Google Chromebooks are out now, and one can buy them from Amazon and Best Buy. These Chromebooks run on Google’s own OS, named as Chrome. Chrome can also be regarded as linux, or rather a stripped down version of Linux. Its custom Linux distribution developed by Google. The minus point is that applications or any other software cannot be installed on these Chromebooks. In simple terms and in one sentence, in Chromebook, you can’t install any apps/any softwares. Consider it as a limitation, or its just meant to work like this only or accept it, as the way it is. Let’s take a look at some of the best Chromebook Apps.
These are some handpicked apps, which will make your life easier, be it games or work. The Chrome web store has got plenty of useful apps, and in this article, we’ll take a look at some of those apps for different purposes.
So now, let’s start the list.
We’ll start with office apps. Ofcourse once cannot install and use Microsoft Office or LibreOffice, as one would typically do in Windows or in Linux operating system. So what now ? Don’t be afraid, we’ve always got some choices.
Google Docs is an online office suite. You don’t need to download anything for running this. Everything is managed online. It includes Word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing and forms. Through Google docs, one can view the docs from anywhere, as its stored online, and also real-time collaboration is possible. One can edit the documents and other will will know what has changed. Now that’s real time collaboration.
Zoho Docs is a complete document management system. Your all files will be stored in a centralized location, and one can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, pictures and much. Really, it has got much potential, and seems to have more features, compared to Google Docs. It offers online file storage, file sharing and real time collaboration, chatting, add and delete users, searching and much more. All this is included in Zoho Docs. One needs to first sign up with them and there are three plans to select from, free, standard (for $3/user/month) and premium (for $5 user/month). If you’re just starting up, then try out the free version first and it offers 1 GB of free space.
SlideRocket helps you to create stunning Presentations online. With 97,800 users, this application is surely going to impress the ones which love to create Presentations. It has got many features like adding audio to slides, embedding video from Youtube, collaboration, sharing the presentation or embedding it, etc. This is really a feature full app. It also includes a HTML5 viewer for iPad and iPhone. This features list doesn’t ends here, just try it.
ok, so enough work done with all these office suites, so now its time to have some fun. All work and no play really makes us as robots, who tend to be working every time. These games will surely going to entice you.
FarmVille, the most popular game on Facebook can also be played on Chrome. For those who don’t know (which is less likely to be the case) Farmville is a social network game, where players have farms, and help each other in the farm. This game is freemium, it means that its free but if players want, then they can also purchase some premium content. Go ahead and be farmer.
Angry Birds the popular game on iPhone, and its now even available to play online. This game can also be played offline, even if the internet gets disconnected. With 1,000,000+ users playing this game, there should be something worth trying, right ?. If you’ve already played this game on iPhone, then also its worth playing because it includes some special “Chrome only” levels. In this game, the player needs to knock down the evil pigs, by throwing birds at them. There are some twists in this, therefore try it, it ain’t ordinary birds, its angry birds. And this game also runs offline.
Cargo Bridge is a very addictive game. The game is very simple and the player just needs to build a bridge. So showoff your construction skills, with a limited budget and see if the bridge can be built with that budget or not. The unused money will become the score, so the less money used, the more the score will be.
SparckChess is a free online chess game. It features great graphics, three difficulty levels optimized for short and casual matches, autosave, 6 savegame slots and unlimited undo. This game even works offline – no internet connection is needed. Chess lovers should surely try out this game.
RuneScape is a free MMORPG (multiplayer online role-playing game). This game holds Guinness World Record as the World’s most popular and free MMORPG. With more than 180 million players, this fantasy game can surely be given a try. Players in this game are represented with customizable avatars. Players fight with non-player character (NPC) monsters, and thereby complete quests, and increase experience.
Mahjong solitaire (also referred as Mahjongg) is a tile matching puzzle game. This is a strategy game where players have to match sets of tiles to eliminate them. Also there are different layouts to try.
