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The Ten Most Beautiful OS X Apps 118

Posted by timothy
from the sugar-in-your-ocular-cavity dept.
Phillip Ryu writes "As someone in the Macintosh shareware business, as part of my job, I make the daily crawl through MacUpdate to look for the latest and greatest in Mac software. One thing I've been noticing recently is a renaissance of extremely polished and beautiful Mac apps, so I thought I'd share some of these finds with you guys. Without further ado, presenting the top ten most beautiful OS X apps. Hopefully you'll find some new gems in there, even I found a few surprises while compiling this list. Enjoy!"
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The Ten Most Beautiful OS X Apps

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  • Hmm... well I guess there is some inherint minimalist beauty.
  • I have to say, I absolutely love this program. Though I'm working with an older version, It's quite possibly the best file-sharing program I've used. (All others PC, haven't tried others for the Mac)
    • Acquisition Cabos (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LanMan04 (790429)
      I find Cabos to work a lot better than Acquisition, at least the Acquisition that existed 2 years ago (last time I tried it).

  • The List (Score:4, Informative)

    by neonprimetime (528653) on Monday July 03, 2006 @01:58PM (#15651617) Homepage
    To save your eyes from that god-awful ugly site

    10 - Transmission
    9 - Potion Factory
    8 - Podcast Maker
    7 - Transmit
    6 - Quinn
    5 - AppZapper
    4 - AcQuisition
    3 - CoverFlow
    2 - Newsfire
    1 - Delicious Library
    • Yeah, I'm by no means a design dork, but for a site doing a story on beautiful OSX apps, probably don't want to have blue links on a blue background.
      • You beat me to it. Exactly how am I supposed to trust the aesthetic judgements of someone who thinks that putting blue text on a blue background is a good idea?
        • ..except all the blue links are actually on the white backdrop provided by the page like image?
          • Not for me. I'm seeing the text directly against the blue "graph paper" background image; there's no white 'paper' underneath the text.

            This is using Firefox 1.0.7 on my work machine (WinXP) with Adblock and Filterset.G. Not sure how it looks on Konqueror/Safari.
      • for a site doing a story on beautiful OSX apps, probably don't want to have blue links on a blue background

        For a site doing a story on OSX apps, it renders beautifully in the Safari browser (which is supplied with OSX). The text and blue links are on a white page that sits on the blue background.

        I looked at the page in firefox and got the blue links on blue background.

        Since the site is heavy on CSS, I would guess that the problem is that your browser doesn't render the CSS properly?

        You could check if your
        • For a site doing a story on OSX apps, it renders beautifully in the Safari browser (which is supplied with OSX). The text and blue links are on a white page that sits on the blue background.

          It's rendering as a white "page" against a blueprint-style background on all of the browsers I'm using... That includes Opera9, Firefox and Konqueror. Of these, only Firefox fails the Acid2, but as I mentioned, it's rendering the page just fine.

          I wonder if this might be an interaction with an adblocking extensio
    • Re:The List (Score:5, Informative)

      by Volanin (935080) on Monday July 03, 2006 @02:53PM (#15652021)
      Same list, with links:

      10 - Transmission [m0k.org]
      9 - Potion Factory [potionfactory.com]
      8 - Podcast Maker [potionfactory.com]
      7 - Transmit [panic.com]
      6 - Quinn [simonhaertel.de]
      5 - AppZapper [appzapper.com]
      4 - AcQuisition [acquisitionx.com]
      3 - CoverFlow [steelskies.com]
      2 - Newsfire [newsfirerss.com]
      1 - Delicious Library [delicious-monster.com]
    • The site isn't that ugly... and I think #9 is actually titled "Voice Candy" with the company's name being Potion Factory.
  • by Duncan3 (10537) on Monday July 03, 2006 @01:59PM (#15651626) Homepage
    Only #3 and #1 have any place on that list.

    There are so many more visually appealing OS X apps out there. Most of his list is just file-list style apps. A downloader? Good grief.
  • by Otter (3800) on Monday July 03, 2006 @02:06PM (#15651659) Journal
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the "right"-est MacOS app ever is, hands-down, Fetch. Every time I ever wondered "Maybe Fetch could do this...?", it always could and the first way I thought to try it always worked.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      That's because Jim Mathews is a genius. *really* nice guy too, and did you know he won $500k on "Who wants to be a Millionaire?"
  • by mobby_6kl (668092)
    VirtualPC running Windows XP!
  • by ThousandStars (556222) on Monday July 03, 2006 @02:18PM (#15651738) Homepage
    Goes to phillipryu.com.

    Argh! My eyes...

    • So, is the lesson of this story, "You can give a guy Mac OS, Photoshop, and all the pretty apps in the world... but you can't give him a sense of style?"

      Sorta funny... but you don't know how many of my friends I've convinced to buy Macs, only to find that they suddenly think they're Rembrant. The tools don't solve the problem that you have no taste. DO YOU HEAR ME, PAUL?!?
    • I guess for once a slashdotting is a good thing.
    • I guess you all must be running a funky then. It looks gorgeous in Safari. (And in my Firefox, though I've heard that some people refuses to render the white background on which all the text is on).

      And that comes from a web designer with more than a decade's experience.
  • by Capt'n Hector (650760) on Monday July 03, 2006 @02:27PM (#15651805)
    LaunchBar is Spotlight on crack. These guys managed to pack as much functionality as the finder itself into a little bar at the top of the screen. And it's fast.
  • That is one amazing app. I love it, why did I now know about this?
    • that's how i felt, after i discovered coverflow...

      and it really changed the way i browse my music.

      seeing long-forgotten covers and rediscovering music - great little app.

      and beautyful
  • Every time I try to mention the nice eye candy in OS X, I always get slapped with "The best application in OS X is something called bash." Morons. I know that. But bash doesn't look pretty... well, not in a "Oooooh, look at the pretty colors" sort of way. It's beautiful in that it's simple, usable, stable, and ... cryptic.

