I’m getting an early start on this list this year. This will be some of my most used apps, with a special emphasis on apps that have seen significant updates in the last year.
I’ll follow this post up with a couple more: definitely one for my favorite personal projects in 2022, one for hardware, and maybe one for iOS apps of note. There may even be a followup to this post if I have some honorable mentions or an app gets a major update before the end of the year. Watch for those in December/January.
Apps available on Setapp will be noted. As I mention frequently, Setapp is a great deal at $10/month for 100+ excellent apps. If you’re a Setapp user, you should always try to use the Setapp version of your favorite apps to make sure the developer gets a piece of your subscription!
- Affinity Photo 2
- Just out last month, all three Affinity apps from Serif have seen a major upgrade. I covered some of the new stuff in Photo on Overtired #307, but suffice to say they made significant changes that made some amazing apps even better. Photo especially is now a true contender for Photoshop.
- My favorite diff app changed hands again, this time to some indie developers who have shown it some real love. It’s expensive, but if you know you need an app like this, totally worth it.
- Another app stole Curio’s name this year, but I’m talking about the one from Zengobi. Curio gets very regular updates and has put out some major versions this year alone. With the number of features it packs into a brainstorming/research/project management app, it’s amazing that there are even new features left to add, but George always finds a way.
- Just a mention of what is still my favorite Regex pattern tester. I’ve mentioned it many times before, so I won’t bore you, but I use it so often I’d be remiss to leave it off the list.
- CleanShot X Setapp
- Holy cow this app is crazy good. If you take screenshots, you need CleanShot X. I couldn’t begin to list all of its features in this post format, but let me say it does everything you could hope for in the most elegant possible ways. Just try it. Seriously.
- If you like TaskPaper, check out the new outliner from the same developer. Simple, elegant, great keyboard shortcuts, and portability to a variety of useful formats.
- A great new terminal app that adds a lot of unique features, including AI command suggestions, great autocomplete, terminal sharing, and the ability to copy blocks of output with keyboard shortcuts.
- CleanMyMac X Setapp
- This app just keeps getting better. In addition to cleanup and optimization, it also does malware detection/removal, secure file deletion, and thorough app removal.
- It keeps all your Mac apps up to date, notifying you of updates, providing release notes, and offering one-click updating of everything on your system. Top notch.
- DaVinci Resolve
- If you want to edit video but don’t care to shell out hundreds for Final Cut, you’ll be amazed that this app is free. Pro-level features, zero money down.
- HoudahSpot Setapp
- The best way to find files on your Mac. If you think Spotlight is handy, wait ‘til you see what HoudahSpot can do.
- A lot of similar apps have come out in the last few years, but none have done as good a job as Choosy, in my opinion. If you use multiple web browsers and want to decide in which one to open any given link, make Choosy your default browser. Popup browser selection, plus “rules” for handling specific link types.
- BetterTouchTool Setapp
- I don’t think I need to tell you how much I love BetterTouchTool. This year saw many new features, but most significantly Andreas added Stream Deck support and my Stream Deck has never been this useful before.
- Hookmark Setapp
- Hook rebranded as Hookmark and joined Setapp this year. If you want to create stable links between any two or more elements on your system (web pages, documents, images, even deep linked todo items and notes), check out Hookmark.
- I’m not sure anything will ever pull me away from MailMate. It’s my email tool of choice. Power without compromise.
- iThoughts X Setapp
- Still my favorite mind mapping app on the Mac. This opinion hasn’t changed for years, and I love that Toketaware has released a Setapp version.
- Dash Setapp
- Dash puts documentation and cheat sheets for all of your favorite programming languages, APIs, and tools on a hotkey with great search and keyboard navigation. A daily app for me.