Like any dependable sidekick, Google Chrome has proven to be reliable, fast, and easy to work with; so much so, in fact, that we decided to feature the various apps, games, and utilities Chrome has to offer in a weekly series. But to make things easier for all you Chrome fans, we've decided to compile the last 30 weeks worth of posts and bring them to you here, in one huge comprehensive list of reading apps, games, utilities, and more.
Check em' out below, and by all means, let us know what we missed in the comments. Enjoy!
No matter how much we love Gun Brother’s special brand of shoot ‘em up gunplay on Android and iOS devices, we couldn’t recommend it for use as a Chrome web app. When it was released to the Chrome Web Store several months ago, it was a glitchy, ad-filled mess where slow downs crashes and errors ran rampant. Fortunately, in the time since our last unfortunate encounter with the game, it appears the game’s developers have worked out the kinks, finally making us comfortable selecting Gun Brothers as our Chrome Web App of the Week.
Gun Brothers harkens back to an era in video games where your defeat at the hands of overwhelming odds was almost entirely assured--but players were OK with that. Why? Because they were having too much fun to care. In Gun Brothers, players take on the role of a genetically enhanced field operative with a simple mission: Kill anything that moves. Fortunately, the only thing moving other than you are a bunch of criminals bent on taking over the universe. With the help of some huge guns, armor, and a few exploding barrels, it’s your job to take ‘em out. To aid you on your mission, you’ll have the help of an A.I. companion that does a reasonable job of mowing down the competition without doing anything stupid.
To make the game more awesome, the game's development team have made it possible to swap out the A.I. player in favor of one of your pals via Facebook, making an already fun game even better.
With brands like Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies available in multiple formats on just about every piece of hardware imaginable, it’s never been easier for casual gamers to get their goof on anywhere they go. Sadly, those who prefer a bit of blood with their gaming have far fewer outlets available to them, especially when not in front of their home rig, console or handheld. What’s an office drone feeling a bit of bloodlust while trapped in his cubicle on a Monday afternoon to do? Might we recommend embarking on a zombie killing rampage with Dead Frontier? As you may have guessed, it’s our Chrome Web App of the Week.
Dead Frontier is a free-to-play massive multiplayer third-person isometric survivalist shooter designed to run in your Chrome browser. After a brief sign up and tutorial process, gamers are dropped in the middle of the sort of zombie apocalypse that we’ve all come to know and love.
Equipped with a meagre set of weapons and limited ammunition, you are sent out into the dark to explore, loot and kill the undead in the name all in the name of survival. Should you survive long enough, your character will gain the experience and cash needed to become the zombie slaying machine you always knew he could be. Offering an addictive mix of tension, action and familiar game mechanics, for a browser-based game, Dead Frontier offers Chrome users a surprisingly deep experience that’ll keep you coming back for more.
Angry Birds is out for Chrome, and it is indeed glorious, but doesn’t playing it with a mouse feel just a little unnatural? We think so. Fortunately, there are a lot of great ways to whittle your productivity down to a splinter. Might we recommend SteamBirds Survival? It’s free, fun and just happens to be our Chrome Web App of the Week.
SteamBirds Survival is a turn-based dogfighting game that puts you in the pilot’s seat of a World War II fighter plane fighting against all odds to protect England during the Battle of Britain. Outnumbered one thousand to one, you’re not expected to live through the war. Rather, it’s your responsibility to stall the Luftwaffe long enough for England’s citizens to get to safety before the inevitable bombings begin.
Gloomy? You betcha.
The more planes you down, the more copper you’ll receive--money that can be used towards the purchase of new, more powerful aircraft with unique abilities. You’ll also find that many of the fighters you eighty-six will provide you with power-ups such as additional health, bombs and homing missiles. With varying levels of difficulty, unique play mechanics and enough ways to kill your foes to keep you entertained for hours, SteamBirds Survival is one game that’ll keep you coming back time and time again.
With so many ways of spending our hard earned dough, it can be difficult to keep tabs on where our cash goes. For small business owners whose work expenses often overlap the cost of day-to day living, things can get even more complicated. If you’re serious about getting your financial life straight and keeping it there, Wave Accounting is the right tool for the job. Free, easy to use and insanely powerful, Wave is our Chrome Web App of the Week.
Wave draws power and simplicity of use from the fact that the application is designed to interface with your existing online banking and credit card accounts, making manual entry of expenses and income a thing of the past. Users can choose from a wide variety of banks and credit card vendors, enter their online banking password information and import all of their income and expenses in under five minutes. Once the import is completed, you’ll be asked to categorize your expenses using an extensive, but easy to navigate checklist.
