Sunday, December 12, 2010

10 Chrome Web Apps to Check Out

The Google Chrome Web Store has only been open for a few hours, and already hundreds of apps are available to use.

To be fair, not every app offers a new experience; some are merely bookmarks to existing web apps. There are already a number of apps, however, that really push the boundaries of what we expect from a web app, offering new, optimized experiences and tight browser integration.

The great thing about web apps is that you don’t necessarily have to use Google Chrome to benefit from these great interfaces. Some of the apps do use Chrome-specific optimizations, but most will work identically in Safari or Firefox 4 beta.

Here are 10 Chrome web apps that we think are worth exploring:


Why It's Awesome: SlideRocket is a fantastic web app that lets you create robust, media-rich presentations in your web browser. SlideRocket even has a new HTML5 slide viewer optimized for the iPad.

What makes the Chrome app extra cool is that SlideRocket lets you sign in with your Google or Google Apps account instantly. Plus, the Google connection means that the app can now easily integrate with your Google address book (perfect for sharing a presentation or adding collaborators) and you can access real-time Google feeds to integrate into your slide deck.

Sports Illustrated Snapshot

Why It's Awesome: The Sports Illustrated Snapshot app really showcases just how jaw-dropping high-speed sports photography can be. Every day, new photos are hand-picked and captioned and added to the various channels in the app. Plus, users can purchase access to curated images from the archives or from big events like the Super Bowl.

We love the way the app flows; it would look at home on a tablet.


Why It's Awesome: Sony's web video service offers a great blend of original series, movies, TV shows and shorts. The Crackle Google Chrome app is keyboard friendly and easy to browse, and it offers a really robust lean-back experience. We could easily see this app on a Chrome-enabled set-top box.


Why It's Awesome: Springpad is kind of like a mashup between Evernote and Zootool. You can capture information from various sources for your own personal notebooks, set reminders that can then be tweeted to you and create information or organize data around your Facebook contacts.

The Springpad Chrome app really becomes cool when you use it with the Springpad Chrome extension. Capturing, collating and referencing your information is a snap.

HuffingtonPost NewsGlide

Why It's Awesome: If we were the Huffington Post, we would make the NewsGlide Chrome app our iPad app. It flows well, pulls up content in an attractive way and is easy to navigate.


Why It's Awesome: Clicker's Chrome app is actually optimized for remote controls or keyboards. That makes it a really hot addition to a home media PC. You can easily navigate without using a mouse, search for content and play back your favorite shows from the available sources without missing a beat.

A netbook running Clicker hooked up to an HDTV would kind of be like what Google TV was supposed to be.


Why It's Awesome: TweetDeck has been promising to take an HTML5 approach to its web and mobile apps for quite some time. The Chrome app brings that plan to fruition. Not only can you log in with your existing TweetDeck account, you can also import information from the TweetDeck Air app.

The Chrome app might not replace TweetDeck for diehard users, but think about this: This is portable. Now, if you're on someone else's computer, you can access your TweetDeck columns from within Chrome. Snazzy.

Why It's Awesome: has apps for Adobe Air, Windows 7, iOS and Windows Phone 7 already, but the Chrome web app brings the comic viewing, purchasing and sharing experience to the browser. has lots of deals with some of the top comic book publishers to deliver comics that can be read and synced across your devices. You can also download free comics and comic previews. The Chrome app integrates with the other apps and lets you take advantage of the special Flow view.


Why It's Awesome: We already discussed the MOG app, but we wanted to give it another shout-out for creating an entirely new interface for Chrome or Safari users.

New York Times

Why It's Awesome: Frankly, we wish all newspaper websites looked this good. With keyboard shortcuts, layout choices and support for multi-touch, the New York Times app really manages to create a fantastic web app experience that helps you forget you're in a web browser.



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