Fluid is an app for making your favorite websites into desktop apps. Tell it what site you’d like to transform, and it’ll make what’s called a site-specific browser for that site. Fluid then puts an app in your dock for easy access. Site-specific browsers are just what they sound like: browsers dedicated to accessing pages from a single source. It’s nice to be able to access your favorite websites just like you access desktop apps, and, if used properly, Fluid can really help you stay focused.
Hate trying to remember every single password for every account you have? 1Password is a fantastic password manager that secures all your passwords in a fully-encrypted vault, which you then access by using your master password.
If your Mac ever gets stolen, you’ll be glad you installed Undercover. The stolen device recovery app lets you track your computer’s location as soon as the perpetrator connects to the Internet. When they do, Undercover allows you to remotely log on to your Mac, log all of the activity, and even take screenshots of the person who robbed you.
Free alternative: Prey
iOS notifies you when your apps should be updated, so why can’t OS X do the same? AppFresh adds this kind of functionality to your Mac and makes sure that all of your applications, widgets, preference panes, and app plugins are up to date.
GeekTool is a free desktop customization tool for your Mac. It allows you to use shell scripts to add things like date/time indicators, weather info, or even RSS feeds to your desktop. Even if you’re not a code guru, the GeekTool website has a long list of user scripts (called Geeklets) that you can snag and install with ease.
If you live or work with Windows users, you’ve probably encountered a few frustrating situations in which you need to modify files from an NTFS formatted hard drive but couldn’t because your Mac can’t write to NTFS. Paragon changes that and makes it easy for you to create, delete, or modify files on NTFS hard drives from the comfort of OS X.
App Zapper touts itself as “the uninstaller Apple forgot,” and that’s a pretty apt description. Oftentimes, when you drag a file or program to the trash and delete it, there are other files associated with it that remain on your Mac. App Zapper fixes this problem and finds all files associated with whatever you’re deleting, giving you the option of throwing them out as well.
Free alternative: AppCleaner
There are plenty of disk analytics apps out there, but none of them can match the style and simplicity of Daisy Disk. With an awesome visual layout, it helps you quickly determine what’s taking up space on our drive and provides tools to help you clean it up.
Little Snitch is a permissions blocker that lets you control all of your incoming and outgoing connections. If you’ve got a program that you don’t want connecting to the Internet, Little Snitch can block it for you. You can set it to block things just once, until you quit, or forever. It’s really nice for control freaks like us who prefer to know everything our Mac is doing.
Alternative: Hands Off is extremely similar and it’s also $5 cheaper.
Not so fond of Apple’s native Mail application? Give Thunderbird a try. Developed by Mozilla (the same group who brought us Firefox), Thunderbird is packed with powerful and intuitive features, but isn’t very complicated to use.
Adium is a multi-protocol instant messaging client that can bundle all of your accounts into one simple application. Just tell it which services you use (AIM, MSN, Google Talk, Facebook, etc.) and it’ll pull all of your contacts and organize them into a unified space with a clean UI.
You’ve reached the end of the list! We know for a fact that we’ve left out tons of good ones, so we invite you to share your favorites with us in the comments below!
On a budget? Check out our list of the best free software applications.