If you’ve just switched to the Mac, you’re probably wondering, “Ok, how do I do _______ on this thing?” From playing certain video files, to using FTP, to running Windows and more, there are lots of great software options out there that are essential downloads for first-time switchers.
1. Miro – Want a beautiful interface, the ability to play just about any video file you can think of, and connections to just about any kind of online video you can imagine? Well then Miro is a free, open source, must have.
2. Transmit/Cyberduck – If you’re going to be needing an FTP app (and if you’re reading this and you don’t know what an FTP app is – you probably don’t need it – just skip to the next one) then you have a variety of choices. There are two, however, that stand out as the best. On the free side of things, Cyberduck is a great solution. If you’re looking for something a little slicker, and you’re willing to pay a few bucks for it, you’ll want to check out Transmit.
3. Adium – iChat is great. I love iChat – but I constantly find myself going back to Adium. Adium is the best IM client on the Mac, and it is versatile enough to handle all of your IM accounts, no matter what service you use.
4. Flip4Mac – The web is slowly changing to a cross platform world, and Microsoft switching from Windows Media to Silverlight will eventually make Flip4Mac obsolete, but for now, if you want to view Windows Media files in your browser when you stumble across a site that has them, you’ll need Flip4Mac to get it done.
5. Fusion/Parallels – If you’re wanting to run Windows inside OSX, you’re going to need either VM Ware’s Fusion, or Parallels. Both applications have their fans, but for me, it’s Fusion all the way. I’ve found it to be faster, easier to use, and I like the interface better. Still, you can try both – so it’s your call.
I’m sure there’s some things that I’ve missed that you’ll want, or that the community will deem worthy of putting on this list – so feel free to leave your questions, or application suggestions in the comments below.