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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.

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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.

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    Voted to close — a good question, but we really should avoid subjective ones here.
    – apostlion
    Commented Aug 17, 2010 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
    Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 20:22
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    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
    Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 21:08
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    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. Commented Aug 19, 2010 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. Commented Aug 23, 2010 at 3:18

239 Answers 239

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iTerm2 is a full featured terminal emulation program written for OS X using Cocoa. We are aiming at providing users with best command line experience under OS X. The letter i represents a native apple look and feel of the program interface, and an emphasis on complete international support.

Note: iTerm2 is based on the old iTerm and is supported by the original author.

  • Cut is just select text
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Sep 5, 2010 at 12:24
  • 3
    iTerm 2 kicks it's ass (not from the same developer)
    – ocodo
    Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 0:16
  • Little to slow for me. Look forward to future releases. Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 14:16

Reeder for Mac


A gorgeous RSS reader based on the iOS app.

  • Syncs with Google Reader
  • Can manage Google Reader subscriptions
  • Has full Readability integration
  • Supports multi-touch gestures
  • Switches between reader and webpage view in a swipe
  • Has customizable interface and shortcuts
  • Supports Lion fullscreen mode
  • Offers quick access to services (including Twitter, Readability, Instapaper, ReadItLater and Evernote)

Reeder for Mac


Sequel Pro

Sequel Pro is a fast, easy-to-use Mac database management application for working with MySQL databases.

Sequel Pro gives you direct access to your MySQL databases on local and remote servers.

Whether you are a Mac Web Developer, Programmer or Software Developer your workflow will be streamlined with a native Mac OS X application!

  • I never liked the app :( I installed phpmyadmin.net and use it from localhost.
    – balexandre
    Commented Aug 25, 2010 at 22:00
  • +1 I think this app is awesome. Much better than the MySQL GUI Tools. Prefer it over phpMyAdmin any day.
    – bummzack
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 21:32


Task management tool with an that UI strikes a nice balance between simplicity and functionality. Can be synced with iPhone and iPad versions.

It's a commercial app, and not even very cheap (40€ / $53 currently), but I've come to rely on it a lot.

  • 1
    One thing Things is desperately missing is proper cloud sync. (Current wifi sync is kinda ok, but it doesn't let you use Things on many computers, for example.) Cultured Code says it's in the works, but then they've said that for 1-2 years and nothing seems to be happening. :/ I've used Things for a long time and I like it a lot, but lack of this feature, and of communication, makes me consider switching to Evernote or something.
    – Jonik
    Commented Dec 12, 2010 at 18:25
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    Evernote looks like such a good alternative, but it doesn't seem to have specific To Do functions and the iPhone version is a bit Fisher Price. Things does exactly what it says it does, reliably and professionally, but cloud sync is waaaaay overdue. Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 22:49
  • @JBRW: Agreed. Now that I've started using Evernote too, I'd say it's great, but not really a Things replacement for me.
    – Jonik
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 12:38
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    Evernote is not geared for task management. I love Things interface, but I will like it much more when cloud sync finally debuts this fall.
    – Jamie
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 18:39
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    I'd be a lot more interested in things if it were not 50 freaking dollars. Considering what it contains, I think it's enormously over priced. $10 would be a no-brainer. $20, and I'd probably still buy it.
    – Fake Name
    Commented Sep 19, 2011 at 3:07


Take your Magic Mouse and add some more magic to it. Lets you do tons more gestures than OS X alone.

Works for the new trackpad and the multitouch trackpads in laptops too. It's still a bit buggy, but really, really cool.

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    Technically just a utility, but I love it so much.
    – r00fus
    Commented Sep 15, 2010 at 4:22
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    It would be awesome if not so buggy and heavy.
    – cregox
    Commented Dec 23, 2010 at 13:05
  • It has improved over the last six months or so.
    – cftarnas
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 6:04


-- TeXLive distribution and assorted goodies for the Mac.

