A while back I chronicled my 51 Favorite Freeware Apps for Windows because it helps me keep a list of what I need to install when I’m trying to set up a new PC. And of course I also listed the 50 Free iPhone Apps I Love and Use, and even my Free Themes and Apps for Blackberry Curve. Well, it’s about time I do the same for my Mac downloads! So here is a list of all of the various Mac Freeware I install when setting up a new machine:
- GeekTool – A very powerful panel for your system preferences which adds all sorts of command line like functionality. This is for power users only.
- Growl – This is a little add in that improves just about every other application by adding instant notifications to your Mac. Works with Adium, Firefox, Skype and many more. Get it!
- Skype – The absolute standard for making calls through the Internet. I use it for communicating with my partners in Lebanon as well as for doing Podcasts and interviews with others around the country.
- Carbon Copy Cloner – Useful for making copies of your hard drive to upgrade to a new computer, or even for automated backups to protect your data.
- atMonitor – This is a critical application, as far as I’m concerned, to manage your computer’s overall health. I primarily use it to keep an eye on my CPU usage and ensure that I don’t have an application running away with all my processing power. That heats up your machine and wastes your battery. Another option is MenuMeters if for some reason you prefer it.
- The Unarchiver – Software for uncompressing Zip, Tar-GZip, Tar-BZip2, RAR, 7-zip, LhA, StuffIt and many other formatted files, common when downloading from newsgroups or other online sources.
- CrossLoop – Allows you to take over a computer remotely with permission from the other person to help with troubleshooting and things like that. Good for helping the family out… (My previous review.)
- Woopra – Well, I guess it’s obvious that I use Woopra to monitor all of my Websites in real time to see what kind of traffic I’m getting and to interact with my site visitors.
- Firefox – The eminent Web browser. You should use it on any system, if for no reason other than the plugins.
- Filezilla – The best FTP app for Mac. Period.
- Adium – The best Instant Messaging client you can get for Mac. If you are using the crappy built in iChat please do yourself a favor and switch immediately!
- Dropbox – This is software that works with the Dropbox.com service which constantly syncs the files you put in it between all of your computers. It works for Windows, Mac and even iPhone! So I can put important files in my dropbox and they become instantly available anywhere. Also good for disaster recovery. And it’s free for up to 2GB of storage!
- Opera – A great Web browser, though not as popular as Firefox. Important to use for testing if you are doing any web development.
- TweetDeck – The 900 pound gorilla as far as Twitter clients. This app will allow you to post updates to Twitter and Facebook at the same time and also supports multiple accounts.
- Chrome – The Google browser is very fast, and also very buggy. But also necessary for testing if you are doing Web application development.
Photos and Multimedia
- HandBrake – Used for ripping DVDs to other forms so you can make copies of them or just load em on your iPhone to take with you!
- VLC – A replacement video player for your Mac which will play just about any format on the Web. Also necessary for ripping DVDs with Handbrake.
- Miro – An open-source media player like VLC, but with a nicer interface and the ability to find new content directly through the application. I highly recommend this one as a replacement for Quicktime.
- Transmission – A fast, easy, and free multi-platform BitTorrent client.
- Perian – Adds all sorts of media file support to your Mac. Allows you to play movies in Quicktime that it would not otherwise play.
- Picasa – This image organizer and editor is a free service from Google. I prefer it to iPhoto and wrote a comparison previously. The comparison is somewhat out of date from the latest versions, but might help a bit anyway.
- Flickr Uploader – Allows you to batch upload images to Flickr. FAR superior to trying to use the upload tool on the website, this tool has a permanent space in my dock.
- Jing – The best screen capture software you can get. Even allows you to automatically upload your screen captures and get a URL pasted in your clipboard.
- Text Wrangler – A much better text editor than the built in notepad. I also use it for hand coding HTML and CSS.
- Open Office – Though I normally use MS Office or the iWork suite, it never hurts to have a fully featured free office app on the machine just in case you need it…
- Google Earth – Allows you to visit anywhere in the world on a 3d model of our planet. Even integrates with Woopra to show you where your Website visitors are coming from!
- Weather Snitch – Need to keep an eye on the weather? I do. And this little baby will run in the menu bar at the top of the screen and always keep me updated.
Have you got other “must have” freeware for the Mac that I need to add to the list? Well by all means please share it in the comments below so I can give it a try!