As with other accounting software, the more information you provide to Wave, the deeper and more accurate a picture it can paint for you of your financial situation. Data is presented as a bar graph or pie chart, detailing income and expenditures on a month-by-month basis. Additionally, Wave allows users to keep track of invoices, vendors and customers, so you always know who you owe, who owes you, and what the cash coming into or leaving your wallet is for. After using Wave for a month, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.
Even the most spontaneous of souls, needs to have the facts of a situation laid out for them now and again. No matter whether you’re noodling out your annual road trip with the family or preparing a massive presentation of proposed personnel shuffle at the office, you’ll want to have the right tools on hand to get the job done as quickly and easily as possible. Thanks to LucidChart, Chrome users can have access to a powerful set of free diagramming tools anywhere with an internet connection.
LucidChart offers users an easy to use drag-and-drop diagramming interface, well suited to designing even the most byzantine of organizational charts, mind maps or chapter breakouts. Design elements are easily created moved, resized and connected, mimicking many of the UI touches offered by high priced desktop applications such as Microsoft Visio or The Omni Group’s Omnigraffle. Speaking of Visio, LucidChart allows for the import of your desktop-side created diagrams, allowing you to take your organizational show on the road.
Don’t like an of the elements offered by the app? No problem--LucidChart provides the ability to work with user uploaded images, making it possible to create the custom look you’re going for. For those that can’t bear the thought of being along, the program also offers the ability to collaborate on a diagramming project with other users. With such a wealth of on screen functionality, off site saves, printing, download and upload capabilities and even HTML 5 support (with a number of features for the iPad and other tablets coming soon) LucidChart is a must-use web app for anyone that takes their diagramming duties seriously.
Moving, we’re certain you’ll agree, sucks. Packing, organizing the logistics, paying a security deposit on your new digs, cleaning your old pad from top to bottom after you move out and--worst of all--unpacking, has been rated as one of the most stressful gauntlets of experience that life has to offer. For those of us who have moving to a new apartment in their cards, PadMapper, Our Chrome Web App of the Week, does what it can to make the whole process just a little less painful.
Using Google Maps to illustrate the locations of rental listings from popular services such as Apartments.com, Rent.com and Craigslist, PadMapper makes finding a new place to live almost bearable. In order to get started with the web app, users are invited to click on one of the hundreds of North American cities currently supported by PadMapper. Doing so zooms into a map of your selected location, detailing the rental properties currently available. Through the use of easy-to-apply filters such as minimum/maximum rent cost, number of bedrooms and whether or not the property is pet-friendly, the application makes it possible to quickly whittle your rental options down to a manageable level.
With select cities, PadMapper also provides users with the ability to overlay crime statistics, locate nearby mass transit routes and even factor in their potential work commute time as variables for selecting a new home.
Updating the look of a single room or your entire home can be an exciting and stressful affair. Exciting because taking the time and spending the coin to pick out new furniture, paint or otherwise tinker with your home can breathe new life into a stale living space. Stressful because, let’s face it, sometimes the vision of how a room should look that we see in our head just doesn’t work out the way we planned when we get down to putting it all together in the real world. Fortunately, Autodesk Homestyler is here to help you iron the kinks out of your home styling faux pas.
Autodesk Homestyler allows users to create, decorate and redefine their apartment, house, or any other space with drag and drop simplicity. Room sizes, wall lengths and angles can all be tweaked with nothing more than a few clicks of a mouse. Once the size and shape of your space is up to snuff, Homestyler makes it easy to try out decorating options, furniture arrangements, and various floor and wall palettes. Once you have your space’s colors and layout down pat, the web app allows you to kick your design into 3D to give you a bit of perspective of how your creation will look should you ever decide to bring it into meatspace.
If you happen to create a design that you’d like to follow through on, it can be saved for later (saving requires you sign up for a free user account), printed, exported as an image file or sent to a number of social networks.
There’s a good number of drawing and design programs available through the Chrome Web Store. Most of them will let you knock out awkward looking stick-figure sketches or primitive landscape images using features similar to those we’ve enjoyed/loathed in MS Paint over the years. Some offer more complex features, such as layering and various virtual paint brushes… which most of us end up using to knock out awkward stick-figure sketches or primitive landscape images. If you want to draw something useful--the blueprints for your next house, for example--there’s only one Web App that’ll do: AutoCAD WS. It’s a Web App with so many awesome features and such rich functionality that we had to make it our Chrome Web App of the week.