  • I wish I could upvote this twice. I originally switched to a Mac because of TeXShop and LaTeXit! Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 18:34

Sublime Text 2

Sublime Text has grown to become my favorite GUI code editor. It feels like a spiritual successor to TextMate (even allowing support for some TextMate bundles like snippets and themes), and has many original+natural features like fully independent text cursors, a very nice search feature, and a rapidly-growing plugin API and surrounding community.

I liked it so much I wrote an inline lint plugin.

enter image description here

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    If I could upvote this ten times. The most awesome, the most underrated editor. Actually it's the first code editor I fell in love with on Mac. I also suggest checking out Will Bond's page of Sublime Text 2 plugins.
    – Dan
    Commented Oct 13, 2011 at 12:07
  • I also would like to upvote multiple times, this is a fantastic piece of software. Finally I get the power of VIM without the clunk! Commented May 16, 2012 at 17:18


Skitch allows you to take screenshots on your Mac, edit them and share them with others. It makes the sharing process seamless by making it a natural workflow to send the image (with edited arrows and other highlights helpful to your client) to them via email or automatic website uploads. It is especially popular with the designer community, as they show their clients rough drafts of their work in a nearly automated process. It makes it simple to work remotely with someone and pass on work revisions and get feedback quickly. Other uses include:

  • Snap a website
  • Capture a chat moment
  • Screenshot an application
  • iSight snap your bad hair day
  • Quickly sketch an idea
  • Tap into your iPhoto Library
  • Re-open images from your Skitch History
  • I use Jing for that as it can be used for screencasts up to 5 minutes as well and not only pics :)
    – balexandre
    Commented Aug 25, 2010 at 21:46
  • Skitch is the reason I switched from Windows to Mac over a year ago (although I continue to be unsure if I'm happy about the switch or not.) Commented Sep 4, 2010 at 20:49


Coda is the only web-language-text-editor I like. It does everything you really need for web applications. It remember some common part of code in clips that you can load just by typing their tag name, it completes your html tags, it shows you the list of functions with related variables and autocomplete, it has the powerful Transmit ftp engine built in, it has a great visual CSS editor, it allows you to personalize the text colors and it has HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP doumentation maulaus available from within the application.

Never seen all these features in just one application!

From the developer's website:

So, we code web sites by hand. And one day, it hit us: our web workflow was wonky. We’d have our text editor open, with Transmit open to save files to the server. We’d be previewing in Safari, adjusting SQL in a Terminal, using a CSS editor and reading references on the web. “This could be easier,” we declared. “And much cooler.”

Screen Capture

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    Looks awesome - you should maybe mention that it costs $100. Commented Jan 16, 2011 at 7:26
  • Is it like Kod? I liked Kod... Commented Jun 26, 2011 at 17:10
  • I use this 8 hours a day, everyday. Essential
    – Chris
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 15:21
  • Sublime text totally mops the floor with every other text editor.
    – Fake Name
    Commented Mar 4, 2013 at 8:06


LaunchBar is a smart and powerful, keyboard driven productivity utility that lets you access and control every aspect of your digital life. Whatever you want to get done on your Mac – with LaunchBar it’s only a few keystrokes away.

Indespensible as a keyboard utility to launch applications, open websites, search the web and a million other things.

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    It's also a great clipboard manager, giving access to history via a keystroke. One of the most feature-rich apps I've used.
    – evanmcd
    Commented Aug 21, 2010 at 23:58
  • Just like quicksilver .)
    – Eimantas
    Commented Aug 27, 2010 at 15:10
  • I've become a total LaunchBar convert. It's well-supported (unlike Quicksilver) and does things that Alfred does not. I quite literally have an extra 30-60 minutes available every day due to LaunchBar. Commented Sep 19, 2011 at 14:25


f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you're in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again.

Tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, and where you live. Then forget about it. F.lux will do the rest, automatically.

