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Jacob Penderworth

Jacob is a freelance writer at his own blog and a few others across the Internet. In his free time, he listens to a lot of music, plays music, and takes photographs of amazing places. You can email him with inquiries, should you have any.

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Did you just get a new Mac? Or maybe you’ve had one for a long time and are just looking for some cool affordable apps to download. Either way, we’ve got a fun roundup for you. There are a bunch of paid apps on the App Store, and many of them do their job well, but what about free ones? What if you don’t want to pay for a new text or photo editor? There are a lot of free and open-source alternatives to popular apps, but they’re often hard to find.

In this roundup, we’ve gathered a list of great free apps that you should download, even if for a moment to try them out. They’re great, and you’ll likely find at least a few to add to your workflow. They’re also all native apps not tied to a service — so you won’t find the likes of Evernote and Droplr — so you can use the apps anywhere, anytime.

Here’s the best free stuff, just for your Mac, in 2013.
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With the rise of the App Store and a divergent wave of mobile gaming, independent developers are finding it easier to get their ideas out there. It’s still hard to publish a full Xbox 360 or PS3 game because the most popular ones are found on shelves and available in disc format. The PlayStation Store and Xbox Games Store are beginning to change the way titles are distributed by pushing digital delivery methods; new consoles, the PS4 and Xbox One, are helping pave the way for this change with more storage and even some cloud capabilities. Valve’s Steam platform has understood this concept for a long time, and it’s now moving into Apple’s domain with Steam for Mac.

The App Store, though, is still where the indie action is. Since the App Store has made it so much easier for developers to promote their creations, there are some amazing new indie titles making their way to players like you. After a good deal of research, AppStorm wants to share with you the best indie games available right now, along with reasons why they’re worth purchasing. (more…)

Web development — and app development — is an ever-growing industry. Over at ThemeForest, there are thousands of website themes available because developers spend time coding them. But it’s not easy to construct one of those masterpieces. It takes knowledge, effort, and the right tools.

Here at Mac.AppStorm, we try to make sure you know about the latest and greatest in software machinery. The best software tools. Today I’m going to introduce you to ten of the best code and markup editors available on the Mac, from free feature-packed apps to paid workhorses. They’re first and foremost designed to help you code and write markup, but most are customizable enough that they can be great writing apps, too.

Let’s jump right in.

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Phone calls and voicemail are things of the past. Now we have Skype, text messaging, Twitter, and Facebook. In all their popularity, though, these services don’t manage to modernize voicemail, they just eliminate it. That makes sense: most people don’t even care about that feature of their phones anyway.

Still, what if we took voice messaging to a new level? WaveDeck did that on the iPhone and now we have Pling, which brings that experience to the Mac as well. Is it all we could ask for? (more…)

Living in a diverse world comes with consequences. It’s great to see people who are not stereotypical and actually go above and beyond what others consider normal behavior, but when it comes to languages, you can’t learn them all. It’s estimated that there are nearly 7000 different spoken languages in the world.

Since there are many perusers of the Internet who know only their native tongue, reading a bit of international writing on the Web can become tedious. People that often find themselves browsing foreign websites typically use Google Chrome for its integrated translation functionality. But why doesn’t OS X have that built-in? (more…)

Cloak is a fantastic little VPN that protects your privacy and allows you to browse the Internet safely on your Mac. Unfortunately, you must pay a price for quality.

Or must you? The team at Spotflux doesn’t think you should pay for privacy, so they have developed a great little VPN that works on Mac, Windows, iOS, and soon Android. As with anything that’s free, there must be a downside, right? Let’s find out. (more…)

I copy and paste a lot of text in my average day. The problem with that is I often override what I’ve already copied because I forget to paste it somewhere. When this happens, I sometimes find myself without the letter I wrote to a friend or even a password I had just created. I then have to go back to the source and write up everything again.

Operating systems should have a safeguard for such matters, but they don’t, so the folks over at Generation Loss Interactive took it into their own hands to create Collective, a great little app that holds your clipboard history. (more…)

When it comes to purging caches and improving your Mac’s performance, there’s nothing like MacPaw’s CleanMyMac. The utility has been around since the summer of 2009 and has been the most reliable way to keep your Mac running like it’s new.

On the 5th of March, a brand new version of the app released with many changes and improvements. I’ve been using the new CleanMyMac 2 since late January, and here’s what I’ve observed. (more…)

There’s so many apps in the App Store and elsewhere for the Mac, there’s no way anyone could use them all. We sure don’t. Each of us on the Mac.AppStorm team has our favorite apps that we use for work and more every day, the apps that have stood the test of time for us. We thought you might like to see the Mac apps we each find most important, so we’re starting a new series. Jacob’s first, with his favorite apps, and check back next Wednesday for another of our writers’ favorite apps.

And now, over to Jacob:

Here’s my formulaic morning: Get up and eat breakfast, then open my MacBook Air and start work. What is “work”? That depends on the day. Sometimes it’s writing industry-related news, other times it’s reviewing the latest FarmVille clone, and once in a while I get to do a roundup. Today happens to be one of those roundup days, and I’m excited about it because I get to share some cool stuff with you.

Have you ever wondered what a writer here uses for his daily duties? It’s time to find out, starting with my personal Launchpad of top hits.

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It’s not every day a good game comes to the Mac. In fact, there aren’t many who consider the platform to be one for games. Thanks to the Mac App Store, some quality titles are slowly making their way to Apple’s computers. One consistent publisher has been LEGO with its editions of popular fiction — Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, etc. This week LEGO released yet another beautifully-built game, this time for fans of The Lord of the Rings. But the game releases for the week don’t end there. Let’s take a quick look at the top two games that just arrived on the Mac App Store. (more…)

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