Your Chromebook is a powerful tool for productivity, entertainment, and artistry. For the modern professional, a Chromebook can be the perfect companion when navigating the world of business, arts, or entertainment.
So, here is a list of the 10 best apps for your Chromebook in 2021.
2021 Chromebook Apps for Productivity
Productivity apps are a dime a dozen on the Chrome OS platform. You have access to all the Android OS apps and all the Chrome store apps too. Hence, you can keep track of your appointments, take notes, etc. with ease. However, these apps are just a cut above the rest.
1. iA Writer
iA Writer is one of the best writing apps you can ever get. Hence, it’s also one of the best 2021 Chromebook apps. It has a bare bones interface which is compatible with every single widely used OS on the planet. You can use it on Windows, Android, iOS, or Mac.
iA Writer has several formatting options, a beautiful dark mode, and options to write in every language and script. However, the reason that it’s better than either Google Docs and Microsoft Word for note taking or writing is that it’s minimalist. The non-intrusive interface just gets out of the way so you can write without any problems.
Whether you’re using this on your Chromebook or on your phone, it just works. Plus, it has an option to automatically sync with Google Drive, AND post on WordPress. That’s a combo that anyone can appreciate.
You may want to use that combo when you’re live blogging or backing up notes after studying. To cut it short, iA Writer for the win!
2. Google Keep
Google Keep is probably the best notes and reminders app that you’ll ever use. It has options to set custom reminders, take notes, create checklists, insert images, etc. and more. It’s basically the most full featured scheduling app that you’ll ever see.
It’s just a few options shy of a word processor. Yes, it’s that good. You can even color your notes different colors and pin certain notes to the top of the list. You can create custom reminders which repeat whenever you want them to. You can even insert multiple images and audio into notes if you want.
The kicker is that the app allows to you export all of its contents to Google Docs, or even send them as texts. You don’t have to copy paste, the feature is right there in the interface.
All the other note taking and calendar apps and list apps pale in comparison to Google Keep. It’s just so simple and intuitive that it’s got to be in this list of best apps for your Chromebook in 2021. It’s a productivity goldmine that you shouldn’t deprive your machine of.
There’s one thing that no non-Apple user can brag of having and that’s AirDrop. That’s a killer feature in the Apple ecosystem which has never been successfully replicated. However, if anything comes close, it’s AirDroid.
I started using this app on my Chromebook when I just wanted my messages to sync from my phone. However, it supports great file transfer between your devices and also includes notification mirroring and call support.
Just think of all the files which you could transfer wirelessly without needing a USB or Bluetooth connection. This is a game changer for those who work on multiple devices in their workplace.
The best part about AirDroid is that you can pair both an Android as well as an iOS device through it. You can either use your Wi-Fi or a USB cable to cast your device screens to your Chromebook with this beauty.
The Remote Camera is also a great feature. You can use AirDroid to pair to your mobile device and stream live video from it. Whether you need to keep an eye on your pet, or need to get live feed from your baby’s room, AirDroid is it.
4. Solid Explorer
Chrome OS, for all that it is, doesn’t have a great file explorer system. That’s why Solid Explorer is such a great alternative. It will basically have you browsing through files just as you do on a Windows OS desktop.
Solid Explorer has everything from multi-window dragging, file copying, pasting, deletion, etc. It even has a two-pane window mode which you can access all kinds of details of a folder or file with. This is a great app to maximize your productivity with. It’s especially useful if you’re working with multiple files every day and need to access them all the time.
There is even a cleanup option on the Solid Explorer app which can regularly clean up your machine. This way, your machine can even stay fast for longer. This is why Solid Explorer is such a great app because it brings desktop level functionality to your Chromebook.
2021 Chromebook Apps for Artists
Photopea has been long recommended on Reddit as one of the best alternatives to Photoshop. It has Photoshop like functionality and power and can be used as a web app! It’s got a similar layout to Photoshop, so Photoshop users can easily switch to it.
It handles all the basic formats for RAW files including RAW, PSD, XCF, and SKETCH. You can handle extremely large files by importing from your Google Drive with ease. Plus, all the great effects that you’ve come to know and love on Photoshop are all here.
If you can’t be bothered to fire up Lightroom, this is more than a great alternative, it’s an upgrade. You can even import your files from Photoshop or any Adobe environment and just go to town on them. So, create your masterpiece on your Chromebook and never look back!