Social Networking Apps
Next comes the social networking apps. Well, admittedly we all love to connect with friends, and peak at what others are doing. Social networking is something which everyone loves, so here we start.
Recently, TweetDeck is acquired by Twitter. TweetDeck is your personal browser which helps you in connecting with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Google Buzz. Yes, all this is included, in a simple and easy to use application. Easy to manage columns, fast loading time, auto complete, searching, etc, basically, it’s a social networking powerhouse.
HootSuite is becoming very popular nowadays, and therefore here comes the App. With HootSuite, one can manage Twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, mySpace, foursquare and many more social networks. Isn’t it so cool, to manage everything via a single app. Now this is what you call, all in one. Schedule updates and Tweets, auto post your Blog or RSS feeds to your social networking account, mobile platform compatibility, statistics reports and what not, everything’s included here. HootSuite is available in a Basic (Free) version as well as Pro and Enterprise versions also.
Love listening music, then here are some apps that may come to the rescue:
Plus Music is the easy way to listen to music on the web. When you want to hear what an artist sounds like, it quickly finds and plays a mix of tracks for you. And when you’re using Facebook, it makes it super easy to share and enjoy music.
Pandora is a personalized radio service. Discover new music as per your choice by just entering a song, artist and genre, and your personalized radio station is ready. Pandora is powered by the Music Genome Project: a project started over ten years ago to capture the complex musical DNA of songs using a large team of highly-trained musicians. Get music recommendations from Pandora, and see if that suits the mood.
This is not an app but still it deserves to be in this list. Grooveshark is something that a musicoholic shouldn’t miss. Why ? Because its everything, from music search, to listening to most popular music online, to sharing it, everything’s included here. Discover any music, listen online and create playlists. However, to remove advertisements, one needs to purchase a Grooveshark plus subscription which costs $6 per month.
Ever wanted to create your own music, with something simple and easy to use. Then try out Audiotools. Audiotool is a powerful online music production studio. Create your own melodies with these new high tech features, or combine more than fourteen different effects together with three drum machines or synthesizers. The possibilities are endless. This app has got 148,869 users.
Books or eBook apps
Love reading books, or are you a literature fan ? Its also sometimes referred to as “Books are our best friends”. Here are some handpicked apps for book lovers.
With this app, read over 3 million Google eBooks on the web. And this app is not just for Chromebook, but you can use Google eBook and read books anywhere, on any device. What sets this apart is its vast library, with more than 3 million free eBooks, there should definitely be some books that interests you. Also you can purchase a book, and store it in the cloud. Did you know that 345,871 users are using this app. Just try it.
This is for the little ones at home. This app has beautifully illustrated books, with many famous titles. Read different books with audio playback, word highlighting and automatic playback. The automatic playback feature can also be paused, and then one can turn the pages manually. If there is a little one at your home, then give this app a try.
Bloggers, they too need some special attention, and that’s why here comes some apps for Bloggers. And no, you won’t be disappointed.
Google Reader is used by many Bloggers, to keep an eye on their competitors and also to go gain more knowledge on what’s happening on their favorite Blogs. It constantly checks your favorite news site or Blog for new content via their RSS feeds, and then display those new posts. Google Reader just needs a website address, and then the user can subscribe to that Blog. Add as many sites as you want, and the simple, minimalist layout helps to easily browse all RSS feeds.
If we’re talking about Blogging, then how can we forget about Blogger. Blogger app makes it simple to post text, photos and video onto your personal or team blog. Some of its features are powerful template designer, drag and drop widgets, free hosting for images and video, mobile support for Bloggers on the go, support for 41 languages, easy monetization with Adsense and much more.
This is not an app but its an extension. Bloggers do need URL Shortener often to post links to Twitter or on other social networks. This extension can shorten the URL with Google URL Shortener service from http://goo.gl. Keyboard shortcut, QR code, share with mail client or share link on different services, copy to clipboard, and much more.
