Mac users are different. I mean, we’re different from one another, so our software needs are different despite the fact we use Mac OS X. Are there six Mac utilities we can all agree that we all need? Probably not. That said, here’s 6 top utilities that I agree you must have on your Mac (if you’re like me).
Mac OS X comes with nearly everything a typical Mac user will need to keep his or her Mac running well, performing chores, cleaning up after itself. Add Apple’s iWork ‘08 and Adobe’s Photoshop Elements and you’ve got a lean, mean, do anything machine.
There must be a few thousand utilities for Mac users that perform everything from cleaning caches to secure deletion of files, from weather prediction to stock tracking, from browser bookmark management to software update checking.
#6 – AppFresh
Keeping your Mac’s software up to date is a challenge. Apple takes care of its own. So do Adobe and Microsoft. For everyone else, there’s AppFresh.
AppFresh helps you to keep all applications, widgets, preference panes and application plugins installed on your Mac up to date. All from one place, easy to use and fully integrated into Mac OS X. AppFresh works by checking the excellent osx.iusethis.com for new versions and lets you download and install available updates easily.
AppFresh is a very useful Mac utility. It scans your Mac, matches your software versions with a central database, tells you what needs to be updated, and does the updates for you. It’s free.
#5 – SuperDuper!
Yes, Time Machine is wonderful, but nothing beats a fully functional, ready to boot up, external hard drive with OS X already running, and all your files right where you left them. That’s what SuperDuper! does. Yes, there’s a free configuration, too.
SuperDuper is the wildly acclaimed program that makes recovery painless, because it makes creating a fully bootable backup painless. Its incredibly clear, friendly interface is understandable, easy to use, and SuperDuper’s built-in scheduler makes it trivial to back up automatically.
Don’t leave home without a full back up.
If you get news and information from the internet via your browser, and, can spell RSS, then you need an RSS newsreader and the one to get is NetNewsWire.
The Eddy award-winning NetNewsWire has a familiar three-paned interface and can fetch and display news from thousands of different websites and weblogs.
I don’t know who Eddy is or what his awards are all about, but NetNewsWire is easy to use, feature laden, and free. You need more?
#3 – Together
OK, not so cheap, but not expensive, either. Together is the personal information manager that fits more Mac users.
Adding content to Together is as simple as dragging and dropping. Drag to the main window or the Shelf. The Shelf is a tab on the side of the screen that slides out when you drag to it, showing a list of all your folders and groups. As such, it can be accessed from any application.
Ease of use, ability to capture, store and organize almost anything, and that all important shelf did it for me.
#2 – Image Tricks
Alright, we’ve got iPhoto which does a decent job of enhancing your digital images. That’s it. Free is good. Which is why Image Tricks is a worthy companion for really getting artsy craftsy with your photos. Did I mention the price tag?
Image Tricks is a free application to edit and generate images. It uses Mac OS X Core Image filters that transform pictures to unimaginable extent and apply advanced visual effects. The program can create unique artwork you may use as business card background, for web design, print materials and more.
#1 – 1Password
Really, this one is a tie. I love playing around with Skitch, but it’s a one trick pony with no circus. So, practicality wins out. If you have plenty of login IDs and passwords, 1Password is it. The cat’s meow. El numero uno. The Big Kahuna.
This is a tall order to fill but we live in an age of hackers, identity thieves, and the great unknowns (I could describe them to you, but they’re, well, unknown).
1Password takes care of all your online passwords so you can use strong and unique passwords for every site and never forget any of them! Integrates directly into most browsers to securely manage and auto-fill web forms. details… Strong Password Generator automatically creates and fills passwords. details… Built-in Anti-Phishing and Keylogger Protection provides security and peace of mind. 1Password keeps track of all your web passwords, automates sign-in, guards from identity theft, and allows you to stop worrying about your safety while online.
That’s six. All but two are free, and both of those are indispensable add-ons for Mac users. Got a list of your own? What did I miss? Yes, I accept Comments.