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Sneak Peek (ssshhhhh!)

Don’t tell anyone, but here is a little preview of our upcoming app for musicians.

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Tools I use as a Mac and iOS Developer

Congratulations. You found my new blog. It will be about software development for Apple’s iOS, Mac OS X and future platforms. I will also write about productivity, useful tools, techniques, videos and other stuff I come across.
In this post I’d like to present my development setup including which software I use and how I use it.
Office Desk

My office desk

Hardware
Office: Mac Mini (2008), 2 monitor setup
Home: MacBook Pro 15″ (2007) with external monitor
iPhone 4 (no simlock)

Mac OS 10.6
Although my first language is German (I am Austrian), I use English as my primary language on my computers. This is simply due to the fact that 99% of all development related stuff (e.g. documentation, videos, forums, etc.) is in English and things would get messy on a German system.

Finder
Pretty much standard config.

Finder

I customized the toolbar to my needs:
  • > cd to … This opens Terminal.app and cds to the current folder. Very handy time saver.
  • VLC droplet. Mighty video player.
  • TextWrangler droplet. Mighty text editor.
  • CleanArchiver droplet. This tool archives files without including Mac OS X system files like .DS_Store
I use color labels for different types of source folders (e.g. red for my own projects, green for 3rd party libraries etc.).
The sidebar contains shortcuts to my most commonly used folder, one of which is my development products folder (“Source”).

Dock (only things I use all the time)
Dock

Dock

From left to right (with descriptions where appropriate):
  • Finder
  • Mac App Store
  • System Preferences
  • Chrome
  • Mail
  • Skype
  • Twitter
  • NetNewsWire (RSS reader)
  • iCal
  • iTunes
  • Project Calculator (project time tracking)
  • Xcode
  • Omni Outliner (outlining, ad-hoc task list)
  • Evernote (powerful note taking with cloud sync)
  • Folders: Applications, Documents, Downloads

Menu bar
Menu Bar

Menu Bar

From left to right (with descriptions where appropriate):
  • Cinch (simple, intelligent window management)
  • Twitter
  • Logitech TouchMouse (use your iPhone as touch pad/keyboard)
  • Alfred (brilliant app launcher + search tool, more on that in another post)
  • TextExpander (expands shortcuts to predefined text of arbitrary lengths and style, more on that in another post)
  • DropBox
  • Evernote (see above)
  • SlimBatteryMonitor (uses minimal space, unlike Apple’s menu bar item)
  • MobileMe Sync
  • iStatMenus (Lots of measurements. I use bandwidth usage, memory usage, CPU load and disk activity)
  • Display, Bluetooth and WiFi settings (only on my MacBook Pro)
  • Volume
  • Keyboard & Character Viewer. I use this when I need special characters. Activate in System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard tab
  • iStatMenus calendar (I prefer this to the default time & date because it looks nicer)
  • Spotlight

I use Exposé extensively and configured it like this:

Exposé

Exposé

I am right handed. I use the keys F1-F3 because I can easily hit them with my left hand while moving the mouse with the right. I am able to access all windows, application windows and the desktop with a single press of a button. Unfortunately I had to disable the special features for the F keys in the keyboard settings, so I can’t use the volume or iTunes buttons (but replaced those with SizzlingKeys shortcuts).

Xcode
Nothing special too. I use a nice color theme I found here: http://flux88.com/blog/my-xcode-theme/
I currently use SVN as my version control system and will look into git as soon as I have time for it.

Other Tools
  • iWork
  • Cyberduck. Free FTP client
  • Adobe Photoshop. No explanation needed I guess.
  • OmniGraffle. Great for making any kind of diagram, UI mockup, flow chart etc.
  • xScope. Tool to measure all kinds of stuff on the screen

This was a little overview of the software I use regularly to develop apps for iOS and Mac OS X. The next posts will cover news feeds to subscribe to, twitter accounts to follow, websites to visit and books to read. I also plan to elaborate on the project management methods we use in our company.

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