Essential applications?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by JPaterson, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. JPaterson macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2009
    I just bought a Macbook White, the new 13" one. Must say, I love it.

    What are some "essential" applications I need?

    I bought iWorks '09 and downloaded Little Snitch to monitor network activity. The laptop itself comes with iLife '09.

    What are other programs I must have, or should get, or just whatever? Freeware or shareware, doesn't matter.
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Check out this guide

    I would say offhand...

    Adium for chat
    Carbon Copy Cloner for backups (along with Time Machine)
    Graphic Converter for general tweaking of images and stuff
    The Gimp for more detailed photo work
    Bowtie for iTunes artwork display
    Quicken for finances

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Doesn't the answer to your question depend upon what your needs are?
  4. JPaterson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2009
    Not necessarily.

    There are several multiuse and multifunction programs, or programs that everyone *should* have. For example, Little Snitch to monitor network activity. Whether you play games online, run a server, or are just connected while working on a spreadsheet, a program like that would work no matter your needs.
  5. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
  6. Saladinos macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    - Perian for media (not really an application, but whatever) (Free)
    - Transmission for uhm... linux nightlies (Free)
    - Twitterific for Twitter (Free, ad supported)
    - Caffeine for staying awake (Free)
    - Dropbox for online storage (Free)
    - Candybar for skinning (Paid)
    - Stuffit/iArchiver for archives (Free/Paid)

    I'd also recommend iWork over Office. Also go for EndNote and MathType if you think you may need them.
  7. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    I use both iWork '09 and Both have their uses - and are complementary to one another with the way I use them.
  8. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    So... it does depend on your needs, then.

    Want a truly essential program? QuickTime. Quite a bit else needs it to run.

    I skipped the obvious one because that'd be silly to mention.

  9. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009

    It'll all depend on your needs.
  10. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    I'll throw in my two cents. These aren't needs, but apps I use regularly and make a great difference either productivity or connectivity.

    Adium for chat (but note: iChat is problematic with video conferencing or vchat with Windows; so, Skype for video conferencing with PC users)

    Safari & Mail (both of which of course come with Macintosh)

    Perian for media

    AppZapper (for app cleanup) DeLocalizer (to save space) & Onyx (for system maintenance) - All free.

    iWork '09 I've been pleasantly surprised at how much I like it. Pages is much, much nicer than MS Word (for me, at least) and a completely off the charts above OpenOffice or NeoOffice (which take forever to load). I'm itching for my next business presentation to use Keynote :)

    Photoshop CS3 - Which is just me personally since I need it for work. Obviously, if you don't need to spend the money on it, don't, unless you want a pricey toy.

    Dockless is also great for me since I have several apps that are mostly transparent 99% of the time or I use keystrokes to use, and don't want the icon on the dock; It's just for cosmetic reasons, though.. DropBox is nonessential but has been very, very handy for me. I'd recommend it. Don't let anyone tell you Syncplicity is better. It ain't imo.
  11. Saladinos macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    I actually prefer Google Search Box over QuickSilver.
  12. bigmack209 macrumors newbie


    Mar 16, 2009
    i prefer a better finder launcher 2 for launching apps, but it costs money.
    for removing icons from the dock i've never heard of dockless. i've always used dockdodger.
  13. munkery macrumors 68020


    Dec 18, 2006
    If you want to optimize QuickTime and also make safari and front row work better, install:
    1. Perian
    2. Flip4mac
    3. XiphQT
    If you do not want advanced video editing features like QuickTime pro, these codecs eliminate the need for vlc.

    Other recommendations include:
    Burn, aMSN, clamxav, handbrake, transmission, urban terror, unarchiver, seashore, neooffice, max, bibdesk, jumpcut, ....

    All these suggestions are free.
  14. bigmack209 macrumors newbie


    Mar 16, 2009
    links to those above? its hard to find whatever "max" is because it's such a common word.
  15. ikermalli macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2008
    AppCleaner (free version of appzapper)

    LiteIcon (like candybar, but free and some limitations)

    Vuze (It's fast, works well, and it can automatically open up ports to make downloads faster)

    Adium (Messenger)

    Grand Perspective (Shows which programs take how much space in a grand perspective)
  16. bigmack209 macrumors newbie


    Mar 16, 2009
    oh i forgot. icustomize is a free version of candybar. i haven't tested it out much though.
  17. jeremybuff macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    Here are a few applications that I use, why I use them, and where you can get them.

    Things- A bit pricy, but the absolute best to-do and task manager out there. Perfect for managing different areas of you life- work, home, school, etc. Easy to use and looks beautiful. If you want a free alternative that is much smaller with simple to do lists, then Anxiety is a good option.

