Idea Exchange

50 Free Apps We’re Most Thankful For


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As we prepare to give thanks for our delicious Thanksgiving meals (and impending food comas), let’s not forget to pay our yearly tribute to the wonderful developers who bring us our favorite free apps.

  1. Dropbox

    Category: Online storage and syncing See also: The Cleverest Ways to Use Dropbox That You’re Not UsingThe Cheapskate’s Guide to Getting Free Dropbox SpaceHow to Get 8GB+ Extra Dropbox Space for Free with Google AdWords, and more Dropbox coverage

  2. Google Chrome

    Category: Browser See also: The Power User’s Guide to Google ChromeHow to Really Browse Without Leaving a TraceWhich Browser Should I Use: Firefox or Chrome?How and Why Chrome Is Overtaking Firefox Among Power Users, and more Chrome coverage

  3. Firefox

    Category: Browser See also: Why I’ve Switched From Chrome to Firefox 4Top 10 Must-Have Browser ExtensionsWhich Browser Should I Use: Firefox or Chrome?, and more Firefox coverage

  4. Evernote

    Category: Note taking See also: Expand Your Brain with Evernote and Clever Uses for Evernote and more Evernote coverage

  5. Notepad++

    Category: Text editors See also: Five Best Text EditorsAutoSave Adds Reassurance to Notepad++ Editing, andHow to Get More Plus out of Notepad++

  6. Skype

    Category: VoIP See also: our full Skype coverage

  7. VLC (Video Lan Client)

    Category: Media Player See also: Master Your Digital Media with VLCSet a Video as Your Wallpaper with VLC, and more VLC coverage

  8. Gmail

    Category: Email See also: Master the New Gmail with These Tips, Shortcuts, and Add-OnsHow to Set Up Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Contacts (Properly) on iOSFix Gmail’s Newest Annoyances with These Userstyles and Userscripts, and more Gmail coverage

  9. 7-zip

    Category: File Compression See also: Hive Five Winner for Best File Compression Tool: 7-Zip

  10. TeamViewer

    Category: Remote Desktop See also: Download of the Day: TeamViewer (Windows)TeamViewer Arrives on Android for Small-Screen Remote Control and Tech Support, and How Do I Troubleshoot My Parents’ PC Remotely?

  11. uTorrent

    Category: BitTorrent Client See also: uTorrent 3.0 Alpha Adds Web Interface Support for iPad, AndroidHow to Boost Your BitTorrent Speed and Privacy, and more uTorrent coverage

  12. Spotify

    Category: Music Streaming See also: Spotify Is the Best Desktop Music Player We’ve Ever UsedThe Essential Spotify Tools, and more Spotify coverage

  13. Google Maps

    Category: Maps See also: Our complete Google Maps coverage

  14. Google Reader

    Category: RSS Newsreader See also: Our complete Google Reader coverage

  15. Google Voice

    Category: VoIP See also: A First Look at Google VoiceThe Most Helpful Ways to Use Google Voice that You’re Not UsingTop 10 Clever Google Voice Tricks, and more Google Voice coverage

  16. HandBrake

    Category: DVD Ripping See also: Best DVD-Ripping Tool: HandBrakeRip DVDs to Friendlier Formats with HandBrake, and Calculate the Perfect HandBrake Video Encoding Settings for Your Device and How to Rip DVDs with Handbrake

  17. CCleaner

    Category: Utilities See also: CCleaner 2.0 Decrapifies Your PCRun CCleaner on a Schedule to Keep Your PC Crap-Free, and more CCleaner coverage

  18. GIMP

    Category: Image Editing See also: Is GIMP better than Photoshop?Tweak GIMP to be More Like Photoshop,Cartoonify Photos with the GIMP, and more GIMP coverage

  19. WordPress

    Category: Blogging See also: The Beginner’s Guide to Tricking Out Your WordPress Blog and more WordPress coverage

  20. FileZilla

    Category: FTP Client See also: Hive Five Winner for Best FTP Client: FileZillaFTP File Transfer Across Platforms with Filezilla 3.0, and Build a Home FTP Server with FileZilla

