Must apps for Content creators and Web designers - Chrome OS

Must Apps for content creators and web designers - chrome OS

Years ago, I had installed Chrome OS on my Windows laptop and later I became a full-time Chromebook user. I had to find all kinds of loopholes to stay productive on my device to get my job done. 

Back then my job had nothing to do with writing articles. I had everything to do with building websites and being a front-end web designer. Actually, I am a part-time web developer.

These days my work tests are quite a bit different. I do spend still a lot of time building and maintaining our website. But, I spent the majority of my time writing.

Part of that production process means I need to be able to deal with photos, edit graphics and make sure that all our stuff looks consistent across the board. 

It's now easier than ever to do those types of tasks on a Chromebook. I want to show you some of the tools that, I use daily literally every single day to get that done.


Squoosh.app

The first app is basically an experiment that Google did. Whenever they were talking about how to use progressive web apps and how to build them at i/o either last year or the year before.

Regardless it has become indispensable to me, it's called squoosh. It is an app that is again built on the web, that allows you to resize and compress images. 

I can't tell you how useful this thing is. Literally every time we put up a post or we put up a YouTube video, I am using squash to bring down the size of our overall images.

If you know anything about web development or if you've messed with YouTube, at all you know when you start uploading photos, you want to make sure that they are small in size.

I'm not talking about pixel density. I'm talking about the file size and sometimes it just depends on the picture. How many colors are going on, and how much shadow there is. 

All those kind of things, you can have a photo that you don't think it's a big deal! It's 1 or 2 MB's and while that doesn't sound massive when you start layering those on top of one another on a website it really decreases the load time.

I don't think YouTube will allow an upload for a thumbnail of more than two MBs. So, you really have to figure out how it is you're going to keep your picture size down.

Then Squoosh is an awesome tool for this. We load the image in it. You decide what percentage you want to compress the image in this app and it's almost like magic in the background.

It has a slider that you can see on both sides what your image looks like before and what it looks like after. You can see exactly how big the image is. When you are satisfied with, what you've got after you've resized and all that kind of stuff hit download. 

So, you will have your new compressed image that almost always looks as good as the original. It's way smaller and it's much better for web use.

So, if you'd like to learn more about that app, you can head over to Squoosh.app

You can use it on the web there's nothing to install. It's a web app, you know this is a Chromebook. That's the awesomeness of all this stuff.

Link: Squoosh.app


Gravit

The second app is called gravity designer. This one is a service that was bought up by Corel. But, Gravatt has been around for a few years and it's one of those indispensable tools that I wish deeply, was around when I first started using Chromebooks.

I used to have to jump through all these hoops and get Linux going. So, that I could have Inkscape so that I could do vector stuff. 

If you've ever messed with graphics, you know the difference between vector art. You know pixels and dealing with photos if you really need to build graphics.

You need some sort of vector editor and used to that just wasn't a thing online but now there's quite a few.

By far away, the Gravette designer is the best version of this. It has almost every tool that you need. It's not to say that there's not a learning curve, just like any other piece of software.

But I've found over the last few years. I've transitioned everything I do on a graphic basis over to gravity. I do everything from a graphic perspective from this app.

Back in time, when I was doing web development on a full-time basis. I had to do graphic stuff a lot. Like Deal with logos, build logos, make different graphics for websites. 

It can handle all of it it can handle all sorts of things. I've done signage with it. I've done print media with it. You can deal again with thumbnails for YouTube and featured images for the website and graphics for the website. 

It is an indispensable tool and if you're looking for something robust, easy to use, and easy to start up with. Also, you know again you don't need to really download anything, you can use it right on the web. It's just gravity oh it's called gravity designer. you can check them out online and I highly recommend it.

Link: Gravit designer


Google Photos

The third and I want to talk about is one that you're probably familiar with. If you're not you need to be using it. It's Google Photos and specifically, I'm talking about the web version of Google Photos.

Because when you're on a Chromebook. Sure you can put the Android app here if you want to. It works just fine and exactly like you would expect it to. But again the web version is lighter. It's easier to get to, you just need to go to photos.google.com.

There's your interface change the account to the one you need. You can jump into photos that for me, that I've literally just taken on my phone. By the time I get to photos at google.com, they're already uploaded.

What I use it for primarily is either cropping and getting you to know a shot just right that, we've taken for again a thumbnail or a featured image. But mainly it's for the auto color correction. 

If you know anything about Google in image processing. I mean they're pixel phones are amazing not because they have the best hardware. But because they have all kinds of AI and machine learning that make their images look awesome. 

So any image you take and upload to Google photos you can go in and start messing with all the color science on it. Also, You can just hit the auto button that's there and kind of allow Google to do the thing, that Google is really good at and make your photo just look better.


Conclusion

So that's it those are the three apps I probably use most on my Chromebook daily. That's not to say those are the only things I use the only web services. The only apps I install that's not true obviously I use lots of stuff. 

But if we're talking about the things I use literally daily every time I sit down at my Chromebook, those three are the top of the list for sure. So, if you're looking for something to do some basic photo editing, some basic graphic editing and some stuff that you can actually produce pro-level stuff and to get pro-level results, those are three apps I think you would do well to go ahead fine install and start using today.


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