howtogeek at May 16th, 2013 06:42 — #1
Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/163162/30-web-based-alternatives-to-traditional-desktop-apps-for-chromebooks-and-pcs/
Whether you’re using a Chromebook or you’re just interested in switching from installed desktop apps to browser-based ones, web-based software can replace many of the programs people use on their computers — and can often improve on them.
dankerschen at May 16th, 2013 08:26 — #2
Some comments about Messaging, voice and video chat and All-You-Can-Eat Listening. Google announced a few things yesterday at I/O 2013.
Google talk, messenger, etc. will be replaced by Google Hangouts, which also incorporates video calling. As I understand it, messaging across platforms should be a lot easier if a lot of people will use the service.
Also, they announced an All-You-Can-Eat Listening service like the ones from Spotify or Rdio, called Google Play Music All Access. Although limited to the US right now, it still seems like an interesting take.
jebrewer at May 16th, 2013 08:43 — #3
I went the Outlook.com route as I had an old Hotmail account so I got the free 25GB Storage on Skydrive. You really cannot beat that considering you normally have to pay $10/year for only 20GB if you didn't have an old Hotmail account.
geek at May 16th, 2013 09:04 — #4
I've been really considering whether I could switch to a Chromebook Pixel - the majority of what I do on a daily basis is inside of Chrome, so for most things it would work just fine.
I do have to use Word sometimes though, which would be my only real concern. I'm guessing I could setup a Windows desktop with Chrome Remote Desktop and use that. Or even load Linux and virtualize Windows. I would also need VPN access along with an SSH client, since I sometimes need to connect to the HTG server. Though I suppose that could be accomplished through Linux as well, or through the Chrome Remote Desktop connection, since it's not every day that I need it.
Yeah, I really think it could work for me.
jpaterson at May 16th, 2013 09:45 — #5
Just an FYI, but I have my Google Calendar synced with the built-in Calendar Metro app on Windows 8. It doesn't work if you try to set it up normally, but all you need to do is share your Google calendar with your Microsoft account, and have it reflect changes as soon as you make them, and all will be pushed to the Mail app.
campbell2644 at May 16th, 2013 12:41 — #6
I'd rather trust my online data with Zoho Mail,Calendar,Docs etc. They have a really good office suite.
sudobash at May 16th, 2013 13:21 — #7
I really can't see myself switching to web-based alternatives any time soon, but I think that is mainly because they do not target users like me. Most of what I do on a computer is done from the command line, and much of it is programing. There aren't many web apps geared towards programing, and certainly none of them even come close to good ol
Even for tasks like writing papers in some word processor I really just don't see the appeal. A simple dropbox, gdrive, or github account is all I need to keep my files synced online. Having a local copy and using a local native application is much, much faster and IMHO more reliable than any web app. (particularly with my .22Mb/s internet, but the same is true for fast connections.)
Perhaps I am just old fashioned (I hope not. I am a CompSci undergrad), but I just prefer to have things running on my computer.
geek at May 16th, 2013 13:25 — #8
I do think that you are somewhat biased because of your extremely slow internet connection.. is that ISDN or something? I don't even understand how you can purchase a connection that slow.
When you have a true broadband connection, doing things in the cloud suddenly makes a lot more sense - it's easier to have your email in the cloud, and your calendar, todo list, even basic spreadsheets and word processing.
Since you are a programmer, the cloud won't work very well for you, and isn't designed for you anyway. I run into the same problems when it comes to the programming side of my job... but that's only a portion of what I do, and I need to do less programming anyway, since I'm not that good at it.
themike at May 16th, 2013 13:45 — #9
i'm starting to move everything to a cloud based set up, my android, even with added storage isn't enough. the only drawback i see is i'll need a constant internet connection to access everything.
aanon69 at May 16th, 2013 18:19 — #10
sudobash at May 16th, 2013 21:32 — #11
So if I use GMail to write my letter to Grandma I will die? If I use Google Docs to write up a report will all my bank information be stolen? To be honest, I don't care that Google knows that I searched for "Python dictionary comprehension" yesterday. I don't mind if they read what I wrote to my teachers last week. Google definitely knows a lot about me, but I don't see how that is horrible. All it means for me is that I will get more advertisements which are technology based. As far as I am concerned this is a good thing. It means less advertisements about woman's hair products, etc...
If you don't care who sees it, go ahead and put it on Google. The internet is inherently insecure. Deal with it.
cac1031 at May 17th, 2013 04:30 — #12
So if it is not worthy of your attention, why do you feel the need to post such a long diatribe against Google? I find it funny that anyone who engages on the internet is worried about privacy and tracking...you signed in with an email to post here, didn't you? It's fine that some people are too uncomfortable with the thought of tracking and keyword scanning to use web-based services, but it's obviously a trade-off that many people find very beneficial. The free services you get for allowing ads targeted to you are amazing.
I personally feel like people worried about others seeing their data are really oblivious to how insignificant they are on earth--automated bots are using algorithms to track and scan--no person is looking at your data because nobody at Google or any other cloud service could care less about you as an individual--and for those who know people at Google, it is strictly prohibited and illegal for an employee to try and get past the security controls that prevent them from spying on an account.
The only real concerns with cloud privacy is that if A) you don't do enough to protect your password and at the same time do not use two-step authentification to prevent your account being accessed remotely and B) if law enforcement ever targets you in a criminal investigation and gets a search warrant for content stored online--it would be the same if they burst into a house withe a warrant and confiscated files and hard drives.
geek at May 17th, 2013 08:33 — #13
Actually it turns out that @AAnon69 is a long-time comment troll, who we had blocked in the old system and forgot to block over here.
howardhhh at May 17th, 2013 11:48 — #14
That is not a very fair thing to say, @AAnon69 was just expressing his concern and far from trolling, also it is something that most users are concerned about, Google has an abhorrent track record and many are genuinely afraid of the group which is even more big brother than MS, though less than Facebook. I love Geeks, but please remember the importance of freedom of speech, don't go the Facebook way of stopping it
geek at May 17th, 2013 11:57 — #15
Honestly, it's not fair for you to say that without knowing the back story.
That person has been leaving nasty, trolling, lousy comments for the last year, and since this is my web site, he or she is not welcome here. I mean, that person's email address is roughly "kiss my ass" @ email domain.com. They aren't trying to be a helpful internet citizen. They aren't trying to be a helpful part of this community.
And yes, everybody has freedom of speech. That doesn't mean I have to allow them to broadcast their opinions on my web site.
Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to make people publish your hate.
howardhhh at May 17th, 2013 13:19 — #16
As you say, you know more than i about him/her so i defer to your judgement, i was only going off what was posted, this is an awesome site and been very helpful to me, except the last plee for help lol, i've been trying to get my second computer to get the net which comes through a 3g modem, but i have given up.
Thankyou for explaining and keep up the good work
horizonguy at January 13th, 2014 11:54 — #17
I generally like my Chromebook but the ability to play media files (video) on my home network is a bit vague and not included in this post? Anyone got any alternatives for that? Looking for something akin to VLC or GOM player...