I never thought I would fall for a web browser, but Google has captured my heart with Chrome. I was at first intrigued by its claims of being the fastest web browser in terms of site loading time, but having used it for a while now I’ve discovered even more time saving features.
Many of you are already familiar with apps for your smart phones, but what about your web browser? Go to the Google Chrome web store, and you’ll find many free apps related to image retrieval, image editing, and even 3D modeling.
Let’s start with image retrieval. In Google Chrome, you can search the web for an image on your hard drive (for example, if you’re not sure what the image is of, or you need a higher resolution image) by simply dragging and dropping that image into the search box at images.google.com. If you don’t want to be bothered to have to go to the Google Images page, download the Chrome extension and simply right click (or ctrl click) on an image to search. The extension only works for images found on the web, however. An alternative extension has been developed by Tineye, which some of you may already be familiar with. While the Google extension will recall web pages that include the image your searched for, as well as pages about the artist, Tineye recalls strictly the image.
Let’s say you found the image you’re looking for, but the color is a bit off. There are a few web-based image editing apps in Chrome, but I like to use the Aviary Image Editor. Aviary Phoenix is a fairly robust piece of free image editing software, and the app is no exception. There are over 30 editing tools, including rotate, brightness/contrast, and sharpen. The app allows you to edit images within the browser, and then either download or share on a social networking site. If you teach with images found online often, this app can help you improve the quality of your images.
To resize and reformat images, you can use the handy Extreme Image Converter. This app allows users to upload an image, convert it to any of 13 different file formats, and specify the size (keeping in mind that it is easier to reduce size than increase size).
If you prefer 3D models to digital images, install 3DTin and start creating your own. It’s a little bit like Google SketchUp, but less robust and more user friendly. When you’re done, you can save your model in the cloud, or export in standard 3D file formats (OBJ, STL).
There are many more apps and extensions available than the ones listed here, and they are either searchable or browsable by category. Enjoy!