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My Must-Have Apps, 2013 Edition

Today, I published the last installment of this year’s “My Must-Have Apps” series. I had a lot of fun compiling these lists for the past two months, cutting them down as much as possible to only include the apps I consider essential for my iPad, Mac, and iPhone.

Because these articles have kept me busy for the better part of December, I decided, inspired by John Siracusa, to offer a quick recap with links and stats.

In each list, I named an App of the Year:

All three articles have been written and edited in Editorial for iPad. HTML output was generated from Markdown files with Marked 2. Using a couple of Editorial workflows, I compiled some stats by scanning the original Markdown version of my articles.

I started with the basics – the number of apps:

  • 33 iPad apps
  • 32 Mac apps
  • 50 iPhone apps

(115 apps listed across three articles)

Then, I counted hyperlinks (formatted as inline links in Markdown):

  • 98 inline links iPhone
  • 63 inline links Mac
  • 98 inline links iPad

(259 hyperlinks across three articles)

For prices, I first counted the total number of apps again, then split free and paid apps, and last I calculated the total and average cost of paid apps. Please note that prices have been fetched from iTunes today, therefore some apps may still be discounted for the holiday sale.


  • 33 apps. 14 free apps and 19 paid apps.
  • Total cost of paid apps: $116.81
  • Average cost of paid apps: $6.15

Mac (only Mac App Store apps)

  • 13 apps. 2 free apps and 11 paid apps.
  • Total cost of paid apps: $175.89
  • Average cost of paid apps: $15.99


  • 50 apps. 18 free apps and 32 paid apps.
  • Total cost of paid apps: $145.68
  • Average cost of paid apps: $4.55

Last, I counted the occurrences of specific words/phrases in my articles. They were all written separately in the month of December 2013, so I wanted to see if I could find curious patterns in my writing style and editing process. Searches were case-sensitive; both links and occurrences were counted using Editorial workflows from my book.

Occurrences for…(by article)

  • “workflow”: 7 (iPhone), 8 (Mac), 7 (iPad)
  • “love”: 3 (iPhone), 2 (Mac), 2 (iPad)
  • “I don’t know”: 1 (iPhone), 2 (Mac), 1 (iPad)
  • “I don’t like”: 2 (iPhone), 0 (Mac), 1 (iPad)

You can find all my three “Must-Have Apps” articles here.