I'm always amazed how I'm still finding useful apps for my computer, even after being into Macs for so many years. Thus, we need an updated discussion thread to talk about cool & useful apps
IUseThis is a really great way to discover new Mac apps: (tip: sort by Interesting Apps
and Top Apps
Download.com has a pretty good Mac section:
Their list of new updates & releases is here:
AlternativeTo is a great way to find free, better, or alternative versions of software: (it's especially useful because you can search for a Windows app that you use, and see if there is a comparable Mac version)
I'll start out:
Lock your Mac, Windows-style. Lifehacker
has a nice article on it. Free in beta. This is something I've missed from the Windows world, especially coming from an IT job where I constantly lock my PC (or if you have kids or annoying roommates around, haha). Free in beta.
I set my monitors to auto-sleep after 10 minutes, so when I'm away from my computer I don't have to remember to shut them off. However, this gets annoying when watching a movie or doing other things that don't keep the computer from going to sleep. Caffeine is a simple menubar icon that lets you temporarily disable display sleep. Free.
Adds tabs to Finder, so you don't have to open multiple windows and clutter up your monitor. Also has some other useful goodies like "copy path". Free in beta.
Universal video player. Some people also like MplayerX
Unzips a ton of compressed file types. If you need something more powerful, I like BetterZip
Similar to AppZapper, but free. Completely removes an app and all associated files (like plists). Free.
A more detailed system monitor. Some people also like iStat Menus
Allows write access to NTFS drives (by default, OSX can only read NTFS drivers). Over time, this has proven to be the most reliable NTFS plugin app, although it's not free. $20
Run Windows, Linux, or Mac in a virtual machine. VirtualBox is a free alternative. I'm not a big fan of Parallels because I seem to get burned every other update, plus my VMware VM's transfers to the Windows version of VMware nicely. $50.
This is actually for Windows - it lets you suck your music off an iPod. TouchCopy
is a more powerful alternative ($30). Free.
Video converter & DVD ripper. Compressor
is a more powerful converter ($50). Free.
Lets you make MKV video files from DVD and Bluray movie discs. This rips some of the newer ones that Handbrake has trouble with. Free.
My favorite fullscreen video player. There is both a server and player app. Free.
App store for video games, includes a fullscreen interface called Big Picture. Free (most games are pay-for of course).
Aja System Test:
Test your hard drive speed. Some people also like the Black Magic Disk Speed Test
Graphics card benchmarking software. More info at Tonymac
System clone (drive to drive, or drive to DMG image file). Restore with Disk Utility
Make a bootable DVD or USB stick with the Mountain Lion installer.
I personally don't like iPhoto at all; Picasa is a really great alternative. Free.
Google Reader client (RSS app). $5.
Screen capture & annotation tool, really handy for making notes and guides. Now does video recording too. $50.
Really super awesome screen video capture tool, like Snagit but specifically for screen recording. Includes a great editor. $100.
Send any audio from your Mac (not just iTunes) to your Airplay devices. $25.