Web-based Desktop Utilities

There are those tools that blur the lines between the desktop and the web. Many web applications have started to interact more tightly with the operating system on your computer, and there have been some recent desktop utilities that do the same but in reverse.

For Mac OS X, there are two great new tools in development that look to make collaboration easier. But rather than make you log into a web page to do this, they are intended to work right from the desktop. Earlier this week, our sister site Mac.AppStorm gave an early preview of the app Droplr, which is currently in beta. A tool intended to make sharing files and URLs as simple as possible, Droplr is focused on taking a few steps out of that process.

Another tool in the same vein is Cloud. Also in beta, it has very similar features and is also for OS X users. It’s hard to know where exactly to cover some tools that are used to integrate the web closely with the desktop. So, time for a quick Web.AppStorm user poll:

  1. Would you like to see these kinds of tools covered here? Or do they fit better on Mac.AppStorm?
  2. And are there similar tools in development for Windows users?

If you have some thoughts on these questions, leave a comment! I’d love to hear the thoughts of the readers on this subject.


  • Jack

    I think that they should be kept on Web.AppStorm. I always though the Mac.AppStorm was more for offline or for purebred Mac apps. Windows programs and reviews are fine but i come here to find info on Mac stuff as i know it’s not a cross-contaminated source. Just my 2 cents.

  • http://www.calvadoswebdesign.com Harry Atkins

    I think these sort of web/desktop apps should definitely be covered here. Cloud looks amazing and I’ve signed up for the beta, so I think that it is well worth it, I’d love to find out about new apps like this.

  • David Ferguson

    I think they should appear in both. Not everyone may have both in their RSS feeds as I do. So if they only watch one or the other, they may miss out on something great.

    Just my opinion..

  • http://lesjames.com Les James

    I think that if you need to draw a line in the sand it would be this…

    Does the application get the majority of it’s functionality from the internet?
    Can any of this functionality be used without a desktop client (leveraged through a browser)?

    If you can answer yes to both these questions then write about it in Web.AppStorm

  • http://loosestitch.com Arpan Dhandhania

    In my view any app that runs within the browser should be on Web.AppStorm. Everything else worth reviewing would obviously be running on the mac, thus should appear on Mac.AppStorm. Windows people can look elsewhere.

    • http://www.rossgardt.de Benedikt

      Yes. That’s the way, I think, too.

      Just bring it! :-D

    • http://www.mariusscheel.de marius

      aaight! ’nuff said!

  • http://twitter.com/fdeth fdeth

    I think, if an app is Mac-only, it should be in Mac.Appstorm. And if it gets a Windows client some day, it should be covered here.

  • http://adamnbowen.com Adam

    If it *can’t* work on anything but a mac, then it belongs on mac.appstorm. Otherwise, put it up here. The whole point of web apps (at least from my perspective) is at least the *possibility* of cross-platform working.

  • Derek

    I think that applications that are Mac-specific (or have components that are Mac-specific) should stay on Mac.AppStorm, whereas applications that are platform-independent should be covered here. I follow Mac.AppStorm out of casual interest, mostly, even though I don’t use a Mac regularly; I rely on this blog to tell me about things I can use regardless of what computer I happen to be sitting at.

    Thanks for the chance to give feedback.

  • http://alfrescofurniture.info rik

    The Products That are for MAC should stay at MAC.Appstorm because the majority of Windows only users are not interested in Mac products. The Web programs that work on all platforms should be here.

  • http://andrewburgess.posterous.com Andrew

    In my mind, there are 4 categories here:

    1 – regular old desktop apps (like Photoshop)
    2 – browser apps (like Gmail)
    3 – internet-enabled desktop apps ( the only one I can think of now is MS Office, since you can download templates from inside the apps. )
    4 – browser apps that have internet-enabled desktop counterparts (like Evernote)

    Obviously, #1 doesn’t belong on Web.AppStorm, and #2 definitely does; we all agree on that! I think that an app should only be featured on Web.AppStorm if it has a server-hosted application or if multi-machine access is truly its aim. By this logic, #3 wouldn’t be on WenAppStorm, but #4 would.

  • http://www.cuby.co.nr Henry Bennett

    As others have said, I think if an app is Mac only, then it should be featured on Mac.Appstorm. If an application is cross platform and uses the internet to achieve something then it should appear on Web.Appstorm.

    So for example, if Cloud App is Mac only, it should probably appear on Mac.Appstorm, although I don’t really think it’s a deal breaker decision and won’t matter too much in the end.

  • http://frankkoehl.com Frank Koehl

    In my opinion, it belongs on mac.appstorm if the app is mac-specific, web elements or not. The line-blurring ones that serve both platforms could be in web.appstorm. Dropbox would be a good example.

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow