Table of contents
- Awesome Software
- Worth remembering
A comprehensive list of apps I use + interesting apps I have to keep record of.
Services and apps self-hosted and running on my server can be found in the Server Jar item.
Right now on my MacBook Pro 13” 2019:
- Adobe Lightroom Classic, alas, the best photo editing software out there. I hate Adobe, but it works so damn good. I’m doing my best to completely switch to the two following programs but, damn, it’s so hard. Also: I have to keep Lightroom on my device because it’s impossible to move photography edits committed with Lightroom to Darktable.
- Adobe Photoshop. I tried living without it. I couldn’t. Hands down, it’s the best visual editing software in the world. You could do anything with it.
- Android File Transfer, the name says it all. It’s simple and it works great.
- AppCleaner is not open source, but, damn, it’s so useful I have to keep it.
Audacity, audio editing software. I know, I have Garage Band which is awesome but… Audacity works the same way anywhere.I need very little sound editing, mixing, etc: GarageBand is fine; furthermore, it’s neat, simple and quick.
- Backtrack, the Holy Graal for university students which get easily distracted (me). It allows you to recover audio up to 5 hours before. It’s not Open Source and I payed 2€ for it. Totally worth it.
balenaEtcher, the safest, simplest and quickest software to flash OS images to external drives.I wasn’t using it so much.
BitBar, run any plugin from the top bar. I didn’t use it.
BlackHole, to share any file. Fast and private. Based on Blockstack.It’s useless.
Blockstack, ideally, it’s something awesome, definitely game-changing.Practically, it doesn’t work on my Mac (I tried everything). I uninstalled and I’m not using it, then.
- Clean Me, an Open Source, better, neat and perfectly working alternative to CCleaner written in Swift.
- Comma Chamelon, editing CSV files.
- CopyQ, a clipboard history recorder, which keeps a record of all copied text and items. It saved my life several times
Darktable, widely used (still, not the first option for pros) photo editing software. I wish I’d love it but, damn, it’s so friggin complicated. Using Lightroom. I’m sorry, but it simpler, faster, nicer.
Digikam, a photo management software. I don’t have time to learn it and it isn’t so essential.
- dupeGuru, a file (specially images) duplicate finder. It would be fantastic, but it doesn’t work with more than 200 photos, for me.
- DWAgent by DWS Service, a great, simple and lightweight VNC, thus a program which allows you to access your computer remotely from any web browser.
- Espanso, a wonderful text expander
- FileZilla, the best and most used FTP.
- Final Cut Pro, again, pricey and proprietary, but it’s so optimised for MacOS, thus so fast, that I really need it to edit with ease videos I need to have ready in a short time.
- Mozilla Firefox, the best browser ever.
- Firefox Developer Edition, to debug and improve Web Design and front-end Web developement experience.
- FreeTube, a private, simple, nice desktop client for YouTube.
GIMP</a>, photo manipulation and editing software. Better known as the Photoshop free alternative, it’s full of resources and it misses almost no feature, but it’s so so so messed up and confusing (as Photoshop is). Too much stuff in too many different places.I tried as hard as I could, but it was too stressful. Back to Photoshop
- GitHub Desktop, to easily manage stuff when GitUp and git from terminal don’t make sense.
- GitUp, the best GUI interface for git.
Get It, a GUI interface for
youtube-dl. Basically, a tool to download videos from YouTube.
- Gifski, to create GIFs
- GPG Keychain</a>, to store and handle PGP Keys.
- HandBrake, anythin you need to do with video files, it gets it done (in a short or eternal amount of time).
Hidden Bar, to hide itchy icons from the menu bar. If the status bar is set to be hidden automatically, it doesn’t make sense to hide icons inside it.
- Inkscape. Anything with graphics? Use this. I definitely love it.
- iTerm, a feature-packed terminal emulator.
- Jami, peer-to-peer unlimited video and voice communications. On paper it’s the go-to for everyone and I love it’s philosophy. Unfortunately, it still has a few bugs which make it impossible to use it regularly.
