What’s on my Mac — 2021 edition

Last year in April, I wrote about what was on my Mac. Needless to say that a lot has happen since April 2020 in the world — including me getting a new MacBook — but it would seem that my app situation on the Mac hasn’t changed much.

Or has it?

On the 7 apps I listed last year, only 3 remain:

Dropbox: needed to publish on this blog via Blot.

Drafts: still my text editor of choice.1

NetNewsWire: free, fast, and nice RSS reader. It could use a few more features, but I’ve had no issue whatsoever using this app.2

Gone from my Mac setup: 4 apps:

1Password: the best app I had to let go. Owning a Mac and an iPhone, you can really appreciate Apple Keychain and its integration. I could not continue to justify the annual costs of a feature that is already included in all my devices. For 2FA passwords, I have Authy on my phone.

Pastebot: after I learned how to configure and use this script from John Gruber, I just didn’t need a clipboard manager anymore.

Tweetbot: having the Twitter website pinned in Safari is just good enough for my current use of Twitter.

DuckDuckGo Essentials: upgraded to a full ad blocker because sadly that seems to be where the web is at nowadays.3

These 4 apps are back in 2021, or new:

Wipr: the content blocker I just mentioned. Works great.

Fission: Rogue Amoeba apps are famous for their quality, and when I bought this app a few years ago, I was instantly rewarded with it the only time I had to use it. Since I bought it, I might as well keep it around, just in case.

Piezo: Same story than Fission, but I use it more often. For instance I used it a few weeks ago to have a backup recording of my voice while being a guest on my friend Sarah’s podcast The Paris Quiz Mistress.4 Great little app.

Save to Pocket: the Safari extension for saving links to Pocket. That’s right, Pocket made a come back in my life after I stopped using it when it was still called Read It Later. Back then I switched to Instapaper, and then to Apple’s Reading List. The lack of certain features in the latter eventually got me to use Pocket again.5

Other remarks:

I still use the included Solar gradients wallpaper on my Mac: I just wish it existed for iOS too.

I let the computer switch automatically from light to dark mode, depending on the time of the day. I find this to be the right way to use dark mode.6

Twitter as a pinned tab works great. I think Safari nails the behaviour of pinned tabs in a browser.

After uninstalling a lot of apps last year, I think I am now in a good place, more balanced: I still use a lot of native apps such as TextEdit, Keynote, Pages, Keychain, Reminders, Notes, Mail, etc.

My keyboard shortcuts situation is pretty good when it comes to my blogging routine. Another area where the Mac is great.

Thank you for reading, please let me know on Twitter what are the apps you have on your Mac, always interesting to know what other people’s setup look like.

  1. I should probably write a dedicated post on how I use this app since it is so feature-rich and can become so complex if used for all it can do; as a text editor only, it does fill my needs perfectly.↩︎

  2. 2020 was the year of a RSS comeback for me: from YouTube channels to tech news to blogs, I’ve been very happy with the idea of having one app listing all the daily updates I care about.↩︎

  3. After using a good content blocker, and disabling it for a selection for websites I care about, it is very hard to go back to some websites without it: ads on the internet are absolutely terrible in many ways.↩︎

  4. Obviously a podcast about trivia: highly recommended.↩︎

  5. After introducing Reading List back in 2012, Apple barely did anything with it: no shortcut for quick access, no highlight feature, no archive… Why don’t they just buy Instapaper and include all of its features in Safari? Speaking of Instapaper, I don’t like the fact that you have to use the Mac app to log into the Safari extension. Otherwise it’s just as good as Pocket for my use.↩︎

  6. The Jolly Teapot switches between dark and light mode according to the user browser’s settings.↩︎