There have been many people who asked me how to do this or that in Chrome. Some veteran windows users think that unlike Windows PC that comes with default applications out-of-the-box, Chromebook is for browsing web pages only and has no “applications”.
This is certainly not true. Today I’m going to introduce a bunch of essential web apps and Chrome extensions that Chromebook users could use to perform tasks same as using equivalent Windows default applications. You’ll learn that Chromebook is not just a web kiosk. It’s a computer with great power!
Chromebook has a built-in media player. Whenever you select a recognized media file in the File Manager in Chrome OS, you will find options to play or enqueue the file.
Bad news is, this media player reads only limited types of files, so far tested:
There are many calculator web apps in Chrome Web Store. I recommend Calculator, a basic calculator that is quite enough for daily use. It comes with a valued-added feature, converter, a tool for converting currencies, areas, lengths, etc.
If you want a scientific calculator, try this calculator.
My first choice for note taking is Scratchpad. It’s a tiny notepad for you to quickly mark down ideas and empty your mind. What make it awesome are offline function and syncing to Google Docs.
Quick Note is a handy tool for jotting notes in Chrome OS. You can easily write down anything in, paste images onto and search within your notes. What’s more, you can sync your notes to the cloud via Diigo.com.
Need to do some more serious word processing? I guess I don’t need to introduce Google Docs, the flagship product of Google. It has all you need for editing and simple formatting of text documents, spreadsheets and slides. My free Chrome OS 101 guidebook was mostly created with it.
Zoho Writer is another favourite of mine. It’s look and feel and functionality are very similar to Microsoft Word, but it’s free of charge. You and your colleagues could work on the same document by using commenting, chat and instant collaboration functions.
Diigo Web is a Chrome extension that allows you to clip web pages, highlight texts and add sticky notes to any web page. Your sticky notes follow the web pages, meaning that next time you come back to the web site you can find the same notes.
To draw, I recommend Pixlr Editor. Many brushes to choose from, layers, filters… these are all the reason why I like it.
Screen Capture (by Google) is a Chrome extension released by Google (yes, truly authentic). You can choose to capture selective region, whole page or visible region only. Basic annotation, masking and highlighting tools are available.
Awesome Screenshot: Capture & Annotate is a more powerful Chrome extension. Apart from the above features, it can save your image to awesomescreenshot.com and give you a link to share the image with friends.
SweepIt is a web implementation of the classic Minesweeper. You can choose from Easy, Medium or Hard difficulties. One thing to note is that it opens in a new window.
There are a lot other time killing games in Chrome Web Store waiting for you to explore. Most of them are free of charge.
Sound Cloud is a web tool for recording and remixing sound. The product could be shared with your friends via social networks. There are many apps on this web site that helps you to create, record and share your sound.
(This is a post I wrote for Chrome OS Site. Slight amendments were made.)