With the continuing development of web technologies that are making our web browsers better. There are now a lot of powerful web apps that can be run inside your browser. That can perform many of the essential tasks of stand-alone software installed on your computer. In this post, I’ll show you 10 useful websites that do a great job of replacing your PC’s desktop software. All you need your trusty web browser, a good internet connection and because they are web-based they’ll work on just about every operating systems.
1. Pixlr Editor
First up is Pixlr Editor which is an excellent alternative to photoshop or gimp. It may not be as powerful as those two programs but includes a wide array of tools, filters, adjustments options and even has layers. When you launch the web app your choices are to create a brand new image, open an image from our computer, open an image form specific URL or to open an image from your Pixlr, Facebook or other libraries. After you’ve selected your image, all the tools you’ll be working with are located on the left side. You can add new layers to the right.
I would recommend that if you’ve never used an image editor before then you watch tutorials when you’re getting started. If you used Photoshop or GIMP this won’t be too difficult for you to figure out. Pixlr Editor is entirely free. If you’re just wanting to do a quick fix to an image then I’d recommend that you also check out Pixlr Express.
TinyPNG is the is used to compress images. This is useful if you are looking to reduce the amount of space being used up on your drives. If you are a website developer, to reduce the size of your image files will make your web pages load quicker. It’s almost impossible to see the difference in quality between the uncompressed and compressed images. It’s really easy to use. At the top of the page just find an image on your computer. You can select up to 20 images no more than 5 MB each. When compressing done it will show you how much your image was reduced in size. With TinyPNG you can download each compressed image, save to Dropbox or download all if you compress more than one image.
Google Office Suite is an alternative to Microsoft Office. Although it’s not fully featured. There are separate tools here for documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and forms. There are just handy features here to satisfy the average users.
If you like the layout of Microsoft Office they do offer a free online version called Office Online. The online apps that are available include Word, Excel, PowerPoint and many others. When you open one of the apps there’s the familiar ribbon at the top. The Office Online apps are lacking some of the advanced features that are available in their PC software but just like the Office apps from Google most people won’t miss them.
Online-Convert is an easy to use file converter that will take just about any media file on your computer no larger than 100 MB and convert it from one format to another. Here is how it works, if I wanted to convert an audio file from MP3 to AAC I would select the drop-down box for the audio converter and select convert to AAC. On the next screen, select browse, find your file and select open. There are optional settings listed below for changing the audio bitrate and others. When you’re ready, select Convert file. Depending on your file it may take a minute or two. Once it’s done you can save that converted file to your computer.
Instead of using a media player installed on your computer to play songs consuming your hard drive space, you could use a web player from one of the many online music streaming services. Most have free plans usually ad-supported with the option to spend around ten dollars per month to get extra features and get rid of ads. Whichever you choose is just a matter of personal preference. My favorite right now is Spotify. It has over 40 million songs, high audio quality options and offers offline listening.
Trello is a great project management tool for individuals or teams to help them get organized with use of visual boards which are broken down into lists for particular tasks. When collaborating on a project all those involved have access to the Trello cards, comments, and attachments. One of the best features that I appreciate is that if anything important happens regarding the project you’ll get notified through their notification system. In addition to their web app, Trello has apps for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. For most users, the basic functionality of the free version of Trello will be all that they need. If you run a business that requires additional features including integration with services like Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, and several others. Monthly plans start at $9.99 per user each month.
PDFescape is an excellent PDF editor with features not often found in many of the free alternatives to Adobe Acrobat. It lets you create or fill-in PDF forms online within your browser. In addition, you can add text, sticky notes, links, draw basic shapes along with other features. When you’re creating or loading a PDF the files must be less than 10 MB and less than 100 pages. For most PDFs, this usually is not an issue. The free version of PDFescape is supported by ads. To get rid of the ads and get additional features they have other plans starting at 2.99$ per month.
Mint is a trusted online site that offers personalized finance tool that most of you are probably familiar with. You can link up your bank accounts, cards, and bills to help you keep track of your budgets, investments and will show you new ways to save more money. It will even track of your Bitcoins. Mint is free to use even making payments with your bank accounts is free but there are fees for making payments with a credit or debit card. Other than that it’s an easy service to use to keep track of your spending and budget.
VirusTotal is a free service that uses more than 60 scanners and can detect malware, viruses and other kinds of malicious content. It’s simple to use just select choose file and select the file that you would like to scan. Once it’s done it’ll let you know how many scanning engines detected malicious content. Also, you can use VirusTotal to scan URL’s It’s easy to use too. Select URL copy paste or type the URL of a website and when you are done hit enter. VirusTotal does not completely replace your antivirus or malware security software but should be thought of as an extra tool that you can check out those suspicious files and URLs.
If you know of a website that’s a good alternative for desktop software let us know about it in the comments.