General Question

sanbuu's avatar

What are some really good and useful FREE Mac applications?

Asked by sanbuu (94points) December 31st, 2009

I recently purchased a new iMac and had my macbook serviced because of some problems. My question is, is there any good and useful FREE mac applications anyone can suggest, or maybe even a site just for mac stuff. Thanks

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12 Answers

Grisaille's avatar

Whiteroom is pretty good, if you’re a writer.

Haroot's avatar

I highly recommend Evernote. You can download it on almost any computer or your iPhone or droid (not sure about about that though…) and it has all your notes synced. A decent text editor too.

eponymoushipster's avatar

Bean is a free, lightweight and useful word processor application.

DeanV's avatar

Vienna a lightweight RSS reader.
Adium Multiprotocol IM client supporting AIM, Gtalk, Facebook, etc. You can also customize the hell out of it.
Notational Velocity Very lightweight note taking app.
Mindnode Excellent mindmapping app. Try the free version.
Vox Music player with support for other file types. Looks prettier than VLC, functional enough for me.
AppCleaner You may think you don’t need this, but an uninstaller app is good to have on your mac.
Dropbox Absolutely essential. Free, secure, online backup.
Handbrake Video converter/DVD ripper app, can pretty much handle any video file you throw at it.
Virtualbox If you want to geek out with virtual machines or linux distros.
Caffeine. Sits in your menubar and stops your computer from going to sleep. Very useful when watching movies, etc.
Transmission Probably the best torrent app for mac right now.
Growl A great notification engine, one of those apps you wonder why OSX hasn’t copied it yet.

Some of my favorite paid apps (and worth every penny are)
Pixelmator. A photoshop alternative, with a beautiful UI and loads cheaper.
Littlesnapper Might not be up your tree, but one of the more beautiful and useful programs I have on my computer.
Shovebox Little information collecting app, sits in the menubar and waits for snippets, pictures, whatever.

You may also want to check out Macheist. Every year or so they have a large shareware discount bundle, and some free (usually paid) apps that go along with it.

If I had to pick 3 or 4 essential apps for my computer, I’d go with Adium, Dropbox, Growl, and Shovebox. I use all of them every day, and are the first things I installed on my computer.

Crap, that was long.

sndfreQ's avatar

Congrats on your recent purchase…while most Windows evangelistas will try and dissuade you from Mac OS, there are a lot of free apps and shareware apps that will enhance the functionality of Mac OS X and your media apps (iLife, etc.).

Some essentials for video on Mac: <—Flip4Mac windows media player component, to play .wmv files within Apple’s QuickTime software <—DivX and .avi movie player <—DVD ripping software <—open source Office software <—Carbon Copy Cloner for backing up your boot volume <—Write Room (as @Grisaille mentioned above) <—Twitterific is a free (shareware) twitter client <—not freeware, but really good audio apps for mac

Here are some good sites that have shareware and freeware:

And some good blogs and rumor sites:

jrpowell's avatar

I wouldn’t just install stuff because you can. If you need to solve a problem ask and someone will be able to point out a good app. So I will not recommend anything.

This site is fantastic.

sanbuu's avatar

Thanks to everyone so far, So much to look at. I will read and take a good look at everything before i decide to download.

eeveegurl's avatar

@dverhey – I noticed Vienna in your list. As someone who uses Google Reader, I was wondering what the benefits are of a desktop RSS reader. Is it worth switching?

DeanV's avatar

@eeveegurl If you use Google Reader and it works well for you, I wouldn’t really change.
I, however, don’t really see the need to keep all my RSS in the cloud, and just use a desktop client for pure convenience. It’s nice to have some of your feeds accessible offline.

You may want to check out NetNewsWire if you’re looking for a desktop client, too. It syncs with Google Reader, and is very similar in design to Vienna. Unfortunately, the free version is ad supported, but some say they’re very unobtrusive.

eeveegurl's avatar

@dverhey – Thanks for the info! Checking out NetNewsWire. I’m new to feeds, and use them mostly as an aggregate so that I don’t have to go through each and every one of the blogs I follow. It’s been mighty useful, and because I had been so used to going online to read the content, it never even occurred to me to have an app for offline viewing! I’m sure this will keep me entertained while I don’t have access to internet, thanks!

@sanbuu – One app that I was waiting for someone else to have already posted about is Quicksilver. There’s also a more current beta, but I found that it slowed me down instead of speeding things up. It’s hard to sum up the application, but I’ll try – it’s like an application launcher – you can do everything with your keyboard. No need to click through applications looking for things. It also has a bunch of other cool functions. I keep learning more and more about it. There are various articles on about its usefulness, and more on the web. I’m sure if you google Quicksilver + tips and tricks, a bunch of good ones will come up! Sorry it doesn’t seem like such a coop app the way I describe it, but it’s so incredibly convenient, especially if you’re a touch typist and not so fast with the trackpad.

sanbuu's avatar

@eeveegurl Thanks for your recommendations, i will try and DL as much as i can and if it works for me fine, if not i can always use app cleaner and get rid of them. Thanks

Idknown's avatar

Bumptop – Google it – it is a 3d desktop environment. The shareware version is fully operational and fun to use. Organize your desktop!

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