So you want the best must-have apps for Chrome OS.
I did some research (well, a lot of research) and went through tons of apps. I sorted them by reviews, popularity, usefulness, and countless other trivial filters.
I came up with this list of the top 8 best apps for Chrome OS for 2017. Whether you’re using these on a Chromebook or simply on the Chrome web browser, these apps should help you get the most out of Chrome.
Keep in mind that these apps are hand-chosen and heavily based on my experiences. Something I find useful may not be the same for you, and vice versa.
Nonetheless, I tried to choose apps that’ll be beneficial to you. Free free to add some suggestions in the comments section.
Enough talk. Let’s get started.
Last updated: 8/3/19.
App #1: Grammarly
Okay, if you’ve been reading my posts, you’ve already heard about me praise this app over and over. Grammarly is a free app that’s basically a spellchecker on steroids. It works directly in your browser and will constantly check your sentence structure, punctuation, and the obvious typos.
It works without you having to go to a separate website (though you can go directly to Grammarly if you want). This means it’ll check your emails as you’re composing them, it’ll check your spelling when you’re filling out a form, and it’ll check your punctuation when you’re typing a letter.
Grammarly is smart enough to recognize not just the word itself, but even the context around it. For example, if you were to type “I like eggs, bacon and hma,” Grammarly will detect two errors and change it to “I like eggs, bacon, and ham.” It knows to change the misspelled word and add the comma as well. (In fact, it just did.)
Of course, these changes only work with your permission. Maybe you wanted to add a comma here (or spell “ham” and “hma?”) or a semicolon there. That’s cool. Grammarly will let you. You can also train it to ignore certain things so it won’t bother you again.
It won’t catch all your errors, but it’ll stop you from looking like you just wrote some slapdash article. That’s for sure. (You should see my earlier articles before Grammarly.)
There’s also a premium version that you can upgrade to if you like it enough. It’ll catch even more errors with even more sophisticated checking.
They have sales all the time, so there’s no point in paying full price. Just wait it out and you can get an annual plan for cheap. Sign up for their newsletter and they’ll mail you when there’s a sale. From my experience, they come twice a month. So it’s best to wait it out if you want to save some money.
You can check out the free version of Grammarly here.
App #2: Click&Clean
If you’re paranoid about your privacy online, you need this app.
It’s a very popular app that does a number of things with the click of a mouse. Click&Clean is an app that can:
- Clear your Chrome history
- Clear cookies
- Selectively clear history items
- Selectively clear cookies
- Backup your history
- Prevent access to your history
- Clear everything when you shut down Chrome
- Delete plug-in data, file system data, database information, form data, and download data
- Protect your privacy online
- Delete trackers
- Delete cache
And that’s not all.
The dashboard is very easy to use and intuitive. It’s a bunch of tiles that you can just click on and it’ll do the action. You can also do everything in one click if you want. There’s also a way to change the level of cleaning- it comes pre-configured at low, medium, and high. Or you can change it to whatever you want. Click&Clean makes it super easy and anyone can use it- no matter how good (or bad) you are with computers.
This app will clean up your computer or Chromebook and keep it running efficiently by removing useless files and junk that just takes up space.
It’s very well-rated and used by millions. It’s the best internet history remover and privacy tool on the Chrome Web Store.
See it here.
App #3: Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is often compared to Skype, but it’s really a lot more than a VoIP app. Hangouts allows you to make video or voice calls one-on-one or in a group, but you can also do much more. You can send photos, videos, emojis, GIFs (animated or not), stickers, maps, and more. You can video chat with up to 10 people in a group or up to a whopping 150 people in a chat room.
It works universally across Chrome OS, Chromebooks, Android, iOS and more. As long as they have a connection to the Internet, they can contact you on Google Hangouts.
You can also send offline messages, view dated conversations, send and receive SMS, listen to your voicemail, and even make real phone calls.
Google Hangouts for Chrome gives you special notifications even if you don’t it open on your computer. It can be placed anywhere on your screen if you’re in a call or chat. It also saves your data and current chat so you can continue on another device. Everything’s nicely synced across all your devices. You could literally be chatting on your Chromebook and then continue on your phone.
