This is my current list of software for Mac development that I find useful and highly recommend. I’ve also listed some of the junk software I’ve given up on.
Paw HTTP REST API testing client. I really like PAW as a REST endpoint test client replacement for Postman. Mostly it is very stable and has a much better UI. It is super duper pretty looking. I guess I’m a sucker for eye candy. Also useful is the ability to use dynamic values when pulling values from one response to use in another request. The various supported auth methods can be really handy as well. Invaluable. Buy it, use it love it.
Little Snitch The best firewall for the Mac. The best personal firewall. I also run NAT on my edge as well a a “real” firewall with deep packet inspection, but this one can also prevent local outbound connections. It’s surprising how much software wants to phone home and spy on you. Adobe and Microsoft. In the newest version there is a sexy new tool. The new map view in Network Monitor shows realtime information about all current and past network connections and their geographic location. It provides filtering and selection options helping to assess particular connections based on the server’s location.
GIF Brewery Makes animated GIFs and MP4 movies simple and easy. I think Gfycat bought it an now its free as it is now called GIF Brewery by Gfycat. Hopefully they won’t infest it with ads. While you can do all this in Adobe Premiere Pro the project startup overhead is annoying and sometimes you want to get thinks done quickly and simply. So far it hasn’t been destroyed by ads and the like. Fingers crossed.
Reeder An RSS client. I use an account from Feedly as a source. Syncs with my iOS reeder client via cloud bits. It used to be priced at $20 but now it is $9.99. Has an excellent dark them. Has Mercury Reader built into it. This is nice to fetch the entire article without having to load the web page. Not on by default and you have to click the link on every RSS item. Not too painful. Reeder needs support for ad blocking as well as better page zooming. The mark all as read is annoying placed. I would like the addition of a right click menu function. Instead of a dedicated button hidden and the bottom of the window.
Sublime Text GUI text editor. Pretty powerful. I continually have to force myself to stop using vi and even remember I have a GUI editor. It’s hard to break decades of habit. I’m pretty good with vi. Also, I really loathe vim. I have to spend time making vim look like the classic vi. My brain simply cannot process the vim UI, it must be broken. Sublime has a thing called “Distraction Free Mode” which is super handy and does the obvious. It is pretty expensive as well at $70.
Tower A GUI GIT client. Can clone whole repositories. The GIT cli is perfectly adequate but I’m lazy and like eye candy. How is that for honest? At $80 it is one of the more expensive apps I’ve purchased. I think there is a Windows version now. The ability to open multiple repos and work with multiple repos simultaneously is pretty nice. I’m paranoid about losing code and have redundant repos in multiple availability zones. The new version has a much better search. No dark mode. I’ve been bugging them forever.
Transmit SFTP and S3 client. Sometimes drag and drop is faster than a CLI. It is able to use ssh aliases for hostname and credentials. Transfer resume doesn’t really work. Supports 2FA. The list of supported cloud providers has grown large now including the ever elusive Microsoft OneDrive for Business. The developers of Transmit also make a very good game called Firewatch. Be sure to check out that game.
Screenflow Made by a company called Telestream. They are really trying to turn it into an NLE more than anything but I use this for recording gameplay. It can record 4k at 60 fps. It can record iOS screens and from iPhone cameras as well. It can output in Apple ProRes. The only weak point is the audio recording mix. It can’t record game auto, computer audio, and mic audio on operate channels. It mixes them all into one stereo channel.
Wirecast AV tool I use this for streaming game play to Twitch when I’m on a Mac. It also supports using an iOS device as a second camera input. Really not much else to say. Telestream has another product called Gameshow which is really for the Twitch only crowd. It is a one time purchase for lifetime. Prices for Wirecast range from $99 to $1000. If you don’t need all the features of Wirecast, like support for the many streaming sites (who uses these things anyway?), check out Gameshow. They also have a YouTube only version which obviously only supports streaming to YouTube.
PeakHour SNMP network monitor. Supports UPnP discovery. Works with every SNMP version I’ve thrown at it. It’s nice to see how much bandwidth I’m using in real time. I don’t have a data cap but sometimes downloads can get out of control and these are easily spotted. Version 4 finally has proper dark theme and no longer sucks like version 3. Default graph line color is now much more intelligent than before. There is also a PeakHour Remote http client you can use on your phone to remotely monitor traffic. There is no support for automated quality testing from sites like fast.com. Custom destination are only basic ICMP.
Textual An beautiful native MacOS IRC client. Not very expensive at all. Lacks any decent number of plugins though. As much as Slack is nice. I am always on IRC. It does have automatic nickserv auhentication support which is nice. Also supports inline video and images. Limechat should never display topic except in window title bar and thus it was always truncated unless you had a giant window size. Textual has a dedicated topic window pane. Much nicer fonts. Performs well with IPv6 only connections. Hmm what are those? Supports SOCKS and HTTP proxies which I need sometimes to stay safe via an SSH tunnel.
The perpetual and never gets old software list:
- XLD Use for converting FLAC to ALAC. I don’t believe in 24-bit FLAC.
- Gas Mask /etc/hosts fast switching client. Useful when you don’t want to wait in DNS zone transfers.
- brew Awesome. My ‘brew list’ grows constantly.
- VLC Plays any audio/video even if damaged.
- HandBrake Convert video from various formats.
All the tons of open source software I use every single day. Awesome stuff like:
- youtube-dl Rip from web sites. Oh so very very awesome indeed.
Desktop software I’ve dumped:
- Skype – This software has become a joke. It’s lost all its purpose. I do not want a Facebook like chat client. This software is a joke. Replaced by Slack video calling.
- Amazon Cloud Drive – Now completely useless. Amazon suckered everyone in with unlimited storage and then pulled the rug out. Jerks.
- Pixelmator – I can do almost everything I need to with Preview and Photos. Has almost no value any more.
- Hazel – Extremely impossible to figure out UI. Why is rule making using the UI some impossible and backwards? The rule creation process is totally convoluted and makes no sense at all. Ended up automating file movement with shell scripts. Very frustrating software.
- limechat – I moved on to a better IRC client. There is nothing wrong with this client especially given that it is free. Textual is just better.
To finally come full circle back to good software, another app that surprisingly has become far more useful than before is Notes. Yes, the Apple written built into the OS Notes app. I do worry about the security of putting confidential information inside notes. I really need to actually test this. It seems to have decent security and encryption. A 16-byte key is derived from the user’s passphrase using PBKDF2 and SHA256. The note’s contents are encrypted using AES-GCM. Not NSA proof but definitely difficult for your office enemy to penetrate.