What Applications Do I Use on my new Macbook Air?

It was about time to upgrade my 2009 Macbook Pro, and the new 13″ Macbook Air seemed just the right upgrade choice (with 256 SSD drive, 8GB memory and OSX Mountain Lion).

First impression: the Macbook Air is blazing fast and it’s screen is superb.

A new computer is always a good cleanup time. I never auto-migrate from a previous machine, but reinstall everything from scratch.

So, this is a good time as ever to list the applications that made it to the new machine. I may have forgotten to install a few, but this is the initial list:


  • Google Chrome. The best browser in the market.
  • Apple iWork (Pages, Numbers and Keynote). I tried using Microsoft Office in my previous Mac, yet they were running so slow I switched to the Mac alternative. I mainly use Keynote, which beats Powerpoint; Numbers and Pages are ok apps that do the work for me.
  • Dropbox. For all my file sharing needs.
  • Kindle. The OSX version of Amazon’s reading app, where I purchase all my digital books.
  • Task Paper. A very efficient note taking app I’ve been playing with recently.
  • Skype. I hate their application, which is slow and bulky, but I still need it as a communication tool.
  • Team Viewer. For the 24/7 support when my grandma’s computer starts misbehaving.
  • True Crypt. Open source disk encryption software. I’m paranoid about my data.

Coding stuff:

  • iTerm2. Excellent terminal emulator (you probably don’t need it if you are not writing code).
  • Textmate.  An excellent text editor for coders.
  • Sequel Pro. MySql database management.
  • Balsamiq. The easiest sketching app in the market.
  • SvnX. Source control.
  • Base. SQLite3 database editor.
  • Various Ruby on Rails stuff.

I think the most interesting finding was just how few applications I really need. In fact, I could achieve almost all my daily tasks with browser based applications alone. Once, changing a computer took at least a full workday of copying documents, configurations and installing applications. Today, it takes less than two hours. Unless you blog about it.

12 thoughts on “What Applications Do I Use on my new Macbook Air?

    1. I used GIT for my Ruby on Rails project. Good question re SVN. I assume our VP R&D uses it simply because it works well for our current setup.


  1. Just wanted to add a bunch of useful apps: first off Homebrew (to install open-source crap on the Mac with ease), TextWrangler (simplified text editor that doesn't suck ass), KeePassX (password management), MuCommander (as close to Total Commander as it gets) and Omnigraffle (a Visio replacement that's actually better).


  2. +1 on TextWrangler and MuCommander. Some more useful apps I use:
    moqups.com for mockups (no Flash…), IntelliJ (much better than Eclipse IMO, but that's a matter of taste), TotalFinder – tabbed finder with a lot of small tweaks, Alfred – spotlight on super steroids, Onyx for cleanups, Sparrow for email, VirtualBox + Vagrant for VM based coding and testing, ClipMenu for clipboard management


  3. +1 on Balsamiq, it’s been outstanding for doing mockups. We went with the online MyBalsamiq version as it supports collaborative editing and version control. Also like LucidChart.com for quick and dirty flowcharting (again, collaborative).


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