Three OS X Apps: Tiger Update

Back in January 2003 I talked about my three favorite OS X apps for their simplicity and functionality. A lot has changed since then. My primary computer is an iBook instead of an iMac, Panther and Tiger have replaced Jaguar and Safari appeared. So I thought I should update the list.

  1. Quicksilver by Blacktree does everything that Launchbar did, but is faster, more extensible and free. In a nutshell, if you want to get things done with you Mac, and you haven’t tried Quicksilver, you’re missing out. The latest reason to use it is the excellent Backpack plugin, beautifully integrating your Mac with Backpack.
  2. Safari by Apple is small, fast and simple. I know it doesn’t have the simple extensibility that Firefox has, but with PithHelmet, Saft and SafariStand, there isn’t much more I need. I actually tried switching to Firefox a while back but speed was an issue on OS X Panther. And since I spend about 75% of my time in the browser, I need it to be fast. This is where Safari excels the most. (Can anyone comment on Firefox speed in Tiger vs. Panther?)
  3. LiteSwitch X by Proteron and SideTrack by Raging Menace tied for third. Even with the newer bezel interface, app switching in OS X still leaves me with many desires, and LiteSwitch fills each of them. I can hide, quit, force quit and relaunch, all within the same interface. It may seem overpriced for its functionality but when you consider how often you switch applications in OS X, $14.95 doesn’t seem so bad. Sidetrack, which is also $15, allows me to vertically scroll by sliding my finger down the right edge of my iBook trackpad. Is there anything more I need to say? Yes, I know the new PowerBooks have a trackpad scrolling feature, but using two fingers to scroll seems unnecessary.


  1. You can hide and quit apps from the built-in switcher as well - just press H or Q when you have an app selected in the switcher. I don’t know if it will force-quit, though; perhaps if you try to quit it several times? And I don’t believe it can relaunch an app.

  2. Kevin: Thanks for clarifying. My biggest complaint with the OS X app switcher is that it removes the app icon on application close, which forces the rest of the icons to move. I prefer how LiteSwitch allows you to “mark” the apps you wish to close and then it closes them all at once.

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