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Apple Computer OS X Useful Third-Party Software Applications and Utilities

Effective Living > Technology > Apple

20090606sa-apple-imac-desktop-computerSummary. This page offers a list of third-party applications for Apple computers running the OS X (OS 10) Unix-based operating system. These are software applications and utilities that help perform tasks not easily done with the included Apple software. Direct links to information pages are offered below in alphabetical order. Software included with Apple computers isn’t listed below.

  • Adobe Reader by Adobe assists in the viewing and printing of PDF files. Although Apple includes built-in PDF compatibility for viewing and creating PDF files, the Adobe Reader has additional features that are helpful.
  • Audacity by SourceForge.net is a free program for audio recording, editing, and production. When combined with the Lame utility, it’s possible to export to MP3 audio files.
  • Boingo Wi-Fi by Boingo is free software that allows access to Boingo wireless hotspots for about $10 per month.
  • BusyCal by BusyMac.com is a calendar utility program that assists with synchronizing, archiving, and organizing calendar data.
  • Carbon Copy Cloner by Bombich.com is a commercial-grade (but free) utility for creating complete image backups of Apple computers.
  • Callpod Keeper by Callpod.com is a password and information privacy security software program designed to run on desktop computers as well as mobile devices such as the iPhone. With synchronization between devices, it’s possible to have an up-to-date and complete secure database of passwords, financial information, account numbers, and other personal private information.
  • Citrix Client by Citrix Systems is required for some online virtual computing and communications services such as WebEx and Virtual Desktop applications.
  • CleanMyMac by MacPaw.com is a useful program for removing programs, securely erasing data, and clearing out unnecessary files. Be careful with this utility and similar Mac or Windows utilities (like CCleaner) that claim to remove unnecessary files. Sometimes those files are useful, don’t take up much room, and don’t slow down the computer. So, be selective in what you remove.
  • Cocktail by Maintain is “an award winning general purpose utility for Mac OS X. It is a smooth and powerful digital toolset with a variety of practical features that simplifies the use of advanced UNIX functions and helps Mac users around the world to get the most out of their computers.”
  • Cyberduck is a free open-source FTP and Secure FTP client.
  • DeltaWalker by Deltopia is a program for synchronization of drives and folders that can serve as an incremental backup utility.
  • Dragon Dictate by Nuance.com is a voice recognition program that lets you talk to your computer instead of typing.
  • Dropbox is a file synchronization, sharing, and backup services that works with Apple, Linux, and Windows.
  • Encrypt Mail by ApiMac.com is an email client for sending encrypted email messages and attachments. The software is about $30. However, the email recipient doesn’t need to have a copy to receive an encrypted message. It works independently of Apple’s mail program.
  • Epson Printer Utility and Epson Scan are programs for using the Epson multi-function printer-scanner-copier devices. The Epson software for Apple provides nice features for document and image scanning.
  • Evernote by Evernote.com and its associated mobile applications are a useful way to create a universally accessible database of notes. The software will take a picture of handwritten notes and use handwriting recognition to make them searchable.
  • EyeTV by Elgato.com is software included with a digital television tuner card (by the same name) used for viewing cable television and standard television broadcasts received by antenna. The included DVR software allows for recording television broadcasts directly to the computer’s hard drive for playback later, burning to DVD, and/or exporting to various devices.
  • Fetch by Fetchsoftworks.com is an FTP software program typically used when uploading website content to hosting services.
  • Filezilla by Filezilla-Project.org is a free FTP software program available in client and server versions. FileZilla is open source software distributed free of charge under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
  • Firefox by Mozilla.com is a free web browser that sometimes works better than Safari for certain websites. However, Safari is recommended for daily use.
  • Flip4Mac by Telestream.net is available via Apple or Microsoft as a free QuickTime plug-in or add-on codec utility that allows for Windows Media to be played on an Apple computer using the QuickTime player.
  • Google SketchUp is a free 3D computer design program.
  • Google Updater is installed with most Google software for updating.
  • HandBrake is a free open-source program for converting DVD media to videos that can be stored on a hard drive or transferred to a device such as an iPod or iPhone.
  • Hewlett-Packard Image Zone is a suite of software programs for use with the HP multi-function devices. The Image Zone suite of software includes utilities such as Panorama Stitching. Their more basic line of software is accessible through the HP Utility included with the HP Photosmart Premium C309g printer software.
  • iGlasses by Ecamm.com can help improve webcam performance and also allows for video rotation if a camera is mounted upside down or sideways.
  • iShowU HD by ShinyWhiteBox.com is a screen capturing tool that records video and audio from the screen and saves the resulting file as a high resolution video.
  • iUnarchive by De Voorkant is a useful utility for unarchiving a variety of file compression formats. [AppStore]
  • LaCie LightScribe Labeler from LaCie.com is an excellent tool for labeling discs. It’s a companion utility for the LaCie external USB DVD drive with LightScribe technology making it possible to laser etch words and labels onto a disc surface of compatible media. Shorter descriptions with smaller fonts can be etched in about a minute which is much faster than traditional ink printing.
  • Lame is a utility used with Audacity (described above) for exporting MP3 audio files.
  • Livescribe Desktop by Livescribe.com is the software used with the Smart Pen product for transferring audio and written notes from the pen to a computer.