Designed with designers, architects and engineers in mind, AutoCAD WS brings a startling number of features previously found only in AutoCAD’s legendary desktop design software to a free, relatively easy to use web-based application. Thanks to AutoCAD WS, designers can ply their trade on any computer rocking Chrome.
The App offers deep design functionality, automatic versioned back-ups, the ability to upload files from a desktop CAD program and tools for real-time multi-user collaboration. While it doesn’t have the guts to replace a dedicated piece of CAD software, AutoCAD WS is a compelling online offering that no serious CAD user with a need to work on the go should overlook.
While eating pizza on the moon may still be a ways off and there’s still no cure for cancer, these are nonetheless magical times, my friends. We are living in an era where WiFi is available on airplanes, phone calls can be made from the summit of a mountain and revolutions are stoked with 140 characters or less. Most amazing of all, Google’s finally got their act together and given us the ability to work with our Gmail accounts without being connected to the internet, thanks to Offline Google Mail, our Chrome Web App of the Week.
Drawing it’s two-paned good looks from Gmail’s tablet interface, Offline Google Mail not only makes it possible to tinker with your Gmail with or without a connection to the interwebz, it does it with style. Intuitive and easy to navigate, this is Gmail as it should be, and after using it for a little under a week, we seriously hope that Google considers implementing the app’s GUI for use with its online cousin as well. That said, all those good looks don’t count for anything unless the web application’s functionality is up to snuff. Fortunately, it is.
Offline Google Mail allows users to access their Gmail accounts, read their mail, search their account’s archives, respond to and even forward messages all without an internet connection. Once your computer’s back in touch with the Web? Boom. All of the changes you made offline will be uploaded and reflected in your online Google account.
Cloud-based services such as Dropbox, SugarSync and Box simplify our lives by making even our most complex files obtainable with push button simplicity anywhere there’s an internet connection. Google Docs boils this convenience down even further by combining a robust document creation application and file syncing into one free-to-use solution. But to get down to the nitty-gritty essence of cloud-based note taking, we’d like to suggest you give Quick Note a try--it’s our Chrome Web App of the Week.
Quick Note’s interface will feel like an old friend to anyone that’s every used the iPad’s Notepad interface to jot down and retain data. Designed for use within Chrome, Diigo has provided users with an easy to navigate two-paned interface: One pane to take notes in, another pane to create, search for and select notes from. Nothing could be simpler. After installing the application, users are invited to create a Diigo account or use their Google credentials to log into the company’s servers. Doing so allows users to sync their Quick Note files to any machine rocking Google's Chrome browser such as Android phones or even an iPad.
In addition to text input, Quick Note also allows for the drag-and-drop addition of images to any note file, making it a great option for individuals that want to take their note taking to the clouds without the complexity or deep feature set of a service such as Evernote. What’s more, Diigo has mentioned that they have plans to integrate Quick Note with a number of online services, giving this already great web app a very bright future indeed.
Since it first popped up in the iTunes App Store, Instagram has taken the smartphone photographic world by storm. Currently being rocked by more than 10 million users, the free photo editing app allows users to give their iPhone photos a warm vintage look via the use of a number of filters, making mundane image captures a little bit more extraordinary. Wait there’s more! Once you’ve processed your photos, you can share them on a wide variety of services, such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr! Sounds good right? If you’re an Android phone user, take heart: Instagram will be coming to your handset... eventually. Until then, we can be content to use pixlr-o-matic, our Chrome Web App of the Week.
Free and easy to use, pixlr-o-matic provides PC users with much of the same functionality that’s made Instagram all the rage with Apple fanboys. Users of the web app are invited to take a photo with their webcam or to upload an image for editing from their desktop. Once they’ve selected an image to work with, users face the daunting task of choosing which photo filter to use. Once you’ve created your masterpiece, you’ll have be presented with the option to either upload your freshly edited image to pixlr’s servers or download it to your desk top.
Oh, and should opening up Chrome to tinker with your pictures prove too much for you, the application’s developers have also cooked up downloadable and Facebook-bound iterations of the app.
