I was a devout web client proponent for a long time, but at some point, the Gmail UX became so cluttered and busy, it required me to use Simplify, a web extension to “clean up” the default gmail user interface. As I was experimenting with alternate browsers, extension support became spotty, so I needed to find an alternative. Mimestream finally emerged from a very long beta process and I found it to be a better option. I think I would prefer going back to using Simplify, but ¯\(ツ)/¯
As an early adopter of Bear, I was desperately waiting for its version 2 upgrade. I was this close to switching to Obsidian, but after years of waiting, they recently released the long-awaited upgrade, and I’m now a happy camper. I really do not like Notion, but I have to admit there is no better option if collaboration is a must.
Another one with a long wait for an update that recently arrived. So far, I think version 4 is… OK. It still does what I need it to do (I’m not a scripting power user, but I need more than just basic Reminders) and switching costs are high.
I’m a long-time Lightroom user (back in the Classic era) and for the most part, I’m onboard with Adobe’s modernization of the product. I hate that there are still disparities between the desktop application and the iPad version, but I’ve also given up on the thought that I can realistically solo travel with just an iPad, so that frustration has waned a bit.
I’m not a calendar power user, but I do need more than the built-in apps from Apple or Google. I get grumpy every time I need to jump over to the Google Calendar web interface to get something done, but that’s become less of an issue over time.
Cloud File Storage
Dropbox is the default, iCloud for app storage.
RSS powers my information consumption, and I really like Reeder. My RSS reader is one app that I really need to have on all my devices, and thankfully Reeder fits that bill exceptionally well.
I would use Safari except for one absolute dealbreaker: When you specify a “Homepage” for new tabs (I prefer the fantastic A Fine Start) Safari inexplicably removes focus from the address bar! So you can’t ⌘T to a new tab and start typing a url or history search. It’s absolutely maddening! Orion at least gives me the lightweight browser and sane behavior defaults.
I use Arc for active web development (I prefer Chromium dev tools to any of the other options).
Bare bones for a chat app, but universal enough among my network to be the only viable game in town.
I save for later and batch curate. Raindrop also fills my “Read Later” need (I might benefit from a more dedicated service, but this works well enough for me.
I just get by with the free version, as I’m not sure that I can get my family to adopt something like this; it’s more than enough for a recurring grocery list.
I use Plex as my media backend, and Plexamp is actually a decent music playing app on all the platforms I use. I still mostly buy my core listening music and use Amazon Music and Sonos Radio for everything else.
I was a long time Downcast user, but eventually ran into enough quirks and bugs that it felt like the right time to switch. I don’t have power user needs here – I only listen to a handful of podcasts at the end of the day.
I feel like the quality of the app has been on the decline, but the family password management is essential, and I refuse to tie my passwords to a platform vendor (when I use multiple platforms). I really hope they can right the ship and polish up the user experience.
A weather app with personality. Enough said.
Some Development Apps & Utilities
I have been tempted by Raycast, but really Alfred does everything I require it to. It also serves as my clipboard manager, which is a must-have.
In reality, they are converging. I’ve bounced between both. Intellij has better end to end integration, whereas VS Code is a great light-weight editor.
I love Tot as a place to just put random text that I will need at some point. Sublime I use for scratch and a shell buffer.
Been using iTerm2 since… forever? I could probably get away with just using the bare terminal, but Apple isn’t concerned about the terminal experience, so I would rather be using an app by a developer that cares.