40+ Amazing Desktop App Alternatives

We all love our desktop computers. The comfortable keyboard and mouse combination coupled with a large screen display beats out a laptop or tablet every single time. However, the nature of our work takes us to a variety of places with no desktop or a completely different setup than what we are used to.

Web apps solve this problem in a second. There aren’t many desktop apps that don’t have a worthy competitor online. As is our tradition, we have compiled a list of web apps that give their desktop equivalents run for their money. Follow me after the jump to check out which apps made the list and if you don’t find a bunch apps you like here, try our earlier roundups.

Accounting

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online

I’ll go on a limb and say this – Intuit practically invented bookkeeping. With the ability to import your financial data from popular desktop apps like Quicken and plain old Excel, your transition to the cloud should be thorough and painless.

Pricing: From $12.95
Free Account: No
Flash Required? : No

Xero

Xero

Xero

A proud member of the new generation Web 2.0 apps, Xero stands for beautiful accounting. It’s in our reflexes to link accounting automatically to boring and ugly, but this web app changes all that. See your cashflow in real time and do all your accounting, invoicing, billing and banking tasks from a single place.

Pricing: From $19
Free Account: No
Flash Required? : No

CRM

Highrise

Highrise

Highrise

From the stable of the Web 2.0 powerhouse 37signals comes Highrise CRM. Like the rest of their web apps, Highrise is simple and elegant. From importing contacts from Outlook and Excel to helping you follow up all your conversations with email and text reminders, this web app does everything.

Pricing: From $25
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

Microsoft Dynamics Online

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Microsoft took its own sweet time to embrace the cloud, but since Dynamics CRM on premise is a cash cow, I really can’t blame them. As a Microsoft Dynamics certified professional from a former life, this cloud based version is as lethal as the desktop counterpart.

Pricing: From $44
Free Account: No
Flash Required? : No

Commence

Commence CRM

Commence CRM

Commence is a flexible, powerful, and intuitive CRM solution that streamlines key business processes that directly impact sales execution and customer service. Offering both cloud and on premise solutions, Commence competes neck to neck with enterprise grade CRM apps when it comes to features.

Pricing: From $20
Free Account: No
Flash Required? : No

melssCRM

melssCRM

melssCRM

The highly customizable melssCRM comes equipped with advanced business intelligence capabilities. Thanks to the excellent statistical analysis reports and charts from the app, you can get deeper insight on the current trends, forecast your sales and plan your development strategy accordingly.

Pricing: From $7
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

ERP

Netsuite

NetSuite

NetSuite

NetSuite proclaims that it can help cut your IT costs in half, reduce financial close times 20% to 50% and improve quote-to-cash cycle times by 50% and more. That’s a lot of promises, but the growing number of customers suggest they do keep up their promises. On top of being a regular ERP suite, they offer CRM, accounting and ecommerce modules making it a complete business management suite.

Pricing: Contact Support
Free Account: NA
Flash Required? : No

Plex Online

Plex Online

Plex Online

This Cloud ERP system from Plex connects and manages various business units, helping managers make informed decisions based on real-time data, which enables continuous improvement and lean management. Wide variety of businesses from Food and Beverages to Aerospace and Defense have deployed Plex for better managing their enterprise.

Pricing: Contact Support
Free Account: NA
Flash Required? : No

Video Editing

YouTube Video Editor

YouTube Video Editor

YouTube Video Editor

The World’s largest video hosting site offers a decent online editor. The drag and drop interface makes it way too easier to add videos, soundtracks and some snazzy effects to the video. While being a dedicated video editor for videos uploaded only to YouTube, you can always download the final cut later.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : Yes

One True Media

One True Media

One True Media

One True Media’s easy to use tools help everyone create and share their videos online. From the house that makes Spotmixer, a powerful cloud based video editor for producing professional quality video for distribution on TV and other digital modes. An affordable pricing plan and dozens of creative templates make it a compelling choice.

Pricing: From $3.99
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : Yes

Movie Masher

Movie Masher

Movie Masher

Movie Masher is a self hosted video editor that is available for free and is open source. Just launch it and within minutes you’ll be uploading videos, editing, and rendering your creations into a work of art.

Pricing: Open Source
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : Yes

Video Toolbox

Video Toolbox

Video Toolbox

Video Toolbox is capable of converting video files of all popular video formats (3GP, AMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, MOV, M4V, MP4, MPEG, MPG, RM, VOB, WMV) and helps you edit videos as big as 600 MB. An advanced file manager with thumbnail preview of videos and the option to add embedded subtitles are some major highlights of Video Toolbox.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : Yes

Audio Editing

Aviary’s Myna

Aviary

Aviary

All web apps from Aviary, Myna in particular, help people spend less time worrying about software and more time making your music. Add automated fade-ins, fade-outs, etc. and effects like reverb delay, pitch and more without moving a muscle.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : Yes

Looplabs

Looplabs

Looplabs

Looplabs is a premiere online music mixing application, which incidentally is a platform too. Countless music campaigns of renowned brands like Adidas, Coke, Microsoft etc. have been powered by Looplabs tools.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : Yes

Soundation

Soundation

Soundation

Soundation is another feature rich audio editor that is available for free. A cool set of virtual instruments, real time effects, loop library, automation, recording and editing tools make a better sound editor out of anyone! All work can either be downloaded or shared online across all social networks.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : Yes

Audiotool

Audiotool

Audiotool

Audiotool is not just an audio editor, but is a cool place to hangout with fellow music enthusiasts. Create, edit and share your music with others and discover some fabulous ones from the directory. The app took forever to load though!