  • It's cool and all, but what's the point?
    – Alexander
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 3:59


alt text

What a fantastic little App... it makes easy to share allmost any file instantly and when you create a screenshot it automatically uploads it to the web and you have the short URL ready to be pasted anywhere.

a simple Cmd + SHIFT + 4 and ... Paste the url :)

...and you have RainDrops to share other content as photos from iPhoto directly and more

alt text



TextWrangler is the (free) powerful general purpose text editor, and Unix and server administrator’s tool. It is a powerful and richly featured tool for composing, modifying, and transforming text stored in plain-text files.

Among other things, it can open files from (and save them) to remote FTP and SFTP servers, offers a powerful grep engine, supports multi-byte and non-Roman text files, can perform Find Differences on pairs of files or folders, and can be invoked from the Unix command line.

  • 1
    +1 if you don't want to fork over the cash for BBEdit, TextWrangler is a fantastic alternative, with all of the basic (yet extremely powerful) text editing tools you'll need. Commented Mar 9, 2011 at 8:06
  • I use it everyday for any text edit on the go.
    – noob
    Commented May 26, 2013 at 20:12


Improves the finder by adding a tabbed view, as well as other less interesting features. I didn't realize how addicted to this I was until I got a new Mac and couldn't figure out why I couldn't open another finder tab. :-)

  • Now supporting CUT-Paste for files! :) Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 14:45
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    The only thing missing is more shortcuts like a shortcut to move files around in the dual pane mode Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 4:10
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    It's worth noting that you can use it indefinitely for free. The only difference between paid and free is a little banner on the title-bar, and the warm fuzzies you get from supporting a great project.
    – Fake Name
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 19:21
  • @FakeName how is this possible? They mention 14-days-trial?
    – hhh
    Commented Mar 4, 2013 at 0:46
  • @hhh - When the "trial" expires, the only change is a little banner at the top of every window saying "unregistered".
    – Fake Name
    Commented Mar 4, 2013 at 8:05


quote from Thilo:

I absolutely hate this app, but at the same time I (or rather my iPods) cannot live without it.

Please, Steve, make iTunes optional for iPods and iPads.

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    I actually really like iTunes in Mac OSX. The Windows version, not so much; but Mediamonkey (a Windows-only app) can manage music on iPods and iPads, and multiple Linux apps can also manage them.
    – Ricket
    Commented Dec 10, 2010 at 1:50
  • I agree that iTunes is a ***** and I hate like most people the fact that we have no other choice. But that's still a great syncing tool for music and backuping devices. I doubt any alternatives offer that features for free.
    – Vincent
    Commented Apr 24, 2011 at 15:52
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    Maybe Apple will transition the iOS App Store into the App Store app on Lion, and open up the APIs for backup/sync so developers can make third party replacements for iTunes! But probably not.
    – Bryson
    Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 17:25
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    My love/hate for iTunes is that it tries to do everything in one app. (What does organizing apps on your iPhone have to do with "Tunes"?)
    – Andrew Vit
    Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 2:06
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    Now you don't need iTunes for a lot of things (OTA updates, Setup, etc.) Commented Feb 10, 2012 at 1:39

iStat Menus

Displays customizable system monitoring information like CPU, memory and network usage and hardware temperatures in the menu bar. So like MenuMeters but a bit nicer in my opinion.

iStat Menus 3 by Bjango

  • Personally, I like the widget (iStat Pro) that the developers create a bit better. Free and unobtrusive! :) islayer.com/apps/istatpro
    – Jamie
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 18:46
  • Just couldn't live without this. A quick and simple way to see my CPU usage, memory usage, etc. etc.
    – binarybob
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 20:47


Sparrow's hallmark is a simplified user interface reminiscent of Twitter clients such as Tweetie or iOS apps, as opposed to a more traditional e-mail style such as Apple's Mail or Mozilla Thunderbird.

Sparrow currently supports all IMAP email accounts. It also includes features such as drag-and-drop attachments, Growl support, and keyboard shortcuts, as well as threaded replies and easy switching between Gmail accounts.

  • Sparrow has replaced Mailplane for me, for one reason: super-fast account switching. The UI is ok. Still needs some usability polish.
    – Ian C.
    Commented Apr 30, 2011 at 23:17
  • POP accounts have been added too.
    – latusaki
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 17:42
  • Too bad it doesn't work behind a proxy with non-default ports...
    – daefu
    Commented Nov 27, 2012 at 13:02

Notational Velocity

is an application that stores and retrieves notes.

