Powerful, Web-Based Applications For Chromebooks And PCs
The breadth, depth, and power of web apps increases every year, and I am continually surprised at the variety of available options, and how often the selections are able to adeptly help me get my work done. If you’re new to the web app experience, or just want a quick overview of some the best options out there, read on.
Office Productivity Suites
Both Microsoft and Google offer free, web-based office productivity suites that offer much of the functionality found in their traditional, desktop counterparts. Google Docs gives you the ability to view and create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets with Docs, Slides, and Sheets, respectively while Microsoft’s Office Web Apps give you online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, with user interfaces comparable to Microsoft’s desktop applications.
To be productive, you’re going to need a little bit more than what an office suite has to offer:
- Calendars: Both Google and Microsoft offer web-based calendar applications, although Google’s offering is a more fully developed product. For example, it offers recurring events, availability scheduling, and myriad other features. Yet, if you’re integrated into the Microsoft ecosystem, you might be better off going with their line of products.
- Tasks: For very simple, but convenient, task management, Google offers its own built-in task manager. For more comprehensive solutions, check out Remember the Milk and Any.DO. In addition, all of these options can be synced to your mobile device(s) for easy access.
- Notes: When it comes to notes, Evernote is King, but if you find that their solution is overkill for your note-taking needs, try out more light-weight (and faster) competitors, e.g., Simplenote, OneNote, and Google Keep.
If you love music, it’s a great time to be alive. There are many affordable options to choose from that can satisfy everyone’s tastes.
- The Music Lockers: If you want your purchased and uploaded music to be stored in an online locker that can be accessed via any web browser for quick streaming, you will want to see what Amazon’s Cloud Player and Google Music have to offer. These services can be setup to continuously scan your drive for new tunes to be added to your online locker, and are operating system-independent, meaning that they can be utilized from any web browser running on any OS. Best yet, both services are free.
- Discovery: If you’re more interested in discovering new music than listening to your own tunes ad infinitum, you may want to look into streaming services like Spotify, Rdio, and MOG. These solutions give you access to millions of songs without the burden of having to create and maintain a large music collection. Most of these services have free options and paid plans that run from about $5-$10 a month.
- Internet Radio: If you want a simpler, more traditional radio-like experience, you can try out services like Pandora, Slacker, or the excellent TuneIn Radio. These solutions give you a mix of customized Internet radio stations tailored to your tastes, and terrestrial radio stations that also happen to stream their content online.
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Source How-To Geek