The most frequently accessed apps on my Mac, and why they're there as of February, 2014
Rene's recent What's on Rene's iPad right now! post inspired me to do my own, and as the resident Mac guy, I'm spinning mine in a slightly different direction — here's what's on my Mac dock instead.
The left side of my dock is pretty much bone-stock, but it's not because of neglect - I actually use those apps quite frequently. Launchpad is a great way to locate applications I've installed on my hard drive quickly and easily; I regularly access the Mac App Store to find great new apps and games to download; Mail is my go-to e-mail app, and Mission Control is quite handy to quickly switch between active apps and desktops. And as you can see, I stick with the Mavericks default wallpaper, partly because I take screenshots for various coverage in iMore and I want it to look as familiar as possible. From there:
Echofon: My favorite Twitter client for OS X and iOS. I like it because it syncs unread tweets and messages between clients, so I never have to slog through a bunch of message I've already seen when I hit the road.
Safari: We can argue the merits of different web browsers until we're blue in the face, but Safari is still my go-to browser. However...
Firefox: I keep Firefox around because some web sites still aren't well-behaved with Safari, and it's good to have alternatives.
Flint: Campfire is our go-to office communication tool at iMore, and Flint is a much better alternative than using Campfire through a web interface.
Messages: Apple's messaging app is a supremely useful tool to stay in touch with my many friends, family members, colleagues and associates.
BBEdit: One of the first apps I install on any new Mac is BBEdit, Bare Bones Software's popular text-editing app. I don't use even 1/100th of what this app can do, but it is by far my favorite way to write words on my Mac. (If the $50 price tag puts you off, give Bare Bones' free TextWrangler a try.
Contacts: Only one click away from getting any contact info I need. One of my most frequently-used apps.
NetNewsWire: I want to stay on top of what's happening in the Apple universe, and one of the best way to do that is to check RSS newsfeeds of the popular sites I follow. Black Pixel's NetNewsWire is my favorite app to do just that. Right now they're publicly beta testing NetNewsWire 4, which is a worthy successor to this great product.
Fantastical: Flexibits' calendaring app blows away Apple's own Calendar app for its ease of use, better natural language recognition and improved interface.
Napkin: One of our jobs here at iMore is to make stuff easy to understand for you, so we regularly produce How Tos. Napkin is one of the tools we use to do it; it's an image annotation tool that makes it easy to produce high-impact graphics quickly. If you've been wondering how we do those callouts and arrows showing you where to click and what to press in our How To graphics, wonder no more.
Adobe Photoshop CC: The granddaddy of image editing tools for the Mac is still my go-to for everything from screenshots to product images and more; I also use it for post-processing of family photos and other images I snap. I moved to Creative Cloud about a year ago and don't regret it a bit - Adobe is continuously improving Creative Cloud apps. If you're a content creator with a need for professional tools, it's still the gold standard.
System Preferences: Because I regularly have to tweak settings.
Steam: Valve's game downloading and matching service is a great way to find games for your Mac. There are frequently sales and there's also a huge community of users looking for challenges, so there's always someone to play with (or against).
Microsoft Word: While I do the vast majority of my text creation in BBEdit, the need occasionally arises to open, edit or save Word documents, so I keep it in my dock when I need it.
Skype: I've got a love-hate relationship with Skype. Well, more of a hate-hate relationship, really. But it's a necessary evil: it's as close as I have to a universal chat tool for my many friends and colleagues who aren't plugged into the Apple Messages ecosystem.
There you go! There are certainly lots of other apps I use on my Mac, but my Dock represents the stuff I go to most frequently. I hope this gives you some idea of cool apps to use, and a little peek behind the curtain at how we get things done at iMore.
Have any questions? What are your favorite apps? Sound off in the comments, let me know.
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