New App Categories in Chrome Web Store

Google Chrome Web Store has just received a little change.  As introduced in Chromium Blog, there are new top level categories and sub-categories in the Store, such as Business Tools.

Chrome Web Store New Categories - Business Tools

This is certainly a move to help (and attract) corporate users.  There are also new sub-categories, such as Shopping under Lifestyle.  This is how Google described the benefits of these changes:

The new structure of the store will improve discoverability for apps. For example, users searching for a photo album app can now easily drill down to the “Photos” subcategory level and track down the app they are looking for. At the same time, apps assigned to a subcategory show up in the category page as well giving them wider exposure; an app in “Photos” will appear on both the “Photos” page and the “Entertainment” page.

From now on, an app would only be shown in the primary category the developer chose, to avoid confusion caused.  It would, however, be shown in both the category and sub-category it belongs to.

Web app developers are certainly affected by this change because they have review the categories of their apps after this update.  For web app users, I believe this brings easier app searching.  The new top level categories and sub-categories are, in my opinion, much better and clearer than the original categorization.

 

Source Chromium Blog, via Chrome Story

Pomodoro.me – Productivity Web App Using a Tomato

Last year I introduced ChromoDoro, a Chorme extension that enhances your productivity using the pomodoro technique.  This system suggests that human’s productivity drop after a certain period of time.  By breaking down a big task into smaller ones, complete them one by one with short breaks in between, we maintain high productivity.

Today I am going to introduce a web app that does the time tracing for you.  It is not a browser-specific extension / add-on, as long as you use a modern browser you can fire it up.  If you use Google Chrome, there is a Chrome web app which is basically equal to a bookmark.

 

Pomodoro.me – Web App Employing Pomodoro Technique

This web app cannot be simpler.  There is a logo on top, a timer and four buttons beneath.  Simply click the Pomodoro button, the timer starts to count down 25 minutes, the time span suggested by the Pomodoro system.  Try to complete one task in 25 minutes without getting distracted by other stuff.  When the time comes, this web app tells you that this session ends, you can start a short break of 5 minutes before starting another 25-minute session.  After a few sessions, you can take a long break of 15 minutes instead of 5 minutes.

I am a user of Pomodoro techniques, I have android app as well as Chrome extension serving this function.  This web app gives yet another choice to manage my time, so I highly recommend it to all people who look for effective methods to increase productivity.

 

Official site: http://www.pomodoro.me/

Chrome Web App: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/pdkkfpnoobbihpjbophkgcibemmmidhk

Relaxpls: Web Screen Saver With Soothing Scenery and Sound

Tired to sit in front of the computer for long hours?  Want to relax your eyes and ears?  The web app introduced today brings soothing scenery and sound to your computer.  It is a web app that you do not have to install.  Simply go to the site and enjoy the comfortable image and natural sound.

 

Relaxpls: A Web Screen Saver With Soothing Scenery and Sound

Relaxpls has one and only feature – to bring you beautiful natural photos and natural sound to calm you down and relax your mind.  The natural scene changes frequently.  The sound you hear is birds, wind and running water, those you could hear if you have a walk in the woods.  You can mute the sound by clicking an icon on the web page if you simply need to freshen your eyes without the sound.

So how can it work as a screen saver?  Most modern browsers have a full screen mode.  For example, in Chrome in Windows you can view a web page in full screen by pressing F11 key.  You can also click the wrench icon in Chrome, then click the full screen icon to the right of the Zoom option.  Then the screen will be filled by the beautiful natural environment.

Relaxpls - Web Screen Saver With Soothing Scenery and Sound

I can think of two good uses of Relaxpls.  Firstly, it is particularly useful as a screen saver on a Chromebook.  Chrome OS does not provide a mechanism for changing the screen saver.  Relaxpls is a good alternative to the default one.  Secondly, it could be used as a meditation tool.  The images and sound massage your eyes and ears, take pressure out of you after hours of work.

 

Official Site: http://relaxpls.com/

Chrome Web App: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/npmnpijamnjkmkcpfkadpmdhhehabcld

Conceptboard – Multi-user Moodboard With File Sharing and Screenshot

It’s Monday!  Every Monday I review web apps and share tips of productivity and work management. SUBSCRIBE to RSS feed or email updates to know more!

Conceptboard is an online working space to collaborate with colleagues.  It gives me the impression of a mood board (frequently used by designers) that could be accessed realtime by multiple users.

 

Conceptboard – Online Working Space for Multi-users

Conceptboard has a free option that you can use to create up to 25 boards.  You can register for a free account, or you can use your social network account.

Conceptboard - Registration

Simply type in the board’s name to create it.  At this point you can also enter the email addresses of your co-workers to invite them to join.

Conceptboard - create new board

Just like the online whiteboard I introduced last week, you can freely draw on the conceptboard.  But there’s more.  You can paste images onto the board by uploading form your computer.  You can also capture screenshot and upload instantly.  Users can leave comments and read other’s comments.

Test - Conceptboard

What really impressed me is the ability to upload documents.  The files uploaded could be downloaded in their original form (for paid users only).  And the board could be exported as PDF or image file.

How to use Conceptboard?  For example, web designers could use it as a mood board to share sample images and discuss different combinations.  Programmers can exchange ideas and review user interface design with co-workers.

 

Summary

Recently I’m starting to work with people in other countries in my fulltime job.  There are many different tools I tried, Conceptboard is in general an easy-to-use tool.  If you need to work with other people online, you should give it a try.

 

Chrome Web App: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jnacnlekfaehkfdbkohnhpmdagnfaeio

Official Site: http://conceptboard.com

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