20 of the best Chrome OS apps
Clip To Evernote
Supporting the Evernote service, this application encourages the gathering of web clippings. Unfortunately, you’ll need to use the Evernote website (which is also available as an “app”) to actually organise your chosen extracts, making this application little more than a collation tool, but for sheer ease of use it can’t be overlooked.
An app for healthy-eating junkies, GoodFood delivers dozens of recipes from the BBC magazine in an attractive, tablet-style format. Recipes can be searched by ingredient or sorted by type (such as starter, pudding and so on). Each is accompanied by step-by-step instructions and high-resolution photos that leave you drooling over your keyboard.
Ideal for web design, MeasureIt helps users quickly establish the size of web images. Click the ruler icon and draw a box around the relevant graphic, and the application will provide the measurement in pixels. Sadly, the drawn box can’t be resized once you’ve let go of the mouse, but it’s quick and easy to try again.
An invaluable tool for authors of multiple blogs, ScribeFire allows you to create a single article that can be posted to numerous locations at once. It’s a far cry from the WordPress publishing suite (ScribeFire lacks even a basic spellcheck) but remains worthwhile due to the considerable time-saving element. There’s also support for monetised posts through the ScribeFire QuickAds service.
Web of Trust
Although safe from the malware that plagues Windows, Chrome OS adopters could still fall foul of phishing attacks. A crowd-sourced application, Web of Trust colour codes the internet: green indicates safety; red tags websites you’d do well to avoid. There’s also a child-safety feature, but, as Davey Winder has previously acknowledged, it offers little guidance and thus isn’t an alternative to parental responsibility and supervision.
Homestyler is a terrific web app for those looking to revamp their living quarters without calling on Handy Andy et al. Room design is handled by a drag-and-drop system, which alleviates the usual complexity associated with software of this nature. The option to flip between 2D flatplans and elegant 3D views is hugely impressive, although we found performance was sluggish on the relatively low-powered Chromebook.
You could potentially ditch navigational buttons and keyboard shortcuts for good with Smooth Gestures. Hold the right mouse button to activate the gesture menu, and then draw the relevant symbol: a straight line for a new tab; a “U” shape to refresh, and so on. There’s an in-app cheatsheet to help you remember, and symbols can also be customised. The application is rather forgiving, too, with poorly drawn gestures often recognised, but you’ll have to use a mouse since Smooth Gestures doesn’t play nicely with the Chromebook’s trackpad.
Seemingly easy, but actually fiendishly difficult, Entanglement is a connect the dots-style mental challenge. Each placed tile extends the line further, imploring you to create an intricate network and amass a high score. Forethought is required, since each tile contains many potential lines that will begin to match up over time, and a collision equals game over. Shame it ran slowly on our Chromebook.