10 Best Tools for Developers

3 min read

Whether you build websites, develop apps, or create tools for businesses, Mac is a brilliant tool for developers. Its Unix-based OS, the hardware reliability, and the quality of the display on MacBooks and iMacs are just a few reasons for the developers’ loyalty.

List of 10 Best Mac Developer Tools

No surprise then that there are lots of great apps for macOS that specifically address problems faced by developers. Whether it’s writing code, managing files, or turning HTML into beautiful animations, there’s a tool for it on the Mac.

Here is the shortlist of our 10 favorite Mac apps all developers should use.

1. Create beautiful animations with Hype

Hype is a keyframe animation tool that allows you to create HTML5 projects for use on websites, in digital greetings cards, infographics or ebooks. In its simplest form, you can just hit Record and move elements around the canvas. Hype will then watch what you do, create keyframes on the timeline, and turn the whole lot into HTML5. You can trigger animations and transitions with Actions, and if you want to have complete control, the JavaScript editor lets you code custom functions.

2. Easily manage APIs with Paw

Paw allows developers to test and debug APIs. It features full interaction with REST services and the ability to create and test HTTP requests. API calls can be imported from Postman, cURL, and Advanced REST client. And when you’re done, you can export them again. You can add descriptions and constraints to APIs, and call on a large set of inbuilt extensions, or create your own from scratch.

3. Master regex with Expressions

Need to write and test regular expressions? Expressions is the right tool for the job. With syntax highlighting to make the pattern easy to read and modify, and a regex reference sheet in case you need to remind yourself of the syntax it makes playing with regular expressions simple. It has a minimalist interface and a choice of dark or light modes, meaning it keeps out of the way while you get on with the work.

Expressions, regex app

4. Write code faster with TeaCode

TeaCode is a dynamic, intelligent snippet library of expendable code snippets for any programming language. This developer's tool features to write code in any language, slots into your workflow, a lot of expanders ready to go and create your own expanders, quick entry and browsing.

TeaCode, a code expander tool for developers

Instead of typing the whole action, you can only put down the expander and it with unfold into a full section of code.

5. Seamlessly operate servers with Forklift

Moving files between servers, uploading them to web hosts, and editing them online are key tasks for many developers. Forklift allows you to do all that and more. Whether the server you need to connect to is FTP, SFTP, Amazon S3 or WebDAV, Forklift makes it easy. And, of course, it connects to SMB and AFP servers too. You can synchronize files between your Mac and a remote server, preview remote files and compare two files in different locations. 

Forklift file manager

6. Swiftly debug your code with CodeRunner

With support for 23 languages out of the box, including Swift, Python, C++, and AppleScript, CodeRunner is an essential tool in any developers’ arsenal. Edit and run code with a single click, set breakpoints, and step through code line by line to debug it. CodeRunner also includes IDE-level code completion, including fuzzy search, tab selectable placeholders, and documentation snippets.


7. Organize multiple databases with SQLPro Studio

If you need to work with multiple different SQL database types, SQLPro Studio is the ideal choice. It has support for MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, and Oracle. As a native Mac app, it’s faster and more reliable than Java-based alternatives and allows you to simultaneously select multiple tables, update table content, and compare query results.

SQL tool

8. Manage SQLite databases with Base

For developers with more modest SQL needs, Base should be the go-to solution. It’s an SQLite database manager that makes it easy to create, search, and edit data. With its spreadsheet-like interface, it’s straightforward to get to grips with yet allows you to edit everything from basic default values to complex foreign key constraints.

SQLite database manager

9. Write perfect Markdown with Marked

The right tool for developers who spend their time coding in markup languages, a good preview tool essential; and that’s exactly what Marked is. Whether you write in Markdown, HTML, OPML or any other markup language, Marked allows you to see how the finished version will look before you publish. 

Markdown with Marked

You can carry on writing in your preferred text editor while using Marked to preview the finished document. It also comes with tools like spelling and grammar checking, tips for simplifying sentences, word count, and reading time. 

10. Code like a pro with XCOrganizer

When it comes to coding on the Mac, XCOrganizer finds all your Xcode Projects, Xcode Workspaces, Swift Playgrounds, and Swift Packages in one click. Features include quick search, project groups, bookmark in one click, separate work and personal projects. 


When it comes to choosing the best developer tools for macOS, the only real way to decide is to try them all for yourself. So it’s good news that many of the tools listed above are available for a free trial through Setapp, a collection of over 200 life-saving apps for macOS.

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