    I don't want a command-line desktop. I want command-line servers. Desktop pretty. Server ugly. Pretty server UI useless. (Ugg!)

    So, before you Linux zealots start coming out
  • by theheff (894014) on Monday July 03, 2006 @02:52PM (#15652010)
    ... doesn't always echo another man's. This list proves that statement. AdiumX is such a good application in Mac OS X... I'm surprised Apple hasn't taken it up themselves, and frankly, the author of this list all of my respect by not even mentioning it. This is just an absurd list put together by an amatuer. So a downloader has a nice GUI... big deal? Not in my book.
  • Beauty... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zx-man (759966) on Monday July 03, 2006 @03:27PM (#15652219)
    ...should be in how the application interacts with you, not how it looks.
    Most of Apple's own programs seem to have exactly this type of beauty.
    • That's exactly the kind of beauty the article describes, a point that most of the responses here have missed ("But doesn't Google Earth look prettier than Acquisition?").
  • There are probably a million reasons why I'll get clobbered for this, but I'm going to throw caution to the winds and post it anyway:

    Using the idea that utility is at least as important as beauty, I'm going to nominate my brand-new copy of NeoOffice. Why? As a single user and owner of a small business, it lets me compose, proofread, and print out a document--and then print out an envelope to mail it in. It allows me to email that same document in Word doc format to my brethren and sisteren who don't use Mac
  • For example, I look at the #1 application "Delicious Library" and wonder how it would fare with my collection of around 2000 CDs or my friend's 300 DVDs for that matter. I agree it is beautiful, but not very practical IMHO ...
    • For example, I look at the #1 application "Delicious Library" and wonder how it would fare with my collection of around 2000 CDs or my friend's 300 DVDs for that matter. I agree it is beautiful, but not very practical IMHO ...

      Isn't that the kind of collection though, that DL was designed for? It quickly scans in the barcode, adds it to your catalogue, and then you know you have it, or who you lent it to.

      I for one have nearly 200 DVDs, and it gets crazy sometimes remembering which ones are mine, what I
    • Delicious Library is EXTREMELY practical. Give it a whirl, and you'll be surprised. Now if I could just wrest the iSight and the laptop AWAY from the wife and stop her scanning stuff, that would be progress!
  • beauty is in the eye of the beholder. some people love brushed metal windows, some hate them, so any list is going to have some level of bias.

    but I think it's more important to care what apps are [b]useable[/b]. Mix beauty and functionality into a big soup bowl, and rate them accordingly. Just rating apps on their look is as redundant as underpants on a Saint Bernard.
  • by dwater (72834)
    I just switched my Powerbook to Ubuntu. So, now I get the added advantage of no composite video out and other 'goodies'. I'm tempted to switch back, but I really don't like Aqua (apart from the look).
    • Not exactly sure why my post was rated 'off topic'....strange. Aqua effects the 'beauty' (visual and otherwise) of all OS X apps (well, I suppose an X11 app could be called an OS X app, but I don't think that's what they mean).
  • by Schmig (225893)
    It's been said above but I think it deserves more than one mention.

    I cackled with glee as I deleted the atrocious Yahoo Messenger from my Mac. AdiumX is one of the only perfect apps I have used in my 21 years of computing.

    My niece stood on my once beloved Dell 8200 the other day and cracked the LCD. I said, "era, what the hell...".

    http://adiumx.com/screenshots.php [adiumx.com]
  • Quicksilver (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 04, 2006 @12:39AM (#15654771) Homepage Journal

    I'm always finding new capabilites with Quicksilver [blacktree.com]. It transforms the way you work with your Mac, and it is beautiful in its minimalism and polish. This is a tool that does so much, and actually does so while not only staying out of your way, but also by removing obstacles to flow. Quicksilver gets my vote for #1.

    • I discovered quicksilver about 2 years ago, and as far as I am concerned, you don't have a 'complete' mac until you have this.

      I recently had to do something on my wife's laptop, and after about 10 minutes of messing around, I just installed quicksilver so that I could use the sodding thing. I've forgotten how much it hides from you since I've been using it :)
  • I feel a little sad about that list, as it contains no academic applications at all. No physical simulations. No Latin verb conjugators. No statistical calculators. Are there none around, or are they all ugly? Or are they simply outside the journalists sphere of interest?
    • I feel a little sad about that list, as it contains no academic applications at all. No physical simulations. No Latin verb conjugators. No statistical calculators. Are there none around, or are they all ugly? Or are they simply outside the journalists sphere of interest?

      He's a Mac user. He does all his statistical calculation and Latin verb conjugations in his head, from memory.

  • I missed my most favorite RSS-reader Vienna: fast, small, FREE, compatible with NewsNetWire (as in: very easily transfer all your favorite streams, and never look back).
  • Designing a piece of art icon has some consequences. If you check Transmit icon there even if you don't use OS X, it will look familiar to you.

    http://www.panic.com/transmit/ [panic.com]

    That thing is one of the most stolen icons of all time. They even put a page dedicated to "rip off"

    http://www.panic.com/extras/ripoff/ [panic.com]

    Note many sites fixed their stolen icons after figuring it out. Yes, it is usually a burglar single webmaster to blame. I personally know one of them got fired who should knaw Panic Inc. and Transmit icon

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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