- Jitsi Meet, a video conferencing service which can be self-hosted. Since it should work only on Google Chrome browser, I installed the Electron-based app.
Joplin, basically it’s just a note-taking application, but it has anything else you can think of. Switched to Obsidian.
Karabiner-Elements, keyboard remapping. I use it to swap the. It’s too complicated to configure and even using Goku it’s a mess.
esckey with ⇪, for a better usability in vim
⇪can be remapped to
escfrom MacOS settings, without the need to install anything else.
- KeePassXC, A community maintained fork of the popular discontinued KeePassX application with more features and frequent updates.
- Keybase, a great secure messaging service.
LBRY, the first digital marketplace to be controlled by the market’s participants rather than a corporation or other 3rd-party. Basically, a healthier version of YouTube. I’m using the web client only, the app is not worth it.
LibreOffice, the best open Office Suite.for my needs, the default Apple office apps are more than enough. If I need a file in
.odt, I export in
.docxfrom Pages and I convert it in
MacDown, a markdown editor which has everything I need. I don’t use it much since I have both Joplin and Vim to open and editusing MacVim + Marked 2, instead.
.mdfiles, but it’s very lightweight and it’s handy to have an app to view and edit them on the fly.
- MacVim, gvim for MacOS. pretty nice to edit files on the go.
MEGAsync, the synchronization app for MEGA Cloud service.I’m not using anymore. Nextcloud + Cubbit only.
- NetNewsWire, the best RSS reader ever. I sync it with Feedbin.
- Nextcloud desktop client.
OmegaT, a translation memory application written in Java. I use it to translate MDN articles for Mozilla Italia.I don’t use it that much
- Obsidian, the best markdown-based knowledge management software ever!
- OnionShare. Stop using WeTransfer! Use this.
ONLYOFFICE, the office provider I use, synced with my Nextcloud instanceLibreOffice is enough
Openwhyd, an open-source platform to discover and share music. Basically, a Spotify alternative to save and share playlists. Nothing changes from the web interface to the app. I’m using it from the browser.
- OpenVPN Connect, the desktop client for OpenVPN, which I host on my server.
- PDF Expert, PDF Swiss Army knife. Not open source and quit pricey, but it does its job very well. I got it with a students’ 30% discount.
- Pock, to move the Dock in the Touch Bar.
- Pocket, save articles for later. It’s not Open Source but I use it anyway because it’s owned by Mozilla (and I love Mozilla and I have so many pages there that transferring them someplace else would be painfully annoying.
- Protonmail Bridge, an app which allows me to access and use my ProtonMail account from Apple Mail.
ProtonVPN, a security-focused VPN developed by CERN scientists from the ProtonMail team. It’s free, but I pay for it, it’s a great service. Switched to self-hosted OpenVPN
- qBittorrent, the best and lightest torrent client you can find out there.
- Rectangle, a window management app which allows to resize windows quickly with a simple keystroke.
- Signal, the best encryption system in the world, easy and fast communication, plus, it’s owned by a non-profit. Thus, a healthier WhatsApp.
Skype, you know it. Proprietary software, ouch.Using alternative services only.
smcFanControl, Control the fans of the Mac to make it run cooler. Not used it once.
Sozi, a presentation tool which uses SVG images to create zooming and panning animations. It’s astounding how cool it is.Not much used.
- Spotify, to listen to music by paying and using propietary software. Any legal affordable solution? I can’t find one. I’m stuck with this.
Sub It, a GUI interface for
Subliminal, a tool to download movie subtitles ithout ads
- Telegram, WhatsApp on steroids. I wish the back-end software was Open Source, too.
- Timer, sometimes it’s quicker to set it from the laptop than from my smartphone
The Desk, something like TweetDeck for Mastodon (and all of the Fediverse apps). Never actually used it. The web client is nicer and just works.
- Tor browser, to navigate online completely anonimously
- TweetDeck, to tweet as bad as I can. Obviously, this is a very bad propietary software.
