Andrew "Drew" Ford

Full Stack Developer / Instructor from Tauranga, New Zealand

Best Mac and iOS apps of 2012

This is my list of favourite apps for 2012 in no particular order across a range of devices and OS. 2012 has been an amazing year for apps, the quality of independents creating beautiful intelligently designed apps is awesome. Almost all the stock apps on my devices have been replaced by better third parties. I look forward to 2013 to see what new ideas are launched on the App Store and hope to join the ranks of these developers with my own app Caleriffic.

iPhone apps

  • Tweetbot - still the best twitter application with a ton of power user features and nice gestures. Synchronising between iPad and iPhone is also a killer feature.
  • Pocket - late this year I made the move to Pocket from Readability due to the ability to save video and having a desktop app on OSX were the features that made me change.
  • Instacast - if your serious about listening to podcasts this is the app to have. Being able to subscribe and download podcasts direct from the app with background downloading is the killer feature. I also find I listen to most podcasts at 1.5x must be because us Kiwis talk a lot faster.
  • Fantastical - great replacement for the calendar on the iPhone. Quickly see in advance what is coming up in advance with its nice views, gestures and search. Best feature is being able to add events with normal English to clicking, just type away and it will work out what your trying to say in real time.
  • Timer (by app cubby) - I use this app pretty much daily especially when cooking. Being able to have a huge range of timers setup ready to go especially on the iPhone 5 longer screen is awesome. I never let anything burn now and I can see multiple countdowns at a glance.
  • Google Maps - The media made a big deal about the standard maps app for iOS 6 being a disaster. In my own experience I didn't find too many issues with it. But I found the smart design of the Google Maps app to be better. Being able to easily. Do fuzzy searches for directions and get quick estimates of drive times made me switch not long after launch.
  • Launch Center Pro - quick access to actions is the aim of this app, another from app cubby on my list. Being able to quickly toggle the brightness, open apps to certain actions like open the camera on Camera +, or making a hot dial to your partner.
  • Checkmark - this is how the Reminders app for iOS should be. Having context of location is the best. I can setup reminders so next time I'm at the hardware store it will remind me to pick up the outdoor cleaner.
  • Letterpress - this is the word game you want to play on iOS. My partner and I continually have a game in session. We're still not bored weeks after we first started playing.

iPad apps

  • Gmail - the latest version 2 of Gmails app is quite good. It has push notification support, important now that Google will not be supporting new activations of Active Sync.
  • Foldify - make awesome little printable characters from your ipad.
  • Shuttersnitch - - wirelessly send images from your camera (using a Eyefi card) directly to your ipad.
  • Day One - hands down the best journaling app available. Great UI, with support for Markdown and Dropbox support to sync between iOS and OSX.

OSX apps

  • Task Paper - this is my task list app for projects. A great simple text list that allows you to quickly capture ideas/tasks just as if you we're writing on a piece of paper.
  • Menu Mate - quickly have access to the menu where your cursor is with a key shortcut or better yet with a mouse gesture.
  • Divvy - Windows management allowing you quickly resize windows with a grid from the menu bar or setup shortcuts for the keyboard.
  • Day One - Same as above for the desktop.
  • Sketch - This is the graphics application I use for both web and iOS design. It's doing dome of the most innovative things with graphics applications. Support for retina export with a simple checkbox. Export of CSS for your design. The app layout also doesn't try and mimic photoshop.
  • Flycut - clipboard manager with history and visual overlay.
  • Sparrow - still the best email client when working with gmail accounts.