The Desktop Apps Your Mac is Craving

By Brionne Griffin, PBS Digital

A round-up of my favorite apps I think everyone needs to know about. Never fear, PC users, a Windows version is coming very soon to a SPI blog near you.

Turn your simple computer into productivity city with these handy apps.


If I could only recommend one app to you, it would be caffeine. Sure, the others are great for productivity, life hacks, and convenience, but no single app gets more use on my computer than Caffeine. Plain and simple, this app keeps your screen from dimming, going to sleep, or starting screen savers. The app puts a coffee cup on your menu bar, click once to fill the cup and keep screen lit until you shut the lid, then click again to empty cup and revert back. I could wax eloquent about its myriad benefits, but I’ll stop here and let you fall in love with it on your own.

Text Wrangler

Perhaps the handiest tool for digital folks. While not as extensive as DreamWeaver, this free application offers its own suite of tools, including grep pattern matching, search and replace across multiple files, function navigation and syntax coloring for numerous source code languages, FTP and SFTP open and save, and much more. Personally, I’ve found this app invaluable for editing and saving .sami closed caption files for COVE. It’s also great for intern computers!


Desktop notifications are the fruit flies of the digital world. Annoying and incessant, these notifications mean well, but they always manage to pop up in different spots and stay up way too long. Growl will give you back the control by aggregating all your application notifications in a sleek way.

All that's left to do now is download these gems and sit back while your computer answers all your emails, compiles all your reports, and calls your mom for you. Or at the very least, helps make those everyday tasks easier.