Every time I find an application that I really like, I immediately check out the other applications from the same developer. You’ll find that more often than not, there is a theme (visual or practical) that ties all their applications together in such a way that if you like one of them, you’ll probably like a few others as well.
Today we’ll take a look at some of my favorite Mac software developers. Some of them have created incredibly popular software while others are fairly obscure. You can be sure that all of the Mac and iPhone developers below have immense talent and at least one or two apps worth downloading.
A longstanding player in the Mac software market, Panic are responsible for a slew of wonderful apps for developers and designers. From the long-standing Transmit FTP client to their latest venture in the form of Coda, they’re a talented company!
MacRabbit is a software development team that hails from Belgium. They’re known primarily for their amazing web-focused text editors, which are definitely among the best you’ll find for the Mac.
Cultured Code is a team of nine developers most known for the amazing line of Things GTD apps. They are currently looking to expand their Germany-based team so be sure to stop by their site if you’re interested in joining up.
RealMac is comprised of an incredibly talented team of developers and designers that specialize in creating apps with beautiful interfaces. Meet the team here.
OmniGroup has been making great Mac software for a long time. Some of their older apps such as Omniweb have ceased development but the team is still churning out plenty of great stuff for both Mac desktop and mobile platforms.
Marketcircle is focused primarily on developing powerful but user-friendly applications for freelancers and business owners. Their primary apps, Billings and Daylite, are both top-notch and make a great addition to any entrepreneur’s arsenal of software.
Binary nights is a team of five developers best known for the file browser Forklift, which boasts upwards of 18,000 users.
The Little App factory started as a team of two developers in Australia and has grown into a team of over ten people spanning multiple countries. Their apps are all multimedia-centric, mostly relating to movies and music.
Fuel collective has a small collection of simple but incredibly useful Mac applications. I particularly love their amazing menu bar apps Snippets and Swatch.
Hogbay specializes in minimalist interfaces that maximize productivity by eliminating distractions. Their interfaces are deceptively simple though as their applications are packed with great features.
Potion Factory has a small collection of apps and is best known for The Hit List, a popular GTD alternative to Things. I personally use The Hit List every single day and wouldn’t dream of switching to another app.
Bohemian coding is another developer that really stands out in the interface design department. All of their apps are wonderfully designed to be simple and intuitive.
Irradiated software has taken window management to a new level in OS X. Both Cinch and SizeUp are aimed at users who want to maximize their Finder experience. Though it has ceased development, TwoUp, the predecessor to these apps was free and incredibly useful. You can still find a download for it if you’re willing to invest some Google time.
MacPaw is a team of young Ukrainian developers that specialize in apps that modify and improve the OS X experience through adding security and purging unneeded system files.
IconFactory may specialize in icon design, but their Mac and iPhone development skills are just as impressive. Their focus on great icon design is one of the primary reasons their apps are so attractive.
Stunt Software’s apps range from invoicing to dock management and even games. Though their focus is a bit scattered, their apps all share a pursuit of quality that makes them a pleasure to use.
Gravity applications is another developer with a stellar design team. Their apps range in functionality from extending the use of your Apple remote to file tagging.
BusyMac is focused on creating applications that make iCal a better experience for those looking to share calendars among groups of collaborating individuals.
iSlayer makes a few really great system utilities that I simply love. Both iStat Pro and iStat menus are a must for any Mac user interested in keeping an eye on their system’s performance.
Wonder Warp is a small team of developers committed to producing applications that are both useful and fun. Recently, their Etude iPhone application has been receiving a lot of attention from music lovers.
ToastyCode is the developer of TapeDeck, a completely unique audio recording experience for Mac. All of their applications are a bit on the fun and goofy side which makes them a great addition to all your boring professional apps.
Conceited Software is the creator of Clips, and amazing extension to your Mac’s lackluster clipboard. Conceited’s other applications are developed just as well as Clips and range in functionality from keeping you healthy to improving your iTunes experience.
This hilariously named Mac development company is based in Seattle, Washington and has created a few really great applications perfect for new designers and artists.
Embraceware makes simple and useful applications that score high points in the eye candy department. Interestingly enough, the company is a husband and wife development team based out of Canada.
SmileOnMyMac is a great little development company founded in 2003. Their application TextExpander has received rave reviews in the coding community. SOMM’s PDF applications are also worth checking out if you need an easy way to create and edit PDFs.
Reinvented software is a UK-based company most known for Together, a powerful clutter collecting competitor to apps like Evernote. They’ve also created Feeder, a handy application for creating and editing RSS feeds.
Acrylic is a one man show lead by Dustin MacDonald, a talented software developer with nearly a decade of experience developing Mac software.
Code-line has created an amazing line of applications aimed at professional designers. All of their software “just works” with little to no effort or instruction required.
Expersis is a small development company based out of North Carolina, specializing in productivity and journaling applications for the Mac.
MOApp is the development projects of Michael Göbel, an incredibly talented programmer in Mainz, Germany. For being a one-man company, he has an incredibly impressive list of great apps under his belt that are frequently chosen by the Apple folks at Apple to be featured as “Staff Picks” on their download section. Michael says his apps are primarily tailored to private households, freelancers, independent contractors and self-employed people.
A big thanks to everyone who suggested developers through Twitter! Here are some of your suggestions that weren’t in my list already:
- Bare Bones (BBEdit)
- Ambrosia (Snaps X Pro)
- Red Sweater (MarsEdit)
- Fetch Softworks (Fetch FTP)
- Rogue Amoeba (Airfoil)
- Delicious Monster (Delicious Library)
The companies and individuals above represent some of the best and brightest talent currently developing software on any platform. Be sure to take some time to check out each one and let us know what you think. Also, if there’s anyone we missed, leave a link in the comments below and tell us about their best app!