- uTox, a tiny, light super-private, peer-to-peer app to chat with my geek privacy-obsessed friends.
- VLC, to watch anything.
- Tor Browser, when I feel a VPN isn’t enough.
- WhatsApp, well, you know it. Owned by that monster called Facebook and surprisingly free but, guess what? Propietary software.
Zettlr, fully-featured Markdown editing app. Switched to Obsidian
- Zoom, you all know it. I’m not a fan and if it was for me I’d use Jitsi Meet only, but I need it to access my university’s classes.
- Homebrew, MacOS package manager
- git, a VCS no one can live without.
- Vim is the best text editor in the world, and it’s more than that; it’s a philosophy, a lifestyle. Actually, it’s preinstalled on UNIX-based OSs, but I installed Neovim which is so great. I use it on a daily basis and I love it.
- Animated QR code generator
- Exposé, a simple and beautiful static site generator for photoessays
- fzf, a fuzzy finder which works in some way with Vim but I’m still figuring it out.
- gitupdate, to commit and push updated files with file names as commit message
- massren, batch files renaming using a text editor (works great with vim). It’s developed by the same developer of Joplin
- ExifTool, an awesome and extremely useful little tool to edit almost anything in an image EXIF data. I use it to rename my images based on the date and time I shot them. Here’s my Cheat Sheet, which I use myself to get things done, since I don’t remember ExifTool commands from time to time.
- yst, create static websites from YAML data and string templates
- pandoc, a lovely swiss-army knife for document conversion. NOTE: I admire its genius creator, he’s a Philosopher developer whose name is John MacFarlane
megacmd, a command-line tool to do actually anything with Mega, not using MEGA anymore
- m-cli, Swiss Army knife for MacOS
- nb, a CLI-based text editor. I’m still figuring out how to make it work
mancrowd-sourced alternative made of super insightful examples
- Subliminal, a tool to download subtitles
- csvdiff, compare CSV files
- xsv, CSV management tool.
- [you-get](https://you-get.org "you-get"), to download stuff from the internet
- youtube-dl, a tool to download videos (and audios) from YouTube
I use Firefox as my main (and only) browser, the awesome extensions I use are listed in a dedicated note: Firefox.
AGESCI, to manage and check my scouting camps and activities. I don’t need an app for this.
- AndFTP, to perform on-the-go FTP transfers to my server while. Not open source.
- andOTP, 2FA app
- AnonAddy, mobile client for AnonAddy.
- AnySoftKeyboard, simple, neat and lightweight yet feature-rich keyboard. Settings are a bit messy.
- Audius, Audius Music mobile client.
- Banca Etica, internet banking for Banca Etica. It’s not open source and it works very badly. Considering to disinstall it, since the web client is exactly the same.
- Bandcamp, mobile client for Bandcamp.
- Barinsta, a lightweight Instagram client for Android. You can’t post from there, but you can search and view public stuff without having to login.
- Bible Study
Blokada, efficient and powerful ad blocker. It has some issues working with VPN on, still trying to fix it. Not compatible with VPN.
Book Reader, a book reader with a simple UILibrera Reader is way better.
- BOOM, an app to fully access my two UE BOOM 2 speakers’ features
- Cythara, guitar tuner
- DAVx5, to sync contacts, calendar, and reminders via WebDAV
- Deck, Nextcloud Deck mobile client
Etar, a simple, light and very nice calendarit was a lie, it was old and I fear its development is discontinued. Replaced it with Simple Calendar Pro.
- F-Droid, a FOSS app store. My aim is to quit Google Play completely and just use this; almost there.
- FairEmail, the name says it all
- Fedilab, an Android client to post to the Fedicerse, I use it for Mastodon and Pixelfed.
- Freezer, stream super high quality music from Deezer, for free
- FeedMe, an RSS reader app which syncs with Feedbin
- FiLMiC Pro, a super powerful app to boost video shooting from the phone and tweak as much settings as possible. I paid for it and it’s not open source, because -unfortunately- there’s no app like it.
