I love my Mac and I have hundreds of applications installed on it. As a result I wanted to do a post on what I believe are the top 100 Mac applications that are essential to any user. I’ve picked a variety of applications that I could think of. I have tried to go for the cheaper free option, but quite a few you have to pay for. If you think I am missing an application leave a comment with a link to the app and why you should think it should be included, it doesn’t have to be long, I just want your opinions. If you disagree with any leave a comment with your reasons.
Each application will be split into a couple of major sections. There are some applications that could be in more than one section, but that is not the point of this post. I will also include a link and a bit of descriptive text on what the application is about. There may be duplicate items of the same nature i.e word processing, i’ve included this due to the differences each application has. The list is in no particular order, mostly alphabetical.
If you want to take your knowledge of Mac apps a bit further I recommend these two books on Amazon, Cool Mac Apps and The Little Mac Book they have got some raving reviews and are probably a good read. I’m sure if you look through Amazon there is plenty of stuff that you can find.
This section is all about programs that can be used to work with files and applications
Software updater is great for Apple applications, but appfresh has the ability to check third party apps for updates. A great little tool for keeping up to date.
Although applications are easy to uninstall on a mac there are usually small preference files hanging about. Appzapper cleans up an uninstall all of those files.
3) Disk Inventory X
A simple program that scans your disk and visually shows what files takes up how much space, good to visualize if you are running out of space and you have some size hogs.
4) Grand Perspective
Very similar to Disk Inventory X, shows you what files take up how much space on your website.
A very cool little tool if you need to end up editing Plist files.
One of the best applications ever made for the mac. Its a quick launch tool that enables you to open and do practically anything. Very fun and really increases your productivity.
An application design to unstuff or unpack nearly any file. Great if you use archives a lot.
A very cool text editor that lets you edit text files quickly. Sometimes more powerful than text edit.
An application that enables you to search through a list of files finds duplicates. Great if you have many files and you need to organise them.
Leaves no application behind. A very visual way to view all of the applications on your computer. Kind of surpassed by the stacks in the dock.
UnrarX gives you the abilty to easily uncompress .rar files. Very good, although stuffit can now handle .rar files.
Give your mac a diet. It goes through and removes the powerpc or intel parts of your program. It can really reduce the size of applications. Can also break them if you are not careful.
This section is all about applications that use the internet or this type of connectivity in some way.
A simple all in one AIM, chat client. Supports, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and many other through the use of plugins and basic support. It does lack some functionality in some chat protocols.
A great little program that offers the ability to find information about the wireless networks whizzing around your head.
One of the best bittorrent clients out there. Has lots of user extensions through the use of plugins.
A really powerful application that can be used for the IRC networks. Special care has been taken in this application to make it blend in with the rest of the Mac OS theme.
A must for any web developer. CSSedit offers the best tools around to help you edit and modify CSS code for you webpages.
A small lightweight application for ftp. Has some small niggles, but it is free. Transmit is better if you use ftp a lot.
One of the best web browsers around in my opinion. Has a massive add-on library which you can customize to your needs. A viable alternative to safari.
I found this a great small application that enabled you to view wireless and bluetooth networks quick and hassle free.
The application that snitches on any application that is trying to access the net to phone home. Great for protecting you privacy.
A very popular RSS client for the mac, nuff said.
Offering superior calls over the internet, it is the application if you do a lot of talking and want a good quality transmission.
A light weight bittorrent application that is gaining popularity. Its personal choice at this point of transmission verse Azureus.
A great application from Panic that will feature a couple of time in this list. It is a powerful application for ftp uploads and downloads.
A piece of software that dials to the undercover servers if you computer has been stolen. Great if you use a laptop, less useful on a desktop.
Another piece of panic software that enables you to use the usenet newsreader networks. A really good piece of software if you use usenet a lot. If you are looking for a good news provide I recommend Giganews.
A GUI controller for the Tor anonymity network. One click on, one click off, simple and easy to use. Best of all its free.
This section is all about video, images and sound. Anything of this nature is included here.
The all in one application for watching videos. Supports nearly every codec imaginable.
One of Apples Pro programs for organizing and altering photos. A very powerful application although comes with a bit of a price tag.
A free audio editor which has a few advance features that make it create for editing audio for your videos or other applications.
A free 3D modeler which has the same power of many of the most advance applications on the market. Comes with quite a steep learning curve.
33) Delicious Library
A very cool application used to organise your books, movies, games and CD’s. You can use your built in iSight to save time by scanning your books. Very cool and fun to use.
A simple application that uses the vast photo resource of flickr to change your wallpaper every so often. Makes a cool change.
Another Panic app. This time it can be used to write directly on your desktop. Very cool if you use a tablet for your daily work.
The free image editing program. Used by many open source and linux users. A create start since Leopard doesn’t include any image editing software.
37) Google Earth
One of the best applications from Google. Use it to zoom in on planet earth and explore the world around you. A great time waster, as well as a very useful tool if you are going anywhere and want to check out the surroundings.
An open source application that can quickly convert DVD’s to Mpeg-4.
The all in one package made by Apple. I don’t think this needs any explaining.
This application takes a direct recording of your screen. Great if you want to make recordings of specific applications. You need a good CPU, a bit of a power hog.
A very hot application that lets you watch free TV. Beautiful application even though the amount of TV stations are a bit small.
The high priced application for real pros who want to edit and manipulate images and photos. Not for people with tight wallets.
The medium priced application that has a lot of great image editing potential. Not as expensive as Photoshop.
Bored of your interface? Let shape shifter change it for you. Not Leopard compatible although this is likely to change.
