Free web desktop AirSet probably fits into your working habits better than most other desktops, because it runs like a multi-tasking computer and hooks into your existing data pretty tightly. Our ingenious (and Firefox-obsessed) intern AsianAngel loves AirSet, and let us know that it recently rolled out new features and updates to the "cloud computer," so we signed up, took some screenshots, and shared them below.
Tagged With web as desktop
Last year we showed you a new, lightweight Linux-based operating system called gOS (aka Good OS) with an emphasis on integrating web-based applications with your desktop. gOS first gained notoriety as the operating system on Walmart's $US199 PC, and now the good folks at gOS have put together a new, super-lightweight operating system for netbooks called gOS Cloud that runs entirely inside a web browser (which looks like it's probably a tweaked version of Google Chrome). Details are scant, and there doesn't seem to be an available download yet, but gOS Cloud looks like it could be the perfect OS for your netbook or aging computer. Until then, the original version of gOS is already available for download and works great.
Web-based image editor Photoshop Express adds Flickr to its list of importable sources. Now you can grab images from your Flickr account, edit them in PS Express, and put them back all prettified without downloading a thing. It's not full-on Photoshop, but still a great web-based editor for your Flickr photos.
Today web-based office suite maker Zoho adds pivot tables and VB macros to their online spreadsheet product. You may not use Zoho's online office suite because you're lazy and already have a Google Account, but Zoho keeps kicking Google Doc arse in the features department.
Simple web-based text editor DarkCopy is an online clone of previously posted distraction-free word processor Writeroom. Dispense with all the toolbars, pull-downs, and context menus at DarkCopy, a full-screen editor out to help you focus on writing and nothing else. No registration is required to use DarkCopy, which can save your jottings as a text file to your desktop. Thanks, Jason! DarkCopy
If you're already using the Hardy Heron Beta, the next version of the Ubuntu Linux operating system, you've also got a dead-simple means of getting web apps like Google Docs, Google Calendar, Facebook, and others running in Mozilla's online/offline access program, Prism. The Ubuntu 8.04 repositories already have a lot of Google and a few other apps available for installing (sudo apt-get install prism-google-mail installs a Gmail interface, for instance), but you create more using the official Firefox add-on. Hit the link for Tombuntu's expanded explanation, and leave your impressions of the Ubuntu/Prism integration in the comments. Easily Install Prism Web Apps in Ubuntu
Google rolls out a few impressive new features to its online spreadsheets offering today, including cell autocomplete, iGoogle gadgets, and notifications about collaborative edits. Autocomplete works the way any desktop spreadsheet does: as you type, if the cell contents match a past entry, Spreadsheets will suggest the value. As for data collection and sharing, you already know you can ask others to fill in a spreadsheet with a user-friendly form. Now you can get notifications whenever a sheet gets updated, down to a specific range of cells or via a form. Finally, you can track the status of your spreadsheet on your iGoogle homepage by creating a data widget, which updates as your spreadsheet does. Pretty nifty. Google Spreadsheets Adds Gadgets, a Directory of Features
When you're at a computer that's missing a vital file or application, like an office workstation that's locked down, a friend's system or coffee shop computer, you can still get to a desktop that contains your essentials—on the web. A "webtop" is a virtual desktop that you access using only a browser, and it can include much of the stuff you'd expect on a local computer desktop: like file storage and management, a calendar, RSS reader, email client, and photo viewer. While there are several web desktops available these days, the free and open source EyeOS application is the most accessible, useful, and promising one out there. Follow along to see what a web-based desktop looks like, and how it can help you get things done when you're locked down or out of pocket.
