As most of you know by now, one of the bigger stories this week has been the opening of Google’s Web Store for ChromeOS and the Chrome browser. I thought I’d take some time this week to give some of the new apps a whirl and see which ones are cool. Here are the results, in no particular order.
Regular readers will know that I’m a big TweetDeck fan, so it should come as little surprise that my absolute favorite Chrome app is the TweetDeck app. I have given up using the desktop client, the app is so good; it runs faster than the Air client, and incorporates the best features of TweetDeck’s Android app as well. If you have the Air client installed, it can import your columns and accounts automatically after a prompt, so you’ll be up and running in no time. Like the Android app, it has its own columns that merge streams from your various accounts – very handy for the “Me” column which pulls in any content from any of your accounts that is directed to you specifically.
Different accounts are displayed in different colors for ease of reference – in the screencap here, Facebook is blue, Google Buzz is red, Twitter is standard dark gray.
TweetDeck is a free app.
Aviary has a large collection of apps available, and they’re all about media. My favorites:
Advanced Image Editor
It’s no Adobe Photoshop, but it’s no slouch either. If you don’t need the massive overwhelming power of Photoshop or just don’t want the equally massive load times, Aviary Advanced Image Editor will get you up and editing your photos in no time. It has all the basic tools you could want, including magic wand and even filters, and offers a basic selection of formats to export to.
If Adobe Illustrator is more your style, check out Aviary Vector Editor. This is an incredibly impressive vector drawing app that I fell in love with immediately after I started playing with it. Like Advanced Image Editor, it lacks some power-features of Adobe’s software, but it’s quick and easy to use. The one big drawback to it (for me, at least) is a lack of blending mode capability when exporting to non-native formats, but I’m sure that’ll be addressed in time.
Other Aviary apps include Color Editor, HTML5 Photo Editor, Music Creator, Image Markup, Audio Editor and Filter Editor. All are free, though you do have to sign up for a free account to make full use of them, as files are saved online.
LucidChart – Collaborative Diagramming
I’m always on the lookout for alternatives to Microsoft Visio, and LucidChart – Collaborative Diagramming is one of the most impressive I’ve seen. The drawing tools are simple, fast and intuitive, and the interface is attractive if a little cluttered. It’s a collaborative app; you can have several people working on and chatting about a document at a time.
A weakness is that this one is a paid app – you can use it for free, but it requires an account setup and it puts severe limits on the size of the diagrams you can create and the number of people who can work on it at once. More involved diagrams require one of three levels of paid account access. I do have to admit though, it is awfully tempting.
And last, but certainly not least,
We’re HUGE fans of Woopra’s analytics software here in the Livid Lobster family; can you tell? We use it for all of our sites – GeekBeat.TV, WebBeat.TV, and many of us use it on our personal sites as well. I was delighted to find a Woopra Chrome app available yesterday in the marketplace.
It brings all the analytical power of Woopra’s web interface to Chrome in app form, and it’s free. Can’t get a better deal than that!