5 Apps That Should Be Built In To Mac OS X

By | July 19, 2012

Mac App StoreEvery once in a while a developer releases an app for Mac OS X that becomes so integrated in to my daily use of the computer that I am disheartened when I use another Mac and that feature is missing. Apple certainly isn’t in the habit of doing this, but the following 5 apps should, in my humble opinion, be bought out by Apple and properly integrated in to Mac OS X.

  1. Moom ($9.99)
    This awesome little app is one of the best things to ever happen that tiny green orb at the upper left of every window. All you do is hover over it, and you’re given the self-explanatory menu you see on its icon. It’s also quite customizable, allowing you to adjust how much of the screen to fill, creating a set pixel padding between windows, mouse & keyboard controls, and more. Apple’s own window management hasn’t ever quite worked exactly how I’d like, but this is as close to perfect as I’ve ever found.
  2. Caffeine (Free)
    It’s a tiny little cup of coffee that sits on your menu bar that serves exactly one purpose and serves it perfectly. When you click it and “fill the cup”, it prevents your computer from sleeping. That’s it. It seems obvious, I know, but Mac OS X still needs this third party application as a remarkably simple toggle for something that should be built right in.
  3. Calendar (Free)
    This handy menu bar icon gets daily use by me. Clicking it unleashes the full power of iCal in a clear, well laid out drop down menu. You can easily see the current date and scroll forward or backward by month or even year. Best of all, it places a small colored dot (matching the calendar color set in iCal) on any day that has an event schedule. You can hover over a date to see calendar events you’ve got listed on that day or click to open that date in iCal.
  4. Alfred (Free)
    At its core, Alfred is a keyboard-driven app launcher. “So is Spotlight!”, you might say, but Alfred puts Spotlight to shame. It’s faster, easier to launch programs from within it, can (optionally) index and search your computer, it can search the web, do basic calculations, spellchecking, and a host of other customized options. Put simply, it’s what Spotlight should be, but isn’t.
  5. The Unarchiver (Free)
    The Unarchiver
    I’ve never really fully understood why operating systems haven’t been more adept at uncompressing compressed files. Thankfully, there isn’t a better option for Mac OS X than The Unarchiver. This app handles virtually any compressed file that you throw at it, Mac or PC, so if you download something that the native OS can’t handle (most common compression formats), The Unarchiver will seamlessly step in and handle it for you.
  6. Honorable Mention
    Sparrow ($9.99)
    The Mail.app client built in to Mac OS X has never wowed me. It’s kind of generic and works well enough, but doesn’t really have the polish and function that I’ve begun to expect from Apple products. Sparrow, on the other hand, is absolutely stunning in both appearance and function. It’s simple, yet highly efficient, customizable, and works exactly how you’d want it to. It was originally designed as a Gmail client, but can now handle Google Apps accounts, MobileMe, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, or any other IMAP or POP account. Apple could definitely learn a thing or two from Sparrow’s success.

Know an app that you feel belongs on this list? Leave a comment and let us know!

  • http://twitter.com/BenWubbleyou Ben Waardenburg

    Dude, you forgot BetterTouchTool, let your mac user customize completely how they want their gestures to be!

  • http://www.chailife.com/ Evan Primakow

    I don’t personally use that, but it’s an excellent suggestion nonetheless and I do wish Apple would include more customization for the trackpad.

  • Ana

    Instead of Caffeine, you can just use hot corners (within SysPrefs) to set one corner to prevent sleep. Works just as well.

  • Pet

    Add Silencer to that list

  • Gumby

    How about Growl… That is something that should totally be built in

  • Chris

    Mountain Lion solved this one with the new Notification Center

  • zmel

    OSX 10.8 is getting notifications as well as a notification center, and will effectively replace growl. Also the updated growl we have to pay for and it’s worse.

  • http://www.chailife.com/ Evan Primakow

    This is exactly why it didn’t make the list.

  • http://twitter.com/azav azav

    it’s icon?

    You do know that it’s = it is, right? It just looks terrible when you make a mistake like that and claim to have passed fourth grade English.