The Chrome app store has seen a lot of improvements lately, but a lot of the apps that work inside Google Chrome still go under the radar. With that in mind, here are a few of our favorites you might not have seen yet.
Recently, Google has pushed for more offline apps in the Chrome Web Store. This means they operate just like an app on your computer, but they exist entirely in the Chrome browser. You can use these on a Chromebook, or any other computer you have with Chrome installed. That means they come in handy when you’re working off a rental laptop, or just a computer without a lot of hard drive space.
While we’re still waiting to get offline support for some apps, a number of these already work offline, so you don’t need an internet connection to use them. The best part? In some cases they can actually replace space-consuming desktop software for when you’re working on the go.
The Google Suite of Apps
If you’re using Chrome, you already have the Google Drive app installed, but the rest of Google’s apps don’t come pre-packed into Chrome. The nice thing about all of Google’s apps is that they all work offline. So, if you use an app like Google Calendar, Gmail Offline, or Google Keep, you can access all your data offline in the exact same way as you would online.
Another favorite from the Google suite is the Chrome Remote Desktop, which is a dead simple way to remotely access and control other computers. The fact is, if you use any of Google’s services, their apps are well made and worth checking out.
Write Code with Codenvy IDE
You’ll find quite a few development tools in the Chrome Web Store, including CoffeeScript IDE,Application Craft, and the offline-compatible ShiftEdit, but what makes Codenvy IDE interesting is the collaborative features. Either way, you have a lot of solid options for coding right inside of Chrome.
Edit Audio with TwistedWave
TwistedWave is essentially trying to be Audacity for Chrome. It doesn’t quite get there, but as a free (you’ll need to sign up for a free account to get more 30 seconds of editing) audio editing tool that exists solely in your browser, TwistedWave gets the job done. You can easily edit audio files, cut them down, apply effects, and save everything to either Google Drive or SoundCloud. If you just need simple editing, Audio Cutter is a great way to trim clips and edit fades.
Tomatoes Keeps You Productive with the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique of productivity is one of your favorites. All it requires is that you work in solid, 25 minutes blocks and track your working time. You can do this right in Chrome withTomatoes, an app that not only tracks what you’re up to, but also has a leaderboard to compete on.
Get a Minimalist Writing Experience with Write Space
You won’t find a shortage of minimalist writing apps on the desktop that cut out distraction so you can write, so it’s no surprise that Write Space exists in Chrome. Write Space is simple, but you can customize the look of it, what you see, and it has a Google Docs-like persistent auto-save. It also works offline, so you don’t need an internet connection to use it. If you’re sick of menus and bloated writing apps, Write Space exists in your browser and doesn’t get in the way.
Edit Video with WeVideo
You’re not going to find a video editor of the caliber of Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere inside of Google Chrome, but WeVideo is an editor that should get you through most novice needs. With WeVideo you can do a bunch of basic editing tricks, including trimming videos, splitting clips, and add a handful of effects. If you just need to make a quick compilation of your vacation videos on your laptop, or you’re not that concerned with power, WeVideo does the job.
Edit Photos with Pixlr Editor
Chrome has a ton of different photo editors, but we like Pixlr Editor the most. With it, you can do basic color correction and editing, as well as use a bunch of popular filters like HDR, tilt-shift, and vignette. It’s not going to replace Photoshop by any means, but as a lightweight browser tool it suits most people’s needs.
Keep All Your Chats Private and Secure with CryptoCat
Sick of having all your online chats saved in a cloud server somewhere? Cryptocat is a totally private, secure, and anonymous chat client. That means none of your chats records are saved, and you can communicate with friends knowing that nobody is snooping in.
If security’s not that big of a deal for you, the imo messenger is a one-stop app for all your various chat accounts, including Google Talk, AOL, Facebook, and plenty of others.
Of course, we’ve only touched the surface here. A number of your favorite apps, like Dropbox,Evernote, Pocket, Spotify, Feedly, Wunderlist, and plenty more have dedicated Chrome apps. It might seem a little silly to use them if you’re not a Chromebook, but they can come in surprisingly handy on any computer you have that doesn’t have a lot of hard drive space for more full-featured apps. Of course, if you are living just inside Chrome, these apps can make the experience a lot better.
Here is a link to my dropbox folder with my recent workshops.
Many more will come.
Also some free programms I use in these workshops.
INFOGRAPHICS IN HET ONDERWIJS
differentiatie | social media in het onderwijs | ICT/nieuwe media in de klas | trends | mediawijsheid | maandag 29 april 2013, 12:38
Infographics zijn een aantrekkelijke manier om informatie te presenteren. Voor u als docent, maar ook voor uw leerlingen. bij het maken van een infographic komen diverse 21st century skills aan bod, zoals creativiteit, ict-geletterheid en communiceren. Echt moeilijk is het niet: met deze tools maakt u binnen een handomdraai zelf een mooie infographic. Wellicht een om uw leerlingen uit te leggen hoe het werkt?
