macOS applications

July 4, 2020    Article    890 words    5 mins read
macOS applications

Check out the date on this baby!!

This content was originally published a while ago and could be quite outdated.

If you ever wondered, here is a list of the applications I am using on my Mac, all can be installed and do not require an internet connection to function. I try to stay away from all Google, Microsoft and Adobe stuff for various reasons, so no Chrome, no Edge (bleah), no Office, no Visual Studio Code, no Photoshop.

Some of them are free, most are commercial.


  • Alfred - I don’t even know where to begin, it’s a must-have app for your Mac. Just browse their website for more info.
  • VLC - open source media player.
  • Noizio - increses your productivity (or relax) by playing more than 30 sounds of nature.
  • Affinity Photo - Adobe Photoshop alternative, I’m not using it too much (cropping, resizing, exporting photos) so I can’t really compare it to Photoshop. But not being Adobe is a win in my book.
  • Transmission - a free BitTorrent client.
  • 1Password - the best password manager but make sure you’re not using any of the “online syncing” stuff; a local vault works perfectly. Unless you want your passwords in the cloud, of course.
  • Little Snitch - host-based application firewall for macOS, you can use it to monitor applications and prevent or permit them to connect to attached networks. VSCode is trying to connect to Block the motherfucker.
  • The Unarchiver - open any archive, including RAR ones.


  • Firefox - THE browser. I’ve been using it since version 1.0 and I’ll stick with it till the end. Its or mine.
  • Firefox Developer Edition - the Developer Edition version of Firefox with extra goodies for the developer in you. wink wink
  • Vivaldi - sometimes I need to test stuff in a Chromium-based browser and unfortunately Google Chrome is out of the question. Vivaldi is a company founded by people from the old Opera Software and the browser is good.


  • Kaleidoscope - compare text files, images, folders.
  • Paw - it’s really the most advanced API tool for macOS, as their website is saying. “It has a beautiful native macOS interface to compose requests, inspect server responses, generate client code and export API definitions.”
  • Postman - alternative to Paw.
  • Poedit - powerful and intuitive translation editor.
  • Navicat Premium - connect to MySQL, MariaDB, MongoDB, SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL and SQLite databases. Has no real alternative and I’ve tested many, free and commercial ones.
  • Dash - API documentation browser/manager and sometimes code snippet manager.
  • iTerm - a replacement for macOS, super customizable.
  • Arduino IDE - write code and upload it to an Arduino board.
  • Xcode - I don’t know what to say here. Apple Xcode, by Apple, for writing Apple apps.
  • Tower - the best visual git client that’s not an Electron wrapper.
  • Transmit - file transfer client, supports FTP/S, Webdav to Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Onedrive and many more.
  • Sublime Text - the best text editor, hands down. I use it for coding and writing markdown notes when I’m not using iA Writer, ofc.
  • Sip - color picker and organizer, exports colors in various formats.
  • PhpStorm - the PHP IDE, IF you need an IDE. Has no real alternative, costs money, is worth every penny.
  • GoLand - same as above but for Golang, by the same company.
  • Docker - “Docker Desktop is a tool for MacOS and Windows machines for the building and sharing of containerized applications and microservices.”


  • Pages - Microsoft Word alternative, it’s perfect for my needs and I can stay away from Microsoft. By Apple.
  • Keynote - Microsoft Powerpoint alternative, by Apple.
  • Numbers - Microsoft Excel alternative, by Apple.


  • Remote Desktop Manager - an incredible Remote Desktop Manager, you can use it to connect to pretty much everything, including Microsoft RDP, FTP/S, SSH, various VPN software, VNC, Teamviewer, etc.
  • Wireguard - a modern VPN solution that uses state-of-the-art cryptography.
  • Veracrypt - encrypt a disk, partition or image file. For those things you don’t want anybody to snoop into. I’m not saying to use it for “illegal” stuff, I am telling you.

Social Networking

  • Telegram - the best compromise between security, usability and compatibility (not using Electron wrapper). I’m not using Signal for various reasons, including Moxie being against federation, against e-mail, against GPG and against everything that’s not hip. Also, your account on Signal is linked to your phone number, the desktop client is just an Electron wrapper and syncronizing messages between mobile and desktop is a mess. Signal might be perfect for you but it’s not for me.
  • Textual - a cool and very customizable (and themeable) IRC client.
  • Reeder - just a RSS reader, I’ve been using about four of them, including Leaf and NetNewsWire but decided on Reeder. It just works.


  • VirtualBox - a free virtualization solution by Innotek Sun Oracle. It works great except when it’s not, and when that time comes, look below.
  • Vmware Fusion - another virtualization solution, professional and flawless but has costs.


  • iA Writer - the most beautiful text editor you will ever see, I’m using it to take notes or write on my website; I don’t think anything comes even close to it.
  • FocusList - a daily planner & focus app based on Pomodoro technique. It helps you plan your day, stay focused and track your time.
  • OmniFocus - the most powerful task management application.
  • Things - an alternative to OmniFocus, pretty good.