Thursday, September 12, 2013

It's Windows! It's Mac! It's a #ChromebookEdu! #fb

I'm going to go ahead and break my new rule a little bit. Certainly that surprises no one :D For Apptastic Thursday, we are looking at a new kind of app instead of just one. The new Chrome Apps combine everything awesome about Chrome Apps with full functionality offline and on your Desktop like traditional software. These new Chrome Apps are designed "For Your Desktop". That don't exactly live inside your browser anymore. As of this posting, only available for Windows and Chromebooks. Mac and Linux coming soon. 

What makes them so great?

  • Launch from the desktop
    No more opening Chrome to get to these babies! They are inside the Chrome App Launcher.
  • Work Offline
    You know that whole myth about Chromebooks being useless offline? BUSTED!
  • Cloud Connect
    Your stuff is fully connected to the cloud, compliments of Google Drive of course.
  • Auto-Updates
    I don't even remember what that annoying little update box looks like anymore. Come over to the other side. It's great having stuff that is always up to date and just works!
  • USB, Bluetooth and other peripherals join the party
    That other myth about Chrome not playing well with USBs and the like? BUSTED!
  • It's Pretty!
    Yes. I went there. I absolutely LOVE that my work Windows machine now looks a little more like a Chromebook. YAY!
And what oh-so-fabulous apps are available in this new breed? I thought you might ask that. My favorites, in no particular order, are:
  • Google Keep
    LOVE, love, love Keep! I use it on my phone almost daily. Now all those handy, dandy reminders are on my desktop too. And of course, they sync up to each other. It speaks beautifully to my post-it note loving heart <3
  • WeatherBug
    Full disclosure: I used to LOATHE WeatherBug. I disliked it so much I actually blocked it from our school computers. Now? WHOA! This bad boy has got an amazing redesign. The word stunning actually comes to mind. For more fun, go into the settings of it and check the option for "closest weather station camera". It brings a whole new meaning to taking a look out the window. 
  • Pixlr Touch Up
    It's no secret that I love Pixlr. Most likely, it will be the Apptastic Thursday app in very short order. For many schools, I recommend it to replace PhotoShop (at least on the beginner level). It doesn't have all the bells and whistles that the full app/website has but it is certainly handy for working offline. 
  • Text
    The geeky girl inside of loves this app. I still feel the NEED for a basic text editor. Blame it on two many years working with HTML and writing scripts. Whatever the reason, I'm very excited to have this guy available offline. 
For now, that's it. Four super, amazing Desktop apps to get you started. What do you think? Which ones did I miss? Have fun!

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