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My Favorite Mac, iPhone, and iPad Apps.
My Favorite Mac, iPhone, and iPad Apps.
03/25/12 at 02:00 PM by Jason Tate
I had a few people asking me about different iPhone/iPad/Mac apps that I use on a daily basis. So, with that - I decided to just do a post and list my favorites/most used. Maybe people will find something cool or helpful to their daily tasks/fun. Also, if you have any recs yourself, hit up the comments and let me know. Always looking for new things to check out. Yeah, this is a totally nerdy post - but, it's the weekend and I'm a nerd.


NoteI use it for email daily. Quickest way to answer email, perfect integration with gmail, and a great interface.


NoteMy favorite RSS reader. Integrates with Google Reader (which, after their latest redesign: sucks), has a great interface, and makes keeping up to date on all my feeds easy. Probably my most used app on my computer.

NoteBeing able to take my notes with me wherever I go is great. Sometimes I'm out and have an idea for a blog entry: quickly toss it into evernote and remember when I get home. Jot down ideas for new website features, memos to myself, or just shopping lists. Don't think I could go without it.

NoteThe entire new version of APnet was written in Coda.

Coda 2
NoteI featured Coda 1 on the original list, and after spending a week or so with Coda 2, I feel it deserves to be here. The new interface took some time to get used to, but now I love it. The ability to add a bunch of custom splits has become part of my coding ritual.

Note95% of my music is listened to through Rdio during the day. Their Mac app is great, works with the keyboard, and I am a big fan of the platform and design - hugely inspirational.

NpteI'm not usually on IM, but when I am - I use Adium.

NoteStaying organized and aware of what's going on around the website and my life is a must. I use fantastical for quick and easy access to all my calendars and being able to plan out what we have going on for the day.

NoteTrying to keep up with all the passwords used around the internet ... nearly impossible. I use 1Password to keep track of all the login information I need daily. The ability to set a master password, and then set random (long) passwords for everything ... is great. Plus it integrates with Dropbox and the iPhone app so you can have access to your information wherever you are. Pretty invaluable.

Audio Hijack Pro
NoteSometimes you come across a streaming song or live performance that you want to make sure you can listen to later. For those cases, I use AHP - and have been very pleased at the results.

NoteMy FTP program of choice.

Toast Titanium
NoteI don't burn many things anymore - but if I need to, I use Toast. I use optical drives for just about nothing these days though.

NoteFavorite video converter. Use it to convert things from everything to AP.net videos, to iPad/iPhone watchable movies. Just a great program and easy to use.

NoteUh, hope you don't need to know what this is. Invaluable.

NoteI use it to flip the keys on my keyboard so that I can access launchpad with one button. Also works to control your function keys to do what you want them to do.

NoteI use multiple monitors (only way to go), and sometimes I want to have the screen on my left as a full screen version of a movie or TV show while I'm working. Using the built in Mac programs won't let me do it. VLC does. It will also play just about every single file you throw at it. Which is awesome in itself.

AirVideo Server
NoteRun it on your computer, and then you can stream/access all of your video files on your iPad/iPhone from around the house. Sometimes I'll be sitting downstairs and want to watch an episode of Mad Men -- but I don't want to download the full file to the iPad. Using AirVideo I can just select it and watch it.

NoteHaven't ripped a video from a DVD in a long time. But for those times when I want to rip one and put it on my iPad/iPhone for a long trip - this is what I use.

NoteI love Instagram (more on that when we get to the iPhone section). This program opens up, much like the official Twitter app - and lets you browse your instagram feed. It's awesome to just be able look through all the pictures on your computer. You can't upload pictures or anything (not part of the API) ... but it's perfect to watch your feed and check out all the cool images during the day.


NoteFor torrents - it's my client of choice.

NoteOne things about OSX I don't like is the zoom button (it's the green button on the toolbar), it doesn't do what I am used to it doing (ie: from my years on Windows) -- which is maximize the window to the full screen. Sometimes it does in certain apps, some times it doesn't -- but over all -- I like having most of my windows taking up the full available space. Or I like to have them side by side so I can look at a few different things at once. Moom fixes these issues. You can hover over the green icon and get a few different options for where to put the window on the screen ... not only that but you can add a hotkey (for me I use command shift +) to any of the screen positions you set up in the app. So if I am moving around the system going between a web browser, Coda, and Photoshop ... and somehow my browser window gets moved and isn't how my OCD brain wants it ... I hit the shortcut, and boom, it's maximized again. Very helpful.

NoteThis is a free app that I run when I need to get the color code for a color on the screen. Sometimes I forget it, or see one on a site I like, or just need to quickly duplicate the color code ... open > click > copy > paste. Very simple. Exactly what I need.

NoteWhile expensive, this app saves me countless hours during the day.

NoteI kinda feel this should be a default feature of OSX. It makes it so that when you hit Command+Shift+V you get a little menu that displays the last 10 or so things you've copied to the clipboard. How many times do you copy three or four things and need more than just the last one? I do it daily. Took me a little bit to customize it so that it looks minimal and how I need it ... but now it's one of the most used apps on my computers.

NoteMy twitter client of choice. Great features and layout, all kinds of little things that make using it as much as I do a pleasure (conversation view). One of the apps that is constantly open on my computer. Worth the price.

Well, that's pretty much the gist of my computer set up. Use TimeMachine for back-ups and iCloud/Dropbox for syncing.



NoteIf you use Gmail, this is the app you should download immediately. Great UI and gestures that make sense. Best email app for the iPhone. Easily my most used app on the entire phone.


