In this article, Ill share with you the 50 applications Id choose if I couldnt download any other software for a year.
Needless to say, my favorite applications reflect the types of tasks I do, as well as my personal preferences and work style. (Games, for example, are just not my thing, so you wont see any on this list.) Your mileage may vary. But most of the applications on this list deserve, at the very least, a good solid evaluation from every single Mac user. They can make your work easier, save time and effort, and enhance those warm fuzzy feelings that made you choose a Mac in the first place.
Price: $20 (personal); $39 (business)
My favorite and most highly recommended Mac application by far, LaunchBar makes almost everything I do quicker and easier. With just a couple of keystrokes I can launch any application, even if I dont know where it is; look up someones phone number; play a song in iTunes; perform a calculation...the list goes on. Similar apps with legions of loyal fans are Quicksilver (free; http://quicksilver.blacktree.com/) and Butler (free, donations accepted; http://www.manytricks.com/butler/).
Price: Included with Mac OS X
Even as a power user with half a dozen active email accounts and hundreds of messages received every day, I havent found an email client I like better than Mailand Ive tried them all. I probably spend more time in this one app than any other program on my Mac, Web browsers included. With a few judiciously chosen add-ons and customizations, it can be an incredibly powerful tool.
If you cant seem to get ahead of your spam, youre not using SpamSieve. Its the smartest and most accurate junk mail prevention tool Ive ever used, and an essential companion to Mail (or any other Mac OS X email client).
It doesnt have all the bells, whistles, and user-configurable goodness of Firefox, but its still my favorite Web browsersolid, pretty, and easy-to-use. Now available for Windows too, and I hope it catches on fantastically there. And to think Internet Explorer was once the standard on Macs!
My second-favorite Web browser has all the bells, whistles, and user-configurable goodness that Safari lacks. Its not as pretty or Mac-like, but its a rare site indeed that doesnt load properly, and it can do all sorts of spiffy tricks without requiring dubious, unsupported hacks.
One thing I cant bear to use Safari for is reading RSS feeds. For this, my tool of choice is NetNewsWire. Of all the Mac news readers, this one most closely matches my tastes and work habits, and helps me to keep all those zillions of feeds organized and under control.
Any Web browser can remember passwords for you, but 1Passwd gives you a centralized password list, stored in your Keychain, that all your browsers can use (and that includes NetNewsWire). Plus, it has a handy password generator, and ably stores all sorts of other form data. My favorite part: you can store multiple sets of credentials for a single site. My fingers have gotten as used to my 1Passwd keyboard shortcuts as my LaunchBar shortcuts, and I cant bear to be without it.
Its really iMedia, a tool to organize and play not just music but movies, TV shows, audio books, and more, and even buy them direct from Apple. Its one of those things that I use so oftentypically in the backgroundthat I can easily forget its there. But Id hate to go back to managing my media without it.
BBEdit works splendidly as a tool for many kinds of writing, but its especially good at working with code. If youre programming or developing Web sites, its endless array of text-manipulation and collaboration tools is unequalled. If you dont need every last power-user tool, you might be satisfied with its free younger sibling, TextWrangler (http://www.barebones.com/products/textwrangler/)a formidable text processor in its own right.
#10: Mail Act-On
One of Mails few deficiencies is its all-or-nothing rules. If you want to apply just one rule (or a set of rules) to particular messages, after theyve been received, this is the tool for you. It makes filing, sending replies, and otherwise processing mail a matter of a few keystrokes, rather than lots of tedious clicking and dragging.