Google Chrome is a leading web browser, and, what’s more, the browser houses a large app ecosystem with programs that rival desktop software. However, finding useful, fun Google Chrome apps is difficult for the uninitiated. To start you off, the following is a list of Google Chrome apps curated for their usefulness, fun factor, and entertainment value–all free on Google’s Chrome Web Store.
Useful Google Chrome Apps
Formerly called “Read It Later,” Pocket acts as a repository for interesting articles, videos, and other online material which piques your interest. When you save an article, for instance, the app asks you to add tags which are searchable later, so finding your content is easy and organized. Also, access to saved content syncs across all of your devices–smartphone, web, and tablet. Pocket’s main feature, though, is offline browsing, so consumption of an interesting article or video is available without a connection.
For heavy Google users, there’s never “too much access” to Google’s apps. Even for those who use Google’s suite intermittently, quick access to the apps allow faster multi-tasking and the information you need at any time. Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Keep, and Google Drive are available offline as Chrome apps, so managing your digital life doesn’t require a connection. However, offline use decreases the functionality of the apps and render a read-only version.
One of the most famous Google Chrome apps, Ad Block, filters content and blocks ads as you surf. It was one of the first, and remains one of the most popular, Chrome apps. Users find the app useful for watching videos online and regular web surfing to stop those pesky ads from ruining your entertainment. Although the app claims to block Hulu ads, users report turning on the app renders Hulu useless, but it is an app well-worth a download.
Google Chrome Apps For TV
For movie buffs, Flixster is the quintessential film application on Chrome. The streamlined app displays the most recent films with ratings, showtimes, and easy access to search features. With reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, the app consolidates relevant reviews for deciding which movie suites your tastes. Also included are trailers and Flixter’s audience ratings.
Can I Stream.It?
Searching for movies to stream across multiple apps is a hassle, and Can I Stream.It? unifies searches across multiple services, returning relevant results based on your queries. Taking streaming discovery one step further, the app also comes with notification features alerting you when a movie becomes available on streaming services of your choosing. While the Chrome app is a glorified link to the website, the service comes in handy when searching for a specific title.
For Netlix Instant suggestions, visit the Best Movies On Netflix By Genre.
Turn Off The Lights
Turn Off the Lights is an example of a simple idea with practical applications. If you ever wished to cut out the distractions from ad blocks and and other images in your browser, this app does the work for you. Toggling the app dims the noise around an image or video, and acts much like a theater experience. It works with YouTube and image sites such as Picasa, so the content you want is the center of your attention.
Netlix, Hulu Plus, Google Play Movies, and Crackle are also available on the Chrome Web Store.
Google Chrome Apps For Editing
Pixlr Editor and Express
Pixlr is a popular, free online photo editor, and the Chrome app makes editing faster and easier. Pixlr editor is a full-featured Photoshop alternative for advanced photo editing. Although its no Photoshop, features such as the Burn Tool, Lasso Tool, and Clone Stamp, are among the few available. For simpler editing and filters, Pixlr Express is also available. It comes with editing tools, such as adjustments and effects to give your photos a unique style.
Who says you can’t edit video online? The developers of WeVideo created an app to silence the naysayers, and it comes with a host of editing and styling tools to bring out your inner filmmaker. One unique feature is its collaboration capabilites — users can use sharing tools to invite other users to edit their videos, either through WeVideo’s platform or Google Drive. The app also comes with exporting options, such as exporting to Dropbox, Facebook, and Flickr.
Panic Button takes surfing at work to a different level. Maybe you’re watching a YouTube video at work and your boss approaches you–with Panic Button, one click hides your tabs and houses them in a temporary folder. After the coast is clear, another click restores the tabs you hid. A user can also delete their temporary folder for extra protection to make sure nobody sees your tabs. The app also comes with an optional password setting for added security.
Reditr is a simple way to browse the Reddits you love — all in an interface similar to the TweetDeck app. You can add subreddits, which are displayed on a single page, and manage parts of your Reddit account straight from the app. Some consider it an improvement over the regular Reddit interface, and the layout uses titles, so browsing is straightforward and comprehensive.
Draft is a minimalist writing application with a focus on markup and collaboration. Aside from the easy interface, one interesting feature is writing something in Draft to post in a web page. For example, clicking the Draft pencil icon after placing the cursor in a comment box, allows you to write, edit, then paste the draft into the comment box. This means any text area online becomes a potential notepad, so you can write anywhere, and Draft autosaves your documents.
Also, for the gamers out there, Angry Birds is one of the more popular Google Chrome apps, so you can slingshot yourself and crush little pigs in your spare time.