11+ free apps for your Mac
So the buzz is always about the iPad. Or the iPhone. Or the iPod Touch. But we don’t really hear about the applications that are essential for your Mac. Yep, your computer… Your laptop, desktop, whatever you have. These six (free!) apps are a must for you.
Chances are, you sometimes have to write. Maybe for work, maybe you freelance, maybe you’re a student. But if you don’t want to put out the big(ger) bucks for programs Apple’s iWork ($79.00) and Microsoft’s Office 2011 ($149 for Home and Student edition), check out the free, open source OpenOffice. You can even Save As a .doc file for easy transfer to MS Word and iWork.
Although you might love Apple’s Safari browser, a lot of folks aren’t really happy with it. For me, it doesn’t run very smoothly, isn’t as user-friendly (in spite of Apple’s user-friendliness around the board) and is pretty middle ground to what else is out there. Firefox is a good alternative, with many themes, extensions, and add-ons that make it stand above the rest. Google’s Chrome is a good choice, too.
iChat, a pre-installed program, let’s you chat via AIM and Google Talk. But we prefer Adium, an app that supports all chat programs, including AIM, Gtalk and Facebook Chat, and others. It can also be fully customized (see adiumxtras.com). With it, you can edit your friend lists, message styles, sounds, and even create your own using CSS. Oh yeah, and Skype‘s good, too.
Dropbox is an easy to use Web service integrates with the Finder on your Mac, so you can manage your files just as if they were right there on your desktop. It also is easy to share from computer to computer. The program comes with 2GB of free storage.