Let’s face it; your computer is only as good as the software applications running under its hood. If you don’t have the right apps, or more to the point, the ones you need to get the job done, then your slick and fancy computer is nothing more than a very large doorstop.
The TechnologyGuide editors have scoured the Earth, or at least their drawers and shelves, to note these five personal and business apps that are tops in terms of software that is useful , relevant and in some cases totally free. The list includes everything from office suites and graphics packages to some very cool tools.
1. Microsoft Office 13
This new edition of Microsoft’s long-time suite boasts a number of improvements to make creating, editing, and reading documents on PCs quicker and easier. Suite standards like Word, Excel and PowerPoint have been pumped up with new features, while support for Windows 8 has been added along with Web services that were previously reserved for businesses.
Read the Office 13 review
2. SmartDraw 2012
The makers of SmartDraw call refer to their Windows PC software application a “visual processor.” But really, it is a charting and graphics application that functions much like other graphics packages. The difference, however, is in amount of graphic visuals it can produce, as well as the options on presenting these graphics. This makes it a presentation wizard. But, you be the judge: Download the free trial at the company’s Website, where you can also purchase the Standard Edition for $100.
Read the SmartDraw review
3. Amazon Cloud Drive
Sometimes the best things in life are actually free, as is the case with this storage solution offered by Amazon.com. Amazon’s Cloud Drive is available to anyone with an Amazon account. Basically, you get free storage on the company’s cloud servers, allowing you to upload your files and data to your own personal space. Did we say it is free? Available as a download for both Windows and Mac.
Read the full Amazon Cloud Drive review
4. Brother OmniJoin
There is something to be said for face-to-face meetings, although getting there and in front of the right people is not always an easy or affordable task. Videoconferencing is a great solution, although solutons range from the cheap and acceptable to the expensive and amazing. Brother International has a solution called OmniJoin, that lets you videoconference with friends and colleagues, as well as
Transfer files, and show PowerPoint presentations, all from within the same program. To get started, you subscribe and download a piece of OmniJoin software. Service starts at about $49/mo.
Read the full Brother OmniJoin review
5. MacPaw CleanMyDrive
A lot of people tend to buy their software by the pound, meaning they equate value with how many bells and whistles are included in the code. Often, the simpler and less cluttered solutions are the best. This is the case with CleanMyDrive, a free utility for Apple’s MacOS from MacPaw, Inc. that is designed to make external and secondary drives (even USB thumb drives) work a lot better by removing junk files. Basically, this is a one-click deal that just cleans the clutter. Options and settings are clearly spelled out and it works. Period.
Read the full CleanMyDrive review