15 Mac applications for web developers
by Jose • 2 Comments
I have been using Macs for many years now, and through my journey I have found certain applications that have made my life a breeze. Here are my top picks in no particular order.
Category: Text Editor, Website: Macromates, Cost: $58
TextMate is my favorite text editor, I have been using it for years. It does beautiful syntax highlighting, very powerful shortcuts, but my favorite part of all is that it is very lightweight. Most IDE’s take some time before they load up, TextMate just pops right up, allowing me quickly edit files and get along with my work. The “Project” manager also allows you to quickly work with all your files in the same window, which in my case has allowed me to work more efficiently.
Category: SVN, Website: Versions, Cost: $56
Although I am very comfortable with the command line, I am also a very visual person. I have been using Versions since its release for all my SVN needs, and it has surpassed all my expectations. One of my favorite features, is that it allows you to view the history of a file, compare it, or even revert it. It makes history management very easy.
Category: Difference, Website: Coda, Cost: $99
Coda is an amazing application, it allows you to develop easily within one window. It tabs all your current projects, so that you can easily go back and forth between files. One of my favorite features of Coda is its integration with CSS files, allowing you edit properties or add properties with ease. It has integration with SVN so that you can easily develop applications, update and commit your changes very useful if you don’t have an SVN app, or want to use terminal.
Another great feature of Coda is that it is by the same developers of Transmit, so both applications work seamlessly together.
Category: Git, Website: Tower, Cost: $59
Tower is an upcoming client for Git, I have been using it for quite a while, and it has made incredible progress. Currently it is lacking some features, like file comparison, etc… However I spoke with the developers, and they have confirmed that those features are currently in development. Other than that, it is very straight forward, and has made working with Git very easy.
Category: FTP, Website: Transmit, Cost: $34
Transmit is an FTP Client, that’s very straight forward and easy to use. My favorite feature of Transmit is it’s “Favorite Manager”, it was the sole reason I was sold by this product and new I had to have it. I manage a lot of client web sites, and my own, it has made it very easy for me to separate everything. It is by the same developers of Coda, so the two applications work seamlessly together.
My first FTP client was actually Forklift, however with recent versions of their client they seem to be removing a lot of the features that made me favor it, and with the version 2 release, they have made managing a lot of favorites very hard and buggy. Which is the reason I ended up looking for an alternative which became Transmit.
6. Sequel Pro
Category: MySQL, Website: Sequel Pro, Cost: Free
When I was an avid user of Windows, I loved using SQLyog, it made working with databases very fast. When i moved to Mac, there wasn’t a Mac version available and I used VMware Fusion in order to run it. However that caused a few problems, eventually I came across Sequel Pro, and have come to love it. Although it doesn’t have as many features as SQLyog, it does a wonderful job at allowing me to manage databases easily.
I have used Querious as well, however I find it to be a little slow when having to deal with a large number of databases and tables, which is why I continue to use Sequel Pro.
Category: SSH, Website: Sequel Pro, Cost: $79
I am a very heavy user of SSH, specially when I have to manage a large number of servers from different client’s it becomes a tedious task to remember all of them. Zoc allows you to group different servers together, add custom scripts/shortcuts so you can use it on any machine, allowing you even save the passwords for the machines.
I used SecureCRT for a while, however since it’s a fairly new product on the market for Macs, it’s still has a lot of catching up to do in regards to features compared to ZOC.
Category: Password Manager, Website: 1Password, Cost: $39
This application has been one of my favorites, so much so that I wrote an article about it. When you are a web developer, you have to manage different sites, and log ins, this is just a very easy and convenient way to do it all. Read my review to give you an idea of how to use this application for personal use, or with your clients.
9. Gas Mask
Category: Hosts, Website: Gas Mask, Cost: Free
Staging and preparing domains for launch is something that can sometimes be a chore, specially when your trying to test various servers to make sure they are working properly. Gas Mask has been a very useful tool for me, allowing me to switch between hosts file and flushing the cache for me, something that I would normally have to do manually. This has been a huge help to me during any type of server migration.
Category: Color Picker, Website: Pochade, Cost: $9.99
On windows my favorite color picket was Pixie, unfortunately they don’t have a Mac version, luckily however there does exist Pochade. It has similar capability, allowing you to select any color from the screen, I used to have to take a screenshot and launch Photoshop just to get a simple color, this has solved all my problems. The fact that it lives in the menu bar and not the dock makes it even better since it doesn’t clog up your dock bar.
I do use ColorSchemer Studio when I do a bit of heavier color picking, since it has a large number of additional features, however it lives in the dock bar and I don’t need it open it all the time, which makes Pochade a very light weight solution if you need to easily pick a color from your screen.
Category: Screenshots, Website: Skitch, Cost: Free with optional paid version
Often times when I work with customers or team members, I need a way to provide them with a screenshot along with, arrows or text to explain what might be happening in the screenshot I just sent them. Skitch does a wonderful job of doing just that, allowing you to highlight certain areas of the screenshot, add text arrows, and it even lives on the dock or the menu bar whichever you find more convenient. Not only that but it allows you upload it to their site or your own FTP server, giving you a friendly URL you can share with your friends.
Category: Storage, Website: Dropbox, Cost: Free with optional paid version
I have been using Dropbox for quite some time and I must say I love it. The fact that I can sync it on all 3 of my computers, including my phone makes it ideal to easily store files without the need for me to carry a thumb drive. It also gives you public links (optional) that you can share with your friends, giving you a easy solution to share files with customers or colleagues.
Category: Difference, Website: Kaleidoscope, Cost: $42
Kaleidoscope is built by the same developers of Versions, I have been using this since it’s release and its a very nice piece of software to compare file differences. It works seamlessly with Versions or Git, and have many more features than FileMerge that comes with the Mac OS.
It is very easy to use, you can even drag files into two the two panes, to compare files individually.
14. VMware Fusion
Category: Virtualization, Website: VMware Fusion, Cost: $79.99
With all the recent changes in technology, I have really come to embrace virtualization. I have used VMware Fusion to load my old Windows applications that don’t exist on a Mac, and even test all the different versions of Internet Explorer. The biggest caveat of VMware fusion is that I completely dropped MAMP or MacPorts from my machine to run server environments in favor of running actual servers on my machine. This has saved me countless hours of debugging, or potentially breaking my system trying to get server technologies to work properly on my machine, when I already know how to make them work on Linux environments. If you haven’t already please check out my tutorial on virtualizing Ubuntu Server under VMware Fusion, trust me it’s the safest and smartest way to go.
AppZapper, Cost: $12.95
All these applications are good and dandy, however it took me a while of trial and error to try to find some applications that I met my expectations, and uninstalling was part of my daunting task. A solution to this problem is presented by Austin Sarner, he created a wonderful app that allows you to easily uninstall applications. Although it may not be a true web developer application, I would like to throw it in here, since finding applications for web development is a lot of trial and error, and you should have a way to completely uninstalling something you don’t want to clog up your system.