Most Mac users go with the applications Apple provides and assume that’s the way God intended it. After all, if the apps are good enough for Apple, then they’re good enough for the average Mac user. Or, so the story goes.
After the basics, Mac users can be categorized a number of ways. Those who use Microsoft Office, for example. There isn’t much that Office does that cannot be done with Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, but if you need the extra features and can pay the piper, why not? The same holds true with Adobe’s famous Creative Suite, which includes Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, and a dozen or so other apps, all for one monthly subscriptions price which you pay forever and ever.
And then there’s the rest of us. Which apps do we use?
The Apps In The Machine
Last week, Jeffrey Mincey, a Mac360 colleague wrote about password managers, those clever utilities which store and secure your usernames, login IDs, passwords, and other important data; encrypted so prying eyes cannot pry. For those Mac users on a tighter budget and who don’t need all the features of the best password manager utilities, there’s Secrets, written about by J.R. Bookwalter in Macworld.
In other words, when it comes to the applications– non-Apple, non-Microsoft, and non-Adobe– we use on our Macs, it’s different strokes for different folks. We Mac users are a diverse group of personal computer users; usually more educated with more disposable income, and while some of us are more technically inclined, many, many, Mac users simply don’t want to bother with the underlying technology and just want to get something done without hassles.
That brings me to the question of the day. What non-Apple, non-Microsoft, non-Adobe apps do you have on your Mac? All of us have Apple’s built-in applications, but I’m among a growing group without Microsoft or Adobe’s suites, and I have good working alternatives.
Yes, I’m a 1Password user, but I have an alternative because I worry about the new subscription pricing method. I use 2Do as a task manager because it handles options beyond Calendar, Reminders, and Notes. And it runs on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
I find Spark to be an easier email app to use than Mail, but keep both because SpamSieve works with Mail and not much else. For backups I’ve dismissed Time Machine because of too many quirks and settled on SuperDuper! because clones are just easier to recover from a busted Mac or hard disk (and SSDs).
You see where this is going, right?
For calculations I keep PCalc because it runs on all devices; Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Watch. My Mac is home to some files that I don’t want to be seen by government spooks, thieves, hackers, neighbors or untrusted family members, and I keep them locked up with Encrypto.
Lately I’ve been looking more toward Mac applications that have counterparts for iPhone and iPad but for some utilities that’s just not possible. For example, I connect to a few remote Linux servers and for that I use SSH Shell on the Mac, but it doesn’t have a similar version for iOS.
So, my questions to you are basic. Beyond Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe, which applications do you have on your Mac and why? And, do they have iPhone and iPad counterparts?