37signals has recently been cleaning house, selling Softfolio and turning off new signups for their free apps, Writeboard and Tadalist. More surprising, they also killed Backpack, keeping existing accounts intact but turning off new signups.
I found that rather sad, as I’d always liked Backpack, but had never put it to use as much as I’d like. It was a nice tool for creating free-form to-do lists mixed with messages, images, and more, and felt like a more dynamic way to manage projects than Basecamp or other project and task managers. Turns out, 37signals decided to mix some Backpack features in their new Basecamp, and is now more focused on their main flagship product.
The sad truth is, web apps don’t always last forever, just like you’re never guaranteed that any app developer will keep making updates and new versions of their product. But that can always be frustrating for existing users. So did you use Backpack, and do you wish 37signals was still developing it? Or did you never even try it out? We’d be interested to hear your thoughts in this week’s poll.
Do you remember the first time you ever used a web browser?
I’m going to make myself sound young (or old perhaps) to some of you, but I’ll never forget the first time I used internet at home. It must have been 1996, and my parents had a 133Mhz desktop running Windows 95 and perhaps IE 3. We attempted to watch a NASA shuttle launch online with an Aol. dialup trial that I believe came on a floppy. That’s when I got my first experience with how show video really could go.
Sometime shortly thereafter, I remember getting a book from the library about using Netscape Navigator. Imagine buying a printed book about using Chrome or Safari today! And yet, at that time, simple web browsing seemed new and confusing enough that you needed a book to figure it out. Of course, that was the same time period when you could buy books that listed interesting websites to check out…
Do you remember the first web browser you used? Do you have any interesting stories about when you got started using the internet? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Remember when you used to have to wait for your computer to boot to check your email? Today, odds are you see the messages that came in during the night as soon as you turn off the alarm on your phone in the morning. If you want to look up something quickly during the day, most of us are as likely to pull out a phone or tap something on a tablet as we are to open a new tab and search from a desktop or notebook.
Mobile devices have changed the face of computing, letting us use our favorite online services anytime, anywhere, without having to deal with clunky computers, mice, and keyboards. But then, sometimes it seems we’re not trading one for the other, but instead are browsing more from computers and smartphones and tablets, and the net result is we’re just online more than ever.
Have mobile devices changed your browsing habits? Do you find yourself less worried about using a browser on your desktop or laptop today, or are you still reliant on traditional browsers and computers for your interent needs?
Email. It’s been with us as long as we’ve been online, dating back to the 1970′s ARPANET, way before most of us were online (or, cough, alive). It was one of the original reasons many people wanted to use the internet. Your email address is still considered, for many intents and purposes, your online ID. It’s critical enough to our online lives that it’d be hard to imagine someone using the internet without having a personal email address.
And yet, at the same time, email seems like the most hated online service, the one every tech startup is trying to kill. Gmail tried to kill it with Wave, Facebook’s tried to kill (or assimilate) it with Messages, and most collaboration tools online are designed to help you use email less for team collaboration. Oddly, though, most of these services still require an email address, and let you work with them through email if you’d like. Email, it seems, is firmly entrenched, and shows no signs of disappearing for good.
Have all the attempts to kill email helped you get less emails, or are you using email more than ever? Do you feel like your email inbox is still very important, or could you go days without checking it? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the poll and in the comments below!
pssst… Stay tuned for opinion pieces from our team about the future of email, coming soon!
The world of apps is a rather diverse place. You might like web apps, but chances are you like native apps on other platforms as well. And there’s more places to run apps today than ever before. You likely have a desktop or laptop computer, and then might have a smartphone and tablet as well. Each of these have their own OS and unique apps that let you make the most of your devices.
Our AppStorm team loves software, wherever it runs, and most of us on the team have favorite apps on a number of platforms. That’s why we have dedicated AppStorm sites for Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android, and of course Web apps, so we can review the best apps on every major platform out there.
So, which of the AppStorm sites do you read? I personally read all of the AppStorm sites, but follow Web, Mac, and iPad AppStorm the most closely, as those are the platforms I use the most. What’s your favorite AppStorm sites? Choose all of your your favorite AppStorm sites in the poll, then feel free to tell us why you like the sites you do in the comments below!
