Over the years I’ve been asked what my favorite Mac Apps are, and after giving it some thought, decided to compile this list. I’ve limited it to Ten, and they are in alphabetical order, as I consider all of them indispensable. The list is intended for the typical Mac user, using Lion (what I use), and who is not a programmer. Most are small, inexpensive, or free, and some come as a suite of apps. So, here are Tom’s wholly subjective list of Top-Ten Apps:
Adobe Creative Suite CS5.5: Why? Photoshop(!), InDesign, Flash, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and more. Now with the option to “lease” it monthly (much cheaper). CS6 is out, but having tried it, have gone back to 5.5. Worst…Upgrade…Ever…
A-Dock: Why? Small floating icons that show you what is open, are clickable, configurable, and can be put anywhere on your screen.
BBEdit: Why? Best all-around text editor I have ever used. It’s the equivalent of Windows’ notepad on steroids. Edits any type of file you can imagine, from HTML to XML to Unix.
CaptainFTP: Why? While there are a few free FTP software programs, having used them all I sprung for the Captain. Yeah, that good. Needs dropdown arrows for directory listings (a la Transmit), but my pestering them about it doesn’t seem to help.
Firefox: Why? Consistently upgrading to support the latest web standards. Excellent add-ons and extensions. Fast, intuitive, and easy to customize.
iPhoto & iTunes: Why? Managing photos with sharing sites and quick edits has never been easier. iPhoto can’t replace Photoshop, but you can set PSP as your external editor in preferences. iTunes needs a facelift but still the best at managing all your media.
Microsoft Office 2011: Why? Compatibility with Windows users, specifically Excel and Word. Outlook simply can’t be beat. Includes unlimited email accounts, scheduling, contact list, calendar, reminders, notifications, etc… Handily beats Apple Mail. Works great with SpamSieve.
Suitcase Fusion 4: Why? Runs in the background as a daemon, and allows you to turn your fonts on and off or automatically. Great at storing, sorting, and managing for people with a lot of fonts. Remember, fonts use RAM when they are in use. This cuts down on the fonts you would never use and sorts out the ones you do.
TextEdit: Why? Also from Apple (bundled with OS X), it makes working with Documents quick and clean. Also works with plain text files (important for the web). Can open Word docs, RTF, TXT, and more. Similar to Word in basic functionality, and if you’re a writer, will keep your screen clear of clutter.
YouControl and MenuWeather for your menu bar: Why? YouControl sits in your menu bar, comes with an unlimited pasteboard, calendar, time, more. Menuweather also sits in your menu bar and shows the weather in unlimited number of cities, long-range forecasts, Doppler radar (cool), and more. Plus it’s free!