Is there such a thing as “perfect software” on the Mac? Check your Mac for the software you use the most. Perfect?
Are there software titles on the Mac that are so good it’s difficult to imagine any change that would make it better? Where’s the perfect Mac application?
Start with Apple’s basic applications. Mail. Good, but not perfect, and some would argue not as capable as Microsoft’s Entourage email software.
Microsoft Word? How about Excel? Or, PowerPoint? I use all three in business. They’re great applications but each leaves something to be desired. All are bloated and cumbersome.
Back to Apple and OS X. How about Safari? It’s lean, quick, relatively attractive, but full of little things I don’t like.
Open six tabs in a window, and click the close button. Where’s the reminder that you’re about to lose all those open pages? See what I mean?
iCal needs better integration with Mail (wait for OS X Leopard). iChat is pretty good, except you’re pretty much stuck with video communication with other iChat users. Nobody uses AIM video on Windows.
Apple’s Finder in OS X is far better than Explorer in Windows XP or Vista, but has plenty of glaring shortcomings (I won’t go there—it’ll save us all a lot of time).
Look at iLife ‘06 or iWork ‘06. Both are collections of very sophisticated Mac applications, though not one would be in that category reserved for ‘perfect’, right?
iTunes is a bit buggy, iPhoto needs more features for photo editing, Garageband is too slow (even on Intel Macs). iMovie is pretty good but prone to crashes.
I love Keynote to death. Pages is worthy but suffers from glitches and quirks and just isn’t as compatible as it needs to be with Microsoft Word.
Among my utilities that I can’t live without are a few that are near perfect, if not quite. SuperDuper! usually produces perfect backup clones. Figuring out the rest of the feature set requires a Masters degree in figuring out stuff. It’s complicated.
Vienna is a near perfect RSS news reader and a great value at free. It’s probably close to perfect, but I haven’t given much thought to what else it needs, other than some way to prevent duplicate listings of the same feed. See?
iShowU is the best screen-capture-to-movie utility we’ve ever used, Mac or Windows. Still, the configurations in preferences can be daunting.
As I’m looking at my more than healthy list of applications, utilities, and tools on my Mac, two things become abundantly clear.
I can find fault with nearly every piece of software rather quickly, whether expensive, inexpensive, or free—with one interesting exception. It’s the Mac utility that holds all my Mac’s software.
DragThing. This is close to perfection, because it’s difficult to think of what else it needs. For the uninitiated, DragThing is a Mac file launcher, of sorts, as it’s much more.
I want a single location on my Mac where I can access just about everything. I’ve tried every launcher there is and keep coming back to DragThing.
Perhaps perfection comes from using something many times each day over many years. DragThing does not have a glaring fault or an obvious need. Your mileage may vary.
I’ve set up DragThing to hold icons of my Mac applications, utilities, and tools. The “hot corner” for me is really the right side of the screen, so regardless of what I’m doing at the moment, a flick of the wrist, moving the mouse pointer to the right side, brings up DragThing.
That’s instant, one-click access to any Mac software. One extra click gets me the most used documents. Click and hold a disk icon (or the Documents icon) gets a drop down dialog box to search for any file anywhere instantly.
There’s enough customization flexibility built in to size and color DragThing to my tastes. I usually arrange application and utility icons in the same area so I remember them by location on the screen.
If I had to vote for a single application or utility on the Mac that would be considered near perfect and indispensible, it would be DragThing. Again, YMMV.
So, that begs the question, what software on your Mac is near perfect? Why or why not? Of those applications and utilities that loved, why so, and what could be done to improve them?
Share your experience and opinion in the Comments section below.