George Black

A Small Handful of Mac Apps

July 5, 2019

I freaking love macOS. I joined the club when cat names were cool. My first Mac was a Mac mini rocking Mountain Lion.

Apple’s WWDC19 revealed a glimpse into the future of building software for macOS. No longer will it be siloed with its own UI framework. Instead, apps can be composed with UIKit and SwiftUI, neither of which is Mac-only.

As someone that loves a good native Mac app, the future of the platform looks bright.

Before Apple opens the floodgates with the release of Catalina, I wanted to share my list of beloved Mac apps that are here and now.

macOS app icons

Utilities

Alfred – I use Alfred to automate tasks, switch apps, and orchestrate a busy desktop without leaving my keyboard.

Launch an app? Alfred. Run a script? Alfred. Log into a server? Build your dev environment? Bake a birthday cake? Alfred.

Spotlight is scrawny and weak. Alfred is the ripped guy at the gym with tattoos up his arm. That’s how I see it.

DaisyDisk – My MacBook Pro has 256GB of storage (had to compromise somewhere). DaisyDisk has great visuals to help you understand your storage.

1Password – Secret documents, passwords, server keys, driver’s license, software licenses. My Digital life would be an insecure hot mess without this thing.

Most of the time, 1Password can simply exist as a keyboard shortcut. CMD + SLASH to populate credentials into just about any application or website.

AppCleaner – When I delete an app, I want all of its files to be gone. Leave no trace.

I can’t stand apps that scatter random files all over my system. (That’s right, I’m talking shit about you Adobe).

Tabs to Links – An adorable way to convert your Safari tabs to programmatic data.

Media

NetNewsWire – A no-nonsense feed reader. This is how I aggregate all the indie blogs I follow.

NetNewsWire just hit an alpha release – so it’s hot off the presses! If you haven’t heard of the developer behind it, check him out. His blog is a good read.

Developer Tools

PAW – Everything HTTP. Most developers I know use Postman because it’s free.

But PAW doesn’t have a large, clumsy web interface. Plus, you can export your requests as Postman collections, and import Postman collections. Full compatibility with your coworkers as they stare in envy.

TablePlus – Everything RDS. I do a small amount of work in this domain, so I don’t have strong opinions on database clients. I’ve found this one a joy to use for my SQLite files.

Transmit – Transmit is a great client, but even cooler because of the company behind it, Panic.

I use it to sync bucket-loads of S3 data and browse files on remote machines.

Creation

Pixelmator Pro – Really well built, and takes advantage of a lot of Apple’s modern frameworks. I’m slowly weening myself off Photoshop for this. (Also, no subscriptions!)

Monodraw – Make ASCII diagrams. Great for code comments.

Day One – You’ll be hard-pressed to find a good Mac journaling app. I love this app – just not the biggest fan of a subscription.