Mijn eerste infographic heb ik met Easel.ly gemaakt. Met deze tool kun je kiezen uit verschillende thema’s of een leeg werkveld. In het menu kun je kiezen voor verschillende vormen, kleuren, achtergronden en iconen. Deze sleep je middels het drag and drop-systeem naar het werkveld waar je ze kunt schalen en positioneren. Het is ook mogelijk om eigen afbeeldingen te uploaden. Vergeet niet om je grafiek tussentijds op te slaan.
In grote lijnen werkt Infogr.am hetzelfde als Easel.ly, alleen zijn er wat opties om een serieuze infographic te maken. Zo kun je kiezen uit meer dan dertig grafieken. Er zit altijd wel wat tussen dat perfect aansluit bij jouw idee. Welke grafieken je het beste bij bepaalde informatie kunt gebruiken, lees je hier. Ook is het mogelijk om foto’s, video’s en landkaarten in te voegen.
Met iCharts maak je infographics aan de hand van een dataset. Die kun je uploaden vanuit bijvoorbeeld Excel of Google Spreadsheet, maar je kunt de data ook handmatig invoeren. Als je geen data, maar wel feiten hebt dan kies je voor de abc-functie. Ook hier kun je kiezen uit bestaande thema’s, maar het is ook mogelijk om zelf een thema te ontwerpen.
Met Tagxedo maak je net als met Wordle tagclouds of woordenwolken. Het voordeel van deze tool ten opzichte van Wordle is dat het makkelijker is om de afbeelding op te slaan. Bij Wordle is dat nogal een gedoe. Daarnaast kun je kiezen uit een aantal vormen (zie de afbeelding hiernaast) of je kunt zelf een vorm uploaden. Tools als Tagxedo en Wordle zijn op verschillende manieren in te zetten in het onderwijs. Lees de top 10 van Bright Hub en laat u inspireren.
Next week my first Chrombooks from Google arrive. A Samsung and an Acer. Hope to test them before the end of the schoolyear in June.
Google Maps is the best free tool for all yourmapping and navigation needs. It’s comprehensive, intuitive to use, and available across platforms. Since there is no serious competition in sight, you might as well settle with it for now and use some of the awesome features, like custom maps.
Google Maps allows you to edit its maps, save them as your own map, make it public or private, and share the link. This is ingenious and I think this feature where you can create google maps of your own is not used enough! Let me give you 3 reasons why you should use it more or better yet, let me show you 3 things you can do with custom maps.
For those of you not familiar with custom Google Maps, let me briefly show how to use them. Go to Google Maps and be sure you are logged into Google. You should see a vertical menu on the left. If not, click the little arrowhead in the top left of the map to expand the menu. In the left-hand menu, click the My places button.
Google has recently added an interactive tutorial for making custom maps. The tutorial is extremely well made, so I instead of me taking you through the process with text and screenshots, I recommend you follow this quick tutorial to create a Google map for the first time. Note that if you accidentally close all tutorial windows while editing a map, you can restart the tutorial anytime via the respective text link in the left-hand menu.
Give Directions: Showing Is Easier Than Explaining
I started using custom Google Maps to give people directions to my place. This is better than just giving them the address because you can customize the map, switch between map and satellite view, mark bus stops, highlight shortcuts, add comments, and much more.
You can create custom maps with directions and comments for many occasions, for example events, hikes, trips etc.
Collect Information: Creating Literal MindMaps Helps You Keep an Overview
There are many places we regularly visit; shops, restaurants, bars, cafés, galleries, schools, or doctors, just to name a few. And if you live in a big city and have friends all over, chances are you get around quite a bit. Keeping a map of where your friends live, your favorite places, and other frequently visited sites helps you visualize locations and maybe connect the necessary with the good.
Above is a map of MakeUseOf team members. It sure brings home the point that we are a global company.
Here are some examples of how you personally can use a custom information map:
- Want to meet with a couple of friends and wonder what’s the easiest place for everyone to get to? Check the map. Maybe your favorite restaurant is smack in the middle of everyone.
- Need to run an errand and want to get as much done as possible? Check who or what is on your way. Maybe there is a chance to save time or enrich your life!
- Found a cool place and want to keep it in mind for future reference? Put it on your map and add a note to it. You can even add a picture, provided it’s hosted online.
Collaborate On Maps: Allowing You To Tap Into Collective Knowledge
Collaborative maps are my favorite use of Google Maps and they are a spin-off of informational maps. Instead of populating a map with information all by yourself, invite other people to do it with you and thus help you collect better information. Collaborating on an informational map lets you tap into collective knowledge.
Google makes collaborating on maps very easy. While you are viewing one of your custom maps, click the Collaborate link in the top left of the vertical menu to the left of your map. Now add the email addresses of the people you would like to invite, set Advanced Permissions, add a personal message to make the invitation meaningful to people, and finally send your invitation.
Need examples of how to use collaborative maps? Here you go:
- Traveling to a place some of your friends have visited before? Share your destination map with them and let them mark the places for you that they enjoyed most. Better than any guide book!
- Want to discover new places like restaurants or bars where you live? Share your custom local map with people you know and have them add their favorite places. Sure, you could just check out sites like Yelp or Qype for public recommendations, but your friends know you and will likely personalize their recommendation.