Smoking Hot Mac Interface Design: 30 Stunning Apps

Mac applications are known for their superb design, and in the past few years UI designers have really embraced this trend by creating some really remarkable interfaces. They embrace realism, ooze texture, and generally make you stop and stare.

Today we’ll look at 30 pieces of Mac software that really push the limit of great interface design. First we’ll say what the app does, then provide a screenshot followed by a brief statement about what I really love about the interface.

Let’s get started – prepare to be dazzled!

Cockpit

“Cockpit is a really flexible multi application controller and automation center. A way to run scripts, tasks and even more with a click of a button or just with a hotkey”

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Cockpit

The Cockpit interface uses faux realism with rich textures like glass, metal and rubber to pull of a super sleek look.

Developer: Green & Slimy Software
Price: €19

On The Job

“On The Job is an application designed to help you track your time and expenses, and bill your clients by easily and quickly creating professional invoices.”

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On The Job

The interface is a nice mix of light and dark elements, bringing lots of attractive contrast to the screen.

Developer: Stunt Software
Price: $39.95

Transmit 4

“You need to transfer files. Maybe to an FTP or SFTP server, or the cloud via Amazon S3, or using WebDAV. You maintain a website, do backups, or upload photos. You need Transmit, the #1 Mac OS X FTP client.”

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Transmit 4

The newest installment of Transmit has received a major visual facelift and is simply the best looking FTP client around. Read our full review and see why we gave it a perfect 10 here.

Developer: Panic
Price: $34 ($19 upgrade)

LittleSnapper

“With LittleSnapper it’s easy to start capturing webpages and your desktop. From entire webpages – including the bits that are out of view in a standard browser window – to specific windows on your Mac, no matter what you need to capture LittleSnapper can handle it.”

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LittleSnapper

The large dark background makes the perfect canvas to display all your snaps. LittleSnapper always makes me wish I could change the color of my boring white Evernote background to match!

Developer: RealMac Software
Price: $39

Espresso

“Espresso is not a bunch of apps thrown together. Instead, we looked at the needs of web developers and streamlined their workflow into one gorgeous, focused app. Fast and powerful editing, sleek projects, live preview (we make CSSEdit after all), awesome publishing and extensive synchronization tools.”

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Espresso

Espresso’s interface is tweaked to perfection and allows for a surprising amount of functionality all accessed in a central location.

Developer: MacRabbit
Price: $79.95

Miro

“Miro 3 An amazing open-source, non-profit video player. Download torrents and podcasts, play any video, and do it with style.”

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Miro

Miro is a really nice looking media player with integrated channels and streams, all displayed on nice colorful pages. It’s a really solid integration of web material into a desktop environment.

Developer: Participatory Culture Foundation
Price: Free

Kaleidoscope

“Use Kaleidoscope to spot the differences in text and image files. Review changes in seconds with the world’s most advanced file comparison application.”

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Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope makes the mundane task of comparing any number of files actually enjoyable with its super flexible and highly usable interface.

Developer: Sofa Design
Price: €29

Beak

“An innovative new Twitter client exclusively for the Mac. Beak is currently in development but you can download an darly preview release (v.95) here. (Mac OS 10.5 or later.)”

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Beak

I’m not sure if Mike has abandoned development for Beak or not but it works great as is and is definitely a really sharp looking Twitter client.

Developer: Mike Rundle
Price: Free

Spotify

“Spotify is a new way to listen to music Any track you like, any time you like. Just search for it in Spotify, then play it. Any artist, any album, any genre – all available instantly.”

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Spotify

Spotify’s interface is a lot like iTunes with a major style boost. The dark theme really looks nice and makes it feel like you’re getting a premium experience. The day Spotify comes to the U.S. I will be a happy man!

Developer: Spotify Ltd.
Price: Free (limited)

Loremify

“Loremify is a one-click tool to copy Lorem Ipsum. It lets you wrap in html, specify the amount of text, and copy it to your clipboard—all in one click. It runs as a Dashboard Widget in Mac OS X, and is a mere 270kb.”

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Loremify

This one is technically a widget and not really a full-blown application but it looked so nice I had to include it. As you can see, dark interfaces with blue text are quite popular at the moment.

Developer: Tobias Ahlin
Price: Free

Alfred

“Alfred is a quicklaunch application for Mac OS X, which aims to save you time in searching your local computer and the web. Whether it’s maps, Amazon, eBay, Wikipedia, you can feed your web addiction quicker than ever before.”

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Alfred

Like any launch utility, Alfred has a fairly simple interface. This is actually a bonus here. The design is really streamlined and expands and shrinks to show the appropriate content. I love how large the window is as well, this makes the text easily readable.

Developer: Andrew Pepperrell, Vero Pepperrell and Ollie Kavanagh
Price: Free

DaisyDisk

“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.”

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DaisyDisk

DaisyDisk is a beautiful way to visualize your data storage. I can’t decide if the complicated radial charts are retro or futuristic but I do know that they look great.

Developer: DaisyDisk Team
Price: $19.95

Watts

“The battery needs to be recalibrated from time to time to keep the onscreen battery time and percent display accurate, and to keep the battery operating at maximum efficiency.”

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Watts

I wasn’t even aware that my MacBook’s battery ever had to be calibrated but if I ever do see the need I’ll definitely use this app so I can calibrate in style!

Developer: BinaryTricks
Price: $10.99

Just Notes

“A simple, beautiful and powerful notes app. The nice user interface lets you focus on the important things – taking notes”

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Just Notes

A great looking interface that keeps things simple by using using icon-based navigation and plain yellow notes.

