My Favorite Mac Applications

Ray Wenderlich

I always enjoy when a fellow developer shares their favorite Mac applications in a blog post, because invariably I find something cool that I hadn’t known about before. So I’m going to join the ranks and mention a few of the applications I find especially useful!

Quicksilver

Quicksilver Screenshot

Quicksilver is a free application (currently in beta) that makes it easy to run various commands with just a few keystrokes. For example, you hit a button to bring up Quicksilver, and start typing to select the command you want to do (such as opening an app, playing a song, taking a picture, playing an email, you name it).

Even though the sky’s the limit with what you can do with Quicksilver, currently I mainly use it just to launch applications quickly and easily. I like keeping my dock empty except for running processes, so this helps me reduce the clutter a lot.

Evernote

Evernote Screenshot

Evernote helps you keep track of your notes “in the cloud.” But unlike other options such as Google Documents, Evernote provides a client for almost every platform – Mac, Windows, iPhone, and more. I use this app to jot down ideas I have, solutions to technical issues I run across, and even keep track of my D&D campaign planning :] The reason I like it is when I’m keeping notes like this I really want to be able to access them anywhere easily – but also edit them as quickly as possible in a native environment.

The only drawback to Evernote is I’ve personally experienced a lot of bugs when inserting formatted text into the Mac client’s editor – it often garbles the formatting after I save and load notes that have different fonts, bolding, bullets, etc. But hey they’re still working on it, I’m sure it will improve over time!

AppViz

AppViz Screenshot

If you’re an iPhone developer, you know how annoying it is to pull down the daily sales data from iTunes Connect, and how hard it is to make sense of the numbers manually. AppViz is an awesome program that pulls down the sales data and converts it into beautiful charts and graphs. You can even keep track of rankings in the App store through the tool. It costs $30 but it is worth the price.

PixelStick

PixelStick Screenshot

PixelStick is a little app that brings a resizable ruler to the foreground that you can move to measure anything on your screen and see how wide/tall it is. This is incredibly useful when trying to see how much space you have on a web site, measuring elements on the iPhone simulator, and much more. Love this thing!

Coda

Coda Screenshot

Coda is a very cool editor for web sites by the creators of Transmit. The killer feature is the FTP client is built right into the editor, which makes it easy to upload local files to your web site. It even allows remote editing, which I’ve found incredibly useful while tweaking styles for this site. Another feature I really like about Coda is that you can set up various “sites” you work when you pick them all of your directory and FTP settings come with it.

All in all, Coda is very easy (and even fun) to use, and although it costs $99, I think it’s worth the price.

NetNewsWire

NetNewsWire Screenshot

NetNewsWire is my RSS reader of choice. It’s quick and easy to use, and the best part about it is it synchronizes seamlessly with Google Reader. This means that I can easily see my subscriptions in Google Reader when I’m away for my computer, and even made migrating my subscriptions when I recently upgraded my Mac Mini a breeze.

Password Generator

PasswordGenerator Screenshot

Password Generator is a simple little app that generates random passwords for you. It’s simple but handy and makes it much easier to make a great password.

Audacity

Audacity Screenshot

Like I mentioned in my article on audio converting and recording, Audacity is a great open source program for recording and tweaking audio that is a must have for developers.

Accessorizer

Accessorizer Screenshot

Last but not least, there’s Accessorizer. If you’re a Cocoa developer, you know how annoying it can be to write the @property, @synthesize, and dealloc statements after the 10,000th time you’ve done so. This tool auto-generates the appropriate statements for you based on the member variable declarations, which can end up saving a lot of time.

Note that Accessorizer costs $15. If you’re looking for something not quite as powerful but free, Matt Gallagher from Cocoa with Love has written a free Xcode user script that generates properties from instance variables.

FileMerge

FileMerge Screenshot

FileMerge actually comes with the XCode development tools and can be found under \Developer\Applications\Utilities\FileMerge, but I just found out about this tool recently so thought I’d mention it. FileMerge is a full featured visual diff utility for the Mac, and works great when you want to compare files or directories for differences.

What about Twitter?

You may notice a lack of a Twitter client on the list – I prefer to use HootSuite for Twitter, but that is a web app so I won’t go into detail about that here except to say that it pwns :]

What About You?

Do you have any favorite Mac applications that I haven’t mentioned? Chime in below!

Ray Wenderlich

Ray is part of a great team - the raywenderlich.com team, a group of over 100 developers and editors from across the world. He and the rest of the team are passionate both about making apps and teaching others the techniques to make them.

When Ray’s not programming, he’s probably playing video games, role playing games, or board games.

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