Boost your productivity with these Apps

Time = Money, and as a developer you would like to maximize that potential and reduce the time on some repetitive tasks. Generally many utilities and tools have stemmed from the fact that the developers required something to further their own development and felt that these could benefit the community at large. There are several such tools and utilities, here is a short synopsis of some of the ones that we recommend

1. Caffeine
Not only does a developer want this for their body in the form of hot coffee or cold caffeinated drinks, but also require this for their development machines. This is a Mac OS X only application that sits in the menu bar and keeps your mac awake (i.e does not allow it to go to sleep) If you work on a MacBook and powersaving is a major concern, then this might not be for you, but for those working on an iMac or a Mac mini, you might not want your workstation going to sleep. The app is free and available on the Mac App store.

2. CodeBox
If you are a developer, you will collect snippets of code that you want to use and re-use. If you work with Xcode, it has an in-built facility to have snippets that can be added using shortcut keys, or auto-completion or simple drag-drop. If you use other languages or IDE's where you cannot use Xcode, then a good alternative to store and manage your code snippets is CodeBox. This is not the only snippet management tool out there, but this is one that works fine with my requirements. It also had the ability to add multiple tabs/sources to one snippet. So if you had code for say a control written in Objective-C, you can simply add the .h and the .m file in the same snippet as tabs rather than create two snippets or place the code together separated with line breaks. The app is available on the Mac App Store and is a paid app. The current version is 1.6 and the developer is working on a new version 2.0 which might be a paid upgrade from 1.6
ALTERNATIVES: CodeCollectorPro

3. Geek Tool
This is not really a productivity enhancement tool, but it is nevertheless still useful. It allows you to place geeklets which are non-interactive windows that display the output of a shell command, or an image. While each may have their own workflows and ways to use them, I use it to display the various IP Addresses that are available on the iMac and the disk space on all available storage devices.

4. Übersicht
GeekTool, this is a similar utility and I am not 100% sure why I ended up using both GeekTool and Übersicht, but this displays the time and date on my desktop. Earlier my desktop used to be Wallpaper Clocks made with the wonderful artwork of Vlad Studios on both the Mac and Windows.

5. Pixelmator
One of my cribs with technology is the way they treat software or hardware as Disposables. After paying the "Australia Tax" to Adobe (i.e. paying double of what it costs for their products in Australia) newer versions make it impossible to upgrade to the newer versions. So I still have a licensed version of Photoshop CS4. Now that is not very useful in many cases, this is where Pixelmator comes in handy, it is fast, made for Macs and provides a majority of the features available with Photoshop. Literally for the price of a singe month of Adobe Creative Suite.

6. Screenflow
When you develop, you always need to demonstrate your work, many a times it is difficult to distribute test builds to friends or others to see for various reasons. This is where you might want to create a video that shows the progress or the features of your application. This is a wonderful tool but off late I have a few gripes with them. They had paid upgrades from v3 to v4, which was fine and then again they have paid upgrades from v4 to v5. There are newer features that are interesting and useful like capturing directly from the iPhones. Earlier one would run the app in the simulator and capture it on screen or use a screen mirroring tool and capture the mirrored screen.

7. Air Server
There are a couple of other tools that do similar stuff like Reflector, but I personally prefer Air Server and it mirrors the iOS devices fine on the iMac to be captured using Screenflow.

8. QuartzCode
Most developers are not Artists while most artists are HTML/Javascript developers. However the latter fact has nothing to do with anything. This is similar to Flash where you can create vector drawings and animate them on a timeline. The difference is that you can then export that as Objective-C or Swift code that can be used in your applications to render animations. This can make for animated UI elements, HUD animations, notification Animations, etc.
ALTERNATIVES: There are other alternatives like PaintCode, which again fails me on the fact that it is an expensive software that when upgraded from v1 to v2 was a paid upgrade and is in the range of $100. They are now even offering it on subscription of $19 (I think) per month, which in my opinion is ridiculous and feel are ripping people off, when the full version is available on the app store for around $99.

9. Textmate
A developer needs to have a text editor that works with them, which means offer them code completion, syntax highlighting etc. It is possible that since I have been using Textmate for so long, I am used to it. There is a new v2 that is Free and has more features.
ALTERNATIVES: Text Wrangler, BBEdit, SublimeText, Visual Studio Code, Textastic

10. Typinator
This is another tool that has changed the way I do things. It is all about text substitution or text expansion. There is an alternative Text Expander that is equally impressive. It's just that the Typinator structure has grown on me and works better for me. Text Expander also has an iOS application that can share and make available all of the shortcuts for your iOS devices.

11. PopClip
This is one tool that you can live without but once you get used to, you cannot. Make a selection and the options popup like in an iOS app to copy/paste and if it is a URL, even browse to that address.

12. Lita
You will have to work with some form of a Database, if you are going to use sqlite databases, then Lita is probably the lightest and the best tool you can get to browse, alter and query a SQL database.

13. VideoGIF
Though not for all developers but this is a wonderful application that converts a video to a GIF, really useful for websites where a Youtube video needs to be interacted with to start playing where as the GIF starts immediately.

14. TaskBadges
This is a rather lesser known but quite an interesting little utility, it allows you to keep the progress of your work in a text file and this monitors the text file and displays a Badge on the text file based on that. You can simply have the data in the format
- [ ] Some Task
- [ ] Additional Task

and this would set the badge for this text file as 2. Place a x in-between the square brackets to mark the task as closed/completed.

15. Simulator Manager
This is useful if you are developing with the Simulator, it give you a list of all the simulators and the apps data that is present for each of the apps in that simulator. Very useful to quickly navigate to the folder where the data is stored.

16. Wikidpad
This is a rather strange one, as it is something that takes a while to get used to, it is a stand-alone wiki. You can create links and then click to follow to that page and add the text. Quite interesting and useful.


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