App and eBook Mac apps

Posted on October 9th, by Liam in App Development, Blog. Comments Off on App and eBook Mac apps

A couple of people have asked me what Mac software I use for app and eBook development. I thought I’d make a list.

Most of these apps I use regularly, although some are obviously only occasional use (like the app video ones). They’re not all specific to app development, but there is a lot of crossover between app development and producing assets for use in apps, so I thought I’d list all of the main ones. 90% of these apps live in my dock.

I would link them, but you can find them all with a google search.

iOS Apps


Xcode (the mothership)

Testflight (distribute test versions to users)




Photoshop (still the goto app)

Sketch (all things vector, very nice!)

Illustrator (all other things vector, but mainly coz it’s there)

Fireworks (animations and funky HTML image thingys)

ColorPicker (for those HEX numbers)

MultiRezer (easy resize of iOS graphics)

Flash (I use it sometimes to convert bitmaps to vector. Old habits die hard)

Lightroom and Aperture (when I want some nice photo effects)



iMovie (basic editing – but it can be annoying)

Final Cut Pro (advanced editing)

Motion (fancy stuff that moves around)

After Effects (mostly just to open up other people’s files.. I find it more complicated than Motion)

Stomp (compression)

Quicktime7 Pro (coz it’s easy)

iShowU HD (app videos)

PhoneFinger (add a ‘finger’ to app videos!)

Tooble (sometimes it’s easier just to rip those YouTube videos)


Web and Text Editors

xScope (mirror layouts on iOS devices)

Dreamweaver (WYSIWYG can be a lot quicker when you’re cutting and pasting a lot of content)

Textmate (still my favourite text editor – have to try the new open source version soon)

Sublime Text 2 (trying as an alternative to Textmate)

CSS Edit

Cleantext (clean up the text)

Sitesucker (because sometimes you want to make an offline version of a website)

CSS Gradient Editor

Firefox (for SQL DBs) and Safari (for the Dev tools)


HTML5 animations 


iAd Producer (you might be surprised what you can do!)

Sencha Animator (I like this one, but my trial has expired, so I’ve gone with Hype. Adobe now have some tools available as part of Creative Cloud but I just haven’t had the time to look into them).



Audacity (easy audio editing)

Adobe Audition (more complicated stuff)

Quicktime7 Pro (convert audio files quickly)


File management

FileMerge and DiffMerge (compate changes in files)

GitHub for Mac (working with someone else)

YouSendIt (send large files)

CloudApp (send little files with links)

Clips (multiple clipboard items – VERY useful)

Gemini (duplicate file finder – delete those old binaries!)

Name Mangler (rename files in a folder – I love this one)

Pathfinder (find files)


Adobe DPS

In Design plug in (Adobe just gave me access to this with my Creative Cloud membership so I’ve been trying it out… like it!)



Kwik Plug In for Photoshop (build appbooks in photoshop and export to Corona – just playing with this one atm)

Corona Project Manager (good way to organise your Corona projects)

Corona Simulator (doh!)


Unity 3D






Soulver (great app! Like a notepad that can do calculations. Seriously check it out!)

Balsamiq (app mockups)



This is in addition to those listed above. Worth noting that the file compare apps and any apps that help with visual previews (ie. Dreamweaver) or copy and pasting are really helpful.

iBooks Author

InDesign (you still can’t export without having to clean up the code, but it’s getting better)

Pages (for export… Word for Mac still sucks, but you can use that, too if you like spaghetti)

ePub Checker (validation, but inaccurate for some things with iBooks)

ePub Packager (an easy way to pack those files)

Kindle Previewer (always test final versions on a device!)

Kindlegen (Console)

iTunes Producer (uploading…)

Book Proofer (get it on the device)


App and iBook Sales Tracking

AppViz2 (mac app) (app tracking only)


It’s worth noting that there are websites and scripts (like ePub Crawler) that I play with as well.

Would love to hear from other app or eBook developers about the software they use >> particularly anything that helps speed up workflow and save time! Please share…



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