Almost a year ago, we shared a few of the more fun and useful web applications for Google Chrome. Since then, several great new apps have been added to the Web Store, and a few of them really stand out. Sure, many of them are little more than links to a existing web app, and have little to do with Chrome, but the convenience and availability (and in some cases, the price) is often tied to the Web Store. Angry Birds, for example, is normally a paid app which is free for all Chrome users, and the Chrome version also includes a few extra features and levels. Today we’ve gathered up some of the very best from the Web Store, and you may be surprised at what we found.
1. Audiotool – Music Creation
Ever wish you could play around with all that amazing gear some electronic musicians have? Audiotool gives you digital representations of synthesizers, drum machines, and effects pedals that you can combine and tweak in any way you wish. Each component is isolated, and it’s up to you as the user to connect them however you see fit.
Is it a full replacement for expensive hardware? Probably not, but it sure is a lot of fun.
2. Cloud9 – Software Development
One of the biggest hurdles to widespread adoption of the browser-based “cloud desktop” model (such as with Google’s Chromebooks) is the inability to do even simple software development. Much (though not all) of that can be solved with cleverly designed web apps such as Cloud9. It’s a multi-language IDE with many of the features you’d expect in a desktop code editor (tabs, syntax highlighting, etc) and a few neat features of its own, like GitHub integration.
It’s this author’s opinion that the GitHub integration is probably the most valuable feature of Cloud9. Not only can you sync up with the code in your GitHub repository, you can even use your normal GitHub credentials to log in to Cloud9.
3. Chrome Theme Creator – Browser Customization
We previously touched on ways to create Chrome themes, but this one based out of ChromeTheme.net has proven itself to be quite simple and capable. You can choose the colors and images you desire for your theme and once everything’s ready, just download the pack.
4. Flixster – Movie Reviews and Showtimes
If you’re a movie nut, this app from the infamous RottenTomatoes.com will likely keep you happy. It includes film details, trailers, reviews, an extensive rating system, and even helps you look up local showtimes.
A few years ago, the idea of a functional 3D modeling program inside a browser might have seemed pretty ridiculous. Through advances in technology (and the valiant efforts of standards boards) we’re now closer than ever to having our browsers as fully capable gaming platforms. 3DTin is a fine example of one way these new technologies can be used.
6. Angry Birds – Game
This list would not have been complete without at least one game, and when it comes to free Chrome games it’s hard to beat Angry Birds (though some would argue in favor of Plants vs Zombies). Chances are you’ve at least heard of this game – it’s shown up in commercials and movies and it’s even shown up during Rifftrax commentaries.
While many Chrome apps are indeed just links to existing independent web apps, the Chrome Web Store always provides an easy way to browse and rate them, and often provides something new. Perhaps it’s a free version of a paid app, perhaps it’s new features, perhaps it’s nothing. Whatever the details, Chrome Apps can be a great place to find the application you never knew you were looking for.