Online applications also known as web applications are getting more popular, particularly when broadband Internet access has become more common and readily available to more users. With online applications and services, you do not need to download and install them into your computer for using them—you just need to open up a browser and access them online.
Not only that you can save harddisk space as they do not need to be installed, but also in some cases you can work with files that are saved online from any computer anywhere, without the need to carry a storage device even a USB stick around with you.
These applications and services are cross-platform, running via your browser as a client irrespective of what operating system you are using, though a few services might be related to a specific operating system.
Like to use them? Here we have compiled a list for best free online applications and services—click on related links or product logos and you can start using them right away. The list contains items grouped by categories, each of the items has a brief description with a link, where applicable, to a by our editors.
- Home & Office
- Image View and Edit
- Disk and File Tools
- Internet and eMail
- Website and Server
- Google Docs offers a suite of Web-based productivity applications including documents, presentation, spreadsheet and form in a simple folder within a file organizational system. It allows for users to easily create, share and edit files in real time online, or upload an existing file into the system.
- 7-PDF Web Portal converts a wide range of documents into PDFs online. You can set a page range and image compression for the conversion. Just choose a file to upload, click the Convert to PDF button and a PDF file will be downloaded automatically for you.
- PDFHammer lets you merge PDF files, rearrange, reorder and delete pages, protect PDF files with a password and set PDF metadata. Easy to use—just upload, edit and save the files back to your computer.
- Nitro PDF offers free online conversion from PDF to Word/Excel via PDF-to-Word Converter and PDF-to-Excel Converter. Both are helpful and easy to use—choose the file you need, click the Convert button and check your inbox for the converted files. See also Zamzar
- PDFmyURL lets you convert any webpage into a PDF document and save it to your computer. Simply paste the URL and click the button. You can also drag the bookmarklet to your toolbar so you don’t have to visit the website. Try Save this page as PDF. See also PrintWhatYouLike
- Scribd allows users to publish documents of various formats, turns them into a Web document, share them with millions of readers in the world, mark the posted documents private accessible by a specific URL, or embed the viewer into a website or blog.
- Google Calendar lets you quickly schedule events and keep track of appointments. You can share your schedule with your co-workers, family and friends, sync to your mobile phone’s built-in calendar, get notified by email or have a text message sent right to your mobile phone.
Multiple Timezone World Clock
- Time Zone Genius displays up-to-date time zone information for cities in the world. You can check current times for cities you choose, or find out offset from GMT, daylight savings time adjustments, sunrise and sunset times of a city.
- Zoho Notebook does an amazing amount of things—you can save text, image, audio and video objects, aggregate them in one place, keep track of changes and share a whole book, page or just an object on a page by granting read/write permissions.
- Remember The Milk lets you organize tasks into various lists, set due dates, postpone or repeat tasks, add notes, print lists and so on. It integrates with Gmail and other services with add-ons.
- TeuxDeux gives you a week overview of what needs to do in a clean user interface. It’s easy to use—type in a box to add a task, move it to another day by drag and drop, or click to check off a done one or remove it.
- Mint “an attractive personal finance on-line service helps budgeting and keeping track of your finances. Users need to create a Mint account before adding bank, credit card, home loan and investment accounts.”
Dictionary and Encyclopedia
- Wikipedia allows users to type a word or phrase to search for useful information from millions of articles written collaboratively online by volunteers around the world. It’s a good and handy encyclopedic reference and a frequently updated news resource for you.
- LDOCE, an online version of the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, provides a quick search for a word or phrase, with widgets available for adding to your browser search bar, blog or personal website.
- Thesaurus.com, a popular site to search for word definitions, synonyms and antonyms with filtering by parts of speech or word classes and suggestions for nearby words.
Unit and Currency Converter
- Digital Dutch Unit Converter “comes with a cleaner web page, instant response and ease of use, with commonly used units available and divided into 16 categories.”
- OANDA Currency Converter, “one of the popular web tools for currency conversion with daily and historical rates for over 164 currencies, available in multi languages.”
