App Defaults for 2024

App Defaults for 2024

As we enter 2024 I finally completed my inventory of App Defaults.

Few things of note.

  • I’m currently evaluating note taking / writing apps after being disappointed with Obsidian on iOS. Currently I’m leaning towards Bear which is a fantastic looking writing app, but I’m also actively testing FSNotes. So things are bit in flux in this category.
  • I always prefer native apps over Electron / web-apps. This strongly reflects my app choices.
  • I try to avoid Chromium based browsers, not the least because of Google’s increasing privacy-hostility.

Let’s get to it:

  • 📬 Mail Client: Apple
  • 📮 Mail Server: Migadu
  • 🗒️ Notes: Bear, Apple for shared notes
  • ✅ To-Do: Things, Apple for shared to-dos
  • 📷 iPhone Photo Shooting: Apple
  • 🌅 Photo Management: Apple
  • 📆 Calendar: Apple
  • 📦 Cloud file storage: iCloud Drive
  • 📖 RSS: Reeder 5 backed by Feedbin
  • 👥 Contacts: Apple
  • 🌐 Browser: Apple Safari, Arc at work
    • MS Teams 🤢 is crippled on non-Chromium browsers
  • 💬 Chat: iMessage, Signal, Matrix
  • 🔖 Bookmarks:
  • 📑 Read It Later: Omnivore
  • 📝 Word Processing: Bear
  • 📈 Spreadsheets: Apple Numbers, MS Excel (for work)
  • 📊 Presentations: Apple Keynote, MS PowerPoint (for work)
  • 🛒 Shopping Lists: Apple
  • 🥘 Meal Planning: Mela
  • 💸 Budgeting & Personal Finance: YNAB
  • 🗞️ News: RSS, various news sites and Mastodon
  • 🎹 Music: Apple
  • 🎙️ Podcasts: Castro
    • By far the best podcast app for iOS, but unfortunately seems neglected. Suffered also major outage this winter.
  • 🔑 Password Management: Strongbox
    • I was early user of 1Password, but since their app switched to Electron and they also ended support for self-hosted vaults, I started to look alternatives. I decided to choose Keepass vault-standard based client with good integration to Apple ecosystem. Strongbox has been great.


  • 🎨 Photo Processing: Lightroom
    • I wish there was something else as powerful as Lightroom as I’m not that keen on paying Adobe subscription.
  • 🖌️ Image Editing: Pixelmator Pro
    • New addition from Black Friday sale.
  • 🚀 Launcher: Raycast
    • Didn’t use any 3rd party launchers before, but Raycast with all its extensions has become one of the most valuable apps for me
  • 🐘 Social Media: Mastodon with Ivory app
  • 🔎 Search: Kagi
    • Paid search engine, but oh my it’s so good. And privacy respecting too.
  • 📘 Code Editor: BBEdit on macOS, Textastic on iOS
  • 📸 Screenshots: Shottr
  • 🎥 Video Player: Iina on macOS and Infuse on Apple TV
  • 💿 Media Library: Jellyfin
  • 🖥️ Terminal: Kitty on macOS, Blink on iOS
  • 📝 Blog: Self-hosted Ghost
    • I’ve been using static site generators years ago (Jekyll, Hugo) and perhaps will return to those one day. Ghost keeps expanding to newsletter / membership craze, which I don’t care at all. But the core blogging functionality is still there and works.
  • 📦 Package Manager: Homebrew
    • Must have and one of the first things I install on fresh macOS.
  • ⛴️ Containers: Colima
    • I’m just happy I don’t need to run Docker Desktop anymore.
  • ▶️ YouTube: ytdl-sub, Vinegar
  • 🗜️ File Compression: Keka
  • ❌ Ad-blocker: Wipr
  • 🖥️ Virtual Machines: UTM