Here’s my list of worthy Mac apps you’ve likely never heard of or used, a group of free one-trick ponies that get no respect from the reviewers of the world, yet every one could find a warm and cozy home on your Mac.
Is That A Rodney Dangerfield App?
If there are half a million apps for our iDevices there’s just no chance we know all the good ones. Some estimate the Mac to have 50-thousands of apps. Why is it that all most of us know are the big brand names.
What about all those apps you’ve never heard of?
Mac app developers are not deterred from working on something insanely great, even if only the insane Mac users use it.
You don’t have to be a psychic to find these apps, but it takes a little work, some effort, and plenty of clicks. Don’t be alarmed. They’re not in order, but there are surprises.
#8 – Camouflage: What good is a really cool desktop wallpaper photo if you can’t see it for all the gazillion open windows? End the clutter with a click to Camouflage. It hides your Mac’s Desktop and all the garbage sitting on it so you can see the wallpaper.
#7 – Lumina: You may not know Lumina because it used to be iClockr (cool if you’re into Flickr or Tumblr). Think of it as a task and project timer. Add a task or project and start the timer. When you’re done you’ll know how much time you spent on each activity.
#6 – GarageBuy: My family loves GarageBuy. Not me. I had a bad experience with eBay. But this makes it easy. GarageBuy lets you search, track, and bid for items on eBay. It saves your searches, tracks watched auctions, and is easier to use than eBay in a browser window.
#5 – Caffeine: Alright, so your Mac falls asleep sometimes. But not while you’re using it. Caffeine is a simpleminded app that works reverse magic on your Mac’s screensaver, preventing it from going to sleep, dimming the screen, or starting up the screensaver. Hey, every app has to have a purpose.
#4 – Growl: Yes, you may have heard me trumpet and extol the virtues of Growl, the Mac app that tells you when stuff happens on your Mac. If you don’t have it, you need it. If you have it, then I probably told you about it. If I didn’t tell you, then I would have if I knew you were listening.
#3 – Skim: What do we all do with PDFs? We print them out. Stop killing trees. Use Skim to read PDFs, add notes, edit notes, highlight text, view internal links, magnify, crop, bookmark, and much more. It’s like the PDF utility you never knew you needed until you use it.
#2 – Miro: You think QuickTime does plenty? Miro is the Mac app for media junkies. It plays nearly any video format, including HD videos online. It downloads torrents and podcasts and YouTube, oh my. There’s even a content guide for the thousands of free online video feeds. Did I mention that Miro is free?
#1 – MAMP: So, you want to be a web site developer and sink your teeth in Apache web server, MySQL database, and PHP scripting language? MAMP on your Mac is where you start. In one click it loads all the web site development tools you need to create sites, run WordPress, and learn geeky words to impress your translucent friends.
Also Rans Still Running
Honorable Mention #2 – PresentYourApps: For whatever reason, and I’m not one to judge, you might need to hide the Dock and Menubar for specific Mac apps (of the Cocoa religion—not that there’s anything wrong with that). PresentYourApps does that. Select the apps you want to see (or not) in the Dock, and PresentYourApps does the rest.
Honorable Mention #1 – Mactracker: So, you want to know everything there is to know about every Apple Mac model ever made? How about iPod, AppleTV, iPhone, iPad, Wi-Fi cards, and all the Mac OS versions going back to the last century? They’re all in Mactracker, the searchable database of all things Apple.
First Runner Up – Loginox: You’re a smart Mac user, right? So you keep your Mac password protected until you login. Isn’t the Mac’s default login image ugly? Customize your login screen with Loginox. Find an image, drag it into Loginox and that’s what shows up next time you need to login.
There you have it. A list of Rodney Dangerfield Mac apps. Apps that are great, classy, worthy, but don’t get much respect.