Read comics, play games and organise your life, all from inside your browser with our Top 10 Chrome apps.
With the increasing sophistication of browser games and applications, a lot of software that that once would have run from your hard drive are now played straight from the web. Flash game sites have been around for years, but they’re often home to crude adverts and even malware, while most of stick to a handful of big-name online applications.
Google Chrome users don’t have to worry about that, though. The Chrome Web Store, launched earlier this year, not only gives you access to a wide range of software, but also provides a basic vetting process. The web store isn’t always easy to navigate, but we love the way our installed Chrome apps are by default available from the front page of every newly opened browser tab. Some are just approved links to websites, while others have been developed especially for Chrome. You can synchronise your installed apps between copies of Chrome installed on every PC you use. They’ll all work on Chrome OS, such as on the Samsung Chromebook, too. We’ve put together a list of our current favourite apps and shortcuts.
Anyone can be an artist with Harmony – even if you lack the most basic sense of proportion and positioning, you can still make psychedelic abstracts to amaze your friends.
9. Angry Birds
The ubiquitous avians have made it to Chrome, for free and with special levels and Easter Eggs for dedicated players. Those of us with less finely honed bird-slinging skills will be pleased to find that they’re a bit easier to steer with a mouse than with your finger.
8. Quick Note
Every computer ever sold comes with some kind of text editor, so the idea of installing one on your browser seems foolish at first. However, opening a new tab and starting up Quick Note saves a few crucial seconds when compared to finding Notepad, TextEdit or Gedit elsewhere on your PC. Features include online saving via Diigo and the ability to create, view and search as many notes as you want.
Be prepared for any contingency with wikiHow’s handy app, which provides illustrated guides to everything from CPR and escaping a minefield to getting a drink chilled quickly when you’ve run out of cold ones at a party.
Remind yourself just how hard real gaming used to be with Atari’s faithful recreation of its ’80s classic, Tempest. Rendered in sixteen glorious colours and wireframe graphics, it’s frustratingly addictive.
5. Aviary Audio Editor
Aviary is a fully-fledged audio recorder that runs from your browser, complete with beat loop samples, recording, mixing and the option of importing audio from other sources. You can also save and share your creations online.
In this addictive rotating-grid puzzler from Namco, you have to work out the shortest path to the treasures hidden behind in the blocks in a series of monster-infested dungeons before you run out of vitality. Upgrades can be obtained by stopping in at shots and taverns to spend your loot.
Although it’s not to everyone’s taste, TweetDeck is the best browser-integrated Twitter client around, with the ability to handle multiple accounts, a customisable column layout and a side panel that makes it easy to read, search and post to everyone’s favourite micro-blogging site.