It is an attempt to loosen the mental blockages to recording information and to scrape away the tartar of convention that handicaps its retrieval. The solution is by nature nonconformist.

  • 1
    could make your answer community wiki, please? Commented Aug 20, 2010 at 12:13
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    +1, and I'll add nvALT, a fork of Notational Velocity that adds support for Markdown, Textile and MultiMarkdown in Preview and a bunch more: brettterpstra.com/project/nvalt Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 3:52
  • I'll second the usefulness of this app with Simplenote syncing, especially the fork which Matthew Frederick lists above. :)
    – Jamie
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 18:41
  • I quit using Evernote and transitioned completely to NVAlt. It's totally killer.
    – Zrb0529
    Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 23:13


Hands down the best plain-text editor I've ever used.

  • Probably also the most expensive.
    – Josh K
    Commented Aug 26, 2010 at 18:11
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    You get what you pay for. Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 20:35
  • I prefer KomodoEdit. Free and better than BBEdit. I used BBEdit for maybe ten years and swore by it, but then I started using Komodo and never looked back.
    – Robusto
    Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 16:28
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    @titaniumdecoy say what? it has built-in syntax highlighting for dozens of languages. Down in the bottom left of every window, there's a thing that says "(none)". click that to show a popup menu of all the built-in languages. you can add even more via plugins. i've been using it for bash and ruby scripting all week, and the syntax highlighting has been just fine. Commented Apr 9, 2011 at 17:12
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    It doesn't suck. Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 19:32

Microsoft Office

Office for Mac 2011 is the best option for Mac users who share documents at home, work, or at school.
It comes packed with powerful features for creating artful documents, dynamic spreadsheets, and effective presentations. Plus it’s compatible. You can be confident that your documents will open correctly on Mac or PC.

  • 12
    I think iWork pwns :)
    – user235
    Commented Aug 25, 2010 at 12:48
  • 3
    +1 just because I don't get the down votes. I don't particularly enjoy using MS Office, but there are some things it does really well when you get MS Office documents from others. If you're an academic, a lawyer, a project manager, or a sales person, it is a pretty useful piece of software. Commented Aug 25, 2010 at 23:02
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    academics use TeX (pronounced 'tech' please! :D) Commented Aug 28, 2010 at 16:39
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    +1 because even though I think Office as a whole is an absolute beast of bloatware, Excel has a place in a lot of my processes. Numbers tries a little too hard to be different, I think. Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 20:37
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    @Carmine That's quite an assumption you make there. I'm an academic and enjoy using TeX myself, but the majority of my colleagues are very uncomfortable with it, both in concept and in practice. Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 14:24

Parallels Desktop

Gives almost(!) seamless Windows OS and apps integration.

  • This application has saved me several times while taking college courses. Apparently the college I attend thinks Microsoft products are the only products available. Commented Sep 9, 2010 at 18:01
  • I can't believe this hasn't been voted higher.
    – alastairs
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 17:22
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    Although I’m a VMware and Parallels user, Parallels has the tendency to charge you 49€/year for the “50% faster” newer versions. At the rate Parallels has advertised the speed increase, the virtualized version should be faster than native these days… Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 14:50
  • Parallels is much better than vmware. Bought both, only using vmware when I need to share vms with windows users.
    – Vincent
    Commented Apr 24, 2011 at 15:47


  • PDF reader and note-taker.
  • 1
    It's a great application to present slides in PDF format. Preview.app always has this irritating overlay you can't disable.
    – raimue
    Commented Sep 6, 2010 at 3:56
  • Great for annotating PDFs. Notes, highlights, underlines, even freehand drawings. Commented Jun 24, 2011 at 21:57
  • The highlighting and annotation features make me prefer Skim even to iBooks. Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 9:34

Carbon Copy Cloner

Clone, synchronize, backup.

