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In this great age of computers, typing is an absolutely necessary skill. Only being able to peck away at keys greatly inhibits any efficiency you might have, whether you’re typing a document for work, a term paper or even just an email. Luckily, there are a number of apps out there to improve your typing skills, from lessons for beginners or games that work with advanced typers to continue improving your WPM.

These programs encompass a wide range of functions. Some of the programs are very full-featured, including lessons from the very basics, games, tests and drills. Other apps come at a much lower price, and they tend to focus on only one type of exercise, whether it’s lessons or a typing game. Read on to check out some  great Mac apps dedicated to improving your typing skills.

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Let’s face it – buying a Mac isn’t cheap, but you can help justify some of that cost if you use only a few of these outstanding free Mac apps. I’ve included my favorite apps, from simple text editors to advanced publishing tools, which are available at no cost to you.

In addition I attempted to stay away from the apps that everyone uses, instead focusing on the apps which are either up-and-coming or gems in the rough. Read on and see if you can’t get some extra value out of your Mac!

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As a color lover, and even a color nerd, I am always finding apps out there that excite my interest. I love color both as a designer and photographer and there are a number of Mac apps out there that are made with these interests in mind.

These apps run the gamut from developer’s color tools to color scheme generators to apps that make the color in photographs more exciting. There is even a bonus game included in the round-up. Read on to find out more about these fun apps for color lovers.

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This post is the answer to the first question that any new Mac user will ask: which apps are the best? The next time someone asks you this question, don’t think twice, just send them here.

We’ve spent hours and hours browsing the web, combing the Mac App Store and wandering through our own archives for the absolute best Mac apps around and we’ve found a whopping one hundred of them that we think you’ll love. Whether you’re looking for a screenshot utility, a todo list or even a great game to play, we’ve got you covered. We’re not merely offering a mindless list of links either, we took the time to tell you what each app does and why we love it so you can make an informed decision. Happy downloading!

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There are a huge number of ways to learn languages out there, from $500 software to classes to free translators. You can find software for any language you want, from Spanish to Urdu. It’s really a matter of personal preference how you choose to learn, but chances are that no matter what your learning style is, there’s something out there for you.

Today we’ve got a roundup of a variety of apps (from $5 – $500) as well as some utilities and little tips and tricks. I’ve tried to include software that is available in a variety of languages, so be sure to investigate further if a particular app seems like a good fit.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on March 1st, 2011.

So you’ve just bought a new Mac, perhaps even switching from Windows. As you’d expect, your friends come over to marvel at your new computing behemoth. So what do you show them? The way Safari expertly renders CSS drop-shadows, or how easy it is to make a sumptuous scatter graph in Numbers?

Of course not. You want to show them the fun, pointless stuff which will make them recoil in awe.

This post compiles 10 of the best apps, easter eggs and tweaks which serve little purpose but to inspire and amaze you and others. You won’t use these apps every day, but there’s no harm in knowing about them as a fun party trick…

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on Feb 22nd, 2011.

It’s that item in your iTunes sidebar, fourth from the top. The one that looks like a little figure, with weird circles radiating around him? You click on it, and iTunes tells you this is where Podcasts live. If it’s the first time you’ve explored this little crevice of iTunes, you’re given a nice little explanation of what a podcast is, where you can find one, and how iTunes will help you to enjoy them.

But there’s still one critical piece of information missing – what podcasts should you download?

Today we’ve put together a list of ten of the best Mac and Apple related podcasts. The list ranges from the perennial greats, to some of the new kids on the block. From pixel-perfect designer, to hardcore developer, from an OS X power user, to the most recent convert — there’s a podcast here for everyone.

The bottom line is, if you want to be entertained and educated about the Mac ecosystem, these are the podcasts for you.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on Feb 2nd, 2011.

There’s a huge range of amazing paid software out there, but more often than not there is some form of free alternative. For those of us who can’t afford to spend up on every great app we desire, gathered here are 15 great free pieces of software that achieve much the same purpose of a popular but paid application.

Of course – nine times out of ten you get what you pay for, and the paid applications are usually going to do the job better, look nicer, or have more features than any free app. But that doesn’t mean free applications are worth overlooking, as they will often be more than functional enough for your needs.

Join us after the break for a look at some great examples!

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The Mac has long been the homestead for effective and easy video editing, graphic design, and video compressing for many professionals and novices alike. If you are at all interested in getting your creative juices flowing, video wise, you will absolutely love this roundup. Many people know the big video apps for Mac, while other smaller and still great apps out there remained a mystery. So as a professional video editor and cinematographer, it is my mission to let you in on over thirty of the best video apps around.

Many of these apps are free and others are paid. Bang for your buck is very important when choosing what to spend your hard earned money on, so rest assured that all of the apps listed are in fact worth every penny. Lets dive right in and get creative!

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If you are searching for good apps at the Mac App Store, chances are you’d take a look at the featured app categories on display.

I’m talking about the “Apps for Writers,” “Get Stuff Done,” “Better Together,” and “Great Free Apps” categories where apps similar to one another are grouped together and given a snazzy section of their own. More importantly, these categories help you cut search time by providing unique gateways to apps that can contribute to your productivity, help you stay fit, or make work easier for you.

One of my personal favorites is the “Apps Starter Kit,” which welcomes new Mac owners with a set of 30 apps that can enhance user experience further. Although the suggestions are pretty helpful (I see a few of my favorites in there), it’s pretty limited. There are a handful of other apps at the Mac App Store that deserve a cozy spot in this category too. So in this post, I’ll share 12 apps that should be in the Apps Starter Kit as well.

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