Apps I use | xplosionmind Apps I use | XPLOSIONMIND

A comprehensive list of apps I use + apps I have to keep record of because I may need them, but not right now. Sub-elements in the lists are links to great learning resources (official documentation, if present, won’t be mentioned). Everything is free and Open Source, except where otherwise specified.


Right now on my MacBook Pro 13” 2019:

  • Mozilla Firefox, the best browser ever.
  • Firefox Developer Edition, to debug and improve Web Design and front-end Web developement experience.
  • Adobe Lightroom Classic, alas, the best photo editing software out there. I hate Adobe, but it works so damn good. I’m doing my best to completely switch to the two following programs but, damn, it’s so hard. Also: I have to keep Lightroom on my device because it’s impossible to move photography edits commited with Lightroom to Darktable.
  • Darktable, widely used (still, not the first option for pros) photo editing software. I wish I’d love it but, damn, it’s so friggin complicated.
  • Digikam, a photo management software.
  • Android File Transfer, the name says it all. It’s simple and it works great.
  • AppCleaner it’s not Open Source, but, damn, it’s so useful I have to keep it. As an Open Source alternative, I’m trying to figure out how AppTrap works.
  • Audacity, audio editing software. I know, I have Garage Band which is awesome but… Audacity works the same way anywhere.
  • Backtrack, the Holy Graal for university students which get easily distracted (me). It allows you to recover audio up to 5 hours before. It’s not Open Source and I payed 2€ for it. Totally worth it.
  • balenaEtcher, the safest, simplest and quickest software to flash OS images to external drives.
  • BlackHole, to share any file. Fast and private. Based on Blockstack.
  • Blockstack, ideally, it’s something awesome, definitely game-changing. Practically, it doesn’t work on my Mac (I tried everything).
  • CopyQ, to recover and access the clipboard history
  • Clean Me, an Open Source, better, neat and perfectly working alternative to CCleaner written in Swift.
  • dupeGuru, a file (specially images) duplicate finder. It’s fentastic, but it doesn’t work with more than 200 photos for me.
  • Final Cut Pro, again, pricey and propietary, but it’s so optimized for MacOS, thus so fast, that I really need it to edit with ease videos I need to have ready in a short time.
  • , photo manipulation and editing software. Better known as the Photoshop free alternative, it’s full of resources and it misses almost no feature, but it’s so so so messed up and confusing (as Photoshop is). Too much stuff in too many different places.
  • GitUp, GUI interface for git.
  • GPG Keychain, to store and handle PGP Keys.
  • HandBrake, anythin you need to do with video files, it gets it done (in a short or eternal amount of time).
  • Hidden Bar, to hide itchy icons from the menu bar.
  • Inkscape. Anything with graphics? Use this. I definitely love it.
  • iTerm, a feature-packed terminal emulator.
  • Jami, peer-to-peer unlimited video and voice communications. On paper it’s the go-to for everyone and I love it’s philosophy. Unfortunately, it still has a few bugs which make it impossible to use it regularly.
  • Jitsi Meet, a video conferencing service which can be self-hosted. Since it should work only on Google Chrome browser, I installed the Electron-based app.
  • Joplin, basically it’s just a note-taking application, but it has anything else you can think of.
  • KeePass XC, A community maintained fork of the popular discontinued KeePassX application with more features and frequent updates.
  • Keybase, a new and free security app for mobile phones and computers.
  • LBRY, the first digital marketplace to be controlled by the market’s participants rather than a corporation or other 3rd-party. Basically, a healthier version of YouTube.
  • LibreOffice, an open Office Suite (but not Open Office, better).
  • MacDown, a markdown editor which has everything I need. I don’t use it much since I have both Joplin and Vim to open and edit .md files, but it’s very lightweight and it’s handy to have an app to view and edit them on the fly.
  • MEGAsync, the syncronization app for MEGA Cloud.
  • NetNewsWire, the best RSS reader ever. Unfortunately, it works only on iOS and MacOS.
  • Nextcloud, the syncronization app for Nextcloud.
  • OmegaT, a translation memory application written in Java. I use it to translate MDN articles for Mozilla Italia.
  • OnionShare. Stop using WeTransfer! Use this.
  • Pocket, save articles for later. It’s not Open Source but I use it anyway because it’s owned by Mozilla (and I love Mozilla) and I have so many pages there that transferring them someplace else would be painfully annoying.
  • Protonmail Bridge, an app which allows me to access and use my ProtonMail account from Apple Mail.
  • ProtonVPN, a security-focused VPN developed by CERN scientists from the ProtonMail team. It’s free, but I pay for it, it’s a great service.
  • qBittorrent, the best and lightest torrent client you can find out there.
  • Rectangle, a window management app which allows to resize windows quickly with a simple keystroke.
  • Signal, the best encryption system in the world, easy and fast communication, plus, it’s owned by a non-profit. Thus, a healthier WhatsApp.
  • Skype, you know it. Propietary software, ouch.
  • Sozi, a presentation tool which uses SVG images to create zooming and panning animations. It’s astounding how cool it is.
  • Spotify, to listen to music by paying and using propietary software. Any legal affordable solution? I can’t find one. I’m stuck with this.
  • Telegram, WhatsApp on steroids. I wish the back-end software was Open Source, too.
  • TweetDeck, to tweet as bad as I can. Obviously, this is a very bad propietary software.
  • uTox, a tiny, light super-private, peer-to-peer app to chat with my geek privacy-obsessed friends.
  • VLC, to watch anything.
  • Tor Browser, when I feel a VPN isn’t enough.
  • WhatsApp, well, you know it. Owned by that monster called Facebook and surprisingly free but, guess what? Propietary software.


  • git, a VCS no one can live without.
  • Vim is the best text editor in the world, and it’s more than that; it’s a philosophy, a lifestyle. Actually, it’s preinstalled on UNIX-based OSs, but I installed Neovim which is so great. I use it on a daily basis and I love it.
    • Vim casts, the best video tutorials you can find
    • Practical Vim a book - the best book you can find - on Vim, by the same creator of Vim Casts: <href=”” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>Drew Neil</a>.
  • Animated QR code generator
  • Exposé, a simple and beautiful static site generator for photoessays
  • fzf, a fuzzy finder which works in some way with Vim but I’m still figuring it out.

Eventually, a little message.

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