Apps may be the hot commodity among smartphones right now, but on the Desktop, web browser based applications are where it’s at. In 2010, I’ve found myself turning more and more to online web based solutions for various things. Here I present to you my list of awesome web tools that I’ve found indispensable for 2010.
DropBox has quickly become a staple tool for me. A free gig of online data storage that syncs with multiple local folders give DropBox most of its awesome. Its simplicity and ease of use is a serious bonus. And with a decent API, desktop and mobile platforms are able to interface with with it, providing huge benefits for users with apps like GoodReader. And when my developer hat goes on, DropBox has become my source control system for small non-collaborative projects.
Where DropBox excels at storing files and keeping them in sync across systems, EverNote excels at document storage for things like articles, ideas, little notes. When I have a new idea, I just fire up my email and shoot the idea off to my EverNote email address and it gets stored into my EverNote notebook for reference later. The free version is all I really need, never going over the 50mb allowance that free users get, but the pro version isn’t very expensive and would be awesome for even the most hardcore note taking enthusiasts.
First, let’s be straight – when it comes to picture editing, Adobe’s product line is at the top, miles above most other programs. But when it comes to some simple design work, I’ve found SumoPaint to be absolutely coated in awesome sauce.
With an interface that would be extremely familiar to any photoshopper, the only lacking functionality, really, is the absence of some better filters and Image adjustment functions. Other than that, SumoPaint provides a very usable Flash based paint program.
One of the elements of SumoPaint that I really like are the gradient fills – very nice set of pre-defined gradients. But where it really shines is being able to store your design on your SumoPaint account. You can spin up SumoPaint on any of your machines and continue working on your project without needing to carry a file around or install anything on your system. Slick sauce.
There’s a place for Flash and Flex on the web and SumoPaint is a perfect example of what kind of web app fits in that place. It will be a while off before we see a similar kind of tool running in that HTML5 thing that everyone is talking about.
Yes, Google Docs has been around for a dog’s age (just a couple of years, really, in Internet terms). But Google Docs keeps bringing it. As far as online writing is concerned, there are likely few web apps with as much functionality. The autosave function is priceless by itself but when you’re sitting there editing a document in what feels like Microsoft Word and you suddenly remember that you’re using a web application, it is a little mind blowing.
When Microsoft Windows Live came out online with their online set of equivalent tools, I gave them a test drive, but I found myself disappointed that they paled in comparison to what Google Docs is capable of.
Google may have tried and failed a number of times in 2010 with things like Buzz and Wave, but Google Docs is an example of how Google is seriously capable of some awesome sauce kicked up a notch.
Earlier this year, I bought Intuit’s suite of tools. I started using them but looking back, I obviously lost interest. And having several machines that I use on a daily basis (laptop, netbook, iPad, Desktop) I don’t even really remember where installed it.
So it was with joyous song that when I found out that Mint.com pulled out the big guns and released a Canadian version. I signed up and hooked up my bank account along with all of my credit card accounts in literally minutes and was suddenly presented with a budget and indications of where I was at with respect to staying on budget.
My only wish – that Mint.com integrated with points cards and better stock market integration. But for a free online app that aggregates my financials, I’m happy. Awesome sauce and a side of chips