Chromebooks are lightweight notebooks that run on Google Chrome OS. As Linux kernel powers the operating system, the Chromebooks are reliable and secure. They are perfect companions for people accessing the internet frequently.
If you have purchased a Chromebook, download and install the following Chrome apps to get the same experience as the Windows OS.
Best Photo Editors for Chrome
If you’re looking for a Chrome app to apply filters to the photos or you want to change the brightness, color, contrast ratio of the images, install Polarr.
Polarr supports the drag-and-drop feature. It offers over 40 filters and has an auto color adjustment function. Its size is 13 megabytes. The app lets you resize the window and it provides sliders to change the field’s value. It supports the batch export feature and RAW format files. Polarr consumes a small amount of RAM. It doesn’t affect the Chrome OS performance when you run it.
The only drawback of Polarr is that it doesn’t provide photo editing tools such as brush, bucket fill, etc. Pixlr is an online photo editor for Chromebooks. It overcomes the limitations of Polarr by offering many tools. Hence, Pixlr is a good alternative to Polarr. Apart from providing filters, this Chrome app offers tools that you’ll find in GIMP, Photoshop, or MS Paint.
Pixlr offers an easy to use interface. It allows you to save pictures offline on PC in one of the following formats:
If your Chromebook doesn’t have enough free space, create a free account on Pixlr. If you do so, you can save your work on the server of Pixlr.
Best Office app for Chromebooks
Office Online from Microsoft Corporation allows you to create or edit MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, sway files on a Chromebook. To use it, you must sign in to your MS OneDrive account.
Unlike MS Office for PC, Office Online is a free service. It offers the same set of tools you’ll find in the desktop version of Microsoft Office Suite.
If you’ve installed the offline version of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, you can launch the application from the web interface of OO. The app syncs your work automatically to the PC if you use this feature.
OO saves your files securely on the secure Microsoft servers. You can access them anytime. OO is the best Chromebook office app for editing excel, CSV, presentation files. It is one of the top Chrome productivity apps.
Best video converter for Chrome OS
VC provides a no-nonsensical approach of converting media files from one format to another. Once you install it, VC takes you to its official website where you’ll find the option to upload a media file. VC supports files stored on Dropbox, Google Drive, or another storage platform.
Once you upload the file, you must select one of the output formats:
- MP4, AVI, MPG.
- MOV, FLV, 3GP.
- WEBM, MKV, APPLE.
Then, you must choose the target file video resolution and specify the video, audio codecs. You must also set the desired output file size. Finally, click on the convert button and wait for the tool to complete its task.
The best Chrome news/RSS reader
Feedly is one of the top-rated apps on the Chrome Webstore. It enables you to read the news on the Chromebook without opening a website. Feedly doesn’t recommend news stories to the users. It provides a search option that you can use to find a list of top news portals/channels and articles containing a specific word.
Feedly gives you complete control of the news you want to read. If a website provides RSS feed, you can copy the feed URL and add it to your subscription list in Feedly. The RSS reader app has options to:
- Save a story for reading it later.
- Copy the news source URL to the clipboard.
- Share the story on social networks or send the news to the inbox of an email address.
Best Torrent client for Chromebooks
Apart from work, you may like to watch videos or listen to music in leisure time. With JSTorrent, you can easily download large torrent files. By default, JST saves downloaded files to the “Downloads” folder. JST has advanced functions i.e. you can pause, resume, seed a torrent file. It supports large files having a size of over 1GB.
Also see: Best download manager apps for Android
The best Chrome RDP client
With VNC Viewer, you can gain access to a computer running on Windows or Linux OS and of any geographic location. VNCV prompts users to enter the IP Address of the remote PC and asks you to chose a picture quality.
If the computer is on the same network, choose the highest picture quality. If the PC is on a different network and your internet connection is slow, select lower picture quality for a good experience.
Best Chrome task manager
Todoist is a task-management utility with the highest ratings among the apps of the same category. It allows you to create a to-do list, set reminders, and more.
Todoist offers an intuitive interface. Once you register a free account, it asks you to select the type of list you want to create. Then, the application shows a text box and a button to add items to the list.
Todoist enables you to duplicate a list. It has the option to share to-do lists on social networks. In case you’ve created plenty of lists, Todoist lets you sort the lists alphabetically. It is one of the must-have Chrome apps for 2020.
Best offline email client for Chromebooks
Gmail Offline lets you access your emails offline. It takes a few kilobytes storage memory on your Chromebook and provides a brilliant UI for a great experience. Gmail Offline keeps copies of recent emails you’ve sent or received on your Chromebook. Learn how to use Gmail in offline mode.
Also read: Best email client apps for Android
Best Chrome video/music player
VLC (Video LAN Codec)
A notebook is incomplete without a media player application. VLC is a popular program that supports playback of almost all media files known to mankind. It is a free application with superb features. VLC is easy to use and provides a variety of options to the users.
Best Chromebook diagramming app
If you’re a computer science student, install Draw IO to improve your productivity. DIO allows users to create entity relationships, flowchart and many other types of diagrams for their project. Although it is a lightweight application, DIO offers many functions. For the proof, you can see the above screenshot.
Nimbus is an app with which you capture screenshots and create videos of the screen on your Chromebook. Its size is 40.1 megabytes. NimBus lets you save the screenshot as a PDF, JPG, or a PNG file and enables you to convert the recorded video to MP4 or Graphic Interchange format. It also allows you to crop/trim the captured pictures and record videos of applications that you’re currently using. NB also lets you annotate or highlight texts. If you create video tutorials and capture screenshots often, make sure you download and install Nimbus on your Chromebook.
Our list of best Chrome apps for 2020 features lightweight applications with incredible features. If you have bought a new Chromebook, install Offline Online, Todoist, JSTorrent, Diagram IO, VNC, Pixlr, Polarr, Video Converter, VLC, Gmail Offline, Nimbus, and Feedly.
Note: You can use the above apps on Linux or Windows OS. To launch an app, paste this URL chrome://apps/ in the browser’s address bar and press the enter key.