This is a list of OSX software I gathered mostly via Twitter, asking for “must-have software”. Thanks to everyone who provided suggestions and recommendations!
I haven’t yet tested any of these myself, so consider all recommendations here as “supposed to be great, your mileage may vary”.
To start, a loose collection without a specific category
- There are two options for replacing the Linux-tool apt-get on OSX: Macports and Homebrew. Homebrew apparently being the better choice, as long as it has the module in question available. To keep both (and some other tools) up-to-date, this script is supposed to be useful.
- For running web apps as native apps in a site specific browser, Fluid is the right tool.
- For presentations and other cases where you want to prevent your MacBook from dimming the screen, Caffeine can help.
- For multiple copy and paste buffers: Clips – said to be a memory hog sometimes, but worth it
- Stay (commercial) for saving and restoring window position, aware of variable multi-monitor setups, useful for a laptop that is not always connected to an external monitor
- SizeUp (commercial) for positioning windows, eg. in fullscreen, something OSX avoids by default
- Cinch (commercial) also for postioning or resizing windows
- HyperDock also manages windows, but adds eg. application previews
- Witch for switching between applications with multiple windows, where Command+Tab falls short
- Divvy (commercial) also manages windows.
Maintenance und File System
- PathFinder (commercial) to replace the built-in Finder, with dual pane file browser and integrated terminal
- TotalFinder (commercial) also extends the built-in finder with tabs, dual pane, folders-before-files ordering and more
- Onyx is for system maintenance, for when the builtin disk utility isn’t enough.
- The Unarchiver unzips your files
- Zipeg for browzing inside zip-archives
- FTP: Cyberduck vs FileZilla vs Transmit (commercial)
- Total Finder enhances your native Finder app with tabs and other potentially useful features
- Dropbox – if you don’t use it, now’s a good time to get started. Even on Windows.
- uTorrent is probably the fasted and smallest BitTorrent client. Also great on Windows. Alternative: Transmission
- ExpanDrive is also sort-of a FTP client (and other protocolls) but acts like a USB drive
- AppZapper vs AppCleaner for proper uninstall
- DeltaWalker (commercial) provides folder and file synchronization
- GrandPerspective visualizes file system usage with tree maps
- CloudApp for fast file sharing
- WhatSize to find big useless files that waste space you need elsewhere
- Skype brings you text, voice and video chat, free and of much better quality than your phone
- Adium seems to be pretty much the only choice for instant messaging (parallel to Skype)
- For Twitter Tweetdeck is an option (as on Windows, also needs Adobe Air) as is Nambu, which claims to have a more native style. Or Tweetie.
- Colloquy for IRC
- TeamViewer for screen sharing (where Skype isn’t good enough)
Plenty of choices for launching applications while maybe also search something. I use Launchy on Windows, which certainly has room for improvements. If you think you don’t need a launcher, give at least one of these a try.
- Quicksilver (GitHub repo, use Download button to get a beta)
- Google QSB
- LaunchBar (commercial)
Audio & Video
- Vox for playing audio
- VLC plays anything
- If VLC is still too ugly, Perian could be useful to add codec support for all sorts of other formats
- ScreenFlow vs iShowU for recording screencasts
- Jing for making and sharing short videos quickly
- Audacity for audio editing
- Audio Hijack Pro to record from Skype or other applications
- Soundflower for software-based audio interfaces (may overlap with Audio Hijack Pro)
- Stomp for video compression
- Paintbrush for simple image editing/painting
- Skitch for simple image editing with sharing built-in
- Xee for an alternative for the built-in image previewing
- Little Snitch (commercial) enhances the built-in firewall with network traffic monitoring and control
- 1Password (commercial) was probably mentioned most often. Also available on Windows, for managing passwords.
- Tunnelblick for a OpenVPN GUI
- Essential for web development: Firefox 4 (beta) and Chrome
- VirtualBox vs VMware Fusion vs Parallels for virtualizing, eg. to test on Windows
- Eclipse for Java development, and anything else if you like it
- Git or SmartGit or Git Tower, for repository browsing GitX
- Versions for Subversion
- DiffMerge for standalone GUI diff
- MacVim vs Aquamacs vs Coda vs TextMate (commercial) for text editing where Eclipse is too much and too bad at actual text editing
- Cinderella is a command line bundle that installs a complete, sort-of sandboxed development enviroment
- OmniGraffle (commercial) for drawing diagrams, charts, eg. for visualizing information architecture
- Sequel Pro for MySQL mangement
- Reggy for quick verification of regular expressions
- iTerm2 as a much better alternative to the built-in Terminal.app. Try split views.
If you have more suggestions, let me know!