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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.


  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.


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.

Voted to close — a good question, but we really should avoid subjective ones here. – apostlion Aug 17 '10 at 20:19
@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
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 for example. – Jon Hadley Aug 17 '10 at 21:08
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
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

239 Answers 239


A simple notes app that syncs with Simplenote--my favorite notes app for iOS.



AppFresh helps you to keep all applications, widgets, preference panes and application plugins installed on your Mac up to date.

All from one place, easy to use and fully integrated into Mac OS X. AppFresh works by checking the excellent for new versions and lets you download and install available updates easily.



QuickCursor lets you use your favorite editor to edit text in any Mac app that has a text input field. It's particularly useful for editing textboxes on web pages.



When you move a .app to the Trash, AppTrap notices this and offers to remove all associated library and preference files.

+1. But... Don't blindly "OK" the "remove" offer and delete good files when upgrading an app! – radarbob Apr 9 '12 at 19:24


A timer that detects when you're using the computer and tells you to take breaks if you've been at it too long. I like it because it has two timers running concurrently, one for small, frequent breaks, the other for long, rarer breaks. It's intelligent, configurable, and can show the timers on the dock icon.



TinyUmbrella is a great app for anyone who has an iOS device they want to downgrade to a previous firmware for one reason or other. It backs up and saves the SHSH blobs or "Keys" required to complete the restore.


NetBeans IDE

A free, open-source Integrated Development Environment for software developers. All the tools needed to create professional desktop, enterprise, web, and mobile applications with the Java platform, as well as with C/C++, PHP, JavaScript and Groovy.



LibreOffice is the FLOSS office suite. It's comparable to Microsoft Office while available for free.

This is basically the better version of, forked when Oracle refused to cooperate with the community. – dancek Oct 19 '11 at 20:48


  • provides a system-wide equalizer
  • boost the overall volume of your computer
  • boost volume of specific audio files
  • fast access via menu icon

enter image description here


Hands Off! Firewall

  • Prevents applications from phoning home
  • Block outgoing/incoming network connections
  • Block subdomains
  • Supports IPv4, IPv6 and local networks
  • Block read/write file operations
  • Monitoring network connections and disk access
  • export/import rules
  • default rules for certain applications (Mail, Safari,...)
  • access via menubar

enter image description here


Little Ipsum

It’s my favorite dummy text / lorem ipsum generator for OS X (free). What it makes so special is the selection mechanism from the menu bar (words… sentences… paragraphs):

enter image description here



From their site:

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Bark intelligently brings
notifications from Growl into Notification Center under OS X Mountain Lion.

Much like Hiss, Bark forwards your Growl notifications to Notification Center in Mountain Lion. The catch though is it forwards them not as "Growl Notifications", but as notifications from the actual app that sent them, making the experience totally seamless.

Screenshots might make it more clear. I reckon Bowtie and Coda 2 don't support Notification Center natively, but with Bark this is what you get:

Bowtie through Bark Coda 2 through Bark

And on notification center they look like this:

Bowtie / Coda 2 in Notification Center

Correct icons, correct grouping, the plugin is completely free and works with the newer versions of Growl (App Store versions)... definitely worth checking out!

PS: Coda 2.0.3 I think now supports Notification Center natively, but you get the idea...



Bowtie (free) is a little app for controlling iTunes and Last FM. It comes with several features, and it's really well done. Here's a brief description from its webpage.

Bowtie is a free application that allows you to control iTunes and your iPhone (requires 99¢ companion app) with customizable shortcuts, submits your songs to with support for Loving and Banning, and sports a very simple, yet very powerful, HTML5 + CSS + JavaScript theming system.

It's got some pretty cool "Bowlets", or little controllers/information displayers that can sit on the screen. There are plenty to choose from (these are just a few I have downloaded from the theme browser):

Bowtie Themes

This is one of my favourite (PaperRift by creeze):

PaperRift bowlet

Download on App Store.



Secrets is a PrefPane that lets users access hidden settings in many Mac OS X applications. It is also open source and user driven, any user can submit a secret and have it immediately available in the Secrets for anyone to use.

Secrets PrefPane


Hex Editor

Practically every editor, including text editors, lie about the contents of files. Even programming languages change or omit certain characters. In general this is intended to help you see what they think you are looking for, but sometimes you just want to see things how they really are

Note: The original hexeditor I linked to is no longer on offer, so I have updated the link with the suggestion from neoneye

Hex Fiend has much better keyboard shortcuts. – neoneye Sep 19 '11 at 14:47
@neoneye Link for Hex Fiend please? – CyberSkull Jan 16 '12 at 5:44
Link above is now redirected elsewhere; no "Hex Editor" tool is evident at the destination. Hex Fiend, an open source alternative, can be found at – Chris W. Rea Mar 4 '13 at 19:05
You should also look at 0xED in this list. – CyberSkull Sep 3 '13 at 5:44


Moom is a very configurable window management tool. Some useful features include convenient and fast window placement and resizing using grids, saving window layout profiles, configurable hot keys, and much more.

