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This article was published on June 27, 2012

The best Mac apps of 2012 so far

The best Mac apps of 2012 so far
Anna Heim
Story by

Anna Heim

Anna Heim is the founder of MonoLibre and a freelance writer for various tech and startup publications. She is a polyglot French news junkie Anna Heim is the founder of MonoLibre and a freelance writer for various tech and startup publications. She is a polyglot French news junkie with a love for technology.

As you some of you may have seen, we recently asked our Twitter and Facebook followers to name their favorite Mac desktop apps of the year so far – thanks again to everyone who sent us suggestions.

After a little in-house brainstorming, we took the decision to add a few apps that were released earlier than 2012, but have become very important in our lives this year. Here’s the full selection we came up with, from blockbusters to hidden gems.

1. Angry Birds Space (Game)

If we live in the same universe, chances are it doesn’t need an introduction, but just in case: Angry Birds Space is the latest installment in the Angry Birds franchise, and one of our personal favorites. Launched in March this year, it is available in the App Store and Google Play, but also on PCs and Macs. A warning though: its full version still costs $4.99 in the Mac App Store, despite the fact that you can now try the game for free on iOS.

➤ Angry Birds Space

2. Snapseed (Photography)

While Snapseed was launched in 2011, it only became available in the Mac App Store last January. Regardless of platforms, it fully deserves to figure among the top apps of 2012; as we reported last week, the photo editing app has amassed a whopping 9 million users over the last twelve months.

➤ Snapseed

3. LIMBO (Game)

Limbo is a hauntingly beautiful black & white game, which you may also have tested in its Xbox 360 version before its Mac launch last Christmas. If you want to buy it, make sure your Mac was made after 2009 – the app is not compatible with older models.


 4. Fantastical (Productivity)

Fantastical, as the highlighted part of its name suggests, is a calendar app that hopes to bring considerable improvements to the built-in services you may be using. Yet, it is now also able to sync with your iCal calendars and iOS reminders, which makes it even more relevant.

➤ Fantastical

5. Sparrow (Productivity)

Sparrow’s tagline says it all: “Get mail done.” – hence its classification in the Productivity category. It makes two apps available on OS X: its full paid version and the free Sparrow Lite. I has been providing support for POP email since version 1.6, which means you can now unify your different accounts.

➤ Sparrow and Sparrow Lite

6. Coda 2 (Developer tools)

Coda 2 is the latest version of the popular Web editor developed by Panic. Building the all-in-one workstation for web development we already knew, it gained over 100 new features and a new UI. As you may have read, Coda 2 is also finally available on the iPad, alongside its slimmed-down edition Diet Coda.

Coda 2

7. Trickster (Productivity)

The recently-relaunched Trickster helps you find apps and files you have recently used – right from your Mac’s menu bar. You can then drop these into any other application, which makes Trickster a big time saver if you are constantly juggling between windows.


8. Gemini (Utilities)

As its name suggests, Gemini helps you find and remove duplicates on your Mac. As we reported, it can scan any location, though the process might take a while depending on the size of your drives. Still, it is very easy to use, and freeing some precious disk space is well worth the small hassle.

➤  Gemini

9. Moom (Utilities)

Created by the indie development studio Many Tricks, well-known for its utility apps, Moom is a window management tool that fixes the main shortcomings of your Mac’s default Zoom button. In practical terms, it gives you advanced control over the size and positioning of your windows – a very useful feature for us multi-taskers.


10. Favs (Social networking)

Favs lets you put all your favorites together in one place – no matter if they come from Google Reader, Delicious, Twitter, Facebook or any other social platform you may be using. Favs’ powerful search tool then makes it very easy to search through your synced favorites.


11. Due (Productivity)

Due is a very complete and fast reminder app, which lets you use natural language to add items to your calendar. However, it remains to be seen whether Mac users who also own an iPhone will still be willing to pay US$9,99 for Due and similar apps once Apple rolls out iOS 6. As you may have read, it will include significant additions to Siri, such as better reminders.

➤ Due

12. BetterSnapTool (Productivity)

Created by the German developer Andreas Hegenberg, BetterSnapTool makes it as easy to move windows around on a Mac as it is with Aero on Windows – as reviewer ‘James Smiley’ puts it, “the one and only feature I’ve ever wanted from Windows 7 to be in Mac OS X!”

➤ BetterSnapTool

13. Skala Preview (Graphics & Design)

Skala Preview is a great tool for app designers working from a Mac – according to our editor Harrison Weber, every iOS designer needs to download it if they want to find out how their creations will look like on the iPhone and the iPad.

Skala Preview

14. Flutter (Entertainment)

Flutter uses your webcam to let you stop and start your music and videos by a simple hand gesture. Enabled applications include iTunes, VLC, Spotify and QuickTime – and this is just a start, as the company is still in alpha mode, meaning that other gestures and functionalities could be added in the near future.

➤ Flutter

15. Found (Productivity)

Found is a powerful search tool that lets you browse your hard drives as well as the content you may have stored in the cloud, for instance in Google Drive and Gmail. More importantly, it is very fast, and you can get back to any recently used file by typing a few characters.

➤ Found

16. MusiXmatch (Entertainment)

As we reported when we reviewed its iOS and Android apps, MusiXMatch Lyrics is the world’s largest official lyrics database. Available as an OS X app since last September, it makes it very easy to display lyrics of your songs while they are playing, and to save these into iTunes.

➤ MusiXmatch – lyrics

17. Cobook (Productivity)

Cobook is a great contact manager that became the first OS X app to be selected as Apple’s ‘Editor’s Choice’ last May. While it is able to sync with your Mac’s standard Address Book, you can also import contacts from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


18. DragonDrop (Utilities)

DragonDrop is a very focused app; its mission is to “make drag and drop on your Mac much easier.” While this may be a bit limited for US$4.99, think about the number of times you copy, paste, drag and drop content each day – and you may change your mind.

➤ DragonDrop

As several of our readers already pointed out, the best OS X app of the year may still have to be released – a reference to the fact that a Retina-ready version of the popular Twitter client Tweetbot will soon land on the Mac.

What are your favorite Mac apps this year? Please share them in the comments, and don’t forget to give a try to our very own Mac app!