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The Mac platform boasts an abundance of free, low-cost, and great-value software. (That’s partly because of the convenience and popularity of the Mac App Store, though the concept of excellent, inexpensive Mac apps has been around for decades.) In fact, one of the biggest challenges these days, at least when it comes to software, is that the Mac has a veritable overabundance of apps. How do you know which are the good ones—and which ones are truly great?
That’s where we come in. Here at Macworld, we call apps that give you great functionality for the price Mac Gems, and we review one or two of these products each week in our Mac Gems column. Veteran readers know that Gems reviews are special to us, because they epitomize why we do what we do: to help you make the most of your Mac without breaking the bank.
But at our usual rate of Gems reviews, we can’t keep up with everything that’s out there. So each summer, our editors, along with a number of regular Macworld contributors, collaborate on an annual Gems-review marathon, which we call GemFest (a.k.a., the Summer of Gems).
Today marks the start of GemFest 2014. Continuing through late September, we'll review a new Gem every weekday. 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 list. Some of the software we review for GemFest 2014 will also be included in a special Mac Gems feature in the September 2014 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 September.)