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An open source application is a piece of software for which the source code is available and in the public domain. Developers are able to download the code and modify, contribute and change it to suit their needs. This means businesses can ‘tweak’ software according to their needs and individuals can play around with code, add new features and explore how software works. Open source software is also the foundation to many of today’s largest, most renowned software packages – without open source software we might not have the amazing, mind-blowing applications and software packages we use everyday.

In light of this, I have compiled a list of 30 of the best open source applications for Mac. I encourage you to download and have a play with each and, where possible, replace over-priced commercial software.

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Since Adobe announced the beta for Photoshop CS6 a little over a week ago, it has been downloaded more than half a million times. Even if you’ve managed to miss the onslaught of tweets and reviews, the magnitude of eager testers should indicate how anxious photographers and designers were for an update to their beloved software.

A number of articles have been written that overview the new features and changes to CS6. After working with the beta every day for over a week, I will instead try to give my impressions on what features I find most useful and am actually incorporating into my workflow already. Read on to see what features have stood out to me.

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With the recent release of iBooks Author from Apple, I started to think more about using Apple products as learning tools. The iBooks Author announcement and accompanying video certainly generate some excitement at the possibilities using the iPad in classrooms and that is great, but I became curious as to what type of applications were currently available in the Mac App Store.

I began exploring and trolling for educational applications. We’ve done roundups on educational tools, such as note taking aids and other utilities of that nature, so I wanted to focus more on applications that directly help you to learn something. This wasn’t an easy task as they proved to be quite difficult to find. Here’s a list of fifty to get you started.

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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 April 5th, 2011.

Dropbox is one of those tools that spends most of its time sitting in the background, and yet has become an essential app for users on just about every platform. Dropbox as cloud storage, as a syncing solution, and even as a way to host a website is an incredibly useful tool.

That utility isn’t lost on app developers. Software that works with Dropbox is springing up everywhere — sometimes as a built-in function, and other times as a user hack. Either way, it makes life among many gadgets easier to have certain files accessible anywhere, anytime.

Here are some apps that you can start using to take advantage of cloud storage even more.

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Have you ever worked on a larger project and at some point wished that instead of a giant box of notes you had some shorter, more accessible overview of the entire thing? The run-down of a lecture series, the step-by-step process of realizing a website overhaul, the hierarchical overview of customer requests?

Whatever challenge you face, an outline can save the day. It allows you to quickly see a structure or find a detail which can get lost in regular notes. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at five outliner apps for Mac and their respective benefits and shortcomings. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but I’m sure it will get you started.

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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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Who here likes music? Yep, that’s what I thought, everybody. Some might go so far as to say, it’s what makes us — or at times perhaps keeps us — human.

Music tastes are as diverse as we ourselves. And we seem to be constantly on the prowl for more. Enterprising people noticed this fact, and decided to see what they could do in the world of web apps to help satisfy this constant need.

One such web app which appeared was Last.fm. And while its extensive feature set isn’t the topic of today’s article, one interesting feature of Last.fm is scrobbling. Scrobbling is a unique aspect to the Last.fm music streaming service, and for a lot of people, its best feature.

But this is 2012, a decade since Last.fm launched, and there are a myriad of music streaming services today. But none of them have tried to duplicate Last.fm’s scrobbling functionality, or the in-depth statistics that it generates. Why? Well, I suspect a big reason is that Last.fm has an API that allows developers to tie into Last.fm’s scrobbling service. Today we have for you seven Mac apps that support Last.fm’s scrobbling API.

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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 30th, 2011.

It’s time to ditch that ageing wallpaper on your desktop for something fresh and inspiring. There’s nothing better than a simple wallpaper that looks beautiful while not cluttering your display. Today we’re on a mission to find just this type of desktop background…

Whether you love simple graphic lines, typography, or photography, there’s something for you here. We’ve broken our collection of sexy wallpapers down into different categories to make it super-simple to find the right image for you, and even have a few exclusive OS X Lion wallpapers to share!

I hope you enjoy browsing through our collection of outstanding desktop wallpapers.

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