Ahhhhh, the future is good. It has descended upon us, oh so subtlety and most of us never even realized it. The technologies available now make our lives incredibly more convenient than they were even 5 years ago. Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of my favorite tools that should change your mind.
Hard drive crashed? Meh, no big deal. Aside from the inconvenience of buying and installing a new hard drive I could really care less if all the files on my machine are wiped out. That’s because storing your files in the cloud has never been easier or more convenient than it is right now. With programs like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Carbonite, you’ll never have to worry about losing your important files ever again. And, for the average user, you can do it all for free. Google drive gives you a whole 5GB of storage for free, plenty of space for your everyday needs. I store my school projects, code, personal files, and pretty much everything else I don’t want to lose in my Drive folder. Even with all those files, my current capacity is less than half a gigabyte. Throw in Dropbox’s free 2GB and you should have plenty of room for all your critical files.
If you’re still using anything but Google Chrome for your web browsing needs, then it’s time to upgrade. Safari and Firefox aren’t bad, but you can still do better (and don’t even get my started on Internet Explorer). Chrome is simple, fast, and packed with features. My favorite feature is the ability to sign into the browser, thus keeping your bookmarks, history, and saved settings persistent across multiple machines. This means I can be on anyone’s computer and still have my familiar Chrome setup and theme.
It may seem like I’m writing a Google love letter here, but I do so without shame! Another great product by the web giant is Google Docs. Think of it as a Microsoft Office equivalent, except its free, simpler, saves your progress automatically, and is easily shared with others. If you’re still using old desktop technology like Word and Excel to create your basic documents, it’s time to switch. Just give it a shot and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Need to send a big file to someone? It doesn't get any easier than We Transfer. It’s free, super simple, and actually kind of fun. This is a great example of how web apps should work.
An office favorite, Jing allows you to create shareable videos and screenshots in just seconds. Another incredibly easy tool to use, its definitely worth downloading if you find yourself hitting the PrintScreen button more than once a week. I probably utilize Jing a dozen times a day and have never had any issues. Oh, and of course it’s free!
Somewhat like Jing, this tool makes sharing super easy. The only difference is Join.Me does it live. Share your screen with any number of people in real time and even give them control of the mouse and/or keyboard. It couldn’t be easier. This one is also free.
Quickly becoming popular around the world, Spotify does it all when it comes to music. Browse nearly any artist’s catalog and play songs on demand. Rewind, fast forward, or skip songs without limitations. It works just like a normal desktop music player… except your library is essentially unlimited! Throw in internet radio and Facebook integration and its easy to see why Spotify will be taking over the music scene.
This list could go on and on, but I’ll stop here. I’m sure there are many that I’ve missed, or don’t even know about. And that’s the real beauty of our online world; things are only getting better every day. The other day, I sat on the couch, opened my Kindle Fire, bought an episode of my favorite show (The Walking Dead), and within 30 seconds was streaming in HD. Could it get any easier? Well actually, I suppose it will. And that is why I say, “Hello future, and welcome.”