Why an Apps list
Maybe someone of you use regularly a Macbook, but are you sure that are you using it at top of the possibilites?
With this list i want to show you which apps and tools could make the developer’s life a bit easier.
- iStat Menus
- Google Drive Backup and Sync
This is not a regular and sponsorized app list
Usually if you search something like “best apps for macbook” or “useful apps for developers” you get some anonymous lists by people that get paid by sponsored companies for advertise their own app.
This article would share some personal experience about months and years of different apps testing, for personal and work use, so you will not waste your time (and money, why not) by trying some random apps found with Google (ehy welcome if you found me with Google!) or some other search engines.
Less words, more contents. Let’s start with my epic list.
📜 The List
This list mix some different types of apps and tools: free and paid (cheap), for personal and work use, heavy and light (related for power and space consumption). Each stats will be described as detailed as possibile.
Price: Free (without Weather Data)
|Filled with hundreds of functions and settings||Significant power and resources consumption|
|You can pay very little to get yearly weather forecast||For some people interface could be confusing|
|Very huge quantity of datas and charts|
|Translated in dozen of languages|
|Updated in time with system updates|
There are so many apps for MacOS Menubar, but not so much that combine that huge quantity of informations, starts from memory, cpu usage, disk usage, weather, charts, fan speed, web speed and traffic, etc etc… And all of that is totally free.
I would like to advise you that the price for yearly weather forecast is $3 (!) for an update every 60 minutes, i think there is no api service at this so cheap cost.
So if you need something complete and useful for everyday monitoring of your Mac, i think this could be the right choice.
A little downvote for power consumption: it keeps constantly 2-4% of CPU used and so reduce a little the battery duration of your device, but i think this is however worth.
Environment: Personal and work
|Very simple and clean interface||Can’t handle too large files|
|Open source||Can’t compare files natively|
|Well integrated with system|
|Very good for web development|
I searched for a long time an editor for Mac that allow me to edit files directly in a cloud server, then i found Brackets.
If you are a web developer, this editor could be a very useful tool, function like Live Preview or extensions like Git, file compare, and lots from a good list make the web programming very comfortable and fast.
I’m writing this article from Brackets, and i use only 4 simple but useful extensions: Brackets File Format, Brackets Compare, Brackets Icons, and Recently Opened Files that substantially offer me all that i need.
Price: \$ 25-45
|Stablest FTP app i tried||Price is not so low|
|Very large server types support||Sometimes have connection problems or UI problems|
|Settings synchable trough iOS version|
|Lots of secondary functions|
This app become with two ways of payment: recurring yearly payment on Mac App Store of \$ 25 or one-time payment of \$ 45 (i can’t see the economic strategy but it’s ok).
The major reason for this choice for me is that i can edit files in a temporary folder opening it with an editor (Brackets) and automatically reupload it on save.
Very useful if you want to save specific folder and pin on top of the window to go fast inside it, and also if you want to open multiple connection in tabs. You can also set file permissions with buttons and link extension to specific app that will open it.
The only problem i find is that when i made some strange operation like edit file and simoultaneosly overwrite it or disconnect when open, Transmit seems to stuck animations or badges, but in general there are not big troubles.
Environment: Personal and work
|Very smart email search||Can’t handle very large threads|
|Syncronize settings, email accounts and signatures between devices||Sometimes instable for custom SMTP configured accounts|
|Smart Inbox to reorder automatically emails|
|Send Later function for emails (also offline)|
I found this email client randomly in top lists of Google websites, often not at very first positions but at least middle/end of the top.
For me it was a surprise, particularly for the powerful smart email search: basically the app use an internal sqlite database to store all title, body and some other informations so when you try to find someting, it happens very very fast.
Also you can use keyword like “with attachment”, “from firstname.lastname@example.org”, “sent yesterday” to concatenate more criteria to improve your search.