What I like best about Hangouts is that the negotiations don’t spam you. If you get a notification once and clear it, it’ll automatically clear across all your devices.
I was hesitant to make the switch since I was so used to Skype, but I found Hangouts to be much more universal across all my devices. Since then, I haven’t looked back. And don’t worry about your other party not having access. If they have at least a Gmail account or just even a Google account, they can use it.
A nice thing about Skype is that the web-based version now doesn’t require you to even make an account- that’s the one thing that Hangouts needs. Do that and it’ll be near-perfect.
Everything is free to use and there’s no charge for usage. You can make as many video or audio calls as you’d like and talk until you’re bored.
I found the video quality to be much better than Skype’s as well. As for the audio, Hangouts gets a little spotty, but it’s worthy of using.
Check it out here.
App #4: The Great Suspender
If you’ve been using Chrome for any amount of time, you may have noticed that it’s a resource hog. Chrome web browser doesn’t’ go easy on the RAM of your computer. Having too many tabs or windows open simultaneously will slow your computer down.
The Great Suspender will automatically suspend tabs to free up RAM for your computer which will allow you to continue browsing. This will help your computer perform more efficiently and speed it up.
This app can be configured to automatically suspend tabs after a period of time, or you can choose to do it manually. You can even whitelist tabs to prevent suspension.
The best part is that after you reopen your browser, the suspended tabs are saved. Suspended tabs are saved in your tab bar with the favicon (the small image) and text so you know what’s what.
It’s very easy to use and intuitive. You can see your recent history, suspend all tabs at once, or suspend all other tabs. You can even use keyboard shortcuts for even quicker suspending.
If you’re a power user and have a ton of tabs, get this app.
You’ll notice a huge reduction in Chrome’s RAM usage after installing it. Thus, your computer will have more resources for other processes or active tabs which will boost performance overall.. It saves you time and frustration. And it’s free to use.
Speed up your computer with The Great Suspender.
App #5: Disconnect
Disconnect is an app that’ll protect your privacy online. Don’t get this mixed up with Click Clear, as they’re completely different apps.
Disconnect’s main purpose is to block trackers on the web. As you navigate through websites online, invisible trackers are placed on your browser for advertisements. This is why you sometimes see ads based on your search history.
Disconnect will block all these trackers as well as other requests sites may place on your browser.
What’s in it for you? Your privacy. Disconnect helps stop databases from harvesting your personal information, search history, browsing habits, and more. This information is very valuable to advertising companies since they need all the data about you that they can mine.
Oh yeah, Disconnect can also help you speed up your page loads speeds by 44%. See how much of an impact these invisible trackers have on your browsing experience?
You can even track the trackers and see which ones attempted to track you in a graph.
App #6: LastPass
LastPass’ goal is to make it the last password system you’ll ever need. How it works is simple- you create a master password that unlocks all your other passwords and logins for your websites.
It saves every single one of your logins, usernames, and passwords to any site that requires one and all you need to type is your master one. It’ll then automatically log you in.
What I like about LastPass is that it works across all my devices. I can use the same account on my phone and desktop without having to use different accounts. It’ll sync across pretty much any device that can run the app.
It also does more than just logins. You can use it to buy stuff with credit cards, shopping profile details (name, street, state, etc.) so you don’t need to type that information in every time you want to buy something.
You can also attach PDFs, images, audio, docs and pretty much anything that can be saved. Seriously.
Note: A reader left a comment (thanks!) that pointed out that you may have to install some extra modules that don’t work for Chrome OS if you want this feature. I’m looking into this and will post an update to this update.
All your stuff is saved in a single place that can be easily changed, viewed, deleted or managed. And the best part? None of your information is ever seen by LastPass. It’s all hidden even from their own servers.
You can replace weak passwords with randomly generated ones that are super secure (and you don’t need to remember). Your master password is all you need to know. And you can protect it with multifactor authentication (such as using your phone and sending a code.)
