We’ve got a special treat today here on the blog. We’re currently working on a page to detail all of our favorite and most used technological elements that we work with day in and day out, but here’s a few of the lesser known mac apps that are definitely worth checking out. Some free, some paid, but all totally worth it. Let us know what you think!
Spotify’s a great thing, we can probably all agree on that. But when you’re deep in code, little is getting through to you, am I right? And when you finally realize you’re in your chair, and not the matrix, you have no idea what Artist Radio has brought through your speakers. With SmashTunes, now you do. The app throws the artist, song, rating, duration, album and any combination of these in the menu bar of your desktop. So when you’re wondering, “what the hell is that?“…you’ll know.
CleanMyMac offeres the phenomenal service, at a relatively inexpensive rate, to search and clean your hard drive of app leftovers, old plist files, and general garbage laying around your system. The scan takes only a few minutes (seconds, even!) and really does a ‘top-shelf’ job at getting things back up and running as if your computer was new.
Skitch is near and dear to our hearts, as we use it daily. The app is great
for taking quick screenshots, amending them with arrows, notes and instructions and sending them off with secure, shareable links. It’s a great tool to have, doesn’t take up much CPU and generally helps in the communication/customer service fields quite a bit.
BetterSnapTool is one of those apps that Windows lovers comment on and say, “Ohhhhh, that looks familiar! Looks like the fellas at Apple finally learned something from us Windows users!” Except that’s not true, because the fellas at Apple didn’t develop this sweet app, nor did you, as many commercials hint, develop the feature for windows. But I digress…this app lets you snap your window full screen, half screen, or quarter screen, which is really handy when you’re away from a big, fancy external monitor and stuck on a laptop.
As their website says – if only it could be so easy to uninstall a mac app. I mean lets be real, it’s usually a lot easier than Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Program > (wait for it to unfreeze) > and ‘Remove.’ Dragging and dropping to the trashcan is pretty simple, but it’s the leftovers that keep your computer sluggish. AppZapper identifies all portions of an app spread across your system and zaps them all in a simple uninstall. Ingenious. Don’t get carried away though, it’s hard not to zap away your whole app library.
How often do you have 2, 3 even 4 finder windows open, organizing, sharing and reading files? TotalFinder brings the advantage of tabs to your windows, making navigation pretty simple, and letting go much of the real estate each window used to eat up. Check it out for sure – it takes a while to get used to it, but it’s really easy to use and pretty handy, too.
Simply put, Growl‘s the best. Alerts across the spectrum of iTunes track changes, new messages in Mac Mail or Sparrow, Dropbox files changes, and the list continues… Customizable notifications fade in and out, alerting you of what you want to know. The app is fully programmable by each user, so maybe you don’t care when the track changes in iTunes, or your could really care less about your gmail account but need updates from your work account. Make it all happen with Growl.
It’s hard to differentiate which offering from Panic is more valuable. The developers over there offer a fantastic FTP/SFTP/S3/WebDAV client called Transmit which flawlessly integrates with their web editor, Coda 2. It’s quite the go-to duo for any head-down coder, and it’s at a relatively cheap price-point for the guy (or girl) not looking to make the leap to Adobe’s Creative Suite. Aside from these two apps, Panic also offers a nice little package called Candybar, which allows for custom app icon configuration across your system. Pretty nifty.
Bartender is a fantastic little app to install after you’ve downloaded and trial’d all of these suggestions. The menu-bar organizer adds a sub level for further organization of your background-running apps. It’ll let you keep your primary apps running in the menu bar, and have your secondary needed-but-not-frequently-needed apps running under bartender. For someone as OCD as I am, this little guy helps greatly in keeping everything under control on your desktop.