By far better than ShiftIt and Cinch! – pasawaya May 13 '13 at 1:46


  • adds mouse gestures to every program.


Rip is an application for accurate CD audio extraction.

It uses a smart combination of the AccurateRip database and CD Paranoia to ensure that the CD will be ripped accurately through the fastest means available.



from the webpage:

"Rulers" allows you to create rulers on the entire screen area like most common graphic editors allow on their working areas only. The guide lines enable you to measure and position objects with precision. Rulers is incredibly useful in many fields, such as computer graphics, desktop publishing and web design. Rulers can also be used to select a screen area and take a screenshot that is automatically saved to your desktop or copied to system clipboard.

This is also similar to xScope by IconFactory, with Rulers being comparatively lightweight. – Philip Regan Aug 30 '10 at 20:37
Good to know. Thanks. I use rulers quite often. – topskip Aug 30 '10 at 21:57
I prefer xScope, though I hadn't heard about rulers. – Josh K Aug 31 '10 at 14:40

Spirited Away

Spirited Away checks each running application's activity, and if an application isn't active for a certain fixed time, Spirited Away hides the application automatically. It is, in effect, Spirited Away :-)

This is a great productivity app, keep your workspace clean and focussed, by hiding all the apps you are not using. No more distractions in the background!



Pull out your headphones, and iTunes pauses. Plug it back in, and it starts again. A simple application that makes your life that much easier.


Textual: IRC for Mac OS X

Textual is a lightweight IRC client created specifically for Mac OS X. It was designed with simplicity in mind. Textual has taken the best of IRC and built it into a single client. Its easy-to-use functionality combined with scripting support makes it an ideal IRC client for novice to advanced users.

I tried Colloquy; I tried MacIrssi; I tried X-Chat Aqua; but for a GUI client, I have happily stuck to using Textual.


The Hit List

THL is a to-do list/GTD organizer that supports tagging, contexts, tabs, unlimited nesting, alarms, cloud syncing, keyboard shortcuts, and a ton of other features. It's a great piece of software, and comes from a developer with impeccable attention to detail. There's a companion iPhone app as well.



Pianopub is a free Pandora internet radio player for OS X. It is a port of Pianobar, so please support the original developers. It is for use with your account from the internet radio service.

By far the best Pandora client ever — in form of a native Mac OS X app.



OCR software for OS X.

Readiris 12 family quickly converts your paper documents into editable text or PDF files you can edit, share and store!

I've tried Readiris many times since maybe version 7, and after many hours and a LOT of money, I hate the program with a passion. Perhaps version 12 is wonderful, but to my mind this is a very un-Mac-like program that not only produces poor results, but also crashes and corrupts itself. The developer cares very little about the Mac, and progress has been slow. I used it because despite this horrid performance, it was the best OCR app available. Luckily I don't do OCR much anymore, and while I hope Readiris has improved, I am a skeptic. – Ash Feb 29 '12 at 14:42


I know what you are thinking: "This isn't an application!", but wait a second, it actually is! I made Grooveshark into a standalone application with hotkeys. I love it and use it all the time! Information about turning Grooveshark into a standalone application here.



Sloth is a graphical frontend for the console tool lsof. If don't know what that is, it doesn't matter!

Sloth makes it easy to find out which applications are using which files.

Sloth displays a list of all open files and sockets in use by all the applications your user account is running on the system. This list is presented along with the names of applications using the file and their process IDs. Includes support for regex list filtering, process killing, sorting and more.



Vox is a little and simple music player for Mac OS X with support for many file types, including FLAC, MP3, AAC, Musepack, Monkey's Audio, OGG Vorbis, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, IT, MOD, XM, Games Music and many others. Includes numerous effects like Equalizer, Reverb, Time Stretch, Pitch Shift, Echo. Moreover, all supported files can be exported to AAC+, Apple Lossless, WAV and other formats with enabled effects.

This is one truly awesome little app which is sadly not well-known. I'd even say Vox was one of the reasons I switched to Mac. Nothing but the essentials for a music player. Besides, it offers some nice audio features (e. g. resampling with antialiasing) as well as built-in integration and nifty controls in menubar.

I prefer to organize my music in folders by artists and albums and not bother with music libraries used in most modern audio players, so Vox's ability to play all files in a folder is the single most important feature to me.

If you feel that iTunes has grown far too big for a music player or just don't like messing with audio libraries you should really give Vox a try.



ControlPlane supports multiple contexts where a context is defined as a location or activity you are performing. Using evidence sources you can create a set of rules that tell ControlPlane what context to apply to your environment. When ControlPlane enters or leaves a context a set of Actions are performed.

In other words: it will turn off screen saver protection when You arrive home and turn it back when You leave. And so much more.


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