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : Yes

Image Editing

iPiccy

iPiccy

iPiccy

iPiccy makes your photos awesome with many easy to use photo editing tools. Even folks without any technical know how can start touching up pictures, apply beautiful photo effects, add text and even paint! And one can do all this without having to register at all.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : Yes

Sumo Paint

Sumo Paint

Sumo Paint

True to its name, Sumo Paint packs a whole lot of punch in its online photo editor. Filters like Fractal Morpher, Fractal Designer and Page turn are among the awesome Pro features. The free version of the app is no slouch as well.

Pricing: From 19 Euros
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : Yes

Pixlr

Pixlr

Pixlr

Pixlr surprises with a variety of image editing tools both online and for all popular mobile platforms. Their Pixlr-o-matic app (both on web and mobile) is famous for giving your images a retro effect with preset filters.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : Yes

Picnik

Picnik

Picnik

If you could successfully type the correct spelling of the web app in the browser address bar, you will land on a dynamite image editor. The app is so awesome it was snatched up by Google, but is still open for everyone. If you feel the free version isn’t functional enough, the premium version will set you off by just $24.95.

Pricing: $24.95
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : Yes

Time Tracking

eBillity

eBillity

eBillity

eBillity ensures that you never miss a billable second of productive time, or lose track of an expense. And to do all that you don’t have to be on a desktop browser alone. Phenomenal mobile apps for all platforms – Android, iOS and Blackberry – keep your billables in sync, always.

Pricing: From $19.95
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

fourteenDayz

fourteenDayz

fourteenDayz

14Dayz (OK, the developers should really make up their mind with the name, they use it in three different ways!) is hassle free online time tracking. Not only that it can handle projects, timesheets and reports all the while allowing multiple team members simultaneous access.

Pricing: From $5
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

1time

1Time

1Time

Though a bit on the pricier side, 1time is another reliable time tracking and expense management web app. Each employee gets his own login and reminders so you don’t have to micro manage. Email reminders for unsubmitted timesheets, exclusive client view, employee utilization reports are some cool features to note.

Pricing: From $18
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

Invoicing

The Invoice Machine

The Invoice Machine

The Invoice Machine

With an enviable domain name that doesn’t require further explaining, The Invoice Machine is a web app that will cater to all your invoicing needs. From a gorgeous interface that looks so fresh with the unusual choice of colors, the app helps you create professional looking invoices within minutes.

Pricing: From $12
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

Invoice Bubble

InvoiceBubble

InvoiceBubble

Who doesn’t like free? Professional looking invoices, even recurring ones can be created and sent from the Invoice Bubble app. Free invoices look as awesome as the ones created by a premium app, but if you are willing to pay $5 a month, the ad free version is all yours!

Pricing: $5
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

Invoicera

Invoicera

Invoicera

Invoicera is what you call an invoicing app in steroids. With so many features and customization options, you can for sure create an invoice that stands out from the rest of the crowd. You can even avail their help to integrate the invoicing capabilities into your ecommerce system, ERP and more!

Pricing: From $19.95
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

Bamboo Invoice

Bamboo Invoice

Bamboo Invoice

Tired of paying a monthly subscription for creating invoices? You should download and install Bamboo Invoice app on your webserver. This open source script can run on a LAMP stack ensuring that you can now have a full blown invoicing app under your control!

Pricing: Open Source
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

FTP

WebFTPer

WebFTPer

WebFTPer

WebFTPer is an extremely easy to use app that allows you to transfer files from your computer using just your browser window. The app comes with cool features like server to server transfer, code editors, the ability to zip/unzip files and more.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

FtpLive

FtpLive

FtpLive

Without the need for anything download and install, your files will start uploading straight to your server with FtpLive. If you want to remove the advertisements and increase the file size and transfer limits, go for the premium plan.

