This week I got a new iMac. It’s the first machine I’ve had that’s running OS X 10.5 (that would be Leopard for all you cat-lovers), the current version of Apple’s operating system. I thought I’d ask on Twitter about the Apple desktop apps that the cool kids are using. Here’s what I heard back. I expect that Apple power users will be familiar with all of these.
UPDATE: If this post interests, you might want to check out part two as well.
1Password – A password manager and form completer.
Adium – The popular all-in-one instant messaging client.
Bento – “Personal file organization and database”. I’m a little unclear on why I’d want this. Anyone?
Boot Camp – The app that enables you to run Windows on my iMac. Assuming I can acquire a copy of Windows, I plan to install it for running Windows-only games.
Caffeine – “Caffeine is a tiny program that puts an icon in the right side of your menu bar. Click it to prevent your Mac from automatically going to sleep, dimming the screen or starting screen savers. Click it again to go back.” I gather this is for when you’re watching longer web-based videos, where the screen goes dim without inputs after a while?
FileVault – Software for encrypting one’s files. Boris assures me that I “can ignore FileVault — it’s for encrypting your home directory. Only uber nerds use it.” I am not an uber-nerd, so I’ll take his advice.
Fluid – Make site-specific browsers for your favourite web apps. I’ve been using Google Gears to get certain web app icons in my desktop’s dock, but this will work better.
HandBrake – “An open-source, GPL-licensed, multi-platform, multithreaded, DVD to MPEG-4 converter, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows.”
KeePassX – Another password manager. Yes, I’m troubled by that creative spelling of “key”.
Layers – If I understand it correctly, it enables you to build multi-window screen captures? Seems kind of like a nail in search of a hammer, but who am I to judge?
Mailplane – This is kind of a custom email browser for Gmail that makes the web-based email app act more like desktop software. I’ve used this on my laptop for a while, but lately (probably due to Gmail, not Mailplane itself) I’ve found it rather sluggish. So these days I’m giving Apple Mail a try.
PersonalBrain – A mind-mapping tool, from what I can gather.
Quicksilver – Hard to describe, so here’s Wikipedia: “allows users to use the keyboard to rapidly perform tasks such as launching applications, manipulating files and data, running scripts, or sending e-mail.” I’ve had this installed on my laptop for some time, but I barely ever think to use it.
Skitch – The very handy, exceptionally usable screen capture and quick illustration app.
Snackr – An Adobe AIR app that, I gather, turns part of your desktop into a kind of CNN news ticker, powered by the RSS feeds of your choice.
Storyist – A word processor designed for novelists and screenwriters.
Things – Task management software. Boris, if I recall correctly, described the Areas of Responsibility feature as a ‘game-changer’.
Time Machine – Apple’s fancy backup system.
Tinderbox – “A personal content assistant that helps you visualize, analyze, and share your notes.”
VideoLan – The workhouse, almost-never-fails video player I’ve come to know and love. Nowhere is Apple more irrational than in its ridiculously narrow native support of video formats.
Yojimbo – Yet another information manager.
That’s a good start. What favourite app would you add to this list?