Apr 27 2009
Once again, the year in freeware!
Best on the Web: Safari
This year saw Apple return to the browser. Better than IE was a given, but Apple showed its attentiveness to user feedback in adding tabs to the beta. Responsiveness and features took the prize from last years winner, Chimera (now Camino).
Freeware Classic: OpenOffice.org
A free, stable alternative to Microsoft Office. It requires X11 support, but Apple’s on top of that. Sun orphaned Sun Office for classic Mac OS years ago, but thanks to the project and OS X’s X11 support, free office is back. OpenOffice.org is where OS X’s Unix core meets all that is right with the world of open source software.
System Extension: Unsanity’s Menu Extra Enabler
With Unsanity you’re never stuck missing features Apple thought you could do without. This app is no exception. While it made its debut in late 2002, I thought it deserved some props for its Panther compatibility.
Menu Item: ImageWell
This menu item is a lean, practical image editor. The ability to nab images from the clipboard, crop, annotate and frame them and then export a jpeg, upload to a server or .Mac account puts this head-and shoulders above many free graphics apps, let alone menu items.
Best Plug-in: httpmail plugin
Another open-source success story. This Mail.app plug-in takes one of Entourage’s last unique features: Hotmail support. From the early days of receive-only to today’s polished product, this plug-in has evolved into a must-have.
Best PC App: iTunes
Probably the most anticipated new program from Apple this year, built for the PC. This is the easy winner of our new PC category. Perfect feature parity and
a seamless cross-platform transition make iTunes for PC my pick.
Best New: JunkBroom
In another new category, I thought it fitting to honor this new free app. For Entourage users, this is about the smartest spam filter out there, and it’s free. The one thing I love more than free software – free software that takes a nuisance out of your life. Bravo, JunkBroom!
That’s it, the year’s best freeware. Stay tuned for another exciting year of the best in free with me,