If you’ve ever sent or received money online, you’ve likely used PayPal. From buying an eBook or app from an independent writer or developer to sending your roommate the $20 you owed him from your last split bill, there’s hardly an easier way to send and receive money online.
It’s got an old, clunky interface, and there have been many complaints about PayPal freezing accounts without warning and being difficult with getting them reinstated. But it’s still one of the easiest ways to send money around online. It’s surely been one of the biggest drivers of online eCommerce from independent writers, developers, designers, and more, right after app and eBook stores.
So, do you rely on PayPal to get your pay, or do you regularly send money to others via PayPal? Or would you rather avoid it all together? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Invoicing apps are one of the most popular web app categories. Ranging from free options like PayPal Invoices and Invoice Bubble to paid options like Billings Pro and Blinksale, there’s invoicing options for every budget, style, and need.
If you’re a freelancer, or run a design agency, chances are you’ll have to create invoices as a regular part of your business. If you have a standard salary job, though, invoicing apps might not be as interesting as you won’t need to use them very often. Perhaps you’ll have to create an invoice for one-off jobs, but you won’t need a dedicated invoice app every day.
That’s why we’re curious how much our readers use invoicing apps. Do you create invoices regularly, or would you hardly ever need to even think about making an invoice? If you use an invoice app, we’d love to hear about your favorite app and why you use it in the comments below!
Odds are, you’ve shared a file online this week. From a simple screenshot to a code snippet to a PDF document you’ve spent hours writing, we’re sending and sharing more files online all the time. My youngest brother the other day commented on how odd a floppy looked after he’d discovered an old one laying around the house. To him, sharing a file meant using the internet, and he couldn’t even imagine having to use a piece of plastic that couldn’t even hold one picture from most digital cameras today.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of ways to share files online. I personally love using CloudApp, though the new Droplr updates make it a very attractive solution as well. Abhimanyu recently wrote up a great overview of the best apps for sharing files online, including these and other options to share even bigger files.
That’s why we’re curious which app you use for sharing files. Do you use any of these, or do you only share images on social networks and other services that keep you from needing to use a file sharing tool? Or are you still sending files in email attachments? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the poll and the comments below!
There’s dozens of ways to keep your files in sync, from the old standby Dropbox to Google’s new Drive app. We recently did a roundup of the best sync services, and many of you chimed in with your other favorite sync services in the comments.
That’s why we’re curious: what file sync service do you use? I personally use Dropbox Pro, and many on our team use Dropbox with either free or pro accounts to keep their files synced and shared around with their coworkers. But I also use iCloud to sync files to my iPad from my Mac, and have tried out most of the services listed. What about you?
The latest version of Adobe’s venerable set of creative applications will be released next week, but this launch is unlike any launch in Creative Suite’s history. Adobe is best known for creating native apps, including Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat, Illustrator, and more. These apps only run on Windows and OS X, with some new tablet apps for iOS and Android, and Adobe only has a few fully online apps at Acrobat.com. And yet, this time, their biggest selling point for CS6 is their new Creative Cloud.
No, Photoshop didn’t get turned into a web app, yet anyhow. Creative Cloud, instead, gives you all of Adobe’s native apps for $49/month, along with a number of web tools. You’ll get the Creative Cloud sync service, which you can use to sync all of your creative files between all of your devices and the cloud. You’ll also get access to the new Adobe Muse to design HTML5 sites and host them with Adobe, and will get full access to the Typekit fonts to use on your sites. You’ll also get the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to publish eBooks, eMagazines, and other digital publications to a variety of devices, seamlessly. It’s like a mashup of web apps and native apps, all with standard web app style pricing schemes.
Even for those of us who love web apps, Adobe Creative Suite is often an integral part of our workflow. That’s why we’re curious what you think about Creative Cloud. Will you be signing up for it, or will you just purchase a traditional Creative Suite upgrade license and keep using other cloud services individually while owning your CS6 license? Or, do you use other tools or older versions of Adobe tools instead? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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