NoteI wasn't a fan of the new update for the Twitter app. Tweetbot gives me access to everything I want. Great UI. Great features. Love the ability to slide the finger right or left on a tweet and view the full twitter conversation ... or the replies to that tweet. Can keep track of all the accounts. Great app.

NoteIt's installed on my phone, but I think I have too many friends on there for it to work right. It's slow as shit and not very responsive. Eh, still use it when I can though - cause it's FB, and they're massive and a needed part of the internet.

NoteBest RSS reader I've used for the iPhone as well. Does exactly what it should. Looks good. Can keep on all my feeds wherever I am.

NoteRdio's collection of music on my iPhone? Yes please.

NoteOne of my favorite apps on the entire iPhone. Love the mini-social network effect. Love how much fun it is. Great design. Great app. A must download.

NoteAccess to my notes anywhere I am? Man, can't sing this app's praises enough. Only downfall is that the UI could use some polishing IMO.

NoteBasically it lets you control your Macs like a touchpad/keyboard - from your phone. I've got an old Mac Mini hooked up to our TV downstairs, and I use this to control it from the couch. Works great.

NoteLike sports? Like following sports scores? Me too. Except when I get the little push notification telling me that my team sucks. Those aren't as much fun.

NoteHaving access to all my passwords/data in a safe and encrypted program ... is something I use all the time. It's impossible to remember everything, this app helps with that. Multiple times I've been somewhere, and needed to pull out this app to grab some important password/login name.

NoteIt works better on the iPad, but it's an app that basically lets you view your entire computer from the phone. Sometimes I'll be downstairs and wish I had started iTunes so I can stream a movie to the TV. Fire this up, connect to the computer upstairs, turn on iTunes. Easy. Gorgeous interface too.

NoteOut at a bar or something and hear a song in the background, curious who it is? Shazam it. I use this more than I thought I would.

NoteI recently found myself in a situation where I needed to delete a file on the webserver so we could get an exclusive up -- and I was away from my desktop. I used this to FTP into the site, delete the .xml file, and we were good to go. Super nerdy moment -- but the app worked great.

NoteI've used Fantastical on my Mac for quite a long time. I love the easy to use menu bar feature, the ability to enter things into the calendar in plain text, and the simple interface. I use my iPhone calendar far more though -- so I was wary of wanting to switch over and use something new. Feared that it would mess up my daily workflow. Just the opposite. It's the best calendar app for the iPhone yet, and I love it. Immediately became the default calendar app on my dock. Works great, looks great, and gives me a huge view of all the stuff on my calendar each day. Perfect.

Facebook Camera
NoteWorks for the one thing I need it for: batch uploading a bunch of pictures at once. If that were the only feature/function it serves, that's just fine with me. Check off a bunch of photos, upload, tag, done. Way better than having to use the computer to do it.

I use a bunch of finance apps to keep track of accounts, purchases, and budgets. Most of my banks have apps, so I use those, but I use the Mint.com app to keep track of everything at a glance. From stocks, 401k, to individual accounts.
I use AllRecipes for finding good shit to eat. Quora when I'm bored and wanting to read up on shit and learn interesting stuff. Translate to pretend I'm smart and curious about other languages. Google Voice is a must for my "AP.net number" that gets all the calls/texts about APnet related stuff. Dropbox, duh. Netflix (used rarely on the iPhone though), and Redbox for finding movies to rent. That Flixster app is what I use to see what's in theatres and if I should go watch um. WordswithFriends is the only game I have installed on my phone. I don't have a whole lot of time for games, but I have been meaning to download the Batman one.

The Amazon app is pretty awesome for buying stuff or adding it to my wishlist, or doing a price check. And I have been very impressed with the Apple Cards app. I use that thing all the time actually for sending cards to people.

I just started using the new iPhoto app, but so far I like it more than the Camera+ app for editing pictures. And the Diptic app is a lot of fun for making those cool "multiple photos in one picture" things for posting on the social sites.

And if you own an iPhone, make sure you have the "Find My iPhone" installed.


A lot of the apps on my iPad are the same as the ones on my iPhone. Especially if there's a universal app for it. I use Instapad to browse through the instagram feed. It's not great, but it works. And I have Textastic installed if I need to make code changes to the website from my iPad. SketchbookX for quickly sketching notes to myself. MarketDash for watching the stockmarket. I use iBooks for reading stuff, haven't found a great comicbook reader yet though. Anyone?

for use with the server on my Mac. Crackle for some free movies and stuff to watch. TED's app when I'm looking for other video content to make me feel smartz.

Basically everything else are the iPad versions of the stuff above (Tweetbot, Reeder, Rdio).

Diet Coda
NoteI can code from my iPad in the best text-coding app I've ever used for the iPad. I love this thing. I've been doing full on editing/development from the iPad while sitting in front of the TV and never needing to grab my computer. I had one of those "holy shit this is the future" moments after playing with this the first time. Gorgeous app. Love it.

Bamboo Paper
NoteI started using this app for making quick sketches on the iPad of things I want to do. I've found the "ink" looks better when using it ... and it organizes things well for me. If I need to sketch something out quickly, this works quite well.

NoteThe best Instagram client I've found for the iPad. The interface is well done, and it works just like it should. Tried a bunch of different ones, and this is the one that I believe to be the best.

Well, that got way longer than I expected. O well, it was fun -- and now I've got something to update and point people to when they ask. Let me know if you've got anything I should definitely try out for any of the above platforms! Gracious.
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