My Favorite Mac Apps & Utilities

I’ve been using OS X for the past 16 months and, generally, couldn’t be happier. The thought of having to use a Windows machine sounds like torture – blah. This past October I made a short post re: my transition from Windows and what apps and utilities had made their way into my personal workflow. Actually, here 7 months later, that list hasn’t changed much at all, but I’ve found a handful of new apps that are now entrenched in how I use and interact with my Macbook Pro.

I’m going to skip the obvious ones like Bartender, Caffeine, and Dropbox and focus on the lesser known gems I’ve stumbled upon in recent months. Several of these apps may be of no use to many people, but it makes my life easier in some form or fashion.

  • AppCleaner

  • Dropbox Encore: Dropbox Encore gives you the ability to run multiple Dropbox instances on the same machine – pretty handy.

  • Radiant Player: An open source Google Music app for Mac.

  • Caffeine: Simple app that allows you to keep your Mac from going to sleep. I also use some replacement menu bar icons and for some reason can’t find them anywhere.

  • Hazel

  • XtraFinder: XtraFinder just adds a few additional features that the stock Finder is missing. I’ve tried all the other Finder alternatives such as PathFinder ($39.95) and TotalFinder ($18), but each one always seems like it’s missing something in comparison to XtraFinder. Not to mention it’s the only one of these three apps that’s free.

  • smcFanControl: Another great little utility. smcFanControl allows you to set the speed of your machine’s internal fans to cool down your Macbook if things start running hot – a definite necessity for me. It’s also open source so you may also check it out on GitHub.

I never use my Macbook Pro as an actual laptop. Instead I hook up my 27” Yamakasi DS270, enable Caffeine and put my MBP into Rain Design Inc’s mTower stand. This helps keep me stay organized and clutter free, but also leaves me susceptible to overheating my machine. This is where smcFanControl comes into play.

  • Moom: I use Moom along with BetterTouchTool to easily move, resize, and arrange my windows quickly and easily.

  • USB Overdrive: This gave me the ability to customize and configure any button on my Logitech MX518 (the greatest mouse of all-time), but more importantly this allowed me to “fix” the Go Backward and Go Forward buttons on my mouse so I’m actually able to navigate properly.