There’s a lot to hate about Rupert Murdoch’s media empire these days. The allegations leveled against what was once one of the mogul’s flagship publications run the gauntlet from unethical to disgusting, dragging journalism through the mud all along the way. Illegally tapping telephones in the name of an outrageous headline? Bribing law enforcement officials? Dead whistleblowers? It’s all so seedy and sordid. If you’re of a mind to protest all of this dire hullaballoo, boycotting Murdoch-owned publications and television stations is a good start, but to do it right, you’ll want to take the fight online as well. To make your online NewsCorp as easy a go as possible, the smart money’s on Murdoch Block, our Browser Extension of the Week.
While it’s sadly only available at this time to Chrome users, Murdoch Block is just what the doctor ordered. Once installed, the extension effectively blocks access to NewsCorp’s most popular news-centric websites. Additional Murdoch sites, such as Hulu and AllThingsD can easily be added to your block list as well, thanks to Murdoch Blocker’s user-friendly options page available via Chrome’s Extensions menu.
For anyone that takes their online boycotting or protesting seriously, this is one extension that you’ll want to at your disposal.
As anyone who’s used a computer will tell you, a service or application's usability is directly influenced by its accessibility. In other words, if you can’t get to it, you’re not going to use it. Google in particular has learned this lesson well. Their popular Google Calendar and Gmail services, which were once an online-only affair, were recently given a load of offline functionality by the Mountain View based company, making countless users around the interwebz very happy puppies indeed. Unfortunately, since Google hasn’t gotten around to giving us the same offline awesomeness with Google Tasks, a third-party developer has taken it upon himself to make using Google’s already very useful product just a little bit easier.
Tasks is a Chrome browser extension that allows users to peruse, add, and check off items from their Google Task list from their browser’s navigation bar. So long as you’ve got a browser window open, you’ll have access to your tasks through a minimal or full sized Google Tasks interface designed to suit your needs no matter how much or how little you’ve got to keep track of.
For those of you out there who prefer their task management be left to other online services such as Remember the Milk or Toodledo, Tasks has you covered. Tasks offers full support for Remember the Milk users, and experimental support for other online task management services as well. Just right click on the extension, select options, and input your credentials. Nothing could be easier.
Having your Google Calendar and Gmail available for use everywhere you go is a productivity godsend (or a curse, depending on how you look at it), making it possible to stay in touch and plot out your life no matter where you roam. That said, both of Google’s web applications lack anything even close to a useable task management system baked into their interfaces. Fortunately, Remember The Milk’s got a solution to this problem, and we feel it’s slick enough to be our Browser Extension of the Week.
Remember The Milk for Gmail allows users of Remember The Milk’s incredibly versatile online task management service to access their task list through their Gmail interface in Chrome or Firefox. In order to use the extension, you’ll need to have a Remember The Milk Account. The good news is that getting one doesn’t cost a thing. After signing up for an account and adding the extension to your browser, navigate to your Gmail interface and boom--you’ll find email and task management has been rolled into one big awesome mashup. Remember The Milk for Gmail automatically syncs with your RTM account, allowing you to review, edit and add new tasks from inside of your Gmail interface.
It’s even possible to link tasks to specific pieces of mail, Google Calendar events, and Google Contacts. If at any time you decide that you can’t bear the thought of how many tasks are awaiting your attention, just click the left side of the Remember The Milk for Gmail interface to tuck it away, out of sight out of mind.
With so many ways to socialize online, there’s no excuse for being a digital hermit these days. Facebook now offers the ability to follow feeds, Twitter’s still cranking out the tweets and instant messaging just keeps on keeping on. Now that Google+ has made the move from invite-only exclusivity to being a social media network that anyone can join, the time seems right to declare Google +1 Button our extension of the week.
In a sea of third-party Google+ extension options, Google +1 Button for Chrome is unique in the fact that it was cooked up by the web-minded folks from Mountain View. Once downloaded and installed to your browser, Google +1 Button is good to go, as chances are, you’ll have signed into the Chrome Web Store with the same account as you rock Google+ with. In the off chance that your primary account isn’t linked to Google+ (individuals with a Google Apps account, for example), the extension will demand that you sign into a Google+ account before it can be used for the first time. Once you’re good to go, giving a +1 to any page you frequent is as simple as clicking a button in your browser's navigation bar.
In addition to allowing you to voice your approval for a page, the extension also shows how many other users have given a thumbs up to the site you’re viewing. Best of all, should any site you’ve given a +1 to fall out of your good graces, rescinding approval is as easy as pushing the same button you used to hand it out in the first place.
