Most of the time you can find a free Mac application that will accomplish almost any task you can imagine. See the Zaphu Great Mac Freeware list for a few freeware apps to get you started. Sometimes, however, a Mac application comes along that is worth your hard earned cash. As a fellow ‘code slinger’ I can appreciate the desire to get compensated for long hours of staring at code and when I find an application that is very well done I don’t really mind handing over my money to support the talented developer.
Click on any of the images to visit the developer’s website and check back occasionally for additions to this list.
AppZapper ($13) allows users to confidently try new apps while knowing they can uninstall them easily. Drag an unwanted application onto AppZapper and it will find all the extra files associated with that app. A simple click deletes the application and its affiliated files. Where AppZapper excels over its freeware alternative AppCleaner is in its ‘eye-candy’ laded user interface and animations. AppZapper can also highlight seldom used applications for deletion.
Disco ($30) is a very easy to use powerful CD/DVD burning software. Outstanding features include Spanning (spans large collections across multiple discs), Discography (keeps an index of all discs and images created), and of course Smoke (the ultimate in application eye-candy). The Smoke effect is simply genius and worth a download just to try it out. Disco stands out above its freeware alternative Burn due to ease of use and ‘eye-candy.’
1Passwd ($30) is an amazing password management application that integrates seemlessly with Safari, Firefox, and other popular browsers. No more scribbling down online passwords on post-its and stray napkins. 1Passwd stands head and sholders above its freeware alternative Pastor.
SuperDuper! ($28) is a powerful data backup solution with features such as Scheduling and SmartBackup, incorporated in a simple-to-use interface. SuperDuper! is in close competition feature-wise with Carbon Copy Cloner (prior to the ‘CCC 3.0 beta’ SuperDuper! was the clear winner). Too bad Apple’s Time Machine might make both of these great applications obsolete – we’ll know in October.
Little Snitch ($25) is an outgoing network traffic monitor that notifies you when an application or system resource tries to connect to the internet. This is a must-have application for the security conscious Mac user. GlowWorm Lite is the capable yet somewhat buggy freeware alternative to Little Snitch.
TextMate ($53) is billed as the missing text editor for the Mac. TextMate, however, goes way beyond simple text editing with features so numerous they have their own book and screencasts. TextMate’s power is only matched by the equally expensive BBedit but most will prefer the freeware alternative of TextWrangler.
Transmit ($18) is one of the most popular FTP applications for the Mac. Useful features include DockSend, Droplets, Widgets, iDisk and Amazon S3 support. Cyberduck is a strong freeware alternative to Panic’s Transmit.
Delicious Library ($40) is a media management application. Scan in all of your books, DVDs, and CDs via the Mac’s integrated iSight camera or a separate wireless UPC scanner ($$). Delicious Library then creates a fun-to-browse catalog of your media. Note sure you need such a thing? Then wait for v2.0 which won a Leopard Developer Design Award. DVDmanager is the ‘eye-candy’ inferior freeware alternative to Delicious Library
Coda ($79) is the web developer’s dream application. Winner of the 2007 Apple Design Award for Best User Experience, Coda provides one window web development with an innovative user interface. In fact, Coda is so unique that I am not aware of any freeware alternatives (are you?). Get a break on Coda’s steep price by buying Transmit at the same time.
Papers ($39) is the PDF manager extraordinaire for the scientists in the crowd. Papers, winner of the 2007 Apple Design Award for Best Scientific Application puts Endnote to shame and is great for organizing a large collection of citations as well as searching for new ones via PubMed. Bibdesk is a very capable alternative to Papers.
Pixelmator is the best affordable Photoshop competitor available for the Mac. Pixelmator is a beautifully designed, easy-to-use, fast and powerful image editor for Mac OS X has everything you need to create, edit and enhance your images. Gimp is a very capable (but ugly by comparison) alternative to Pixelmator.