Must-Have Mac Applications

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Now that I have been a Mac user for almost a full year, I felt that it was time to post what I consider to be my must-have applications. I am a web developer, so some of these applications may or may not be useful to you, but I found these sort of lists helpful when I first switched from Windows.

Transmit 4 (free trial, $34 USD)

Transmit is an FTP client, except that it is so much more. I only have one day left of my Transmit free trial, but I am already a believer. I use Transmit for two reasons:

  • I edit source code remotely from my MacBook Pro. Transmit allows me to mount my development desktop via SFTP as if it was a local drive.
  • All of my music is backed-up to Amazon S3. I have an Automator workflow that watches my Music folder and uploads new music to Amazon S3 using Transmit.

TextMate (free trial, $53 USD)

TextMate is my favorite text editor, but I would not consider it my favorite IDE. Most of my work these days is in Perl/Mason, which TextMate is well-suited for. It is lightweight, and I love how projects are managed.

Reeder (free)

Reeder for Mac is an RSS reader that is still in early beta, but it is coming along nicely. It uses Google Reader as a backend for subscription management and syncing. It is almost painful to use Google Reader’s web-based interface after using this application. It’s a beauty.

Caffeine (free)

Do you watch full-length movies, or even twenty-minute television episodes on your Mac? With a single click on its unobtrusive menubar icon, Caffeine prevents your screensaver from running for a specified duration of time.

DropBox (free)

I have been a DropBox user since it was in early beta, but I have only recently begun using it on a regular basis. DropBox provides online storage that automatically syncs between any number of devices. I use it on my MacBook Pro, Windows desktop, and iPhone. It’s great for documents or files that you need on the go or that you can not risk being lost to a bad disk.

All of these applications are free or have a free trial, so give them a shot!