A little while ago, Laurence Simon came up with the wonderful idea of what are the Ten Blogs I Would Take To A Desert Island. That turned into a huge meme, and well, I though why not take it a step further, and ask Mac Lovers – their ten most favorite apps. Forget, the Microsoft Office, or any of the applications that are bundled with an Apple. Instead, focus on small freeware and shareware applications that have helped you get the most out of your Mac.

I think it would be great if we wrote why we love these little apps (or scripts if you want to) and share them with everyone else. This would be a good way to discover some goodness which we might all be missing out on. So here is my list of apps, I love the most.

* quicksilverQuickSilver, a launcher on steroids.
* ectoEcto, still the best blogging client in the world and well worth the $18 dollar price.
* nnwNetNewsWire – a lot of pretenders out there, but when it comes to Apple like intuitiveness, this is my choice for a RSS news reader. You can get a freeware version as well.
* vlcVideoLan/VLC – the cross platform media player that is better at handling video files better than any other player. Of course the price is right.
* bluephoneeliteBluePhoneElite, the perfect application to help you get the most of your bluetooth enabled phones. SMS, caller ID and a iTunes pause function, make it the most used application on my PowerBook.
* cocktailCocktail, a general purpose utility for Mac OS X. The application serves up a scrumptious mix of maintenance tools and interface tweaks, all accessible via a gorgeous graphical interface and toolset. Definitely a must have for us non-UNIX geeks.
* candybarCandyBar, the perfect way to spend your weekend, when all your friends are off doing ungodly activities like climbing mountains, biking or simply running. This is the perfect tool for pimping your Mac.
* usb over driveUSB Overdrive X – turbocharge your multibutton mice for optimum productivity.
* foldershareFolderShare – The simplest way to keep your folders synchronized between various Macs and even PCs. There is a free version as well.
* caminoCamino – Even as a beta product, it is still feels better than Firefox and better than Safari!

All right folks, lets this meme going!



I simply wished to let you understand that your blog doesn’t present up properly on the BB browser, I added it to my bookmarks and have simply checked from the desktop

Jon Price

If you use Vonage or the like, I’ve found Jon’s Phone Tool (http://www.jonn8.com/jpt/) to be a fabulous dialer just for day to day calls from the desk in any application or where a number appears that I want to dial.

Similar to skype in functionality, but it allows you to use a number anywhere on your mac’s screen (web page, addy book, sf.com, etc.) to make calls to push through the http api vonage provides or any other, similar service.

And no, I’m not related to him.:)

Honorable mention: Inbox by Midnight Beep Software, the GTD app (http://www.midnightbeep.com/)


For people doing long distance sports like running, biking or hiking there’s also a MacOS X freeware to plan routes and journalize workouts. TrailRunner integrates well with the Nike + iPod Sports Kit and with GPS devices like the Garmin ForeRunner or Garmin Edge. http://www.trailrunnerx.com

Jason D-

Everyone raves about Transmit and I used that and Fetch for years and paid for both but no one has mentioned the best FREE s/ftp client for thhe Mac and that’s Cyberduck – http://cyberduck.ch/

It’s SOLID and fast and free.

Frank De Graeve

god I’m so lucky I started my NeatLittleMacApps podcast before all of this, otherwise people would just think I was copying the idea.

but talking about copying. Can’t we get some sort of webpage up where we can post apps names and vote on them in a ‘digg’ fashion?

just one page, with only the app name, site and a short explanation.


BluePhoneElite would be really good if the SMS functionality actually worked on my phone. For some reason it thinks the P900 doesn’t support SMS via Bluetooth, even though I had the same P900 working with another SMS sending app on Windows. Go figure.


I second the opinion regarding Camino. For long I thought that no other browser can be better than Safari on the mac platform. Camino is so much better than Firefox and better than Safari in a many ways.


Maintenance is useless. If you don’t agree then you can use Terminal for free. If you’re not a UNIX geek you can use CLIX. Also free, and far far smarter than any shareware ala Cocktail. http://rixstep.com/4/0/clix/


Cocktail is shareware. I would replace that with a freeware program called Onyx that does all the same things.

James Gardner

Unison is a great little UseNet client. It automatically splits files and creates .par2 recovery sets so uploading large files is a snip. It also has a VERY Mac like interface for browsing by thumbnail in picture groups and the authors are always available and friendly if you find any bugs.

As if that weren’t enough Unison’s authors also run a UseNet server, so if you don’t want to subscribe to the ugly looking, but admittedly very fast with high retention servers at EasyNews, then Unison is potentially an ideal solution. You might never need to use NNTP again!


The only app I use regularly that I’ve not seen on this page:

Magic Lantern (http://soulcrushingjob.com/archives/catmagiclantern.php)

It’s for browsing through images in a directory. Always drove my nuts how Preview doesn’t have that function, yet lowly Windows Picture and Fax Viewer does.

Also: Quicksilver. If you don’t like it, you’re probably doing it wrong =)

Pushkar P

I just switched to MBP and here is a list of the apps i thought were very useful without disturbing the overall look and feel of the mac.

I think spotlight can do a lot of what quicksilver can do… ihave tried QS since and i am not a total power user so there is not a significant gain.


Matt Moriarity

I have to agree with above, TextMate rules. TextMate and OmniOutliner Pro are two software purchases I certainly don’t regret. I use OmniOutliner everyday, and TextMate is the only text editor I will use.

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