Every time I meet a Mac user, I ask this question. “What is the most important application on your Mac?”
The answers are surprising and varied. What’s the most important application on your Mac?
Before you answer, let me outline some of the results of my informal, unscientific research, and add a caveat or two.
Not surprisingly, what I hear most when I ask that question is, Email (whether Apple’s Mail or something else doesn’t matter). Then, Safari (sometimes Firefox).
After those two, both of which are somewhat expected, even from the average Mac user, variety sets in, often determined by job requirements.
For example, if you asked Kate and Bambi, they’d both tell you Microsoft Office, as the suite is mandatory for business compatibility.
Ask a digital photographer, and you’re likely to hear Photoshop or any one of half a dozen photo manipulation tools. A Mac web designer might say Fireworks or Dreamweaver.
A Mac programmer might use BBEdit even more than Mail or Safari. Regardless, Mac users have both favorite applications and necessary applications. For some of us, the choice might include iTunes or iPhoto, or another in the iLife suite.
See how this works? Mac users are a varied bunch and there are hundreds and thousands of Mac applications and utilities which keep our Macs going, and keep us going on our Macs.
Here’s an opportunity for you to chime in to my decidedly non-scientific, totally informal, and utterly pleasant research project.
What are the Top 5 Most Important Applications And Utilities On Your Mac?
The caveat? Don’t put Mail or Safari on the list. Everything else is fair game.
What’s the difference between an application and a utility? Definitions may vary, so let’s keep it simple. An application on a Mac creates a document or a file of some sort, while a utility makes changes to settings or performs a specific task, but doesn’t generate a file for future use.
There are probably a few exceptions which we could debate until the cows come home and leave again, but the query stands. What are the Top 5 Most Important Applications and Utilities On Your Mac?
Word? Excel? Powerpoint? Photoshop? iChat AV? Skype? Final Cut Pro? Super Duper!?
There’s no need to rank them, just list each. Add a reason why, if you choose, though for some applications and utilities the reason may be self explanatory.
Yes, it’s OK to list Microsoft Office as a single item on the list. Ditto for iLife, iWork, Photoshop CS2, and so on. It could be argued that iCal and AddressBook are the most valuable.
Perhaps it’s Mac OS X’s Keychain, as that’s where your passwords and login ID’s will be stored (I’m giving out some hints).
That’s sufficient for a quick start with nominal prodding. Show us your goodies. What are the Top 5 Most Important Applications and Utilities On Your Mac, and why?