CCC 3 features an interface designed to make the cloning and backup procedure very intuitive. In addition to general backup, CCC can also clone one hard drive to another, copying every single block or file to create an exact replica of your source hard drive. CCC's block-level copy offers the absolute fastest performance and highest fidelity in the industry!

  • Can't believe this one wasn't mentioned already. This is indispensable to me with all the crap I put my Macs through :) Commented Sep 12, 2010 at 22:55
  • 1
    Yep, this is an app of the highest quality. Another 'must have'.
    – boehj
    Commented Apr 10, 2011 at 9:08


For listening to music off the internet. This definitely has become one of the pieces of software I would first install (on a Mac or any other computer).

Note: Spotify is available only in some countries; currently:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The Wikipedia article has details.

  • :( Unfortunately not available outside of European countries.
    – JFW
    Commented Nov 20, 2010 at 15:11
  • @JFW: Yeah. Wikipedia notes, however, that according to the company, "Spotify will be launched in the United States before the end of 2010"
    – Jonik
    Commented Nov 20, 2010 at 15:21
  • 1
    Yeah, the spotify launch in the US has been just months away for over a year... Commented Jan 16, 2011 at 7:04
  • It is now available in the US. And it's easy to create a fake account.
    – neoneye
    Commented Sep 19, 2011 at 14:35


I have Photoshop, but Acorn is an amazing, lightweight and cheap alternative I go to way, way more often.



OmniFocus is designed to quickly capture your thoughts and allow you to store, manage, and process them into actionable to-do items. Perfect for the Getting Things Done® system, but flexible enough for any task management style, OmniFocus helps you work smarter by giving you powerful tools for staying on top of all the things you need to do.



One of the best light weight BitTorrent clients.

  • 2
    Vuze is better :)
    – balexandre
    Commented Sep 8, 2010 at 13:39
  • 24
    transmission is better :) Commented Sep 9, 2010 at 5:50
  • 1
    @calavera rather than better I’d say transmission is lighter (by far) ;) (note: I use transmission) Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 14:53
  • why is transmission so much better?
    – Richard
    Commented May 12, 2013 at 21:31
  • @Richard Transmission was build with being lightweight as a goal.
    – CyberSkull
    Commented Sep 3, 2013 at 5:37

TotalTerminal (formerly Visor)

  • "A system-wide terminal on a hot-key." I press ctrl-T (the hot key I chose), and a tab-able terminal window slides down from the top of my screen. This invaluable for anyone who, like me, is constantly between the terminal and other apps.

This great little tool was originally by Blacktree, who made Quicksilver.

  • I keep going for Visor to Window and have now stuck with Visor. Great App. Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 14:17
  • I've since switched to iterm2.com which has visor-styel functionality built-in. Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 0:43
  • Note: its now called TotalTerminal -- you may want to update the name/link.
    – Retief
    Commented May 9, 2012 at 4:05
  • Updated. Note that this is a community wiki- you can edit it too. Commented May 14, 2012 at 4:59
  • As a side note, this functionality is built into iTerm2, which I now use in favor of TotalTerminal. Commented May 14, 2012 at 4:59



HyperDock adds long awaited features to your Dock: Select single application windows just by moving the mouse on a dock item, use mouse clicks to quickly open new windows and many more. alt text

Control iTunes. Hover the mouse over the iTunes dock item to view information about the current song, You can pause or skip songs and even adjust volume just by scrolling on the itunes icon. alt text

And many more...

  • 1
    This will be really great when the iron out the bugs. Commented Oct 16, 2010 at 14:17
  • This is such an integrated part of my daily workflow. The previews are just eye candy. The shortcuts on dock items, and the resizing of windows are slick and extremely efficient. Commented Apr 10, 2011 at 4:32
  • this is one application I actually bought, because it is incredibly handy
    – Richard
    Commented May 12, 2013 at 21:33

Daisy Disk

DaisyDisk scans your disks and presents their content as interactive maps where you can easily spot unusually large files and remove them to get more free space. The map gives you an overview of your data, so you always know what your hard disks are filled with.

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