Favourite Apps for 2021

Jeff Avery

2021/08/16

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Last year, I attempted to list my favourite Mac Apps. Of course, this list changes; new apps arrive, and old favourites have dropped off the list. So what has changed so far in 2021?

What’s New?

I’m writing a lot of Kotlin code.

It’s become my primary programming language, since switching CS 349 from Java to Kotlin. It’s also the primary language for CS 346 (hopefully launching very soon).

This has led to 2 major changes in my toolchain:

  1. I’m using IntelliJ IDEA 2021 for 99% of my coding activities. It’s just so incredibly good for Kotlin and the Java ecosystem that you would be a little crazy to not being using it near full-time.
  2. I’ve replaced VS Code with Sublime Text 4 (and the excellent Sublime Merge). It’s very, very fast, and when I’m making quick edits that’s exactly what I want.

VS Code is still an excellent choice in many ways, but it’s strength IMO is the plugin ecosystem1. Since I only use a text editor for quick edits, speed (Sublime) is far more important to me than plugins (VS Code).

I’m writing a lot of Markdown.

This website is written in markdown, and converted to static HTML by Hugo.

All CS 346 notes are 100% written in markdown, and new CS 349 notes are also written in markdown. Pandoc can convert them to static HTML, PDF or any other format as needed.

I use Typora as my main editor. Sure you can use a code editor, but Typora lets you choose between editing in a rich text window, or as a plain-text editor. I’ve written (literally) hundreds of pages of notes with it. I’m writing this post in Typora.

Just look at this. Outstanding. Here’s a lovely demo.

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What’s Old?

So what am I doing less of these days? I spend less time testing on alternate platforms, so VMware has been uninstalled. I’m enjoying the consistency of my Kotlin/Gradle projects working cleanly across Mac and Windows.


  1. Ask me how I feel about Electron apps. Maybe after class. ↩︎