- Pixlr Editor “has an excellent set of tools that rival many software image editors. It has a full set of selection, drawing, retouching, cropping, resizing, and warping tools. You can add text, do all kinds of basic and advanced lighting and color adjustments, apply numerous filters, and supports layers with blending.”
- Sumo Paint, a powerful tool for creating and editing images with more painting tools than other paint-oriented online image editing programs, supports for layers, blending modes, special filter effects, opacity levels, handy adjustment tools and more.
Image Converter and Resizer
- fixPicture converts all popular picture file formats and camera raw formats to jpg, png, gif, tiff, bmp or pdf formats, and resizes them by a percentage or a specific pixel value with optional rotation and some effects.
- Cacoo, a user-friendly drawing tool allows you to create a variety of diagrams, save or export your file in PNG format. A useful stencil is available for easily creating basic shapes, office layout, equipment, network, flowchart and more.
Photo Management and Sharing
- Flickr a popular web service for users to upload their photos, edit and organize their collections and share them with groups and privacy controls. Uploading video is an added feature.
- Photovisi, a useful tool to create photo collages, quick and easy—just select a template, add photos, then click save and download.
- Aviary, a web alternative to Adobe Creative Suite, has a suite of various editors and tools to allow designers to create images and audio, with some advanced features limited to paid-for accounts. This suite includes Phoenix Image Editor, Toucan Color Editor, Peacock Effects Editor, Raven Vector Editor, Myna Audio Editor, Talon Screen Capture and Falcon Image Markup.
- YouTube “offers 16:9 aspect ratio, high quality video playback, support for nearly every video format, a large audience for your videos, the ability to embed videos on a blog or website, video reply feature, customizable personal video page and the ability to limit video access.”
- Grooveshark operates in a similar way like YouTube but allows you to upload, search and share music, instead of videos, with others. Features such as library, playlists, favorites and fans are available to users after signing in.
- Streema offers an easy way to search radio stations by station name and country, add them to your Favorites, listen to the stations right away on the web platform or share them with your friends.
Music Player and Organizer
- AudioBox.fm lets you upload and organize your media files from anywhere at anytime in a desktop-like music player and organizer. You can play tracks, create playlists or edit simple tags of your music files with free storage up to 250MB.
Screen Session Recorder
- ScreenToaster records your screen session in full desktop or fixed rectangular area with audio input from a microphone or auxiliary device, then upload to ScreenToaster, YouTube, or save it in mov or swf format.
- Audiko.net “lets you cut an audio file online easily without installing any software, good for creating a ringtone—just upload a file, choose the best fragment, click the Create Ringtone button and download the file.”
- AudioTag.info helps you to identify an unknown piece of music easily—just upload a short audio fragment or an entire song, you can then get the tag information such as the track title, artist name and album title of the song based on its audio fingerprint.
- Midomi, “a new revolutionary way to find that lost tune you don’t know the title of—sing, hum, or whistle into your microphone and let Midomi find your music for you.”
- 123-slideshow allows you to create a flash slideshow in just a few steps—select a slideshow layout and effect, upload 4 to 8 images to the server and save the resulting swf file to your computer easily.
- GMX Mail, complete with a Mail Collector, “lets you read and send emails from your multiple email accounts in one place. Easy to set up, no more going through various complicated settings for incoming and outgoing servers.”
- GMail features a search-oriented interface and a thread view, supports for Internet standard protocols and allows e-mail clients such as Thunderbird to access its mail server, offers about 7.4 GB free storage and 25 MB attachments but filtering out exe and zip files.
- Meebo, “You can log in to any of your IM networks, including: AIM, Yahoo, Google, MSN, ICQ, Jabber & Meebo, all from one page. With it’s vast extra language support, it adds a lot of flexibility.”
- Facebook, a popular website for you to share your personal profile with friends, add them to your list, send them messages, or join a network group organized by workplace.
- Google Search, the most-used search engine on the web, with search options for images, videos, news, blogs, updates, books, forums, and other features.
