Must-Have Development and Design Apps for macOS

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macOS is a hugely popular platform among web developers and web designers. There’s a huge range of tools for the platform that make our jobs easier. Check out the best web development and web design apps for Mac users below.

Noun Project

design apps for mac noun project

The Noun Project is the perfect resource for designers that need generic UI/UX icons. They host an enormous collection of well-designed icons for everyday needs, like status icons, media buttons and menu icons. Their macOS app lives in your menu bar, ready to pop down and provide access to the huge array of icons from your desktop. If you pair it with a paid subscription to the Noun Project, you’ll get access to every icon on the site. Free accounts contains a smaller subset of icons.

Sketch

design apps for mac sketch

Sketch is a powerful vector editor designed for the web. It’s built to help designers create vector assets for websites and apps. It’s powerful and flexible, with a ton of tools tuned specifically to the needs of UX and UI developers. Stop fighting with Illustrator and check out a better—and cheaper—option.

JPEGMini

JPEGMini is a tool for compression JPGs before sharing them. Like it’s web-based client TinyPNG, it uses image optimization tricks to cut down the file size of large JPGs. The app can also resize images, saving them to a unique destination or overwriting the originals in the process. The Pro version even includes plugins for Lightroom and Photoshop, compressing your images straight out of the gate. If you need to process a ton of photos for your website but don’t want to suck up all your  users’ bandwidth in the process, JPEGMini will be a huge help.

LittleIpsum

LittleIpsum is a free menu bar app that generates Lorem ipsum text for use in webpage mockups. It’s cool because it can quickly create text in a variety of lengths, and it’s always at your fingertips. Just click twice to copy a preset Lorem ipusm block of the chosen length to the clipboard, and then paste as normal.

Tower

Tower is a GUI for Git version control. It helps users work with Git by abstracting away the cryptic command line codes, simplifying Git version control while retaining its abilities. Considering how widespread Git is as a version control methodology, having a good client in your tool belt might make your life just a little easier.

Coda

mac design apps coda

Coda comes from beloved macOS developer Panic, which builds well designed and superbly functional Mac apps for designers and developers. Panic calls Coda “everything you need to hand-code a website, in one beautiful app.” It’s essentially a super-powerful IDE for building websites from scratch, including a powerful text editor, a WebKit-based preview module, and robust file and project management. If you’re looking for an all-in-one tool to help you build websites by hand, this is what you need.

Sublime Text

mac design apps sublime text

Sublime Text‘s praise have been sung far and wide across the development landscape. It’s a powerful, flexible text editor with a huge feature set geared specifically towards developers and programmers. It pioneered now-mandatory features like multi-caret editing (write in more than one place at a time!), massive customization and a built-in file manager. For users that need to get down and dirty with code, you couldn’t ask for a better text editor. The only downside is the $70 price tag. For users with shallow pockets, GitHub’s Atom is a free alternative with almost as much power and even greater flexibility.

CodeKit

mac design apps codekit

CodeKit is just about essential for macOS web developers. It speeds up your web development workflow significantly by automatically refreshing browsers every time you save your code, but that’s not all it does. It also complies languages like CoffeeScript, Less, and Sass, and includes cutting edge tools like an auto-prefixer for vendor-specific prefixes and Babel.js for “next-generation” JavaScript. All in all, it makes web development on the Mac a much less tedious process.

FileZilla

design apps for mac filezilla

FileZilla is a free, open-source FTP clients. You can use it to sync with remote servers using FTP and SFTP. If you’re doing any major web development, you know that an FTP client is a must for updating remote files. If you want a powerful but free alternative to slow or expensive apps, FileZilla fits the bill.

Sequel Pro

design apps for mac sequel pro

It’s developer calls Sequel Pro is a “fast, easy-to-use Mac database management application for working with MySQL databases.” It’s by far the most mentioned and most recommended Mac app for working with MySQL, the dominant database language of today. Great for advanced users and beginners alike.

MAMP

If you work on back-end or server-side development, you’ll need to have a functional testing environment on your mac. You can get a lot of the tools you need in one go with MAMP. MAMP stands for My Apache, MySQL, PHP, which are the three software packages it installs on your Mac.

You might also like:

The 20 Best OS X Apps for Designers & Web Developers

Top Mac Designer Apps

4 Alternatives To The MacBook Pro For Designers

Author: Alex Fox



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