It’s been less than a week, but already the Chrome Web Store is reeling in the users. The app store has over 500 applications and plenty of free ones to choose from. Here is our first look at the Chrome Web Store and our choice of the top 10 free applications.
This digital comic book platform is great for diehard fanboys and occasional readers alike. Graphic.ly features over 700 titles, optional registration, and plenty of free content. Users also have access to in-depth previews for all non-free material. It’s got a rich user interface that immediately loads your content, and gives you viewing options inside the comic. The Graphic.ly Flow view digitally imitates actual reading habits, zooming into and highlighting the upper right hand corner and panning from frame to frame.
There’s nothing revolutionary about Vimeo Couch Mode, but it streams your video content and does it well. There are no ads or commercials, and it includes free, staff-picked content in addition to your videos and inbox. The plug-in also gives users the “like this” and “watch later” options on the toolbar.
There are only a few things wrong with Scrabble: Waiting for your turn can be interminable when an opponent takes 30 minutes to find the perfect place to play “C-A-T,” and there are only so many places on a board. Word2 eliminates both of these issues. It’s a never-ending, global edition of Scrabble that allows you to continuously focus on your own letters, never being forced to wait your turn. People play simultaneously and you can search on for that perfect space on the limitless board. It’s competition without pressure, and fun that doesn’t require absolute focus.
Scribble describes itself as “stickies on steroids,” so you can imagine how it’s an organizer’s dream. Each scribble is a different color, includes a title, and short memo to yourself. You’re then free to drag and drop them in any order you prefer, and naturally are able to access the notes offline and will receive notifcations. It absolutely beats 15 identical and randomly titled Word documents on your desktop.
Aviary has a host of photo editors and manipulators, but its Advanced Image Editor appeals to the widest demographic. While obviously not as sophisticated as PhotoShop, it provides all of the basic tools Adobe’s photo editor does. You have your filters, layers, levels, and simple tools, like image rotation and cropping. It’s comparable to free photo editors like PicNik and Gimp, and arguably easier to use.
This Web Store App originally premiered at the Chrome December 7 event, and it caught our eye back then. Now that we’ve have more of a chance to play with it, the app easily makes our top ten free list. There’s just something about being able to tangibly pull and prod your way through the retail site that really sells it, and the tabs at the top of the page add some distinction to the products you’re looking at. Amazon also strictly features its bestsellers here, something that’s incredibly helpful for paring down the infinite abyss its site can sometimes feel like.
TweetDeck has already claimed top spot in the Chrome Web Store, and for good reason. It’s already a popular app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android devices, and now that list is a little longer. As per usual, TweetDeck combines your social networking accounts into columns and groups so display your ever-updating online life. It also lets you update your multiple profiles in one easy message. Nothing terribly new or exciting here, just a great way to multitask.
The Gilt app has made a name for itself when it comes to mobile shopping, and its Web Store version is no slouch either. It shows you daily sales by a category you prefer, and then slides out what that designer has available. It also keeps your searches open, so that if you originally began looking at women’s jewelry but also need to look through home décor, a panel is simply added to your browsers, eliminating the endlessness of clicking back to find an item.
There are plenty of news apps in the Chrome Web Store, but Good Noows has a Facebook-like UI that simply generates the news you want from the sources you like. It slaps articles up based on your customizations, and then lets you edit font, text size, and layout. Of course, you can share anything you want as well or flag it to read later. There’s nothing flashy about it, but that seems to make it even quicker to get the headlines you want from the sources you prefer.
This app simply lets you browse its community’s playlists or create your own. It generates music content by letting you pull from YouTube videos in an iTunes-like interface. It’s more visually appealing than Grooveshark’s app, which may have a larger database to pull from, but isn’t quite as fun to play around with as this feature.