Back in the day when Apple was still the underdog, I wanted a nice VAIO, mainly because I’m a Sony person and those things have cool fingerprint scanning stuff… but I also wanted OS X. Ultimately, because of my design and creative tendencies, I choose a MacBook Pro – my first OS X machine. I quickly feel in love with the OS and the apps available for it; their gorgeous UI and their simplistic yet extremely useful nature make them so nice to work with and look at.
So today, I get the chance to share with you guys some of the apps that I use on my Macbook Pro. Some of these are obvious choices, but hopefully there will be one or two apps that you’ll be interested in. Check out all the apps I use after the break.
As a web designer and developer, I like having all browsers at my disposal, but in the end, my favorite (for now anyways) is Chrome.
With awesome extensions and great usability, Chrome is kind of like the perfect mix between Firefox and Safari. I always try to go back to Safari, mainly because I want to like it better (and I also have all my bookmarks there so I can have them on Mobile Safari), but I’m siding with Chrome – for now.
Mostly everyone here at AppStorm has – at one point or another – played around with one of Adobe’s toys – with good reason, too; they are awesome.
For the task that I do (and the ones I plan on learning), I use Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Audition, and Edge Animate. These are paramount for anyone who is serious about their work with vector or raster images, video after production, and HTML5 animation.
My first code editor was Coda (the first one). It was and it still is a great piece of software that has helped me do a lot of FTP and SFTP work as well as edit code. I’ll admit is kind of a nostalgic relationship since that is where I learned how to code, but anyone will tell you that coda is a great tool.
This is what I use now. This is probably not a surprise, but what can I say, SublimeText 2 is pretty sick. With all the plugins people have come up with and all the cool little things you can do with it, SublimeText 2 is inevitably a must have for developers.
I’m not gonna lie, I’m scared of Terminal. I honestly don’t want to do something wrong and mess up with my baby’s brains (AKA, my computer). At the same time, I love Github and other services like it, so in order for someone who wants to use these services but who doesn’t want to deal with Terminal, you have the Github app or SourceTree.
SourceTree isn’t as sexy as Github, but it has a lot of options that can certainly rival those of Tower (another Git application that would probably be here if I had it.)
My world wouldn’t be complete without MAMP. What kind of developer would not want to develop websites locally, right? Well, yeah, you could work on a website that is live right on the server, but doing it locally is more practical, and faster. For example,if you need to have a local WordPress installation, MAMP will be your best friend hands down. MAMP comes in two flavors (I personally use the standard one), but in case you need more control, you have MAMP Pro.
There are a gazillion FTP/SFTP apps out there, but Cyberduck happens to be the free alternative that has pretty much all I need. Sometimes when I need to upload a huge amount of files, I will use Cyberduck instead of Coda’s built-in FTP feature. It can be faster and easier to navigate, as well.
This is another little FTP client that I use. I use ExpanDrive when I want my files to feel like they are on an external hard drive rather than an FTP client. ExpanDrive and SublimeText 2 work great in conjunction.
I actually won a copy of Smaller here at AppStorm (this was before I started writing here, so don’t worry; I’m not taking your stuff!)
Created with love by the guys at Nettuts, Structurer is another small app that allows you to quickly create a set of files and folders with just a few keystrokes. You know, instead of creating a folder then another one inside that one, then a CSS file, etc. Instead, you can type in a set or parameters and it’ll automate the process for you. Note to self: I should use this more.
CodeKit is awesome. I can work with LESS, my browser refreshes every time I save a file, and every file I write gets compressed/minimized. It is a great tool for your web development workflow. (Alternatively, you can try LiveReload.)
I don’t use CodeBox as much as I’d like to, but it is a great app to keep all your handy snippets organized. It even comes with a menu bar item that’ll expand snippets; however, if you have a good text expanding app, you’ll most likely stick to that one.
I only use Xcode for the iOS simulator. If I knew how to develop other things, I would probably use it for those other things, though. In any case, the iOS sim is really awesome for checking websites on Mobile Safari. You can also use Safari’s developer tools to check your code.
Yes, Windows on a Mac. I’m highly against installing Windows on a Mac, but as a gamer, developer and tech enthusiast, I can’t help it; plus, Windows 8 looks kinda cool. I went with Parallels because I wanted to run Windows side-by-side OS X.
Video & Audio
No matter what kind of video project I’m working on, FCP7 is always my editor of choice. I don’t care if iMovie can do something faster, I like having complete control. I also have Premiere Pro and I will probably get FCPX, but for now, this is my pick.
