nice features.
Publisher: The Omni Group
Need a free tool that can open Microsoft Office documents? Look no further, OpenOffice is here to help you word process, spreadsheet and present to your heart’s content.
Publisher: Apache Software Foundation
Pages is the Microsoft Word of the Mac. Like Numbers, Pages has outstanding layout capabilities, as exemplified by its built-in templates. Well worth $20.
Need to manipulate data? Like join two fields or clean up a database marred by sloppy data entry? Panorama Sheets parses your data fast by doing all its work in RAM.
Publisher: ProVUE Development
Paparazzi captures screenshots of websites but goes beyond the call of duty by grabbing the entire page, as far as the eye cannot see.
Publisher: Nate Weaver
Manage all your recipes on the Mac and then sync the recipe and shopping list to your iPhone. Paprka is one of the best recipe managers.
Publisher: Hindsight Labs LLC
Run Windows apps on your Mac in a separate window. Drap and drop text between Mac and Windows applications, all made possible by Parallels. The progress in the field of virtualization is remarkable. Parallels 8.0 is so much easier to use than previous versions.
Publisher: Parallels IP Holdings GmbH
Need Photoshop but don’t want to pay Adobe any more money? Pixelmator does what you absolutely need: resizing, retouching, layering and more. We have totally fallen in love with the latest version Pixelmator 2.2. Its ease of use, clean interface and very attractive price make Pixelmator a viable alternative to Photoshop.
Publisher: Pixelmator Team Ltd.
Presentation Prompter turns your Mac into a teleprompter, offering full control over display preferences, including scrolling speed and character size.
Publisher: NextForce Software
We created MacWEEK using Quark. It would not have been possible to publish a 50,000-circulation weekly in 1987 on the Mac without it. Enough said.
Here’s one case where a Windows version still outshines, but if you want balance your checkbook the Mac way, Quicken Essentials is good enough.
Silvio Rizzi has written the most gorgeous RSS reader bar none. Reeder syncs with Google Reader feeds but showcases articles beautifully and simply.
Publisher: Silvio Rizzi
ResizeIt is a free batch image editor that lets you process a series of images, including scaling, cropping or rotating them, plus optimizing images for the iPad.
Certain extensions, like ResizeMe, are only available for Safari, so for those with consistent window size capturing needs, Safari is the only way to go. (Chrome has no setting to get rid of its toolbar, which is why all advertising screenshots are taken in Safari.)
I just found the ultimate writing tool: Scrivener. I can’t believe it took me this long to find this amazing writing organizer and thought outliner. Designed for book authors, Scrivener lets you organize your writing and thoughts by folder or sub-folder. It can even attach a document to a document. I have started moving all my writing, wheter for book, site, collateral or anything else into Scrivener. Massively highly recommended for anyone who does any writing, whether for business plan or brochure.
Publisher: Literature & Latte
Search & Replace
Search & Replace is a powerful batch-processing utility that replaces content in text files, renames or trims file names, adds prefixes or suffixes, or changes text to upper and lower case with just one click. It will also provide you with a count of changes, if you like to keep track of stats.
Publisher: Dorian Chapeau
Since its launch in August 2003, Skype has reshaped the chat and internet calling market. The Mac version, while radically different from Windows, is pretty nifty.
Smultron is no longer updated but I have yet to find a simple text editor that does what it does, which is quick-and-dirty CSS or text editing.
Publisher: Peter Borg/Sourceforge
Category: Developer Tools
Snapz Pro X
Mac designers create a lot of user manuals, so taking great screenshots is key. Snapz Pro X works the same way as Apple’s Grab but offers more options.
Publisher: Ambrosia Software Inc.
Sol Basics Solitaire
If you’re addicted to Solitaire, specifically Spider Solitaire, you will dig Sol Basics. For 10 bucks, you get Sol Basics Solitaire, Spider, Free Cell and Klondike.
Publisher: Smallware LLC
We have two password keepers in this list. That’s because SplashID does a better job of organizing, while 1Password is better at inserting. Both could be easier to use.
Suitcase Fusion 4.0
The bane of dealing with a lot of fonts is that the one you need is not always available. Suitcase Fusion makes it easy to manage a huge font library by turning fonts on and off when needed. Not cheap but definitely worth it.
Here is another program that I wished I had acquired earlier. Text Expander has saved me so much time typing repetitive things like URLs and return addresses, simply amazing. It even handles embedded terms that require further input when you type. Highly recommended.
Publisher: SmileOnMyMac LLC
Things is a well-executed list manager and was one of the first apps that let users synch between Mac and iPhone app ($10), perfect for list checkers.
Publisher: Cultured Code GmbH
Category: Task Management
While Time Machine is a great backup solution, it has one annoying habit, it backs up all the time, slowing your Mac down. TimeMachineEditor solves that.
Publisher: Time Software
Tune Up will parse your iTunes music library and find song duplicates, cover art and correct information, including artist, track name, album name, etc. While it is not retina-optimized, particularly galling given its $50 price, it does what work well.
Publisher: TuneUp Media Inc.
TurboTax Home Business
This is great tax preparation software. While you can choose between the online and software version, the software has more features.
You have probably arleady heard the bad news. After taking Facebook out of Tweetdeck, Twitter has announced the end of the road for TweetDeck, my preferred Twitter client. So get it while you still can. Perhaps I will make the older version available here, so you can still download what was once the best social media client.
Category: Social Media
Some online repositories like compressing files in a weird format called “”rar”” UnRarX lets you expand these rare rar archives.
Publisher: Alexander Roshal
This free video player lets you watch videos encoded in formats QuickTime player cannot handle, including MKV, WMC and AVI. As CNET puts it: If you want a player that can be totally customized and configured to suit, and is not only updated frequently but also regularly offers new features and options created by a huge community of programmers and users, the answer is VLC Media Player.
White List will parse your Apple Mail folders and provide stats on e-mail addresses you have communicated with and rank them in order of e-mails sent. An invaluable tool for making sure your e-mail lists contain the people you correspond with frequently.
Publisher: Patrick Stein
Website: <h6>Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate</h6>
<p>Despite the fact that Macs are hugely popular among video pros, you rarely find good info on the best video converter utility. Search no more, we think Wondershare is it.</p>
<p>Publisher: Wondershare <br />Website: <a href=http://www.ubercool.com/83-macintosh-apps-i-cant-live-without/%22>http://www.wondershare.com/mac-video-converter-ultimate/
Xee is an image browser that lets you turn any folder into a slide show. It will open any format Preview can open, plus a few esoteric ones, like PCX.
Publisher: Dag Agren
XMind is a brainstorming and mind-mapping software program that lets you diagram web site structures or org charts. It’s priced using the freemium model, so no arguments here.
Publisher: XMind Ltd.
Note Regarding Pricing
- Price – All prices are list but promotions are frequently available, as are Amazon.com discounts.
- Free – Means the product is free.
- Freemium – There is a more capable version available or you can avail yourself of paid premium services.
- Shareware – The author would like you to donate money so he/she can survive. Make sure you do if you find the app useful.