If you’re an Android or iOS device user, you’re faced with the happy dilemma of having a gazillion ways to ingest the news and stories that are important to you while you’re on the run, chilling on your lunch break or hiding from the boss in the bathroom. One of our favorites is Pulse by Alphonso Labs. Sleek, easy to use, and most importantly, free, Pulse is an example of what a mobile news aggregator should be. Now, thanks to Save to Pulse, our Browser Extension of the Week, Chrome users who rock Pulse on the go will find chomping on the content that interests them even easier.
With the click of a button, Save to Pulse allows Chrome use to add web pages they don’t have the time to ingest while sitting in front of their computers to their Pulse reading list to peruse at their leisure, adding a new dimension of functionality to an already great mobile application.
What’s more, by sending a story to Pulse via the extension, you’re not only stashing it away to read later on, you’re also making it possible to share that story with just about anyone you please, thanks to Pulse’s wide ranging of forwarding and social media interaction options, making it a godsend to anyone who works a gig where socializing online is verboten.
Is trawling through page after page of text generated in response to one of your search queries your idea of fun? We didn’t think so. Let’s face it: as great as the internet can be, trying to track down what you’re after online can sometimes be a yawn-inducing drag. While it might not help you break any web search speed records, SearchPreview for Firefox and Google Chrome does make scrolling through search results a little more colorful by offer up an image of every page your search engine latches on to.
While SearchPreview might be a one trick pony, it’s a damn good trick. After installing it, all of your future Google searches will be injected with an image of what every page included in your query’s results looks like. Having a image of a site you’re one click away from browsing to not only makes determining whether it has what you’re looking for a little bit easier, but also can help you decide whether opening it would help you survive your daily grind, or leave you with a written warning after accidentally opening up a screenful of NSFW awkwardness.
While Chrome users may have enjoyed similar functionality as a feature of their searches for some time now, accessing the website image provided required that a search result be clicked. SearchPreview removes this superfluous step, making finding what you’re looking for just a little bit less daunting.
Spellchecking software has been in the business of softening up the brains of computer users everywhere since 1980, and let us tell you: business is good. In the three decades since spellcheck first hit the scene, most of us have come to rely upon the safety and false sense of intellectual security provided by the knowledge that even though we’ve failed as students of our mother tongue, we can still shine in print... most of the time. When you’re dealing with the wild and wooly world wide web, the availability of decent spellchecking can be deeply varied. While you might be able to sort out the mistakes you’ve made in Google Docs, Twitter will still show all of your ugly spelling errors to the world. Unless of course, you install After the Deadline, our Browser Extension of the Week.
Available as a Firefox add-on or a Chrome extension, After the Deadline is an open source spelling and grammar checking solution that works with any site you visit. After installing it, users will note that mistakes made while filling in forms, fields or any other text-related in-browser task will be underlined in red for a spelling error and in green for grammar.
Click on the underlined word and After the Deadline will offer you a number of suggestions to make it right. The extension can even offer you stylistic suggestions to help you polish up your work, making it a breeze to put your best written foot forward online.
When it comes to cloud-based productivity, Google’s got it going on. With services like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google+, staying productive, in touch and up-to-date has never been easier. For those of us that rely heavily on what Google has on offer, it’s never been more of a pain to find what we’re looking for. While Mountain View makes it a snap to create tons of useful data with their services, keeping track of that data isn’t anywhere near what we’d call a breeze. Fortunately, CloudMagic makes taming cloud-based information simple and pain-free.
CloudMagic is a brilliant extension designed for use with your Firefox or Chrome browser. Once it’s been downloaded and installed, users are asked to enter their Google account credentials for one or multiple accounts. Once that’s done, all that’s left to do is sit back and watch in wonder as the extension beats Google at their own game. CloudMagic indexes and searches all of the content associated with your Google and Google Apps accounts, making it easy to quickly find the data you’re looking for.
Looking for information on a project? No problem. By entering a single search parameter, CloudMagic will simultaneously scour your Google Documents, Contacts and Calendar for associated information, returning the results to you in no time at all. It works so well, we’d be shocked if Google doesn’t end up buying the developers out or aping their designs in the next year or so. Seriously, it’s that good.
As the world stands upon the cusp of the month of September, the first of the autumn leaves have already started to fall for many of us. It’s a special time of year when Mother Nature makes the transition from trying to kill us with months and months of unbearable heat, tornadoes and floods to doing her best to do us all in with two season’s worth of hurricanes, a few more tornadoes and bone-chilling cold. While we can’t stop her soulless onslaught, it is possible to leave the house in the morning feeling just a little more prepared for the weather that’s being dumped on us, thanks to The Weather Channel for Chrome, our Browser Extension of the Week.
