14 free and cheap apps to beef up your Apple Mac

“The Mac comes with an array of basic software already built in. The Mail and iCal software provide satisfactory e-mail and scheduling, Safari is a good Web browser, and TextEdit performs basic text-editing and word-processing tasks. But you’re probably going to want more,” Mitch Wagner writes for InformationWeek.

“What follows is a list of more than a dozen free or cheap applications to help beef up your Mac. It starts with a few essentials: Applications that virtually every Mac user will find valuable. Then I move on to describe applications that are great for users with specific needs,” Wagner writes. “Ten of these applications are free, one is donationware, and the other three are priced under $30.”

Wagner covers:
• Quicksilver
• Adium
• SplashID
• 1Passwd
• Firefox
• Camino
• TextExpander
• Chicken of the VNC
• Flip4Mac
• Skype
• MT-NewsWatcher
• Synergy
• USB Overdrive
• Office alternatives (iWork ’08, NeoOffice, Mellel, Nisus Writer, Zoho, Google apps)

Full article here.


  1. Two browsers on the list? Come on!

    One of my favorites is Witch – it’s like Command-Tilde, which switches between open documents and not just apps like Command-Tab. However, Witch works all the time (Command-Tilde will only work with certain apps – Cocoa?), is free, and almost infinitely customizable.

    Also, of course, Onyx – free and keeps the system clean. Many others out there like it, too.

    Finally, MacOSaiX (not sure on the spelling). It does only one thing but does it well – it will make a mosaic out of any source picture using pictures on your hard drive, from Google pics, or from Flickr, or all 3. You can choose the size of the mosaic, as well. And it’s free, too!


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