Audacity is a free alternative to something like Audition. If you are on a budget, I highly recommend getting Audacity. The app is a very complete audio editor that’ll help you create just about any sound effect or soundtrack you can think of.
I had Skype before it was cool. I was making free calls to everyone back when they offered a year of free calls to the US and Canada. In any case, as a social app and a very important business application, Skype should be somewhere in your list, too.
I’d be lying if I said I use these as much as I would back in the day; however, Messages and Adium are my favorite picks when it comes to instant messaging.
Onlive is so ahead of its time, it is not even funny. If you are a gamer, you’ve probably heard about the PS4. I haven’t heard anyone say this, but Onlive has many features that the PS4 will allegedly have. Things like spectating and recording a 15 second clip. Those features are all available on Onlive. Sure, its a cloud service so your internet needs to be powerful, but even if it isn’t, it is extremely cool to have.
I hated Minecraft before I even played it. I don’t know why, possibly the graphics. Once I played it though, I fell in love. It is like a Lego game done right. I love Legos, so it’s probably that, but you can unleash your creativity while fighting for your life – a simple and neat concept.
You knew this app was coming! As a writer, it is extremely imperative that I have a good text editor; moreover, the fact that I can use markdown to compose my articles is extremely handy. Styling without using your mouse is really nice.
I have a this goal of one day using my keyboard for every single task on my computer. I want to drop the mouse/trackpad for good, and Alfred has helped tremendously with this goal. Alfred is an incredible application launcher, file searching behemoth that anyone should take a look at. Sorry Spotlight.
My favorite cloud service is Dropbox. (I also got this before it was cool.) With the updated or the old Dropbox app, keeping my cloud files sorted is extremely easy and intuitive. If you must know, I keep HTML websites, notes, images, and a copy of this article, too. Fun stuff.
I can’t live without 1Password. No, really. I don’t remember any of my passwords without it. I don’t know if thats bad, good, or both, but 1Password has my back every time. I can let it pick good passwords for me, and the browser extensions/add-ons help me log in super fast.
This is yet another nod at the whole “let’s drop the mouse usage” goal. Keyboard Maestro is and awesome application that’ll do a lot of automated task for you. Just record whatever you want it to do, and then give it a keyboard shortcut or a specific stoke and it’ll do it for you. I’ve use Keyboard Maestro as a text expanding application as well as automatic downloads of WordPress.
Evernote is my favorite note taking/info collection application that I can use across all my devices. The only thing I’ve complained about is the fact that I can’t use it with a different cloud service. I like things to be ubiquitous and in one service, but that’s just me.
Pocket has saved me many times. It allows me to save an article or webpage so I can read it later. What makes this app for me is that I can export everything to Evernote after I’m done reading. Before I would try to keep all those pages open in various tabs, and you probably know how horrible that was.
Text Expander is one of my favorite apps to use. It is helpful in so many situations. You can use it when you are coding, or when you write an article, or a simple invoice, maybe? My only difficulty with this app is remembering all the little abbreviations.
The smaller Apps
MPEG StreamClip – This is a free video converter that has served its purpose when others have failed (like Miro at times).
PS3 Media Server – Streaming songs and movies from my Mac to my PS3 is extremely easy with this app.
Typist – I want to improve my typing skills. I know I don’t use all my fingers and that’s bad, so Typist will help with that. All I need is some free time.
App Cleaner – Simple and non-intrusive, App Cleaner get’s rid of unwanted files whenever I delete an app.
Clip Menu – this bad boy remembers some of my clipboard items and allows me to easily get to them and paste them wherever I need them.
Desktop Curtain – This app simply hides my desktop. If you are going to do a screencast, and your desktop is a mess, check this guy out.
CCleaner – CClearner is a free cleaning application that’ll get rid of cache and other unwanted junk on your computer.
CCC – Carbon Copy Cloner is a must if you want to keep things backed up. It has a broad range of parameters.
Memory Clean – This app purges your Mac’s inactive memory, so if you just finishing playing a nice game, use this to get your RAM back and possibly shut those noisy fans up.
VLC – Lastly, I’d like to mention VLC. It plays pretty much anything, so it is good to have. I still use Quicktime, though.
Those are the apps I use, guys. I have more apps on my machine, of course, but these are the ones that stand out. I can’t live, nor do I want to live without these apps.
If you have any suggestions for my “no mouse” goal, or any apps you think I may be interested in, leave your comments below!