Zoho Writer, part of one of Lifehacker's favorite (and underhyped) webapps, has added a bunch of new features, and many of them add to the online office app's appeal to even grizzled Microsoft Office veterans. Most significantly, Zoho now exports to the Office 2007 .docx format, and its creators promise import is coming soon. Also, when exporting to Word formats, headnotes, footnotes, headers and footers will be retained with proper formatting. FInally, a 10-language thesaurus is available for right-click use, and users can create groups of users to share documents with, rather than entering individual email addresses each time. Pretty nifty stuff, and another good reason to check out Google Docs' main competitor. Zoho Writer Update: DocX Support, Thesaurus, Group Sharing & More
Windows only: Listen to your home music library from anywhere through your browser with web site JukeFly. Similar to previously mentioned streaming application Orb, JukeFly runs a small server on your desktop that scans any music folders you add to it and makes all of that music available through their slick web interface. With its extensive social features, JukeFly is actually a little more reminiscent of Anywhere.fm, the main difference being that Anywhere.FM actually stores your music on their servers, whereas JukeFly streams the music from your computer. Either way, add JukeFly to the list of worthwhile methods for getting to your music library no matter where you are. JukeFly
When it comes to reading feeds for a job or need-to-know informatoin, it's hard to beat the (unofficial) reigning champions of the web and desktop, Google Reader and NewsGator's (now free!) products. But sometimes you might just want to run through a lot of content quickly, with no read/unread stress to remind you of your email inbox. For that kind of browsing, Alertle, a new AJAX-based feed reader, might be just the right thing. It comes jam-packed with pre-sets in a range of categories, and it moves nearly as quick as Reader (even with seemingly wider support for embedded video and audio). Alertle doesn't bother marking posts as read, so it's more a tool for seeing what's new around the web than hitting a goal. The big drawbacks are non-support of Internet Explorer and a hard-to-grok sign-up interface (check the upper-right corner), but Alertle makes for an interesting addition to the growing stable of worthy feed readers. Alertle
You already know how to set up an online "personal nerve center" (PNC), bookmarking, blogging, and scheduling tasks and calendar events from Gmail. But if web-only central storage feels too far away in the cloud for you, PNC user Steve Rubel details how to make a portable, offline version that you can sync to the cloud, take with you and back up as well using IMAP and Gmail. I like the idea of email as the central hub of one's doings—heck, it already is for most of us—and IMAP in Gmail makes that even more possible.
How to Set Up a Portable Personal Nerve Center
LaTeX is a word processing and typesetting application that gets shout-outs from our commenters whenever bibliographies or other academic documents are needed. Now non-experienced users can try out the LaTeX platform without downloading anything using MonkeyTex.com, a free webapp that lets you upload, write, and save LaTeX documents, as well as collaborate and export to PDF. Keyboard shortcuts and template creation also contributes to MonkeyTex's usefulness, inside or outside the halls of academia. For a decent introduction to the commands and features of LaTeX, check out the PDF link at this site.
Zoho has taken the final steps toward full offline access by allowing users to both read and edit Zoho Writer documents offline and then sync the results back to their Zoho account online. A few months ago we told you that the web-based word processor Zoho Writer added offline access using web plug-in Google Gears, but at that time docs were read-only (meaning no editing). Again, Zoho's impressive progress both in terms of offline access and their feature-rich word processor makes one wonder when Google Docs will catch up. If you can't see much in the low-quality video above, check this one out.
The creator of early webmail success Hotmail (which was acquired by Microsoft) has unveiled a free suite of Office apps which he hopes will be a direct competitor to Microsoft's Office suite. Called Live Documents, you can sign up to request an invitation to the private beta of this web-and-desktop suite here. There are a lot of good, free Office alternatives these days - from Google
Docs to Open Office, so it will be interesting to see how Live goes.
Online productivity suite Zoho has rolled out a mobile version of its Creator webapp , which can make both basic databases and help forge customised interfaces and applications to use them. As the somewhat (intentionally?) cheesy promotional video shows, It could be useful for adding to office or personal projects and websites on the go, or for pulling up and presenting information from a non-sensitive database. Like other Zoho applications, Creator is free to use but requires an account sign-up.
Presentations, the slide show component of Google Docs, has been updated to allow slides to be given custom background images and colourised. While there's still no ability to save create constant self-made themes, it does bring Presentations one step closer to being a feasible alternative to desktop-based slide show creators. The update also makes it easier to select and move more than one slide at a time by Ctrl- or Shift-clicking and dragging slides around. Having been out for two months now, are you finding Presentations useful? Share your observations in the comments.
Windows/Mac/Linux (Firefox): Skip the upload process and edit images entirely within your browser with the Picnik Firefox extension, a free download that adds right-click functionality to online image editor Picnik. Once installed, any website image can be right-clicked and sent to Picnik for editing, and entire pages—or just the visible portion—can also be grabbed. For those constantly grabbing screenshots or wanting to do a little cropping, rotation, or resizing before downloading, the extension eliminates the download-and-upload redundancy of online image editing. The Picnik extension is a free download and works wherever Firefox does.