- I don’t care about bells and whistles while browsing on mobile, since I mostly read articles and quickly search stuff, one page at a time. Thus, I use Firefox Focus as my main mobile browser: it’s extremely minimal, it has built-in tracking and ad blocking and it’s blazingly fast.
Firefox Send, to send files up to 2.5GB, with server-side encryption. I hate to say it, but it’s not completely bug-free.Project temporarily discontinued.
Flickr, to access my photo storage. As of right now, this is also the only not-open-source service I’m paying for. I won’t lie: price ain’t that low, but it’s a pretty solid service. Switched to Piwigo.
Frost, lightweight open source Facebook client for Android. I deleted my Facebook account.
- I’m not a music expert, definitely, but I am a music enthusiast and I listen to tons of different songs every day. I use Genius to learn more about what I listen to and who wrote it. It’s not open source but, again, there’s nothing as good nor even comparable to it.
- GitHub, when geek attraction to software can’t wait for me to get back to my desktop.
GitJournal, intended to be a note editor to be synced with GitHub, but I use it to update this website on the go.MGit is more functional
H20 Icon Pack, look how gorgeous it looks. No icons displayed anymore: I’m turning my smartphone a boring tool
- Loop Habit Tracker, to keep track of daily accomplishments. Feature requests and bugs are here
- Hype, money stuff. Proprietary software. (Nevertheless, an awesome service)
- Hourly Reminder, I often lose track of time and I get distracted very easily. This app helps a tiny little bit, reminding me time is flowing and I need to get things done!
- I can’t chat with God, but sometimes I read what he says. I use iBreviary to do it. Non-free software.
- Image Editor, not open source, but it’s free. I love it. Basically, it’s an Android version of Photoshop. You can do anything to a photo with it.
- Imaging Edge Mobile, to import images from my Sony camera. I hould’ve said “quickly import”, but no, the process is itchy and annoying. Obviously, since the app is made by Sony to achieve this purpose, it’s nonfree software and I can’t find anything which works better. I’m bound to continue using it until I change my Camera brand (very unlikely).
- IO, a curious open source app to manage public services in Italy. As of when I’m writing, it’s very new and I haven’t had any chance to use it yet.
- Jami, same as on Mac. Still hoping.
- Jitsi Meet, video conferencing, same as on Mac
Joplin, same as on Mac, but here it isn’t customizable, thus unsolvably crap. I now use Nextcloud Notes
K-9 Mail. It’s old and it looks old. Switched to FairEmail
Keepass2Android, same as KeepassXC on Mac., replaced it with the following
- KeepassDX, password manager
- Keybase, same as on Mac
- KISS Launcher, as in Keep it simple and stupid. I friggin’love it. It has a dedicated note in The Jar.
- Konele, which offers speech-to-text user interfaces and services to other apps.
- LBRY, same as on Mac.
- Librera Reader, ebook and PDF reader.
- LibreSpeed, an open-source alternative to the ubiquitous ads-clumsed Ookla Speedtest
- Lightroom, same as on Mac (grrr).
- Meditation Assistant,
MEGA, same as on Mac.
- MGit, git client
- Morse, to translate words into Morse code. I may never use it, but I feel it could come handy.
MusicPiped, to stream music straight from YouTube. Testing it to attempt a transition from Spotify (which I don’t wanna pay anymore).
- NewPipe, a clever solution to watch YouTube without having YouTube, thus, anonymously. It has also a nice set of pretty interesting features.
Nextcloud News Reader, RSS reader synced with Nextcloud. Replaced by FeedMe.
- Nextcloud, same as on Mac
- Nextcloud Notes, to edit notes synced with the desktop Obsidian folder, even though bi-directional links aren’t supported.
- Nextcloud Deck, it rarely works
- ONLYOFFICE, same as on Mac.
- Open Note Scanner, a simple and intuitive app to scan documents. Its scanning resolution is very bad, I wish they improved it.
