Essential High Sierra Apps

MacOS High Sierra image
MacOS High Sierra image

A new public beta of MacOS (OS X) 10.13 High Sierra recently dropped and I was asked: Q: “Has your list of Essential High Sierra Apps changed from last year’s list of Essential Sierra Apps? A: “Yes, but, as always, the vast majority of my apps have not changed. I’m still Adobe app, Google app and Microsoft app free.”

This year’s highlighted change is minor, but exciting. I’m currently testing and enjoying a MacOS native, speedy, modern, open-source, plain text editor that is 100% written with Swift. CotEditor app is not as full featured as BBEdit, my choice last year, but it’s a sweet app that integrates perfectly with my MacOS app ecosystem. Usual settings: Toolbar and Tab Bar hidden, Status Bar limited to characters and words, font = Menlo Regular and Syntax style = Markdown. My recommendation, check out CotEditor right now. It’s free.

Here’s my app list for 2017–2018:

Essential High Sierra Apps from Identified Developers

Essential High Sierra Apps from the Mac App Store

and here are my

Most Frequently Used Essential High Sierra Apps:

Most frequently used essential High Sierra apps
Most frequently used essential High Sierra apps

Note: Applications and MacOS 10.13 beta are still being optimized.

High Sierra App Related Comments:

For anyone interested in markdown, my current workflow is:

  1. compose with CotEditor app
  2. preview markdown with Marked 2 app
  3. copy HTML source from Marked 2 app
  4. edit HTML, when necessary, with CotEditor app
  5. post HTML to WordPress.

It’s worth noting that Marked 2 app has survived my markdown journey from BBEdit to Byword to MultiMarkdown Composer to Texts to TypeMetal to Focused to Sublime Text to Atom to Ulysses back to BBEdit and, at least for now, to CotEditor. If you’ll forgive me a Nintendo Switch, ‘Zelda Breath of the Wild’ reference, Marked app is a diamond, not rock salt. Years ago, I decided to write and store my documents as plain text. Marked 2 app allows me to preview rich text no matter which plain text application has my attention. Brett Terpstra, Marked app’s developer, deserves a tip of the hat and your business. Thanks Brett!

FWIW, I won’t be paying to upgrade two of last year’s apps because I haven’t been using them. Great apps, but I no longer find them essential. I’ve removed them from this year’s list. Not naming the applications was not an oversight, it was a small courtesy to the devs.

Bottom line: The Apple MacOS iOS ecosystem can’t be beat and you can’t go wrong with any of my Essential MacOS High Sierra Apps.

Essential Sierra Apps

MacOS Sierra icon

Every year, with the arrival of a new version of MacOS (OS X), I’m asked questions similar to the following: Q: “Has your list of Essential Sierra Apps changed from last year’s list of Essential applications for El Capitan? A: “Of course my list has changed, I find new MacOS apps and new versions of familiar apps irresistible.”

Here’s my app list for 2016–2017:

Essential Sierra Apps from Identified Developers

Essential Sierra Apps from the Mac App Store

and here are my

Most Frequently Used Essential Sierra Apps:

Most frequently used essential Sierra apps
Most frequently used essential Sierra apps

Note: Applications are still being optimized for MacOS Sierra.

Mailmate app
Update (20160916): Well, that didn’t take long! Mailmate app has replaced Apple Mail as one of my top 10 ‘Essential Sierra Apps’.

Comments:

For the last couple of years I’ve boasted, “All of my MacOS apps are 64-bit”. Not anymore, I’ve reinstalled an old friend that remains, stubbornly, 32-bit. I’ve tested a number of 64-bit plain text editors, including Atom Editor, Sublime Text, TextMate, Smultron, Textastic and even Chocolat. Unfortunately, not one meets all of my criteria. BBEdit, my trustworthy, 32-bit buddy, has the correct mix of dependable MacOS-focused development, speedy friendly support, expert community and powerful features. Bluntly, BBEdit is a damned impressive, programable, plain text editor. In my opinion, it’s absolutely worth enjoying it today and waiting until Bare Bones (Rich, Jim, Steve, Patrick et al.) decides their 64-bit version of BBEdit is ready for release.

BBEdit, my trustworthy, 32-bit buddy, has the correct mix of dependable MacOS-focused development, speedy friendly support, expert community and powerful features. Bluntly, it’s a damned impressive, programable, plain text editor.

I’ve also made a u-turn with my markdown editor. BBEdit is nearly perfect for markdown, but, I’m lazy, I love Byword app’s shortcuts. My workflow is:

  1. compose everything with BBEdit
  2. edit markdown documents with Byword
  3. preview markdown with Marked 2 app
  4. copy HTML source from Marked
  5. edit HTML with BBEdit Scratchpad
  6. post HTML to WordPress.

Too many steps? Six steps may seem unnecessarily convoluted, but I’ve tested single-app composing/publishing solutions like Blogo, Desk and MarsEdit and found them lacking. I find the combination of BBEdit, Byword and Marked is far more versatile.

Do you suppose there’s any chance Bare Bones would add a markdown mode or even markdown shortcuts to BBEdit’s ‘Markup’ menu? I’m guessing my laziness and saving a step in my workflow will not make a compelling feature request. 🙂 That said, an ever increasing number of content creators are choosing markdown to format their documents. I wonder if BBEdit’s developers might be intrigued by how much money some markdown apps are earning? There’s not a dedicated markdown app on the market that has BBEdit’s power, but I do love those shortcuts.

I’ve started using Alfred’s clipboard and snippets features. Result: Two dedicated applications eliminated.

I’ve switched out my fairly-sophisticated ‘To Do’ app for TaskPaper. TaskPaper helps me create delightfully simple, plain text, to-do lists that I actually use.

I’m now using PDF Expert.