45) Theme Park
A great little app which lets you delve into the resource files for applications and lets you change them. Not as powerful as Shapeshifter but lets you tweak little bits of your operating systems interface.
A little app that downloads all of the torrent files for your favourite TV shows. You need a bittorrent client to finish the process off.
Puts your screensaver as your wallpaper. Add a bit of life to your desktop.
Little Applications are small applications in size that add a bit of functionality or are just plain cool.
A simple piece of software that rates your musis in your iTunes library based on the number of plays and track skips.
A simple little program that shows you little fishes swimming around.
A little program that can arm your computer. Moving your laptop will set of the alarm and alert you to intruders.
Once again using the motion sensor in a laptop. This program fills the screen with water which you can play around with by moving your computer.
Let your Mac become a jedi. Once again using the motion sensor makes cool lightsaber noises. Don’t let the mac fly out of your hands as it has with a couple of people.
Tetris on the extreme side of life. A cool little app with amazing graphics on the old arcade favourite Tetris.
54) Resize ‘Em All
A little program which can be used to resize images.
Put a ruler on your screen. This application lets you measure nearly anything on your screen, great if you are in the design world.
A small application that runs in your menu bar to control your fan speeds. A must if you think your computer runs a bit hot.
One for the work-a-holic. A little application that tells you to take a break and stop what you are doing.
Sets your screen saver as your wallpaper. A great little program to add a bit of movement to your desktop.
This section of essential applications is all about tools. These are tools to do specific task or just to give you information.
59) Apple Remote Desktop
One of Apples many programs that lets you work effectively on your network. This app lets you look in on a remote desktop and work with it remotely.
60) Battery Health
One of many tools used to help you find out how much juice is left in your Mac battery. A tool for any laptop.
Installing Windows on a Mac is never easier with BootCamp. A simple program that create a partition on you disk for installing windows.
A menu bar monitoring tool for you network. Lets you find tons of info about you LAN and WAN in one easy to reach place.
63) Carbon Copy Cloner
For serious back ups you need something like Carbon Copy Cloner that can clone your entire drive quickly and easily.
Chmox is a program that enables you to open .chm help files on your Mac. Chm files are not supported in preview.
65) Coconut Battery
A personal favourite of mine, this is another battery tool to monitor the health of your battery. I wish my laptop was run off coconuts.
DasBoot is a tool to create a diagnostic and repair kit for your computer to put on an iPod or flash drive.
The tool endorsed by Microsoft to help with those pesky .wmv files.
This software creates drag and drop .dmg archives on the fly. Easy to use if you make a lot of disk images.
GeekTool is a preference pane module to show system logs, unix commands output, or images (i.e. from the internet) on your desktop.
A very useful tool that is used by many applications to show a clean way of displaying messages to you. Like the bubbles in Windows except a hell of a lot better.
71) Hardware Monitor
Hardware Monitor is designed to check the various pieces of hardware on you computer for faults and problems as well as give messages back to you.
72) Hex Fiend
Editing hex files cannot be easier with Hex Fiend.
HoudahGeo allows you to add Geo data to any image within the EXIF data. Helps you find your way around the world in your images.
74) iStat Menus
iStat Menus off a wide range of statistical analysis of your computer including various hardware bits. Their widget is one of my favorites.
75) Mac Pilot
This piece of software allows you to modify various parts of your computer that you would normally have to do through Terminal.
This little app cleans up various system files and other bits and bobs to keep your computer running smoothly.
MainMenu is another piece of software to help you keep your computer running smoothly. This one has more advance options such as rebuilding the spotlight database.
Another monitor piece of software but this one is designed to run within the menu bar.
Who needs to know French. Monolingual removes the languages from the computer that you do not need.
A project management tool that lets you organise your projects quickly and easily.
Highly recommended virtualization software for virtualizing other OS’s.
82) Service Scrubber
Helps you organise and remove services from your menus (Name of App > Services).
Once a very popular proxy tool for sorting out your own proxy for handling your internet connection. Has become disused over time.
Stomp those big files down to size. Helps reduce video files into more compressed formats.
Another great backing up utility although its not fully Leopard compatible at the time of writing.
A very cool little application that lets you share a mouse and keyboard between one or more computers.
A tool that lets you access more preferences the Apple has built into the OS.
Another very good piece virtualization software to enable to to virtualize other OS’s.
This final section ,and to round up, is going to be all about top programs for use at work.
A simple money program that helps you organise your accounts, budgets and finances.
90) Concept Draw
More of a group of programs that offer a wide range of applications such as flow charts to mind maps.
A cross platform database application, that has amazing power and potential.
Apples work application package to complement iLife, a good package if you want the Apple integration although lacks on some features.
93) Microsoft Office
Office is one of the most prominent packages on the Windows machines for work programs. Very good on Mac, although some small annoying bugs.
Another application for managing your accounts. The interface on this program is amazing.
An Open Office port to Mac, like Microsoft Office, except its free.
A very powerful webpage editor for designing and creating websites. Just as good as Dreamweaver.
A brill program that offers a really cool way of creating presentation diagrams. Check out the Omni Groups offerings for all of the cool programs they have to offer.
Another program by Jumsoft on this list that lets you plan and organise your projects.
Another personal finance program, but this one feels more corporate and official.
A cool little program that helps you organise all your bits of information, great if you end up filling up dashboard with millions of stickies.
Well folks, there you have it, my personal Top 100 Essential Mac Applications. I hope you agree that there are some awesome applications out there. It has taken me over a week to put this togther and if you think I have missed any please leave a comment with the program you would like to include and a reason why.