- Open Directory Project also known as Dmoz, or Directory Mozilla lets you search the web content by category maintained by a community of volunteer editors. Alternatively, you can use Google Directory which sorts the directory from Dmoz by popularity.
Web Page Editor
- PrintWhatYouLike, “a free online webpage editor lets you quickly remove images or the background of a webpage, click and add the boxes or frames you want, isolate and resize them, change the font type and size, fit your selection to a page width, redo or undo an edit and save in pdf or html formats.” See also PDFmyURL
- Google Maps, a mapping service application lets you search for a map with related information such as an address and contact numbers, get directions to go from one place to another or even create and share your own maps.
- Delicious allows you to keep your personal bookmarks online for access from anywhere, or share and discover web bookmarks. You can search bookmarks by tags, transfer bookmarks inside your browser to your Delicious account or download a copy of bookmarks for backup.
- LastPass “stores more than usernames and passwords, it stores webform information in a similar manner to Roboform’s Passcards. It also securely stores your notes.” [You can use LastPass Bookmarklets as an alternative to the program or extension when you can’t install it somewhere or when you’re travelling.]
- Webnode, a website builder for you to create and maintain a website from anywhere online. It’s easy to use with builder tools, drag-and-drop functionality, ready-made gadgets and widgets, and has no intrusive advertisement banner occupying the precious space of your webpage.
- WordPress, “my number one choice based on the features, plethora of free themes and plugins, and the ability to use it as an alternative to create or host a web site with static content.”
- Blogger is popular and easy to use. You can post text, photos and videos to your blog, personalize it with many templates, add gadgets, get feedback from your readers and more.
- Online HTML Editor, simple and easy to use, just edit html codes in an expandable box provided and see the live results in another. One-click opening and closing tags are included.
HTML Code Cleanup
- WordOff, a useful web tool to remove unnecessary tags and styles from HTML code as a result of pasting into WYSIWYG editors from Word. For example, <span>, <div> and empty elements are removed.
- HTML Color Picker gives you color codes in HTML, RGB and HSV instantly when you choose a color from the vertical slider or color square. Color Chart, Color Names and Web Safe Colors are also available on the site.
- Touch Typing Study, a place to learn, practice and improve your typing speed and accuracy, with a drill on keys, words, blind words and text, in a total of 15 lessons.
- Chess.com lets you play chess against the computer with settings available for fixed time and depth, or log in to play and share chess with online players, store your games, preferences and ratings as well. More choices in this
All in One Place
- Friv, “a full-screen of tiny screen shots for more than 250 free online PC games of various genres with the most popular ones in hand from time to time, just in one place.”
- Cradle of Rome, “a thrilling path to puzzle glory. Build the heart of the Ancient Roman Empire by playing and conquering more than 100 addictive and intuitively designed levels.” More choices in this
Jigsaw Puzzle and Creator
- Jigsaw Puzzle Gallery at JigZone, “choose a puzzle from a gallery of beautiful pictures of animals, art, flowers, scenes and other categories, change cuts into 6 to 247 pieces in different shapes. More choices in this
- Jigsaw Planet, “create your own puzzles with difficulty levels, shapes and rotations, play your own or common puzzles or even send puzzles to friends.” More choices in this
Game of Go
- 361points.com, “you can play against the GnuGo engine online with three different table sizes to choose from and engine strength is adjustable. A big bonus for beginners is the chance to challenge an online computer to play a simplified version of the game called Capture Go.”
- DKM Sudoku Online, “almost as fully-featured as any of Sudoku download. Click Play Now and go to Menu to create a new puzzle in any of 4 levels. You can enter possible cell values manually in pencil mode, or let it scan for you.”
- Othello Game, “a good choice to challenge the computer opponent with 3 levels of strength, undo moves, highlight valid moves, hints and animation effects.”
- Reversi Lounge “lets you select a server from the list, click Launch button to open the lobby screen, select an empty chair at one of the tables and play online free against the human players in the lobby.” More choices in this