I’ve experienced some trouble with custom SMTP server, where sometimes Spark randomly disconnect me and i can’t connect again on that specific mailbox until some minutes/hours of waiting.
|Very fast and light||Can’t create projects folders|
|In-app is not too much intrusive||Labels are premium only, but i would like to hide in my main view|
|Productivity chart and motivation|
|App is available for every device|
I use this app since weeks, so i can’t do a detailed analysis about it, anyway, i had the need to save my commitments somewhere that were not in my brain (at least in weekend days).
When i get new email, new instant message or new phone call, if that request keeps more than 1 hour, i add an element in my Todoist then i start to work sorting requests by priority and time. So my brain is empty and i can focus on one work at time.
I tried also some different apps similar to this, but i found that this seems to be the simpliest and most comfortable one.
Environment: Personal and work
|Light and efficent||Some complex app can’t be completely removed (like Adobe Suite)|
|Very fast on files removal|
|It find very lots of linked files|
This is a very simple app, you can drag an app on it main view and it show a list of linked files and folder, then with a click you can remove all of them.
Alternatively, you can scroll the app list and click for make same things like explained up there. Not so much other to say except that is very fast and useful if you want to remove an app completely.
Google Drive Backup and Sync
Price: Free for 15 Gb of storage
|Looks for files updates constantly…||…so battery and cpu are so constantly used|
|Upgrades for more space are very cheap||When you reboot your Mac it scans all directory content again (why?!)|
I have no time to make complete backups every day or every big projects, so i searched for an app that did it instead of me and then i found “Google Drive Backup and Sync”. Basically this app looks for changes for a specified folder and upload changed file to you Google Drive account automaticallly.
This improve significantly your time without wasting it for continuous external and manual backups. I suggest you to increase free space by upgrading to Google One with only \$2/month for 100 GB (or \$3 for 200 GB).
Price: \$ 7-21
|Gestures for all input types possible (also touchbar)||A bit bugged for some functions|
|You have a very wide variety of triggers and functions|
|You can add overlay texts|
I think that if you have a Macbook with a Touchbar this app is essential, you can add literally any function you need to it.
For example you can add copy and paste function when you select texts, share it to socials, shell scripts, make screenshots, sleep computer, etc… And last but not least, register macro by pressing buttons and attach it to touchbar button.
The only negative point is the license, you should need to renew every 2 years for \$7.50 or \$21 lifetime.
|Test all types of requests without make PHP or shell scripts||Sometimes seems to be slow on simple requests|
|Lots of shortcuts|
|Manual debug and testing|
If you work with websites, APis, or generally with web request, this is absolutely the best tool to make requests and debug it.
You can create projects, select request type, headers, certificates and much much more. Basically is designed for testing API, but i found it very useful also for make penetration testing for my website urls.
|Fast for take partial screen screenshots||Can’t automatically delete screenshot after copy|
|Very comfortable when take screenshot with shortcuts||Slow when has saved too much screenshots|
|Size is very small|
I used this app to take all screenshots for this article, instead of take a full screenshot, open with a photo editor, cut, save, close the editor and then use, with Snappy you need to use only shortcut (cmd+shift+2), then drag the window and right click to Save, Copy, Delete or Close and the use in a second time by reopen Snappy from menubar.
I only had one trouble with too much saved screenshot (100+) where my Snappy button from menubar opens after seconds and generally navigation was too slow and heavy.
|Very fast and organized for showing high quantity of files||Graphically not so much wonderful|
|It search files in background|
|Can fast delete files|
If you need something for search largest files in your SSD or HD, you can use this simple App to select the Drive and wait while it scan all directories and show colored labels where files are too heavy.
Then you can navigate with a splitted window inside directories and see all file sizes you need.
This is the end of my personal apps and tools list i use in my Macbook, for work and for personal, maybe there are so many better ones but i think these are the best for the value for money.
If you found some better alternatives of these apps, feel free to comment below.
Thanks for reading! If you see something not so much clear, bad formatted or broken links, contact me and i will fix asap!