Blogging for some is a profession, and with any successful profession comes time management. We all want to manage time effectively and remember our tasks. There may be a time when an idea comes to the mind, but you are busy, therefore just write it down on a to-do list. Ever though to manage tasks and to do lists easily ? Then this is the app you were searching for. Easily create to-do list with this feature rich app. Create task with high priorities, due dates, label them, repeat tasks, tags, share, send and publish tasks with your contacts, or get reminded by SMS, Email or instant messenger. Seriously, if task management is something, then this is the app.
Also see: How to create and manage tasks online
Instant Messaging clients are something that helps in connecting with friends and family. Let’s take a look at some of them, which are worth trying.
Meebo messenger can connect you with many popular networks like Google talk, facebook, yahoo, and windows live. It has simple interface, with the ability to connect with multiple networks.
This app let’s you chat with friends from skype, Windows Live / MSN, Facebook, Yahoo IM, AIM, Google Talk, Jabber, ICQ, and MySpace. Isn’t it great to use a single app, to chat with friends from various different accounts. And not just text chat, but voice and video chat also. There is also an imo app for iPhone, iPod and Android.
eBuddy is a multi network instant messenger. Use this app to chat on Yahoo!, AIM, Facebook Chat, Google Talk, MSN and MySpace Chat. It offers instant notifications, ease of use and a fully featured messenger with options to change themes, change contact list layout, and many other options. In short, an all in one messenger.
Image Editing apps
Image editing is fun, and sometimes they are really important. Adobe Photoshop is something that is widely used, but the problem is that you cannot use it or rather say, install it on Chromebooks. So what now ? Well, don’t worry, there are some apps that might come to rescue. Although it can’t be said that these apps are Photoshop alternatives, but to some extent, they are useful.
This is a powerful web based photo editor to retouch and manipulate a photo. Aviary is a layer based image editing application, and from basic image editing to adding complex effects, its all included in here. Some of its key features are powerful layers, 30 editing tools, import from popular photo sharing sites, image effects, blend mode, and this is just a short list. Its much more capable then this.
If you’re aware of picnik.com then the same functionality is integrated in this app. Picnik is a photo editing awesomeness. It includes a complete set of tools from basic fixes to professional quality effects and cosmetic touch ups. The ready made shapes and stickers help you to get started fast. With a plethora of options for creating an extra ordinary image, this application really stands out from the crowd.
Pixlr presents a full featured photo editor direct in your browser. If you are used to working with Gimp, Paint shop pro or even Photoshop you will feel right at home with this online image editor. This is not something simple, but its really advanced. Some of its features are red eye reduction, spot heal tool, drawing tools, clone tools, sharpen and blur tools and many more.
Sketchpad brings your favorite digital painting tools to the browser with a tool set including paintbrush, texture stamp, and spiral brush. All the tools have many settings like flow, opacity, diameter jitter and more. All tools in Sketchpad can be used in two different blending modes, paint and light, doubling your color and texture combinations and giving you limitless possibilities for self-expression.
Sumopaint is an online image editor and drawing application with community at www.sumopaint.com. The primary purpose of the community is to create, share, remix, explore, comment, rate and fave the artwork of its members. Sumopaint.com hosts the internet’s most versatile painting / photo manipulation application called the Sumo Paint.
Time for some productivity apps. These apps helps in improving productivity and task management skill. The good thing is that these web apps have superb GUI interface, so that you won’t feel like its a website, but you will think that its a desktop app.
Evernote is an award-winning service that turns every computer and phone you use into an extension of your brain. Use Evernote to save your ideas, experiences and inspirations, then easily access them all at any time from anywhere.
Summing it up
There are many apps in Chrome webstore. Therefore, hope this list helps you in picking out some apps worth using. This list can ofcourse accommodate many more apps, but its meant to list out just 30 best apps for Chromebooks. There are many more useful apps which are not included in this list, therefore go ahead and check out Chrome webstore.