  • MacScan by SecureMac.com is a virus, malware, and spyware detection and removal program.
  • Mactracker is a comprehensive timeline encyclopedia of Apple Macintosh Computer hardware and software that includes screen shots and images of Apple hardware. There is also an iPhone App version of Mactracker available through the iTunes Store.
  • Microsoft Office is the well-known suite of programs that includes Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.
  • NeatWorks is the software from Neat Company that scans documents and receipts. The software performs OCR (optical character recognition) and indexes all scanned documents and receipts for easy search and retrieval later.
  • OpenOffice.org is a suite of programs similar to Microsoft Office, and it includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation program.
  • Paragon NTFS for Mac is a program that lets you read and write NTFS Windows formatted drives.
  • PDFpen by SmileOnMyMac.com is a program for Adobe PDF file editing and creation that includes the ability to perform OCR on existing scanned documents that were previously saved as images. The cost is about $50 and well worth it.
  • PhoneView by Ecamm is a utility that allows for saving of critical iPod and iPhone data and files that are not otherwise accessible using the iTunes software. The software allows for saving of voicemail messages to your local computer, SMS message conversations, and call logs.
  • Picasa by Google is a photo organizing and editing program.
  • Picasa Web Album Uploader is a Google utility for uploading photos and photo albums to Picasa Web the online Google photo sharing service.
  • Pixelmator is an advanced photo editing program similar to PhotoShop or Fireworks that goes beyond the basic editing features of iPhoto. The ability to work with layers and add text or other elements makes this a very useful product. The cost is about $60 and well worth it.
  • R3Cover by ABC Data Recovery is a data recovery program.
  • Readiris Pro 12 by IrisLink.com is an OCR program that helps make scanned documents text searchable. The software is sometimes included with more expensive scanners.
  • Renamer by IncreadibleBee.com is a simple bulk file renamer utility that’s very flexible and easy to use.
  • Second Life Viewer is a portal program that allows access into the Second Life virtual 3D world.
  • Sequel Pro is a mySQL database management program developed in partnership with mjmedia of Australia. It’s very useful for backing up MySQL WordPress websites.
  • SiteSucker by SiteSucker.us is a useful tool for backing up websites.
  • Skype is the popular voice and video conferencing communications program.
  • Soundflower by Cycling74.com is software used by programs such as WireTap Studio to capture audio from websites and applications.
  • Stomp by ShinyWhiteBox.com is a program that converts video from one format to another. It is helpful for converting unusual formats to more compatible ones. Cost is about $30.
  • Stuffit Deluxe by Stuffit.com is a utility for compressing files.
  • SuperDuper by Shirt-Pocket.com is for imaging your drive and making backups.
  • SWF & FLV Player is a program for playing SWF and FLV videos.
  • Taco HTML Edit by TacoSW.com is a program for editing website HTML files.
  • TeamViewer by TeamViewer.com is an excellent screen sharing and remote control/support software program.
  • Tembo – A better way to find files on your Apple computer.
  • Thunderbird by MozillaMessaging.com is a free email client that is useful for opening and then converting and exporting email messages and mailboxes from other email clients to make them readable by Apple Mail.
  • Toast Titanium by Roxio is a software program for creating and copying CDs and DVDs. The software also makes it possible to create disc images of software you have purchased in case of loss or damage to the original media. DVD videos can be converted to video files for viewing on your computer, iPod, iPhone, or similar device. This makes it possible to backup your DVD collection.
  • Turbo.264 HD by Elgato is a video importing and conversion software program that uses a USB device for accelerated video conversion. Turbo.264 HD automatically detects AVCHD camcorders and can convert other video formats such as MOD to standard MPEG4 video.
  • UpperBlip by Blip.tv is a video uploader.
  • VLC by Videolan.org is a highly portable multimedia player and multimedia framework capable of reading most audio and video formats (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, DivX, MPEG-1, mp3, ogg, aac …) as well as DVDs, Audio CDs VCDs, and various streaming protocols.
  • VMWare Fusion by VMWare.com makes it possible to run Microsoft Windows and Windows compatible programs on an Apple computer. By creating virtual computers, it’s possible to have multiple versions of Windows (XP, Vista, and Windows 7) on the same computer while running Apple’s OS X operating system. Backing up an entire Windows computer is as easy as copying the VM Ware Virtual Machine file. Rebuilding your entire Windows computer is as easy as copying a single file from an external hard drive.
  • WireTap Studio by AmbrosiaSW.com makes it possible to record audio directly from the Internet or any application.
  • Wondershare AllMyTube is a program that works with Safari to download FLV video files from YouTube and other websites. It can also convert them into more compatible formats that can be used with iMovie and other programs.
  • XMind is an idea mapping and charting tool that shows connected ideas.

The above applications are recommended, as needed, to provide expanded capabilities for computing and working on the Apple OS and platform.

Document History. This document was first posted on 20091026mo1618. Fetch and UpperBlip were added on 20091120fr1227. On 20100108fr1521, Renamer by Dare to be Creative was added. On 20100111mo1102, SuperDuper by Shirt Pocket was added. On 20100426mo1634, DeltaWalker, Second Life Viewer, and Sequel Pro were added to the above list. ON 20110830tu1000, CleanMyMac, Dragon Dictate, Evernote, iUnarchive, LaCie LightScribe Labeler, MacScan, SiteSucker, Soundflower, Stuffit Deluxe, TeamViewer, and Wondershare AllMyTube were added to the above list. DevonAgent and MacSpeech Dictate were removed. The entry for Renamer was updated to include the current publisher website.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com