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Top 10 Mac App Store Apps I Can’t Live Without

Essential mac app store apps

Early in my Mac life, I looked at ten apps that were essential to me at the time. Looking at that list, I realize that my usage has changed a bit over time. Since then, the Mac App Store was born as well. A recent post by Dan Gold on Google+ inspired me to try to list my ten favorite App Store apps. It was hard narrowing that list down to just ten, and even harder ranking these from 1 to 10. Here’s what I came up with.

First, though, a disclaimer. Every app on this list is available in the App Store, although there are two on the list that I purchased outside the App Store as part of bundles. I’ll use an * to designate those.


1. TextExpander*

In my previous list, I wrote about TypeIt4Me, which is a great app and has been around a long time. Both TypeIt4Me and TextExpander are apps that allow you to create snippets of text, and then set up abbreviations to trigger the typing of those snippets. We’ve given you some examples of how this can be useful and make you more productive. TextExpander, though, was one of the apps that came in a bundle, and I switched to it because of the sheer number of iOS apps with built-in support for the iOS version of the app, and because of the ability to sync my text expansion snippets with a Windows text expansion app.


2. Sparrow

Sparrow is an IMAP email client, but where it really shines is in its support of Gmail. It handles labels better than any other desktop client that I’ve seen, and makes it quick and easy to blow through your email. For a longer look at Sparrow, check out our review.


3. Alfred

Okay, time for another disclaimer. I do love Alfred, but I’m currently kicking the tires on LaunchBar to see how I like it. Think of both as Spotlight on steroids, since they allow you to use keystrokes to find and launch apps, perform web searches, execute math calculations, and more. Alfred strikes me as more elegant and easy to use, while LaunchBar seems more powerful. Once I’ve put LaunchBar through the paces, I strongly suspect that I’ll be back to using Alfred.


4. MarsEdit

MarsEdit is a blogging app that I’ve previously written about. There’s not much more to say other than it is the best native Mac blogging app. If you blog, check it out.


5. Acorn

Acorn is an easy to use image editor. I have Pixelmator, too, but Acorn is the app that I always find myself using.


6. Reeder

Reeder is my RSS reader of choice, both on the iPad and on OS X. It’s slick and elegant, and, makes it easy to quickly browse feeds.


7. FileShredder

FileShredder adds a “secure shred” option to the context menu when right-clicking in Finder. I use it after downloading financial information to my desktop. FileShredder deletes it, and then securely overwrites it so that it can’t be recovered.


8. Littlesnapper

I use Littlesnapper to take screenshots when writing articles for 40Tech. It makes it easy to annotate those screenshots as well. I keep meaning to try Skitch, but I have Littlesnapper pretty much integrated into my workflow right now


9. Yoink

Yoink is another app that I’ve already written about. It adds a box to the side of your screen that only appears when you drag an image or file to it. That box acts as a holding area for the file while you swipe between windows. You can get to the app of your choice, and then drag that file into the app.



This is my newest addition. Fantastical is an app that you really have to see to appreciate. It makes the entry of calendar items fun, believe it or not, as it recognizes natural language. It integrates with both iCal and BusyCal.

Honorable mentions:








For some other opinions, check out Dan’s thread on G+. What are your essential Mac App Store apps?