12 Popular Mac Applications Every Designer Should Know

The selection of great free or inexpensive mac programs on offer has never been better. You can now get amazing software designed by small or independent developers to cover practically anything you could ever want to do on your mac.

Today, I’ll be showcasing 12 favorite free and paid mac app store apps. These wonderful pieces of software won’t cost you a dime, but will go a long way towards improving and refining your mac experience. I hope you find them as useful as I do!

For Further Reading:

1. Pixelmator

Pixelmator, the beautifully designed, easy-to-use, fast and powerful image editor for Mac OS X has everything you need to create, edit and enhance your images.

Pixelmator

Download$59.99

2. SketchBook Pro

Autodesk SketchBook Pro for Mac is a professional-grade paint and drawing application. Using the same paint engine as its mobile counterpart, SketchBook Pro delivers a complete set of sketching & painting tools through a streamlined and intuitive user interface.

SketchBook Pro

Download$59.99

3. Evernote

The king of note taking and personal organisation applications is now available through the Mac App Store, and this is as good a time as any to give it a try if you haven’t already. Evernote is a phenomenally popular app, packed with functionality. You can capture and store almost anything within your Evernote database, and it’s automatically synced across all your different devices and gadgets.

Evernote

DownloadFree

4. TextWrangler

I’ve been a TextWrangler user for around a decade, and really enjoyed this fantastic free text editor. It’s surprisingly laden with functionality, and definitely one of the best free text editors available for the Mac (if the surprisingly powerful TextEdit isn’t enough for you).

TextWrangler

DownloadFree

5. SoundCloud

Feeling a bit tired of playing the same old tunes in your iTunes library? Give SoundCloud a try. It’s a thriving community of musicians and artists, all sharing their creations completely free of charge. Perfect for discovering new music, and connecting with like-minded listeners around the world.

SoundCloud

DownloadFree

6. Twitter for Mac

Although I’m sure you’ve seen enough links to the new Twitter for Mac to last you a lifetime, I felt that it needed to be included to round out the list. It’s a wonderful application with an appropriately designed interface, all the functionality I need, and a user experience that’s great fun to use.

Twitter for Mac

DownloadFree

7. Kindle for Mac

I love reading books on my iPad, and I’m a big fan of the Kindle app. Although I’d love to use iBooks, the content available just isn’t up to scratch yet (and the prices are often higher than the equivalent book through Amazon). Needless to say, I’ve amassed a decent collection of books over the past year. Being restricted to reading on the iPad is fine, 99% of the time.

Kindle for Mac

DownloadFree

8. StuffIt Expander

StuffIt Expander is a venerable archive management tool. It lets you access StuffIt files, decompress tar, zip, gzip and bzip archives.

StuffIt Expander

DownloadFree

9. NovaBench

It’s always fun and sometimes very helpful to know how well your computer performs. NovaBench is a benchmarking tool that will give you an idea of how your system matches up.

NovaBench

DownloadFree

10. Shrook

Are you a news junkie that just can’t read enough articles? Then you’re going to love Shrook. Shrook is an RSS reader that lets you track and manage all of your RSS feeds. You can even sync Shrook across multiple Macs and your iPad or iPhone.

Shrook

DownloadFree

11. Whistle Phone

Whistle Phone lets you make free inbound and outbound calls from your Mac (within the continental United States). International calls do require you to pay a fee, however.

Whistle Phone

DownloadFree

12. Translator Free

Sometimes it’s inevitable that you bump into a web page that is in a foreign language. Translator Free is a handy utility application that lets you translate any text content.

The application resides in your menu bar and when you need to use it, just drop your text selection or URL onto the icon and a translation window will popup. Translator Free is a simple but very useful application for your Mac.

Translator Free

DownloadFree

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