The Weather Channel for Chrome is a slick little extension that resides in your browser’s navigation bar. Designed to provide at-a-glance information on the current weather conditions for up to nine different areas around the world, The Weather Channel for Chrome makes it easy to keep track of what’s going on outside, no matter where you are. By clicking on the extension’s icon, users can receive a detailed 36-hour forecast including information such as UV Index, temperature, Wind Direction, and barometric pressure.
Oh, and for all of you masochists out there, the extension also provides access to the Weather Network’s television programming guide. Who could ask for more?
Check out the next pages for reading and entertainment apps!
There’s a whole lot of information available on the internet, just waiting to be devoured. Unfortunately, a lot of it’s damn hard to read. Often set in a terrible font or against the backdrop of eye-scarring page design an online article, no matter how awesome the content, can be difficult, if not impossible to read. Fortunately for Firefox and Chrome users, Readability is here to save the day... as well as your eyes and sanity.
As its name suggests, Readability is an extension designed to make the web more readable. The extension provides users with the ability to strip any web-based article they’re perusing of all page design, advertisements and other distractions, leaving nothing but story-pertinent text and photos to make for a superior screen-borne reading experience. If that’s not enough for you, Readability also offers the option to save an article to read later, as well as the ability to send your content to a Kindle device.
Each of these features can be accessed via user-mappable keyboard shortcuts, which in our humble opinion makes this extension one of the best friends any hardcore computer rocking reader could ever hope for.
Whoever said that nobody likes a know-it-all likely wasn’t all that smart. There’s no shame in cramming your noodle full of as much data as humanly possible, and there’s a lot of joy to be found in thrashing an opponent Texas-style during an old school barroom trivia throw-down. But who has the time these days to tackle anything close to the amount of book learning required to become a Master or Intellectual Disaster? No one. Fortunately, Popular Science Magazine's Chrome Edition Web App is here to spoon-feed you all the cool factoids you’ll ever need to intellectually dominate/alienate your friends and loved ones.
Designed specifically for use with Google’s Chrome browser, the Popular Science Magazine Web App is a multimedia feast for the eyes and ears that’s sure to appeal to most anyone. Updated on a semi-regular basis, the application boasts Popular Science’s most fascinating content of the past year, augmenting it with interactive video and layered imaging, making for a great read that grabs you by the collar and won’t let go. Easily navigated using either your keyboard or a mouse, the app is well suited to users of all ages, no matter whether they prefer to use keyboard shortcuts or the simplicity of pointing and clicking.
There’s even an option to share the stories that you dig via Twitter Facebook, or email, making it a cinch to spread the word that you are indeed an individual who takes their scientific education seriously, and should not be trifled with.
When there’s twenty minutes left until the end of the work day and you can’t stand the thought of crunching another number, there’s nothing better than obliterating any chance you might have had at being productive with a little light reading from fine sites like--dare we say it--PC Gamer or Maximum PC. That said, there’s also times when nothing else will do but to dig your teeth into the meat of a good book. If you neglected to tuck a paperback, e-reader or tablet into your bag, Amazon and Google have you have you covered, thanks to Kindle Cloud Reader, our Chrome Web App of the Week.
Kindle Cloud Reader provides users with the ability to access their library of Kindle books through their PC (as well as Linux and Mac, if you must), without having to install any additional applications, as well as any bookmarks or notes you may have. In addition being able to scarf down the tomes you already own, it’s also possible to purchase new content from Amazon’s constantly growing collection of over 950,000 books.
Best of all, Kindle Cloud Reader has been designed to let you take your literary show on the road, making it easy to download content for offline reading. While it might not be as portable as a Kindle reader or smartphone, having your favorite books available to read on your laptop during your next cross country flight is nothing but win.
There's no shame in not understanding how a computer does what it does. Then again, folks shouldn't feel too good about it either. As desktops, tablets, and laptops become more and more complex, it's not always easy to understand exactly what does what under the hood. The same goes for the internet: Cookies? Malware? Phishing? While the comprehension of topics like these might be second nature to many Maximum PC readers, the same can't always be said for our partners, acquaintances, or family. The next time one of your technologically-impaired inner circle asks you a question about the internet or online security, consider directing them 20 Things I Learned About Browsers & The Web, our Chrome Web App of the Week.
