2013 Useful Mac Apps discussion thread

Discussion in 'All Things Apple' started by Kaido, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    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 :awe:

    App Resources:

    IUseThis is a really great way to discover new Mac apps: (tip: sort by Interesting Apps and Top Apps)

    http://osx.iusethis.com/

    Download.com has a pretty good Mac section:

    http://download.cnet.com/mac/

    Their list of new updates & releases is here:

    http://download.cnet.com/new-mac-software/?tag=rb_content;main

    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)

    http://alternativeto.net/?platform=mac

    I'll start out:

    QuickLock: 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.

    http://www.quicklockapp.com/

    Caffeine: 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.

    http://lightheadsw.com/caffeine/

    XtraFinder: 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.

    http://www.trankynam.com/xtrafinder/

    VLC: Universal video player. Some people also like MplayerX. Free.

    http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

    The Unarchiver: Unzips a ton of compressed file types. If you need something more powerful, I like BetterZip ($20). Free.

    http://wakaba.c3.cx/s/apps/unarchiver.html

    AppCleaner: Similar to AppZapper, but free. Completely removes an app and all associated files (like plists). Free.

    http://www.freemacsoft.net/appcleaner/

    atMonitor: A more detailed system monitor. Some people also like iStat Menus. Free.

    http://www.atpurpose.com/atMonitor/

    Paragon NTFS: 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

    http://www.paragon-software.com/home/ntfs-mac/

    VMware Fusion: 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.

    http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/overview.html

    SharePod: This is actually for Windows - it lets you suck your music off an iPod. TouchCopy is a more powerful alternative ($30). Free.

    http://www.getsharepod.com/

    Handbrake: Video converter & DVD ripper. Compressor is a more powerful converter ($50). Free.

    http://handbrake.fr/

    MakeMKV: 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.

    http://www.makemkv.com/

    Plex: My favorite fullscreen video player. There is both a server and player app. Free.

    http://www.plexapp.com/

    Steam: App store for video games, includes a fullscreen interface called Big Picture. Free (most games are pay-for of course).

    http://store.steampowered.com/browse/mac/

    Aja System Test: Test your hard drive speed. Some people also like the Black Magic Disk Speed Test app. Free.

    http://www.aja.com/en/products/software/

    Unigine Heaven: Graphics card benchmarking software. More info at Tonymac. Free.

    http://www.tonymacx86.com/graphics/...pdated-4-0-3d-graphics-benchmarking-os-x.html

    SuperDuper: System clone (drive to drive, or drive to DMG image file). Restore with Disk Utility

    http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html

    Lion Diskmaker: Make a bootable DVD or USB stick with the Mountain Lion installer.

    http://liondiskmaker.com/

    Picasa: I personally don't like iPhoto at all; Picasa is a really great alternative. Free.

    http://picasa.google.com/

    Reeder: Google Reader client (RSS app). $5.

    http://reederapp.com/mac/

    Snagit: Screen capture & annotation tool, really handy for making notes and guides. Now does video recording too. $50.

    http://www.techsmith.com/snagit.html

    ScreenFlow: Really super awesome screen video capture tool, like Snagit but specifically for screen recording. Includes a great editor. $100.

    http://www.telestream.net/screenflow/overview.htm

    Airfoil: Send any audio from your Mac (not just iTunes) to your Airplay devices. $25.

    http://www.rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/mac/
     
    #1 Kaido, Feb 18, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  2. Tegeril

    Tegeril Platinum Member

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    Airfoil isn't free, it's a 10 minute/session piece of trial software without a license.
     
  3. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    Updated, thanks. $25 in small print. Zing!
     
  4. miadavies

    miadavies Junior Member

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    VMware Fusion: 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.


    I have a little trouble using it. When I open the VMware, my computer runs slowly and less responsive. Is this my computer problems or I haven't a good installation ? Ths.
     
  5. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    What are the specs of your computer?

    You're effectively splitting your computer's resources in half, so the better hardware you have, the better performance you'll get. I'd recommend at least 4 gigs of RAM on the system and a solid-state drive for good performance. And i5 or better helps too, since you can give the VM it's own "dual-core processor".
     
  6. xanis

    xanis Lifer

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    Droplr: Super-simple sharing and storage service. Has Windows and iOS versions as well so you can keep everything in sync. Free (with limits), or $4/month.

    https://droplr.com/hello
     
  7. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    How do you like Droplr compared to CloudApp?
     
  8. ubercaffeinated

    ubercaffeinated Platinum Member

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    iFFmpeg: iFFmpeg is a graphical front-end for FFmpeg, a command-line tool used to convert multimedia files between formats. The command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does all the hard work for you. This allows you to use FFmpeg without detailed command-line knowledge. $12 dollars

    http://www.iffmpeg.com

    I don't frequently buy apps, but this one was a must for me. I got fed up with handbreak and I'm happy an app like this even exists. Converts everything I throw at it, and converts it right. It's simple to use, and can get complex as you need it to. Also, the author personally responds to emails. Great guy. I ran into an issue with an update, and shot him an email, and he responded and sorted it all out. And I know he's done the same for others as well.
     
  9. CA19100

    CA19100 Senior member

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    Sequel Pro
    http://www.sequelpro.com/

    An amazingly good MySQL database manager. I haven't found anything for Windows that approaches this program's functionality and ease of use. (If anyone has, please point me to it!)
     
  10. JavaMomma

    JavaMomma Senior member

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  11. joshhedge

    joshhedge Senior member

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    SMC Fan Control
    http://www.eidac.de/?cat=40

    Simple yet effective interface and icon in menu bar for showing system temperature and fan speed. You can also control both system fans (In my rPro) independently setting fan speed for more intense workloads to help prevent/reduce throttling.

    Free app, but you have the option to donate to the developer.
     
  12. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    Wow, that is awesome, I've been looking for a good format converter, thanks!
     
  13. ubercaffeinated

    ubercaffeinated Platinum Member

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    Smoothmouse: Someone finally fixed the acceleration curve for mice. Particularly relevant if you play any games on OS X. Also corrects for mouse lag. Amazed and thankful that people with talent, took the time to fix one of my greatest annoyances on OS X. Fiddling with terminal and other apps that attempted to correct OS X's acceleration curve never really got it right. This one does. Currently free as a beta.

    http://smoothmouse.com/
     
  14. Adramalech

    Adramalech Member

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    Thank you very much for this!
     
  15. Niclasmai

    Niclasmai Junior Member

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    8GB RAM is a big flaw. I think I can only choose 3 of them.
     
  16. anne704

    anne704 Junior Member

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    Favourable claims. Thanks.
     
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