Mac Gems: Welcome to GemFest 2013

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The Mac platform boasts an abundance of free and low-cost software, thanks in no small part to the convenience and popularity of the Mac App Store (though the concept of great, inexpensive apps long predates the store). It seems we’ve never had so many low-cost apps to choose from. But how do you know which are worth trying—which are the good ones, and which are the truly great ones?

Here at Macworld, we call apps that give you great functionality for a low price Mac Gems. We review a couple of these products each week here on the Mac Gems Weblog, but at two per week, we can’t keep up with everything that’s out there. So each summer, my fellow editors and a number of regular Macworld contributors pitch in on a Gems-review marathon. The result is our annual Gems event.

Today marks the start of this year's event, GemFest 2013 (also known as the Summer of Gems). Continuing through late September, we'll review a new Gem every day except Sunday. As with the software we normally cover in Mac Gems, some of the apps will be delightfully simple, while others will be more complex. Some will be specialized and have narrow appeal, while others should be useful to nearly everyone. Each and every one will earn the Mac Gems label.

You can view a list of this year’s apps, updated daily, in our handy GemFest chart. Some of the software we'll review for GemFest 2013 will also be included in a special Mac Gems feature in the October 2013 print issue of Macworld—pick up a copy if you'd like to see them all in one place. And don't forget to browse the Mac Gems Weblog to read past Gems reviews.


(Our regular Gems column will resume in late September.)

Want to stay up to date with the latest Gems? You can follow Mac Gems on Twitter or on You can also subscribe to the Mac Gems RSS feed.

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