Mac apps I love that started on iOS

Some of the Mac apps that I love and rely on were born on iOS. In fact, several applications have made that transition successfully, like Echofon and that damn Angry Birds. Others have become an important part of my work day. Here are two of my favorites.

Reeder

To say that I spend a lot of time reading RSS feeds is like saying Boeing dabbles in aeronautics. I’ve tried several apps and none have satisfied my need for speed, reliability and extensive keyboard shortcuts like Reeder. It doesn’t balk at the huge number of queries I throw at it and, best of all, the keyboard shortcuts are abundant and easy to remember. For example:

  1. Open in a browser: B
  2. Mark as read: A
  3. Previous: K
  4. Next: J

There’s no modifyer key or awkward combinations that require the fingers of a contortionist. It’s a super reader.

Twitter for Mac (formerly Tweetie)

Before it became the official Twitter app for Mac, Tweetie was born on the iOS. Today, I rely on it heavily while working, and that’s because of the tiny blue dots.

Twitter for Mac supports multiple accounts, displaying each one’s avatar on the main window’s left-hand side. A small blue dot appears next to each as new tweets arrive. The dot’s position identifies the incoming tweet as a mention, direct message or general timeline tweet. As a result, I can monitor which of my many accounts has a mention or DM awaiting my attention. It’s extremely useful.

But that’s not all, sports fans

The opposite is true, too: several Mac apps have spawned stellar iOS companions. My favorites either compliment or duplicate the original’s feel and function so well, that they’re a joy to use. Here are a few standouts.

Billings Touch

I dare say the iPhone version of Marketcircle’s time-tracking app is even more pleasant than its Mac counterpart. Create projects, clients, invoices and more on the fly and in the field. Plus it syncs wirelessly with the desktop version (though you must be on the same Wi-Fi network).

Omnifocus

I’ve been using The Omni Group’s project manager on the Mac for quite a while and again, I prefer the iPad version. It’s slick, beautiful and so thoughfully designed you’d almost think it was an iOS app first.

GarageBand

This app is beautiful, functional and fun. I’ve recorded audio with it via the iPad Camera Connection Kit. Typically I recored two or three podcasts per week. Being able to do so at nearly any locaiton with such a minimal setup is fantastic. My kids and I love making music with it, and it even keeps them entertained on long road trips.

Not every app could or should make this transition. However, it can turn out very well, as these five apps demonstrate. Good work, all!