It’s the easiest to use and most universal password system I’ve used so far. Your data is securely protected “at every step,” according to their app description.
Grab LastPass and stay secure.
App #7: ViewedIt
ViewedIt is an app for Chrome OS that lets you record your screen with one click. But it’s a lot more than a screen recorder.
ViewIt basically lets you create a recording of your screen and allows you to send it to anyone through a special URL. Whoever watches it will get tracked and you can view how many people watched your recording. You can even get notifications when your video gets viewed. And it even tells you who watched it.
You can send the link through Gmail as well to make it even easier.
What’s special about ViewedIt is that you can record from your webcam and record the screen at the same time. Or if you’d like, just the screen or just the webcam. Or even just a tab in your browser. These are all default settings built-in to the app.
ViewedIt is completely free to use. You can record in HD and store as many videos as you’d like in your account. There’s no storage quota and your videos never disappear or get deleted.
You can record as many videos as you want with up to an hour recording. If you need to create long videos, you can simply break them into parts.
Everyone can take advantage of this app. Sales, support teams, developers, product managers, marketers, and even the casual user can all benefit from an easy-to-use screen recorder.
The video quality is excellent and it works on any device and screen size. This app is probably one of the easiest to get going with. There’s minimal setup and the app is very intuitive. It’s awesome.
Record your screen with ViewedIt.
App #8: Data Saver
This one’s more geared for mobile users of Chrome, but it can still be useful for desktop users as well.
Data Saver is an app offered by Google that basically runs any site you visit through Google’s Servers and will shrink down pages in size before sending them to your device.
What this does is makes the overall page size smaller so it uses less data on your device. If you’re running a data plan on your phone, this is a very useful tool.
It doesn’t affect the pages you visit other than a small impact on load time. But you get smaller page sizes which use less data, which means you get to browse more using less data.
You also get a graph to see which sites used how much data so you can make better-informed decisions about your browsing habits.
Also, you should know that websites or pages that are using HTTPS connections or if you’re in incognito mode won’t be seen by Google’s server, so your privacy is respected with this app.
This is a very useful app if you want to save data on your phone.
Update: Google has discontinued Data Saver. The feature is now built into the Chrome Browser.
You can enable Data Saver on Chrome by doing the following:
- Launch Chrome.
- Go to “Settings” > “Advanced.”
- Look for the Data Saver field.
- Enable the feature!
Get the best must-have apps for Chrome OS
Well, there you have it.
All of these apps will help you get the most out of Chrome OS whether you’re using it on your Chromebook or just the Chrome browser.
I’m sure you can find several of these apps to be useful. If you have any awesome Chrome apps, leave a comment and let me know. I’ll check it out and add it to the list (crediting you, of course).
Thanks for reading.
3 thoughts on “8 Best Must Have Apps for Chrome OS (You’ll Actually Use These)”
Okay you don’t get the best specs out there, with the screen resolution and internal storage the lowlights, but this is still very usable and is going to give you several years of good service. A true alternative to what Windows and macOS laptops have to offer. One of the benefits of going for a Chromebook is that you really don’t need much in the way of specs, and the Inspiron Chromebook 11really doesn’t have much in the way of specs – although it is capable of running Android apps, if you need to turn to them.
> You can also attach PDFs, images, audio, docs and pretty much anything that can be saved. Seriously.
Doesn’t work (or didn’t work when I tried it recently) on my chromebook. Apparently requires additional downloaded code and that can’t be done on chromeos. Shame, this would be a GREAT feature on my chromebook and I’m annoyed it’s not available.
Hey there, thanks for pointing that out!
I’ll take a look and see if I can get a solution going. I’ve seen the options to attach and secure other media, but I’ve never personally used it myself. I just use LastPass so I don’t have to remember a ton of generic passwords.
According to their app description, there doesn’t seem to be any additional caveats other than it just working out “out-of-the-box.”
But if it requires extra code that isn’t compatible with Chrome OS, that seems to something you’d expect them to notify their users about before installing it, no?
Let me see if I can get some answers. I’ve also updated the article to notify other readers.
Thanks again for bringing that up =].