OSX Software

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

Window Management

  • 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


  • 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)

Application Launchers
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.

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



If you have more suggestions, let me know!


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  1. nice post.
    reminds me that I should update my list on: http://osx.iusethis.com/user/bumi

  2. Nice write-up!

    For multiple copy/paste buffers, I use Clips (commercial). It’s a bit of a memory hog, at times, but I can’t really operate without it any more 🙂
    > http://conceitedsoftware.com/products/clips

    For GUI diff, I use DiffMerge:
    > http://www.sourcegear.com/diffmerge/

    For Git repo browsing, GitX is pretty nice:
    > http://gitx.frim.nl/

    Paintbrush for simple image editing/painting:
    > http://paintbrush.sourceforge.net/

    For quick verification of regexp, Reggy is neat:
    > http://reggyapp.com/

    For OpenVPN gui, use Tunnelblick:
    > http://code.google.com/p/tunnelblick/

    Alternative to Preview for images, Xee:
    > http://wakaba.c3.cx/s/apps/xee

    For browzing inside zip-archives, I use Zipeg:
    > http://www.zipeg.com/