30 Great Apps for Developers

Developers build all the cool tools we use to stay productive and entertained on our Mac and other devices, but it turns out, they need good tools themselves. One of the reasons Macs make such great development platforms are all the great development apps in the App Store and ready for download directly from around the net.

Here’s 30 of the best tools for developers, some of which you might already be using and others you might have just have heard of in passing. Even if you’re not a developer, be sure to give the roundup a look, as there’s a lot of productivity apps in here that just might appeal to you too!

Xcode

Xcode is the powerhouse of all OS X and iOS development. If you create apps, you most likely know and love (most of the time) Xcode. It’s free from the Mac App Store for you to download and play around with but absolutely essential if you’re serious of developing and submitting apps to the App Store.

Price: Free
Requires: OS X 10.7+
Developer: Apple

Coda

Coda is an all-in-one text editor for the web and allows you to create websites. Coda also includes time-saving features such as autocomplete saving developers and designers time, and a built-in FTP tool. Coda also includes various built-in CSS tools making it easy to add style to your webpages.

Price: $75.00
Requires: OS X 10.7+
Developer: Panic

ImageOptim

Developers everywhere know that the size of their application can get pretty hefty if it includes dozens of images. ImageOptim makes it easy to shrink down the size making the app’s size smaller. ImageOptim is also useful if you’d like to make images smaller and reduce the time they take the load.

Price: Free
Requires:
Developer: ImageOptim

Flow

Flow is a previous Apple Design Award runner-up and is a simple yet intuitive FTP client for OS X. It makes it easy for developers to upload their websites and content to the web and easily share it with the world.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: Five Details

Versions

Versions is a superb subversion app and great for developers that make use of it. The app also includes a great interface that makes something that can be tedious, easy and painless.

Price: $59
Requires: OS X 10.7+
Developer: Black Pixel

Kaleidoscope

As any developer can get bombarded with numerous revisions of files and code, Kaleidoscope makes it easy to see what’s been amended and allows developers to compare two files and review the changes that have been made. Kaleidoscope works not only with text but also with image files too.

Price: $39
Requires: OS X 10.7
Developer: Black Pixel

Chocolat

Chocolat is a new text editor for OS X that makes use of the latest technologies. Chocolat features autocompletion and syntax highlighting for dozens of languages. Not only this but makes it easy to see errors within your code along with preview the final result as you go.

Price: $49
Requires: OS X 10.7+
Developer: Chocolat

Alfred

Alfred is a hugely popular productively app that makes finding files and information a breeze. You can search the web, documents and bookmarks at the tap of two keys. You’re also able to perform actions such as copy and move with your files and documents.

Price: Free
Requires: OS X 10.7+
Developer: Alfred

Cloud

Cloud is the desktop client for CloudApp and makes it easy to share files online. Simply drag and drop onto the handy icon in the Finder bar and CloudApp takes care of the rest. Once uploaded, you’re free to share with the world and also keep track of how many people have viewed your file. You’re able to share text, audio, images and your beloved source code files.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: Linebreak

LittleSnapper

Screenshots are essential when you’re trying to entice people to download your app, they give them a preview as to what they can expect; that’s why it’s essential to get the right app to take them for you. LittleSnapper not only makes it easy to snap screenshots but also makes it easy to edit and modify your screenshots.

Price: $39.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: Realmac Software

Panic’s Developer Color Picker

Remembering color values can be a strain on the brain, especially when you have to copy half a dozen different values and remember what they correspond to. Panic’s free developer color picker allows you to copy the declaration of a color in a variety of formats including NSColor and UIColor.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: Panic

CSSHat

Ever feel daunted by converting a PSD document into a functional website? CSSHat makes it slightly easier. CSSHat converts your PSD document into pure CSS without asking too much from you. It intuitively differentiates between layers to determine how to best present them as CSS.

Price: $19.99
Requires: Photoshop CS4+
Developer: CSSHat

Hype

HTML5 animations can add a lot to user experience but at the same time can frustrate developers. Hype is a WYSIWYG app that allow keyframe animations and then converts your work into pure HTML5 and CSS3. It also makes sure it conforms to the latest web standards and you’re also easily able to make sure your animation will work on all the major browsers.

Price: $49.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: Tumult

MAMP

It’s important to test your sites before you release it to the world. MAMP makes it simple to install things like WordPress locally on your machine so you can create a theme on your computer without having to rely on an internet connection and have to constantly wait for files to upload to preview changes.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: MAMP

xScope

Ever tried counting your pixels? It’s not easy. xScope takes the pain out of calculating the sizes and distances of your designs and is an array of simple tools that make it easy for developers and designers alike to make sure their designs are perfectly measured.

Price: $29.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: IconFactory

OmniGraffle

At the heart of every app is a flow-chart. With OmniGraffle you can create stunning flow charts easily and then share them with the world. You can also create mind maps and other graphic-inspired documents.

Price: $99.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: OmniGroup

VirtualBox

With VirtualBox you’re able to test your designs on other operating systems including Windows and you’re also able to install other versions of OS X, allowing developers to test the compatibility of their app with previous versions of operating systems.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6
Developer: Oracle

CodeBox

Ever need access to one line of code that’s slipped your mind? CodeBox is a snippet manager that makes it to access your library of snippets. Simply click on an icon from your menu bar, copy or edit it for use in your work.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: Vadim Shpakovski

MarsEdit

Most developers share their thoughts and work online in the form of a blog. MarsEdit is a client for WordPress and makes it easy to document, share and then publish your blog posts right within an OS X app. What’s more, whilst you’re not connected to the internet you can write whilst offline and then publish when your next connected.