Developer: Matthias Hochgatterer
Price: Free

Delibar

“Delibar is a full featured Delicious and Pinboard Mac client. Delibar focuses on giving Mac OS X users an easy and quick tool for searching, managing and sharing their bookmarks.”

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Delibar

Delibar features a really nice and small tabbed interface that pops down from your menu bar, is fully searchable, and features some great icon design.

Developer: Shiny Frog
Price: $18

Delicious Library

“Catalog your books, movies, music, software, toys, tools, electronics, & video games.”

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Delicious Library

Delicious Library features an interface very similar to that of the new iBooks iOS app. All of your media is displayed on a nice faux wooden bookshelf for easy and quick browsing.

Developer: Delicious Monster
Price: $40

CleanMyMac

“CleanMyMac represents sophisticated all-in-one-suite utility that helps keep your Mac clean and healthy. With just two simple clicks you can delete useless files that basically pile up and waste your valuable disk space.”

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CleanMyMac

The sidebar on the left makes it a breeze to analyze your data storage based on different types of content. Simply click on a category and tell the app to clean the files up and you’re good to go!

Developer: MacPaw
Price: $29.95

MacHider

“MacHider is an innovative product intended to put out of sight your confidential information from third parties or other unwanted eyes.”

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MacHider

MacHider is from the same developer as CleanMyMac but features a much lighter interface that really nails that great OS X look and feel.

Developer: MacPaw
Price: $10.99

Yojimbo

“Yojimbo makes keeping all the small (or even large) bits of information that pour in every day organized and accessible. It’s so simple, there is no learning curve.”

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Yojimbo

Yojimbo is a digital clutter collection app similar to Evernote. The interface is bright and user friendly with large colorful icons simple UI elements.

Developer: BareBones
Price: $39

Aperture 3

“You’ve taken a great shot. Now you’re ready to make it even better. Aperture 3 gives you all the tools you need to turn your photography into so much more.”

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Aperture 3

Aperture is a professional grade photography application from Apple. The interface is super slick and does a remarkable job or organizing tons of powerful tools and features. The fullscreen editing seen above is particularly nice.

Developer: Apple
Price: $199

Bento

“What’s your passion? Selling products, building client relationships, booking your band, organizing volunteers, running marathons, collecting coins? Whatever it is, Bento can help you do it better – the fast, fun, and easy way!”

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Bento

Bento is personal database management in true Mac style. Filemaker really stepped up and addressed the complicated nature of their apps and made Bento both beautiful and simple to use.

Developer: Filemaker
Price: $49

Plex

“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.”

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Plex

Plex features a really stunning application interface that makes it a joy to browse and enjoy your movies, music and televisions shows.

Developer: Plex Media
Price: Free

SlipCover

“SlipCover makes it easy to create custom case icons for all your media files. SlipCover can then easily apply these custom icons to any file, making SlipCover the only application you’ll need for cases.”

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SlipCover

Simple is beautiful. SlipCover couldn’t be easier and is a very attractive way to add icons to your media files.

Developer: Bohemian Coding
Price: Free

CandyBar

“Change the icons you usually can’t… and more. This is big: CandyBar 3 has pixadex built right in! Now, your favorite application for changing system icons is also your favorite application for managing your icons, with a smooth, unified interface.”

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CandyBar

It can be tedious to try to customize your OS X system icons but CandyBar makes the whole process a no brainer through a gorgeous drag and drop interface.

Developer: Panic
Price: $29

Awaken

“Awaken is everything you’d expect from a Mac alarm clock. The competition doesn’t even come close to Awaken’s combination of form and function.”

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Awaken

Awaken makes setting alarms much a much prettier task than you would’ve thought it could ever be. It seamlessly integrates with iTunes and other applications for a hassle-free experience.

Developer: Embrace Software
Price: $10.99

WriteRoom

“WriteRoom is a full screen writing environment. Unlike the cluttered word processors you’re used to, WriteRoom lets you focus on writing.”

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Writeroom

Oddly enough, the lack of an interface can often make for the best interface. WriteRoom is minimalism at its best and really comes to the rescue when you need to focus on writing.

Developer: Hogbay Software
Price: $24.99

SnowTape

“Snowtape is the missing recording feature in iTunes. It makes it easy, to listen to radio, record audio tracks, and export to iTunes with cover art included.”

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SnowTape

Snowtape features a really intuitive and attractive interface for recording audio. It feels enough like iTunes that you’ll get it while maintaining its own unique style and grace.

Developer: Vemedio
Price: $29

The Hit List

“The Hit List is a simple, yet sophisticated application to manage the daily chaos of your modern life. Based on the simple concept of making lists, The Hit List lets you plan, forget, then act when the time is right.”

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The Hit List

Though I’m endlessly frustrated about the promised but never delivered iPhone application, The Hit List is an excellent experience on the Mac and features one of the best interfaces of any app that I use on a daily basis.

Developer: PotionFactory
Price: $49.95

1Password

“1Password can create strong, unique passwords for you, remember them, and restore them, all directly in your web browser.”

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1Password

1Password is without a doubt the best looking password manager around. The iPhone interface is just as solid so be sure to check it out as well.

Developer: Agile Web Solutions
Price: $39.95

Capo

“Capo is a musician’s best friend. It lets you slow down your favorite songs, so you can hear the notes and learn how they are played. ”

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Capo

Capo is an awesome app with an awesome interface. Contrast, color and texture are all used masterfully to make manipulating the flow of your music effortless.

Developer: SuperMegaUltraGroovy
Price: $49

List Your Favorites!

The 30 apps above should be enough to fill your applications folder with enough pretty pixels to keep you in awe for months.

Leave a comment below and let us know which interfaces are your favorites and what apps we missed!