Pricing: From $55/year
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

net2ftp

net2ftp

net2ftp

net2ftp intends to help its users transfer file to a remote server by offering three different options. You can either upload from the web app directly, upload a zipped archive and unzip later or use the java applet. Features like recursive chmod, syntax highlighting, code editors and more will make you overlook a bland user interface.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

FireFTP

FireFTP

FireFTP

This one is my personal favorite and is a plugin to Mozilla’s Firefox browser. While this isn’t a traditional web app per se, FireFTP is a brilliant example of how powerful the Firefox platform is and is capable of handling almost all FTP functions in style.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

IDE

WebPutty

WebPutty

WebPutty

WebPutty offers you a CSS editor with syntax-highlighting that can be used from anywhere. Its side-by-side preview pane, instant publishing with minification, compression and automatic cache control are some among the many highlights.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

Ideone

Ideone

Ideone

At first glance, Ideone might look plain and simple. But in reality is a powerful online compiler and debugging tool which allows you to compile and run code online in more than 40 programming languages. Signing up isn’t necessary, but if you need to manage the code, you will have to.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

ShiftEdit

ShiftEdit

ShiftEdit

The app is as cool as its name. ShiftEdit is for those who are looking for an online editor to create, edit and publish PHP, Ruby, Python, Perl, Java, HTML, CSS and JavaScript code. You can access and publish the code via FTP, SFTP and Dropbox.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

Compilr

Compilr

Compilr

Compilr online IDE handles PHP, C, C++, Ruby code and compiles Java, C# and VB code. Create an account and you can access the app from any Internet connected device, including mobile phones and use it as an online code repository as well.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

Media Players

SublimeVideo

SublimeVideo

SublimeVideo

SublimeVideo could very well be the crown jewel of HTML5 media players. It runs on all modern web browsers, which includes those installed in latest smartphones too. The app is very flexible when it comes to encoding options and hosting services.

Pricing: From $9.90
Free Account: Yes, for testing the app.
Flash Required? : No

VideoJS

VideoJS

VideoJS

VideoJS is an open source HTML5 media player. The USP of the app are its full screen playback and fallback flash streaming support that will come in handy if the browser is incapable of handling HTML5.

Pricing: Open Source
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

iRadeo

iRadeo

iRadeo

In the era of streaming music, an app like iRadeo is what you need to run your own online radio station. It specializes in online audio streaming and is fully customizable and embeddable.

Pricing: From $6
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

Office Suite

Google Docs

Google Docs

Google Docs

Probably my most favorite app on this list. Google Docs is one of the most earliest cloud based office productivity suites to come along and is constantly getting updated with new features all the time. Still not competent enough to give Microsoft Office on the desktop a tough fight, but is a very promising opponent.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

Office 365

Office 365

Office 365

Office 365 is a stripped down version of the desktop version and is a late entrant to the cloud based office suites field. The familiar user interface is a major plus but comes with a steep price tag. However, you can use a consumer-facing version for free at Office.live.com, which is integrated with Skydrive and a decent way to make sure your documents look good in Microsoft’s apps. Check out our review of the app here.

Pricing: From $6 per month.
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

Note Taking

Evernote

Evernote

Evernote

Evernote hardly needs an introduction and is the darling of the masses. Availability of exquisite native apps for every desktop and mobile operating system out there, combined with a spiffy web app puts Evernote solidly ahead of its competition.

Pricing: $5 per month.
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

Simplenote

Simplenote

Simplenote

Notes by nature are meant to be simple and Simplenote excels in keeping them that way. This no frills note taking app syncs all your notes across multiple apps and devices. Organizing, archiving and sharing notes has never been easier and safer. It proves that sometimes, just plain text can be the most powerful thing around.

Pricing: Free
Free Account: Yes
Flash Required? : No

Share Your Thoughts!

How do you like the apps that made it on the list? Do you use a better alternative? If so, sound off in the comments section!


  • Arnout

    Cloud9 IDE c9.io for online IDE

  • Juan

    For accounting I am using http://cashbasehp.com

    Editor’s note: I think that’s supposed to be http://www.cashbasehq.com/ ;)

  • http://azovvsky.net Paul

    Good time tracking and more:
    http://www.freshbooks.com
    :)

  • Matthew

    For accounting I would have dropped Quickbooks from that list and added http://www.saasu.com – far superior and the main player alongside Xero.

  • http://www.hapjesmaken.net Hapjes Maken

    Thanks for this awesome article, this helped me allot

  • http://nepallica.com Pritush

    seems like webftper.com & net2ftp.com uses same script, original one is in net2ftp.
    thanks for the list.

  • RSM

    For Office apps and CRM, http://www.zoho.com is great, especially with its integration between these features. Also includes invoicing.

  • http://www.media-visuel.net kakémono

    Oh My God ! (that is actually the only sentence I can correctly write in english ahah)
    I’m french and I was looking for an alternative program to FileZilla for my FTP transfert and I found FireFTP with your blog. This is perfect thank you so much !

  • http://ssopinions.blogspot.com/ Stephen

    For online note taking, I would replace Evernote with Springpad. Spring is also a notebook in the cloud service that also has mobile apps. I find the web experience in Springpad far superior to Evernote. You can find Springpad at springpadit.com.

  • http://termiteinspection.au.com/ Ronno

    stumbled upon your site and love some of the apps. Into my bookmarks folder you go :-) saved for a rainy day…

  • http://www.teamwox.com/en/groupware Alex Cook

    try it for collaboration, CRM, Helpdesk and document management: http://www.teamwox.com

  • Mark55

    You forgot my favorite audio tool: http://www.audiosauna.com

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