    Evernote- A great note taking and screen clipping app that syncs with their servers. Free or paid for more storage. It's great for taking notes in class or meeting; can even find some words in graphics.

    Bowtie- Awesome little app that sits on your desktop and displays your itunes song, cover art, etc. Very skinable and flexible. You can hide this in your dock and it only appear when itunes is started.

    Adium- Perfect multi-platform IM client. iChat messes up for me often.

    iBank- Very useful application that can, in most cases, connect to your bank account and manage your finances, stocks, and multitude of other finance-related functions. I like this app a lot.

    AppCleaner- Easiest way to delete applications and the traces that they would leave behind if you just dragged them to the trash.

    AppFresh- Cool application to update all of your other, third-party applications. Very useful, a must need IMHO.

    Caffeine- The most useful application for everyday use. Clicking the little coffee cup in the menu bar temporarily disables your mac from going to sleep or your screen dimming. Perfect for when you watch a video that lasts longer than your sleep/screen dimmer timer.

    WeatherBug Lite- Display temperature in your menubar. Awesome, easy and lightweight. Click to access forecasts.

    Little Snitch- Just because your computer is a Mac doesn't mean it doesn't need a firewall. Even the firewall in Leopard is not that great, nor enabled at the start. Little Snitch is a good, lightweight option.

    ONYX- The one and only optimization/clean up app you'll ever need for Mac.

    There are a few others, but instead of writing them all down, just check out the list I made a while back. I need to update it with a few apps from above, but it's still a very good list-

    I hope my input helps you out!
  18. ryinbrown macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2009

    The download for Delocalizer does not exist anymore, from what I can see anyways. I found Monolingual does the same thing.

    And appzapper is not free. You get something like 5 or 10 free removals before having to have a code.
  19. xilni macrumors member


    Jan 16, 2009
    Washington, DC
    I'd recommend uTorrent for torrenting over Transmission. Adium is gold as well.
  20. Jolly Jimmy macrumors 65816

    Jolly Jimmy

    Dec 13, 2007
    I found utorrent to be full of useless features, where as Transmission is pure and simple.
  21. ryinbrown macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2009
    Same here
  22. tkim82 macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2009
    I use:

    Videos: VLC Player/DivX Player
    Music: iTunes/Bowtie
    Internet: Safari/Firefox
    Tasks: I heard Things 1.0 is good, but $50 is too much imo.
    Torrent: Vuze
    Instant Messaging: Adium
    Graphics art: Photoshop CS4

    Besides these basic ones I use GuitarPro for guitar tabs, sixtyforce to kill my n64 nostalgia every now and then, and Magnifique to install/apply wonderful themes :D

    The rest is basically built in the OSX, so yeah.
  23. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    Tex-Edit Plus - Really nice text editor. I use it for all sorts of notes and such. Also has a great set of tools for quickly cleaning up text copied from web pages or that comes from windows world. Also has spectacular AppleScript support. I use it a lot as a tool in my scripts to search for text, replace text and reformat text.

    GraphicConverter - Still really useful for opening almost anything as well as exporting to almost any format. Great for all sorts of image tweaks.

    VLC for viewing things that QT doesn't.

    MorphX - cool free software for morphing between two images. It is amazing to do this between siblings. As the images morph from one to the other you see all sorts of family resemblance's you weren't aware of.

    SmartReporter SMART is a standard disk drive technology built into most drives. The drive monitors itself and reports back if there is a problem. The idea is that it if you see the icon in your menu bar turn from green to another color then there is a problem with the drive and you should copy the data off and replace it. Drives monitor things like temperature, power needed to maintain speed and such. When these deviate from expected values you can expect a failure in the near future. Not flawless but free and helpful.

    SnapZ Pro X or similar. Something to capture screen activity as a movie.

    QuickTime Pro Records Video and Audio as well as enables editing. Cheap.

    Pref Setter Simple application that lets you edit the preference files associated with almost every application. Occasionally useful.

    Mactracker Has information on every Mac ever made. Useful when a friend or relative asks you how much memory can be installed or some other question about their old Mac. Just look for it when you get the question.

    iWork - love it. I use Keynote heavily. Pages next and Numbers last.

    Highlight - Interesting program that lets you draw all over the screen as if you had a transparent "white board" overlaid on the screen. Useful when explaining things or teaching.

    Aperture - great if you are really into photography. Compared to iPhoto adds better organizing tools, better tools for tweaking pictures.

    Stone Studio Create - Page layout. Does some useful things others don't. One nice thing is that it can load a pdf file into a base layer then you can draw and type over that.

    Most of this can be obtained at
    Great place to search for any application you might need.

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