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Using Chrome apps to get smarter, faster, stronger

Leap tall buildings. Outrun speeding locomotives. Stop bullets. Save the world.

Okay. Perhaps a bit of exaggeration. While Google can do a lot of stuff, I’m not sure that even the folks at the Googleplex can save the world. But they do have some very cool tools. And until recently, a lot of them didn’t live in the Mac/Apple world.

They lived in the Google Web Store, on the Chrome browser in the PC/Windows world. That’s changed. Mac users can now access the apps and extensions in the Web Store for use on the Chrome browser running on Apple devices.

And my world has gotten better and worse. I’ve been a Firefox browser for years. I did dip my toes in the waters of the Apple Safari option a few years ago and found it clunky. I also tried Chrome and liked it. But Firefox had so many more working add-ons and extensions. So I’ve stayed in my Firefox rut.

With the Google Web Store open to me now, I’m rethinking my options. Safari is also much better now – adding a third option to the love triangle that is my browser decision. So . . . more choices about where I spend my time online. That’s the better part. The worse part is deciding on one.

I’m leaning Chrome.

So today a quick list of Chrome apps that can make you smarter, faster, and stronger. And for you Internet Explorer folks out there in the PC/Windows world, you might want to slip over to Chrome and give it a try.

WeVideo Next
WeVideo is a simple video creation tool that lets your kids mashup video clips, photos, and music very quickly. It reminds me of the Apple iMovie software. Easy and quick to use.

Pixlr Express
A easy to use photo editor, with all the effects, overlays and borders. There are also lots of adjustments, stickers and a text tool. Would be nice as you and students collect and use images in other apps and tools.

Awesome Screenshot
A screenshot capture tool that lets you annotate, add shapes, and share in a variety of ways. Capture whole screen, just a window, or select exactly what you want. This helps you Windows folks out there. Mac users have always had this ability but I really like the annotate option.

Evernote Clearly
Evernote Clearly removes unwanted advertisements, navigation bars, and other distractions with a single click, leaving only the content you care about in a clean, easy to read format. Integrates into your Evernote account. The premium Text-to-speech feature even gives you the choice to have content read back to you.

A very cool summarizing tool. TLDR looks at a website and creates four different summaries of the text. You select which version you want to use. Seems like a great way to have kids, especially younger students, gather and organize information.

I’ve talked about Pocket before but now it comes in a easy to use Chrome app version. When you find something on the web that you want to view later, put it in Pocket. It automatically syncs to your phone, tablet or computer so you can view it at any time, even without an internet connection.

And while you may not save the world with these apps, your browser help make you smarter, faster, and stronger.

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