- OpenKeychain, to manage PGP keys. It works hand in hand with FairEmail.
- OpenTracks, track tracks and paths
- OpenVPN Connect
- OsmAnd+, a great Google Maps alternative, based on OpenStreetMap
- PhoneTrack, open source version of Find my iPhone for android
- Padland, to manage, share, remember and read Etherpad documents
- Photographer’s notebook, to note metadata of film photos shot with analog cameras, thus not recording anything except light.
- Piwigo, the app ain’t great or perfect, but it accomplishes the most important tasks.
plees tracker, a sleep tracking app. I forgot to note on the app my sleeping times, so it was useless.
- Pocket, same as on Mac
- Poet Assistant, A set of tools to help with writing poems. I’m not good, but I can use a little help.
- PosteID, to manage my virtual ID Card
- ProtonMail, to get my emails from my ProtonMail accounts. I need to use ProtonMail’s app because of its emails’ encryption.
ProtonVPN, same as on Mac
- Rai Play, RAI’s streaming service. (RAI is the italian public television)
- Red Moon, a screen filter app for night time phone use
- Reddit, Reddit
- When I hear a new song I enjoy but I don’t know, I use Shazam to tell me its title. Propietary software, no alternatives
- Signal, same as on Mac, even if it’s meant for mobile use.
- Simple Calendar Pro, a light and neat calendar app, with the right features and without too many useless bells and whistles
- Spotify, same as on Mac
StreetComplete, to contribute to OpenStreetMap. To be honest, I don’t contribute to OSM; when I occasionally do, I do it through the web interface, from desktop.
Super Tuner, a very ugly yet lightweight and working (it’s just what I need: stuff that actually works) guitar tunerreplaced with Cythara, which is open source
- Ultimate Guitar Tabs, to access Ultimate Guitar from mobile
- Ultrasonic, to connect to my Funkwhale instance
- Talk Faster!
- Thorium, a PeerTube Android client
- Telegram, same as on Mac
- Termux, a terminal emulator for Android
- Trail Sense, to survive when pretending to be Bear Grylls
- Trenitalia, official app for Italian rails service
- UltraSonic, a Funkwhale client for Android
- UntrackMe, to transform Youtube and Twitter links into Invidious and Nitter links respectively
Vespucci, to contribute to OpenStreetMap. StreetComplete is way simpler, this only has a better name
- Vimeo, that thing which wants to take over YouTube, preferred in the cinema world.
- WhatsApp, same as on Mac
WhatsDeleted, to read deleted messages in WhatsApp (this task is accomplished by monitoring notifications). I disabled all of my notifications, hence it can’t work.
- Where Are U, an emergency app which, if triggered, immediately sends my location to Italian authorities. Proprietary software
Who Has My Stuff?, to keep track of lent items. I log them in a Markdown file and it’s enough.
- WordReference, a dictionary app. Proprietary software.
- Let’s say you’re at a party on the beach and you and your friends are using the same bluetooth speaker connected to your phone, but there are too many requests for you to add songs to your player queque and enjoy the evening at the same time. This is where Zoff comes useful: you just create a room on the platform and you share its unique link with your friends. They can add the songs they want and they’ll be played seamlessly ithout you handling the “let’s play this song instead!” deal.
Lists with a ton of apps which are too valuable to be forgotten
Apps which aren’t installed but it’s worth remembering.
- ad-free, mute audio while audio ads are played (built to work with Spotify in particular)
- BirthDayDroid, to remember contacts’ birthdays
- Black Light, to change MacOS’s display colors
- doing, a CLI script to remember what you were doing
- Hook, to link stuff in MacOs
- noice, background noise to boost productivity
- Taskbar, and android app which simulates a desktop-like dock for recent apps
- World Scribe, an Android app for fictional world-building
- OPAC App, Android app to access libraries catalogues around the world (not in use since the ones I frequent aren’t supported)
I don’t own an iPhone. If that day ever comes, these are the iOS-only apps I’d install: