Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Please Search Prior To Posting!

There are many applications already listed. In all likelihood, this includes the one you are thinking of. Please check the existing answers to avoid duplicates, and the resulting cleanup it necessitates.

To search, use the search box in the upper-right corner. To search the answers of the current question, use inquestion:this. For example:

inquestion:this Evernote

If it hasn't already been posted, please follow a few simple rules when adding it as an answer.

Rules

  1. Limit to one application per answer.

  2. Add a short description of the application.

  3. Add a link to the website in the name of the application if possible (no direct downloads).

  4. Use ## [appName](link) for citing the application name.

  5. Only Mac OS X (not iOS, OS 9, compatible, etc) applications. All versions of OS X are accepted, but if the application requires a specific version please note.

share

locked by patrix Nov 24 '13 at 9:28

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed. More info: help center.

15  
Voted to close — a good question, but we really should avoid subjective ones here. –  apostlion Aug 17 '10 at 20:19
19  
@Apostlion: Simply because it's subjective does not mean it can't be answered. There are (community defined) "good" applications that are useful on a daily basis. –  Josh K Aug 17 '10 at 20:22
27  
Voted to reopen - it is subjective, but a popular and useful style of question, if kept as a wiki and not repeated too much. These questions are mostly accepted on gadgets.stackexhange.com for example. –  Jon Hadley Aug 17 '10 at 21:08
10  
Can we make this Community Wiki? And also 1 app per answer? Much easier to check if something has already been said and to edit to add information about said app. Thank you. –  Loïc Wolff Aug 19 '10 at 20:39
11  
I did a lot of cleanup. Changed all the app names to ## (because it was the most commonly used in the existing answers. Moved links so that they were within the app names. Removed some first-person descriptors. –  Robert S Ciaccio Aug 23 '10 at 3:18
show 19 more comments

239 Answers

Air Display

Technically this is both an iOS and Mac OS X application. What it does is let you use your iPad as a second monitor with your Mac. When I am using my Mac my iPad isn't usually in use (unless a family member stole it) so I use Air Display to make it useful while I am using my Mac. You get a 1024x768 or 768x1024 display that rotates and flips automatically - like you would expect.

The Mac portion is free, but you buy the iPad App. Runs with Windows too. Operates over WiFi, but you can always create a private network if one does not exist or it is too slow!

share
show 2 more comments

OmniDiskSweeper

OmniDiskSweeper scans your hard drive telling you where your largest files are, making it easy to delete cruft. It's intelligent in how it presents this information hierarchically.

share
add comment

VirtualHostX

For web developers who develop websites locally on their Mac. VirtualHostX manages your Apache Virtual Hosts and enable the use of domain names that point to your local machine (even non-routable domain names.) VirtualHostX does this by managing your Mac's hosts file and your Apache httpd.conf and httpd-vhosts.conf config files. It even supports MAMP (although I don't use MAMP.)

It's one of my top 5 favorite apps and one I'd hate to do without. I use it every time I start a new project!

Screenshot of VirtualHostX

share
show 2 more comments

SABnzbd

SABnzbd is an Open Source Binary Newsreader written in Python. It's totally free, incredibly easy to use, and works practically everywhere. SABnzbd makes Usenet as simple and streamlined as possible by automating everything we can. All you have to do is add an .nzb. SABnzbd takes over from there, where it will be automatically downloaded, verified, repaired, extracted and filed away with zero human interaction.

share
add comment

iChm

iChm is an ebook reader for CHM (Microsoft Compiled HTML Help) files.

share
add comment

TinkerTool

This handy tool allows you to customize OSX in various ways so that it is more efficient for you uses and allows you to access settings that you normally couldn't

share
show 4 more comments

Postbox

Postbox 2 is first class email software that puts you in the driver’s seat. Stay on task, find information quickly and act, not react.

Unified Account Groups

Focus Pane

Quick Reply

Exist both free and paid versions

share
add comment

Kod

a programmers' editor for OS X

An open source project that is slowly replacing TextMate for me.

share
show 4 more comments

Papers

Designed for scientists, Papers manages PDFs of journal articles. Articles imported to Papers can easily have their metadata applied from journal databases. Articles can then easily be sorted by author or journal, and labeled with different categories. Papers has an associated iOS app that it syncs with.

share
add comment

SizeUp

SizeUp allows you to quickly position a window to fill exactly half the screen (splitscreen), a quarter of the screen (quadrant), full screen, or centered via the menu bar or configurable system-wide shortcuts (hotkeys). Similar to "tiled windows" functionality available on other operating systems.

share
2  
It is Duplicate! –  Zote May 2 '11 at 0:52
add comment

muCommander

muCommander is a lightweight, cross-platform file manager with a dual-pane interface. It runs on any operating system with Java support (Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, *BSD, Solaris...).

Here's a non-exhaustive list of what you'll find:

  • Virtual filesystem with support for local volumes, FTP, SFTP, SMB, NFS, HTTP, Amazon S3, Hadoop HDFS and Bonjour
  • Quickly copy, move, rename files, create directories, email files...
  • Browse, create and uncompress ZIP, RAR, 7z, TAR, GZip, BZip2, ISO/NRG, AR/Deb and LST archives
  • ZIP files can be modified on-the-fly, without having to recompress the whole archive
  • Universal bookmarks and credentials manager
  • Multiple windows support
  • Full keyboard access
  • Highly configurable
  • Available in 23 languages : American & British English, French, German, Spanish, Czech, Simplified & Traditional Chinese, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Slovenian, Romanian, Italian, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Slovak, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, Ukrainian and Arabic.
  • Free Software (GPL)
share
add comment

Forklift

A Finder replacement. Two panes file management program. Not as cutomizable as Total Commander but has a lot of features builtin.

share
add comment

Plex Media Center for OS X

Plex bridges the gap between your Mac and your home theater, doing so with a visually appealing user interface that provides instant access to your media. Plex can play a wide range of video, audio and photo formats as well as online streaming audio and video. The real power of Plex is found in its library features: Organize your media into versatile libraries, automatically retrieve metadata from the Internet, and display your libraries using one of the visually stunning skins.

Plex has all but replaced VLC as my primary media application.

share
add comment

Shady

If you're finding your laptop screen too bright at night even on the minimum brightness, Shady's the right guy for you. Basically, it puts a transparent overlay over your entire screen, dimming it anywhere between 0% and 90% of normal.

share
add comment

Voodoopad

VoodooPad is a place to write down your notes and thoughts. Ideas, images, lists, passwords, your mom's apple pie recipe. Anything you need to keep track of and organize. VoodooPad will grow with you without getting in the way. Drag and drop folders, PDFs, applications, or URLs into VoodooPad, and they will link up just like on the web. And with powerful search, nothing will be lost or out of reach.

share
show 1 more comment

Adobe Creative Suite / Master Collection

The absolute KING of creative tools. Sure, the price is a bit up there, although there really isn't anything that can touch the versatility of having seventeen applications at your disposal. I've used some of these tools since their very existence (Illustrator, Photoshop) and I honestly can't imagine working without them. It would be difficult to describe what they all do; infinite possibilities.

Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat X Pro, Flash Professional, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Contribute, Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, OnLocation, Encore, Bridge, Device Central, Media Encoder, Media Encoder

◆ I'm a bit shocked this is just now making it's debut here.

share
add comment

Soulver

An amazing calculator that does it all with a nice text-based interface.

Just type your problem as you'd write it on paper. You see your answer instantly. No setting up formulas, no equals button. If you make a mistake, you don't have to start all over again, you just hit delete.

share
add comment

Hiss

Hiss is an OSX app that forwards notifications from Growl enabled apps to Notification Center in Mountain Lion.

Currently in beta, but it does an awesome job of piping all your Growl notifications into the Notification Center of OS X Mountain Lion. The only real downside to it is that it flags all notifications with the Growl icon.

share
1  
I was just adding this one. –  Max Ried Aug 7 '12 at 10:35
add comment

KeePassX password vault

KeePassX is a cross platform secure password saver. Like Keychain, but you can use it on your mobile phone and windows computers.

share
3  
you really should consider lastpass. I abandoned my keepassX. –  Cawas Dec 23 '10 at 12:40
1  
I use keepassX because it is open source software, vs lastpass, 1password which are not. I'm no fan of the non-native look, but my best alternative - and I would love to be corrected on this - is to use an encrypted textfile –  HectorMalot Jan 27 '13 at 12:19
show 3 more comments

Audio Hijack Pro

Audio Hijack allows you to record any sound from your Mac or input device. You can also mute certain applications. This is my go-to-application for any audio recording.

share
show 2 more comments

Stickies

It's Apple's program for taking notes. Very minimalistic and fast.

Your notes can be:

  • formatted how you like
  • edited with hyperlinks
  • drag and drop pictures
  • export as *.txt
  • custom color of note

Stickies Icon

share
add comment

InsomniaX

Disables sleep mode, so you can shut your lid without the system hibernating.

share
show 1 more comment

Google's Quick Search Box

An application launcher, like Quicksilver. Having tried both, I found Quick Search Box's UI to be cleaner and the overall application to be faster.

share
2  
QuickSilver is much more then simply an application launcher. ;) –  Josh K Sep 12 '10 at 14:08
add comment

PCalc

This is an awesome calculator that I have been using for at least 10 years. For basic arithmetic and quick calculations this app can't be beat.

It is also available from the Mac App store.

share
add comment

Fraise

Fraise is a free text editor for Mac OS X Leopard 10.6 which is both easy to use and powerful. It is designed to neither confuse newcomers nor disappoint advanced users.

General-purpose text editor with extensive syntax highlighting support. Can be downloaded via MacUpdate.

share
1  
This application is no longer developed. The original app, Smultron, which was abandonned, is now developed again (and available on the App Store). So Fraise developer said there would be no other update to Fraise. –  Loïc Wolff May 29 '11 at 16:39
add comment

0xED

a free, native OS X hex editor based on the Cocoa framework.

  • Fast editing of large files.
  • Unlimited file size (limited by what the actual file system supports).
  • Small memory footprint.
  • Instant opening of files of any size.
  • Resource fork editing.
  • Full hex/text search/replace.
  • Binary/text Cut/copy/paste support.
  • Plug-in system to display your custom data types.
share
1  
this is a great hex editor. –  neoneye Dec 11 '11 at 18:31
add comment

Nocturne

For all those low-light situations, Nocturne is a tool for inverting colors, changing screen tint etc. So I can make the screen dimmer while keeping it readable, when the dimmest backlight setting is too bright.

I especially like the Invert hue option, which can be used to keep colors the same while inverting black/white.

share
show 2 more comments

Overflow

Overflow is an application designed to quickly launch applications, open documents, or access folders while reducing the number of items needed in your Dock.

share
add comment

Base

Base is an awesome tool for managing SQLite databases. It has an intuitive interface and allows you to easily create or alter tables. I especially like that the transcript shows you exactly what queries Base is executing against your database.

share
add comment

Clipmenu

A simple yet powerful clipboard management tool.

share
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.