My 5 Most Used Mac Apps

In my opinion, the main reason for owning a Mac is not the build quality, design or operating system, but the brilliant independent developer scene that makes the Macintosh the most exciting and rewarding personal computer platform in the world.

I love OSX, but I also love Ubuntu Linux and even have a passing respect for Windows 7. But whenever I’m using my Linux machine, I yearn not for the elegance of Mac OS, but for the brilliance of MarsEdit or the sweet, sweet user experience of Tweetie.

So I thought I’d share five of my most used apps with you. These are the day-to-day essentials that are almost always launched on one of my Macs.

(BTW.  I won’t be recommending a browser. I use Chrome, but it’s not perfect and just as good, if not better, on Linux and the PC. I also use WebKit occasionally.)

1. WriteRoom

WriteRoom is a really great simple text editor for two reasons. The first is the full-screen option, which while available on most writing programmes, is more intuitive on WriteRoom. Just hit ⌘↵ and you jump in and out of the full-screen mode. And it’s green on black by default!

Secondly, you can easily sync your WriteRoom files (using Hog Bay’s SimpleText) across multiple machines (including your iPhone). It works brilliantly.

2. MarsEdit 3

If there is single application that defines the Mac for me, it’s MarsEdit. Yeah MacJournal and Journler do far more, but if you want the best single-purpose blogging software on any system, you’re going to need Daniel Jalkut’s awesome MarsEdit.

The Latest upgrade, version 3, has a fully integrated WYSIWYG editor, which I’m ashamed to say, I’ve since started using. I know, my geek cred is slipping.

3. Thunderbird

I never saw any reason to jump from Apple’s bundled Mail application. It’s just email after all. Also, Mail is seamlessly integrated with iPhoto and other native apps, so why would you use anything else?

Well it started with Gmail and IMAP. In my opinion Mail is shit with IMAP servers. Every time I deleted the spam folder, I would get a torrent dumped to my BlackBerry. Since I switched I haven’t had the problem once.

Also, using add-ons I now have an integrated calendar that syncs with Google Calendar, and a task-manager that is even putting the beautiful TaskPaper under pressure.

Thunderbird 3 looks better than Mail, has a better UI, and does so much more. It’s email evolved!

4. TaskPaper

Speaking of TaskPaper, it’s not been usurped yet. Read about how much I love it here.

5. Tweetie

Still my favourite twitter application, but it’s starting to look a tad dated. YoruFukurou shares Tweetie’s elegance but adds in much more functionality. Thing is I’m so wedded to the Tweetie short-keys and UI, that I find it difficult to jump to a different client.

Now Tweetie’s developer, Loren Brichter, has been hired by twitter to develop their official iPhone app (starting with rebranding the excellent mobile Tweetie 2), news on the desktop version of Tweetie 2 has gone quiet since this Mashable post. If there is no news soon, I think Yoru is the way to go.


Before I sign off I’d like to mention my RSS reader. To be honest I’m not completely settled on one these days – even if I use RSS every day. I used NetNewsWire for years, but I’m waiting desperately for the elegant Vienna to get Google Reader syncing (it’s promised in v2.6). In the meantime I’m using Gruml – which is a bit like Vienna, but still a tad buggy (it’s only a beta so I’ll be kind).