Developed by Google and designed to read like a story book, 20 Things I Learned About Browsers & The Web explains a wide variety of internet and browser-related topics in plain English, making concepts such as HTML, online identities and cloud computing less intimidating. The text is broken down into 20 chapters, each covering a unique topic. The book can be read from end to end, or consumed in smaller sips of specific information as needed.
To make sure that 20 Things I Learned About Browsers & The Web reaches its intended audience, Google was thoughtful enough to include a number of sharing options including links for Facebook, Twitter as well as--and this is kicking it old school--print it out. If your parents still haven't figured out how to program their DVD player's clock or even worse, still call you for advice on how to work their VCR, this app is gonna be your BFF from the get-go.
Microsoft is everywhere. One form or another of Windows can be found on most computers in the world today. Redmond is rocking most people’s work rigs and if you’re a serious gamer, the odds very good that your last computer wasn’t designed in Cupertino. For most folks, software conformity is a given. They accept that with the exception of their wallpaper, their graphical user interface most likely is identical to that of their neighbors. A few of us however, refuse to fall into line, preferring instead to tweak, preen and modify the looks of our Windows GUI until it can hardly be recognized as such. If you’re interested in taking a first bold step into something a little snazzier than your computer’s stock aesthetics have to offer, you could do a lot worse than downloading Cooliris.
Available to both Explorer, Chrome and Firefox users, Cooliris not only pretties up your browser with some sweet, modern 3D visuals, it also makes your browsing a more visual visceral experience. Instead of trawling yards of search returns comprised of text, CoolIris gives users something pretty to look at, and provides search results in a scrolling wall of images, video and headers, designed to make hunting down a topic a pleasure.
The extension even offers a number of channels, such as news, entrainment and games, ensuring that it’s not just another pretty face, but also a respectable information aggregator to boot.
While everyone’s been busy raving about Spotify finally coming to the United States, Rdio quietly continues to get better and better. Last week, in an effort to incite new customers to subscribe to their awesome collection of streaming tunes, the internet music juggernaut announced that it would provide a usage-based free monthly music streaming service to their customers that allows for a finite number of songs per month to be listened to. With this in mind, we’ve opted to make Rdio our Chrome Web App of the Week.
With its easy to navigate interface and high quality sound, Rdio is a music lover’s dream. With over 12 million songs to choose from, it’s almost impossible to not find something on Rdio that’ll please your ears. If you’re feeling indecisive about what to listen to, you can also turn to other Rdio listeners for suggestions or hunt down your connections from Twitter or Facebook as well as a number of popular online mail services. Once you’ve hunted down some tunes you love, add them to your Rdio collection, tag them to listen to later or, as a premium subscriber, transfer them to your mobile device to listen to later.
Given it’s deep feature set, expansive catalog of music, connectivity options and the ability to kick out the jams from any internet connected rig, tablet and most smartphones, Rdio is a great choice for any music aficionado to get their groove on to.
The internet has spoiled us rotten. Connected as we are through pictures, words and images, those of us lucky enough to be alive today have unprecedented access to everything that the world has to offer with easy and ability that would leave past generations gobsmacked. And what, for the most part, do we usually end up doing with that access? Chase down memes, and tweet and flash videos of trashy pop tunes, of course. Isn’t about time we classed our PCs up a bit with a little culture. If you’re nodding your head as you read this, then you’d do well to download Google’s Art Project, our Chrome Web App of the Week.
Thanks to a cadre of art-loving Mountain View engineers, Art Project provides an all access viewing to a stunning collection of some of the world’s greatest museums and art treasures. By leveraging technology similar to that used with Google Street View, users are able to stroll through museums such as the National Gallery, The State Hermitage Museum and MoMA, drinking in the massive collection of artwork they have to offer. Turning to individual works, Art Project users can view a single painting in its entirety, or zoom in painfully close and take advantage of a high resolution view of the work that’s sharp enough to reveal individual brush strokes.
Not sure where to start? No problem. Art Project offers an informative video to give you the low down on the best ways to rock the application, as well as another that provides some insight into the passion that drove its developers to bring it to life in the first place. There are hours of exploring and wonder to be had with this one folks and with Art Project gaining more access to additional collections, galleries and museums on a regular basis, you’ll never be left wanting for a little beauty in your life.