6. Google Canvas/Sketchpad
Most Chromebooks come with a touch screen and a hinge which you can rotate to make them into tablets. This gives you the real estate and functionality you need to turn every Chromebook into a drawing tablet. This is similar to how every single Android tablet and iPad works.
If you’re working in graphic design or even design your own comic, this is a great setup for you. You can get a stylus and use either Google Canvas or Sketchpad to create great drawings.
Google Canvas is an excellent, feature rich app which great touch response. However, for a more advanced program, you can look to Sketchpad. It has a lot of options for professional drawing and design. These include calligraphy, vector fill, and more. You can, of course, even paint on it if you’d like.
These two are collectivity powerhouses for drawing and creating art on any Chromebook. That’s why they’re both two of the best apps for your Chromebook in 2021.
7. Adobe Lightroom
Adobe Lightroom is one of the Adobe’s best offerings for mobile devices. It’s very well compatible with Chrome OS and can be used to beautify HD photos. It even works offline so you can easily create different effects and beautify shots. Basically, if you work in graphic design, this is a great companion app for you on the go.
If you’re a photographer, you can use this to enhance your photos. Since it supports both mouse and touch, Adobe Lightroom is very user-friendly.
You’re probably familiar with Cyberlink PowerDirector by now. It’s one of the best video editors out there, and it has a lite variant which you can use on Chromebooks. Obviously most Chromebooks aren’t powerful enough to blaze through a 10 GB RAW file with ease. However, with PowerDirector on Chrome OS, you can make quick work of short videos and good quality footage. How high quality will obviously depend on the resolution and quality, but it should be able to handle HD footage.
It’s a proper video editor which can encode in different formats and change the frame rates according to your needs. You can even use effects for fade ins and fade outs if you wish. The app has been optimized for full screen use and there is a timeline track as well for controls.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect to edit RED Weapon footage or create award winning shorts on this. That being said, this is a great alternative to heavy video editors that take up tons of space. You can make quick work of a video for family and friends, or even a short YouTube vlog if you like.
On the whole, this is one of the best apps for your Chromebook in 2021, especially for video editors. If you want to edit something on the fly, or complete a major project, PowerDirector will do it for you.
2021 Chromebook Gaming Apps
Chromebooks may not have the largest collection of high quality games on the planet. However, they have some great titles that rival console level games which are out of this world. Here are two which you probably won’t stop playing any time soon.
9. Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8 has been one of the most popular mobile games in the world for a long time now. Even after the release of Asphalt 9, there’s something about this version that remains unmatched. Sure, it has fast cars, beautiful maps, and a nitrous boost that just NEVER gets old, it’s also got great controls.
Those who’ve played it once may say it’s the best racing game they’ve ever played, off console or on. It’s just such a delight to the eyes. Everything from the music, the visuals, the intensity, and the fluidity is incredible.
Even if you’ve played it a hundred times before, you probably won’t mind playing it again. Whether you want to pass the time, or crave a gaming session before you turn in, Asphalt 8 is it.
10. Dead Cells
Dead Cells is one of the best games you can play on any platform. Using procedurally-generated gameplay, the game allows you to play the same levels with different designs. It’s available on every platform, but also on Android which is compatible with your Chromebook.
The game features basic hack and slash combat with a very engaging story and as many power ups, special weapons, and upgrades as you could ever want. Its 2-D design is beautiful and addictive even though it follows nearly every Metroidvania style game you’ve ever played.
You can beatdown enemies with everything from a bow to a sword to bombs, animal traps, poison, and electric whips! Plus you get shields and other special weapons and gems too. It’s candy land for anyone who wants to experience high tension and high speed gaming.
Despite its simplicity, the game is devilishly hard to complete, yet extremely fun to play. It’s extremely fast and fluid, and you’ll have hours of fun playing it on your Chromebook. The best part about it is, it doesn’t require a lot of processing power, so your Chromebook will zoom through it.
It’s not a free game, but well worth the $8.99 since it’s one of the best 2021 Chromebook apps.
All these apps are incredibly useful and functional. They’ll more than get the job done. In fact, they’ll be better alternatives to some of the premium apps that people pay money for. Get these 10 apps today to make your Chromebook into a full featured machine and workstation.
Start with making a schedule and setting reminders. Take notes later about what to do with your projects, and sync them between your devices. Then do some doodling to take your mind off work and relax with some pure gaming joy at the end of the day.
All that on a Chromebook? You’d better believe it!