Price: $39.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: Red Sweater Software

Icon Slate

Every great app has a great icon. Icon Slate takes the hassle out of creating great icons and gives developers the ability to touch up their icons before they’re bundled in with their app, what’s more, Icon Slate also makes it painless for developers to export their icons.

Price: $4.99
Requires: OS X 10.7+
Developer: Kodlian

LittleIpsum

When designing something that’s going to contain text, it’s handy to see what it’ll look like before you go to the effort of inserting it, that way you can simulate what it’ll look like. LittleIpsum is a great little app that sits quietly in your menu bar, awaiting to generate anything from a couple of words to numerous paragraphs of text for you to quickly insert into your design.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5+
Developer: Dustin Senos

Prepo

With the introduction of the retina displays on the iPad, iPhone and Mac, it’s important developers make their apps look crisp and sharp on ‘normal’ and retina displays alike. Prepo makes it easy to convert high resolution graphics to graphics that look great on regular displays too. Drag and drop, Prepo does all the work!

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: Mothership

Firebug

When designing webpages, it’s useful to have the ability to make changes to your code as you go and see what’ll happen if you added, changed for removed something. With Firebug (an extension that’s compatible with major browsers) you can find where a certain element is defined and styled and then tweak it.

Price: Free
Requires: FireFox, Chrome or Safari
Developer: Mozilla

Tower

Git is a popular way to track the changes made to source code, although the likes of Xcode already has this built-in, Tower is an external, more refined version that includes a handful of features that make it a lot easier to manage the world of git.

Price: $59
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5
Developer: fournova

Billings

If you’re a designer or developer that charges by the hour or so, it can be hard keeping track of how long you’ve been working for. Billings make this easy and also includes the ability to create invoices and produce quotes.

Price: $39.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: MarketCircle

Screeny

Screeny is a cute little screen recording app that makes it easy to create screencasts, especially useful if you want to create a video or tutorial for your apps. Screeny allows you to record specific parts of the screen and outputs video that is of the highest quality.

Price: $14.99
Requires: OS X 10.7+
Developer: Drew Wilson

1Password

With all these password, codes and usernames to remember, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Wouldn’t it be great to have a place to keep them all along with other personal information? 1Password allows you to securely store all of your credentials, from your Amazon password to your debit card number.

Price: $49.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: AgileBits

Things

The todo list of a developer can constantly change; becoming longer and longer. With Things, you can create numerous todo lists, assigns them to different areas and projects. What’s more, Things 2 now fully supports cloud syncing meaning you can add a new todo on your iOS device and it’ll appear instantly on your Mac and iPad.

Price: $49.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: Cultured Code

TextMate

TextMate is one of the more mature apps featured, it seems to have been around for a long time and as they say, with age come experience. TextMate is a refined and powerful text editor that makes it easy for a developer to write their code within on unified environment. TextMate features code snippets, syntax highlighting, code completion and handful of other tools that make it a joy to use.

Price: €45
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5+
Developer: MacroMates

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is getting more and more popular by the day it seems and is developers’ first choice when it comes to text editors. Sublime Text is a powerful text editor that features an intuitive code and syntax highlighting engine along with a nice, polished user interface.

Price: $59
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6+
Developer: Sublime Text

Conclusion

So there you have it: 30 great apps for developers, and the rest of us alike. If you have other development tools on your Mac that you can’t live without, be sure to share them with use in the comment below!


  • Matt

    Versions is way behind on Subversion support, still not supporting svn 1.7 repositories. Its competitor Cornerstone is ahead in this area.

  • bitSchleuder

    TextMate could be downloaded from a github repository. Look at the TextMate blog ;-)

  • Tim

    Developer apps and no mention of Dash?

    • T.W.

      You’re absolutely right… Dash is so important for me.

  • http://michal.krause.cz/ Michal Krause

    Atlassian SourceTree is great GUI for Git, Mercurial and SVN. Highly recommended. http://www.sourcetreeapp.com/

  • http://www.ondiz.net ondiz

    LittleSnapper?? 40$ for simple screenshot app?
    What about Skitch….

  • Mojiferous

    PHPStorm, Aptana, Komodo or Netbeans are great IDEs (and more feature-rich than most of the text editors here)

    SourceTree is excellent for Git management, and now includes Git-flow support

    Sequel Pro is a MySQL tool that makes PHP MyAdmin seem archaic

    ColorSchemer Studio is great for color matching and swatch development

    Dash and Doxygen are handy for documentation reference and generation

  • Harm de Wit

    Textmate 2 is going to be free because it went open source recently: http://blog.macromates.com/2012/textmate-2-at-github/. You can already download the usable beta. However i prefer Sublime and it is kinda free because the trial lasts forever

  • http://nataliav.me Natalia Ventre

    Great list, Daniel!

    Versions and Tower are good, but the GitHub app is much easier to use. I would add Sequel Pro to the list, it’s a PHPMyAdmin replacement, I use it mostly to manage local databases.

  • goofansu

    ScreenFlot is also good for screen shot. More easy to use.

  • Geppo

    If you are obsessed with performance, I’ll suggest you http://slowyapp.com/
    Slowy is a simple tool to test websites loading times

  • B30

    Developer Apps and no Espresso???

  • James

    My favorite developer tool is Genius Generator ;) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/genius-generator/id514407851?l=de&ls=1&mt=12

  • http://www.insitedesignlab.com/blog insitedesignlab

    Awesome list! Some I have already but a bunch of new apps to check out.

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