If you listen to the pundits, there’s little doubt that iTunes users will be getting word that their Apple powered ditties will be making their way to the clouds by the end of the day. That might be great news for anyone rocking Cupertino’s resource hogging, behemoth of a music player or an iOS device, but what about the rest of us? If you signed up for a free or paid Amazon Cloud Player account, chances are that over the course of the past few months, you’ve had a chance to upload all of the audio files in your music library that your Cloud Drive can handle. Too bad Amazon’s browser-based music player is, shall we say… clunky? Fortunately, Amazon Cloud Player, our Chrome Web App of the Week, brings a modicum of style to Amazon’s streaming music service.
Dropped into the Chrome Web Store by Will McSweeney (who MMO fans will know for his excellent Wowhead Utility), Amazon Cloud Player for Chrome is a fan-built labor of love. Once installed, the app, allows Amazon Cloud users to enjoy their streaming tunes from a dedicated window that foregoes everything but what you need to get your groove on.
No search field, no tabbed browsing, no bookmarks--just you and your music. After one use, we’re sure you’ll agree that McSweeney’s app elegantly simple app fills a void that Amazon has left empty for too long.
There’s never been a better time in the history of geekdom to give your cable or satellite television the slip. Over the past few years, consumers been spoiled for choice, with just about everything we once turned to our televisions for now available online. Add to this the countless steaming video sites that pumping out fresh content to the interwebz on a daily basis, and you’ve got the makings of a viewing solution that has cable companies and satellite providers running scared. To keep track of it all, many resort to software solutions like XBMC, MediaPortal or Windows Media Center. If you’re a Chrome user, you’ve also got the option of rocking Clicker.TV, our Chrome web App of the Week.
Clicker.TV is a media center solution that resides in your browser window. Users of the web app are able to view content from a wide variety of streaming services such as Hulu, as well as videos from Amazon VOD and iTunes to enjoy high quality, on demand content from the comfort of their computer desk or camped out in front of their PC or Mac connected television. According to the folks at Clicker, 40 thousand movies, 90,000 music videos and over one million episodes from 12 thousands different television shows are available for streaming, via Clicker.TV’s user-friendly interface.
Add to this the ability to stream content from other awesome portals like Funny or Die, The Onion or even your Netflix On Demand account, and you’ll see why we’re excited about what Clicker.TV has to offer.
The Internet is a vast, amazing land full of information and wonder. Unfortunately, you have to cross a troll infested bridge to get there. While you might be willing to brave creepy wet-fingered Chatroulette touch-talkers and Nigerian princes in exile just to get a glimpse of The Oatmeal, we know you wouldn’t dream of subjecting your kids to that sort of online debauchery. Fortunately, Zoodle's Kid Mode for Chrome is here to make surfing the interwebz a kid friendly affair. It’s an idea so great that we’re declaring it our Web App of the Week.
Any net-savvy parent will tell you that Kid Mode has been around for some time now. However, as a Chrome application, the child-safe wonder really shines. Setting up a Kid Mode account only takes a few minutes. Once your account is activated, the folks at Zoodle provide a wide variety of age-tailored content for your child to enjoy. Music, books, math, social skills and art -- Kid Mode has it all, and it’s accessible through one convenient, child-friendly portal. The web app even makes allowances for children with color-blindness and hearing disabilities.
On the administrative side of things, parents are able to control their child’s Kid Mode experience down to the last detail thanks to a number of powerful filtering options. Our favorite administrative feature? The ability to control how much time your child spends online with their Kid Mode account. It’s hard not to be impressed by a web-based application that understands that kids need to get away from the computer once in a while and wants to help parents facilitate that. Well played, Zoodle.
Summer, with its seemingly endless hours of daylight and fun to be had, can be a great time for young children. No matter how someone might love their child, however, sooner or later, summer becomes a lousy time to be a parent. When your kid has no one to play with, you’ve taken the last day trip to the petting zoo that your budget can afford, and nothing you suggest turns their crank, the insanity begins. When thrown a little bit of boredom, those you once thought of as your little darlings can quickly become a rambunctious pack of hell spawn, gleefully dancing on your last nerve in an effort to entertain themselves. Fortunately, back-up has arrived in the form of our Chrome App of the Week.
KIDO’Z TV is a free Chrome app that offers up child-friendly video content via an easy to navigate pictorial interface which requires no reading skills to use. For kids that are still too young to read, but old enough to feel empowered by being able to choose what they want to watch, it’s a perfect storm of awesome.
To use KIDO’Z TV, parents are required to sign up, providing an email address, password and a bit of information on their child. KIDO’Z TV uses this information to provide your child with age and gender appropriate content. The web app makes it easy for parents to monitor and control their children’s viewing habits, thanks to a simple to use suite of parental controls.