Monday, May 6, 2013

As Google I/O nears, 15 killer apps show best of Chrome


Chrome's killer apps

Anyone who says you can’t get real work done on a Web browser—or in a browser-based operating system, for that matter—hasn't seen some of the latest Chrome apps.

Rising above glorified bookmarks, the cream of Google’s Chrome Web Store can stand toe-to-toe with desktop software. More are offering offline functionality, too. Coming soon: 'packaged apps' that look and act more like traditional software.

Finding Chrome gems can be tricky. The store's layout is chaotic and provides no easy way to distinguish good from bad. These 15 Chrome apps rock, whether you’re working on a Windows PC, a Mac, or a Chromebook.

Gmail Offline

The app version of Gmail, Gmail Offline is available from the Chrome Web Store. It has improved dramatically since its 2011 debut. The app now supports Rich Text Format and attachments, and it can download your email messages from the past week or from the past month. You might even prefer Gmail Offline’s clean, tablet-like interface over the desktop version.

Pixlr Editor

Photoshop diehards might scoff at Pixlr Editor, but it gets the job done for basic to intermediate drawing and image editing. Pixlr comes with various brushes and effects, and it supports layers and layer masks. You can even save and load .PSD files, if you’re coming from Photoshop. Though Pixlr doesn’t work completely offline, once you’ve opened it in your browser, the app becomes fully functional without a connection. In Chrome, consider installing the Edit in Pixlr extension, which lets you right-click and send images directly to the app.

View the Slideshow!