With a comfortable cash horde numbering in the tens of billions on hand, it would seem that Apple needs to go grocery shopping sometime soon, especially since Google seems to be the first one to the express checkout as the search giant snaps up just about everything thing in sight. These are not Microsoft sized companies with sometimes just one or two developers. But, smaller is better and these apps and their respective companies should be saluted for their efforts. The help make our daily computing a little better.
Here are seven apps for the Mac that are so good, Apple should really make the developers an offer and roll them into the OS. I picked these because they seem to have a good grasp of UI elements, provide good functionality and are practical for things we do everyday on computers. These are not media creation tools, just workhorse apps that help keep the wheels spinning on the silicon. With the exception of Dropbox, these are all Mac only apps. I won’t go into detail about all the features of these apps (gotta leave more to write about later!), but here is a laundry list. Feel free to add more in the comments.
Dropbox (Dropbox) – If anyone has used this file sharing app for 5 minutes you will appreciate its power and seamless integration into the Mac file workflow. While it works on Windows and Linux systems, it particularly shines on the Mac. It makes iDisk look like an underpowered Gremlin if there is such a thing. iPhone and iPad apps exist.
Pathfinder (CocoaTech) – The Finder is long overdue for an overhaul in Mac OS X. PathFinder is a great substitute for the time being. If Apple could give it a little polish in the UI arena, it would totally rock. As it stands now, it just rocks.
BusyCal (BusyMac) – This app is a great iCal replacement. It plays well with Google Calendars and offers a wealth of settings and features to keep your calendars up to date. I love it.
Things (Cultured Code) – This spendy productivity app has few peers in terms of its power and simplicity. Sure you can throw a dart at the board and hit 10 other GTD apps out there, but few offer the usefulness of Things without all the overhead “how do I use this?” fluff. Might be worth the price of admission for most. iPhone and iPad apps exist.
Leap (Ironic Software) – If you are into tagging on your Mac or just want a great way to sift through lots of documents or files, Leap is a great tool. It is somewhat of a Finder replacement, but not really. PathFinder does much more but it does not handle files the way Leap does. If PDFs are all you need to organize, Yep is a great app for this. Their other offerings of Fresh and Deep are also worthy apps in their own right.
1Password (Agile Web Solutions) – This is one app that I install almost immediately. It keeps all your passwords plus more safe and secure behind one password. It has browser integration and plays well with Dropbox for syncing across your different computers. Its a handy piece of code to own. Their other app, Knox, was recently acquired by Agile and is a much better option for securing files than Apple’s FileVault. iPhone and iPad apps exist.
LaunchBar (Objective Development) – Boy what a great utility this is! This is the first app I install on a Mac. While Quicksliver used to be my go to launcher, its development has proceeded in fits and starts since the developer was snapped up by guess who?…Google! But Launchbar is proceeding along nicely and can do a lot more than launch apps, but you need to take some time to delve into the particulars.
I am sure all of these developers might consider a decent offer from the, eh hem, Big Apple itself. It might be the biggest form of flattery as a Mac developer.
While these might not represent ground breaking technologies, these are apps that help the average Mac user be more productive and have a decent computing experience on this platform.