Four Cool Development Apps for OS X

Despite popular belief, there are numerous great applications for Mac OS X. Developers will find all of the applications they need on OS X, from an FTP client to a code editor. If you are a web developer, using OS X, you should check out these four development applications: Smultron, MAMP, GIMPshop, and Cyberduck. All four of these applications are free, open source, and essential for any web developer.


Smultron (external link) is an easy-to-use code editor. Smultron supports syntax highlighting for a multitude of programming languages, which enables it to fit the requirements of any developer. For those with multiple computers, Smultron also supports the syncing of preferences using .Mac.

Smultron - code editor

To make programming large projects easier, Smultron boasts a tabbed interface - allowing you to work on multiple documents simultaneously - and multiple-document find and replace, with regular expression support. You can also store code snippets you often use inside a retractable drawer, for easy inclusion in any file.

Last, Smultron is one of the few code editors to help remove unneeded whitespace from the end of lines. Most code editors do very little to assist in the removal of unneeded whitespace. This feature is very handy for those who like to keep their code organized and uniform.


MAMP (external link) is a full-fledged server setup for OS X, which includes Apache (external link), MySQL (external link), and PHP (external link). MAMP makes setting up a server as simple as a few clicks. Uninstallation is like any other application in OS X - just drag-and-drop the application's package file to the trash can. If you need a server fast then MAMP is the application you are looking for. Both PHP 4 and PHP 5 are included.

MAMP - Macintosh Apache Mysql PHP

OS X includes Apache, but the version is slightly outdated and is not internally updated often. MAMP includes Apache 2, eliminating the need to build and configure Apache 2 manually. It does not override any of OS X's setup - including the default Apache installation. However, it can override Port 80 to become the default server on the computer.

MAMP is useful for those who do not want to manually build, install, and configure a server setup. You can have an installation working in less than a minute and uninstalled in less than ten seconds. That is convenience.


GIMPshop (external link) is based upon GIMP (external link) - a powerful, open source image editing application - with cosmetic changes to make it resemble Photoshop. GIMP has majority of the much-sought-after features of Photoshop, but labels them as different terms. GIMPshop is GIMP reprogrammed to rename every feature to match Photoshop.

Gimpshop - image editing

GIMP is the most powerful graphic editing application that you will find for free. GIMPshop makes a nice application for someone who needs to do basic work with graphics and has had past Photoshop experience.

On the down side, GIMPshop requires Apple's X11. If you have not installed the X11 environment, the installation is usually found on a disk included with the purchase of a Macintosh or OS X. This disk will contain the X11 installer, among other extras. You can also download it at (external link).


Cyberduck (external link) is an FTP client with great integration into many OS X technologies. Cyberduck integrates into Spotlight, the Keychain, and AppleScript, which makes it one of the best FTP clients for OS X. It also integrates with many third-party code editors, Smultron included.

Cyberduck - FTP clietn

Like most FTP clients, Cyberduck features a bookmarking system to manage commonly used FTP servers, with the option to sync the bookmarks between two computers using .Mac. You will also find an easy to use interface and seamless drag-and-drop FTP capabilities.