Google’s Chrome web browser made huge strides this year, growing by as much as 84%, according to StatCounter.One of the unique draws of Chrome is that it allows you to install “Chrome apps,” applications that run within your browser.
Many of these apps are mere shortcuts to websites, but many of them are much more than that. Here are our favourites.
Springpad keeps track of notes, pictures, bookmarks, recipes, to-do lists, and more, and it syncs across all of your computers and mobile devices.
Plus, the interface looks gorgeous.
Gmail is the email service and email client of choice for millions of people, yet if you're left without an internet connection, it's easy to feel helpless.
The Offline Gmail app for Chrome downloads your mail to a local folder on your computer and enables you to send and compose emails without an internet connection. Pretty convenient.
Bastion is a highly acclaimed indie RPG game that features fun gameplay, beautiful artwork, and a 'reactive narrator' that tells a unique story based on how you play the game.
Cryptocat is an ultra secure encrypted chat room for you and friends. In order to join your conversation, friends need a unique code identifier.
Cryptocat even works on your Android or iPhone.
Kindle Cloud Reader is your gateway to reading all of your Kindle books on your computer.
The user interface is great, and the app even saves the entirety of the current book you're reading for offline reading.
Remembering the keyboard shortcuts for taking screen captures can be annoying.
With this Chrome app, it's simple to take a screen capture of what you're reading and even add shapes, text, and arrows to it.
The app is built by Google, and is a nice lightweight alternative to Skitch.
Aviary can make Chrome a little bit sluggish, but considering it's a free Photoshop alternative that lives inside your browser, it's a must-try.
Most of the photo manipulation tools you've come to know and love are all here.
Scratchpad hangs out in the bottom corner of Chrome and stores every little thing you need to remember, like pictures, to-do's, and more.
It even syncs with Google Docs!
Like Aviary, SlideRocket takes a desktop staple application and sticks it in your browser, proving that you don't need a powerful computer to run productivity apps.
SlideRocket is a new take on slideshow creation. It's a modern version of PowerPoint, and even lets you export slideshows for easy viewing on mobile devices.
Looking for a distraction-free writing environment on your computer?
Write Space is a full-fledged text editor that requires no internet connection and saves your document every time you type a new letter. It saves the document to your computer, so you don't have to worry about losing it somewhere in the cloud.
Weather Underground's Chrome app combines some of the most accurate forecasts with beautiful high definition (if not necessarily relevant) images from around the world.