The Best Mac Apps

In this article, I look at a selection of Mac Apps that I use day to day. Most of them are free too!

Adium – Free (OpenSource)


Adium is the best chat program out there for Mac. It does MSN/AIM/ICQ/Y!M/IRC and anything else you could possible want.  The great thing about it is that it looks pretty and sleek, runs fast and isn’t “cludgy” like the official MSN client for Mac is.

QuickSilver – Free

Workflow Improver

QuickSilver is an app that lets you open up any other application within a couple of key presses. It takes a few days to get it into your work flow, however once you do, you realise that any application on your Mac can be opened within seconds and your dock is super clean. It also lets you use key combinations for searching websites, sending emails and all sorts of other things.

NetNewsWire – Free

News Reader

Do you find you’re going to a heap of websites, bookmarking them and then going back checking for updates every week or so?  This app lets you add all the sites you use and you will get notified when there’s new news articles (as long as they have an RSS/Atom feed).  Most sites that update often have some sort of rss feed built in and can be used with this (this site has rss too!).

Firefox – Free (OpenSource)

Web Browser

Why would I say this instead of Safari?   The #1 reason is the add on called AdBlock. AdBlock disables almost all the ads you see on websites. This makes sites load faster (since they don’t need to load the ads). Also, for Australians, check out the Addon called Net Usage Item (, it shows you how much of your download quota you’ve used for the month, updated every 15minutes or so.

Alarm Clock 2 – Free

Alarm Clock

This is the neatest alarm clock I’ve found for Mac. Every Morning this will go to my iTunes, pick out a random song in my chilled out wake up music playlist and play it for me.
If something happens and it can’t find the song, it’ll play it’s default alarm, which is a beep that will make you want to kill any living thing (but gets you out of bed pretty quick).
It has an “easy wake” feature that slowly ramps up how loud it is, however this does not work via Optical Audio 🙁


All the apps below cost money, they all have a free trial version so you can give them a go, but if you’re really going to use it you will need to pay. Infact, all the apps below are ones I’ve found good enough to pay for myself (and not pirate).

Transmit – $34USD

FTP Client

The BEST FTP Client available for Mac. It has more features than you can poke a stick at and, well, does FTP in the best possible way.

SubEthaEdit – $34USD

Text Editor

My preferred text editor, does code colouring perfectly, code folding and allows multiple people to work on the same document at once. I really like this program because it’s quick, uses little resources and everything just works.

1Password – $40USD

Password Management

I use lots of passwords, I use passwords for clients and need somewhere to store it where I know it’s safe. I did a bit of hunting around and found 1Password. The search function makes it easy to find the passwords and everything is heavily encrypted.
The only thing I didn’t like was the Browser Integration, it gets in the way every time you go to load a webpage with a password (and makes you unlock it to auto fill passwords). I turned this off and manually added passwords as I needed to.

iStat Menus – $16


If you like to keep track of how much you’re downloading, your CPU usage or temperatures, iStat Menus does it beautifully. You can even change the colours of all the menu items to go with your theme.

Steam – Free (games cost extra)

Game Distribution

Steam was only released a month or so ago and it’s already the number one way to get games for Mac. You download and install the Steam Client and browse their store looking for games. When you find one you want, you buy it, download it and then you can play. If you change computers you can install the game on the other machine. Though you’ll only be able to run it on one machine at a time.