  21. ImgBurn

    Category: DVD Ripping See also: Download of the Day: ImgBurn (Windows)Hive Five Winner for Best CD and DVD Burning Tool: ImgBurn, and Turn Your PC into a DVD Ripping Monster

  22. VirtualBox

    Category: Virtualization See also: The Beginner’s Guide to Creating Virtual Machines with VirtualBoxHow to Run Mac OS X in VirtualBox on Windows, and more VirtualBox coverage

  23. KeePass

    Category: Password Manager See also: Best Password Manager: KeePass and Eight Best KeePass Plug-Ins to Master Your Passwords

  24. Launchy

    Category: Utilities See also: Integrate Everything Search Tool and LaunchyTake Launchy beyond application launchingScreenshot Tour: Tweaking Launchy, and more Launchy coverage

  25. Mint.com

    Category: Personal Finance See also: Is Mint Ready for Your Money?Best Mobile Personal Finance Tool: Mint, andmore Mint coverage

  26. Paint.NET

    Category: Image Editing See also: Download of the Day: Paint.NET 3 (Windows)Pinta Brings Paint.NET’s Just-Enough Image Editing to Every Computer, and Basic image editing with Paint.NET

  27. Rainmeter

    Category: Desktop Customization See also: Best Desktop Customization Tool: Rainmeter and How to Create an Attractive, Customized Desktop HUD with Rainmeter

  28. Revo Uninstaller

    Category: Utilities See also: Completely Remove Programs with Revo UninstallerClean Windows Systems on the Go with Revo Uninstaller Portable, and The Best App Uninstaller for Windows

  29. Simplenote

    Category: Note Taking See also: The Holy Grail of Ubiquitous Plain-Text CaptureSimplenote Offers Synchronized Notes on iPhones-And Now It’s FreemNote Syncs Your Simplenote Notes with Android Phones, and The Holy Grail of Ubiquitous Plain Text Capture

  30. Winamp

    Category: Media Player See also: Manage your music with WinampControl Winamp Remotely from Any Browser, and more Winamp coverage

  31. XBMC

    Category: Media Center See also: Build a Silent, Standalone XBMC Media Center On the CheapTurbo Charge Your New XBMC InstallationTransform Your Classic Xbox into a Killer Media Center,Turn Your XBMC Media Center into a Video Game ConsoleThe Ultimate Start to Finish Guide to Your XBMC Media Center, and mor XBMC coverage

  32. CyanogenMod

    Category: Android Custom Firmware See also: How to Choose the Right Android ROM for You and more CyanogenMod coverage

  33. Eclipse

    Category: Software Development See also: Tips for Using Eclipse Effectively

  34. Google Calendar

    Category: Calendar See also: Our full Google Calendar coverage

  35. Inkscape

    Category: Image Editing See also: Manipulate Vector Images with Open Source Inkscape

  36. LastPass

    Category: Password Manager See also: The Intermediate Guide to Mastering Passwords with LastPassHow to Automatically Fill in Repetitive Web Forms (and Avoid Tons of Tedious Typing), andmore LastPass coverage

  37. Linux

    Category: Operating System See also: Our complete Linux coverage

  38. Open Office

    Category: Office Suite See also: A First Look at OpenOffice.org 3.0OpenOffice.org 3.2 Improves Startup Times, Office 2007 CompatibilityOpenOffice.org 3.1’s Usability TweaksInstall and Switch to LibreOffice in Ubuntu, and more OpenOffice coverage

  39. Opera

    Category: Browsers See also: Opera 11 Alpha Brings Chrome-Like Extensions to the Speedy BrowserTop 10 Must-Have Browser Extensions, and Opera’s Android Browser Updates to Show Your Data Usage and Bandwidth Savings

  40. Picasa

    Category: Photo Manager See also: How to Upload and Share Photos on Flickr, Picasa, or FacebookPicasa 3.5 Organizes Your Photos with Facial RecognitionPicasa Now Offering Virtually Unlimited Photo Storage, Brings Google+ Tagging, and more Picasa coverage

  41. PuTTY

    Category: SSH Client See also: Put PuTTY in the Tray with PuTTY TrayAdd Tabs to PuTTY with PuTTY Connection Manager, and KiTTY Adds Session Saving, Portability, and More to PuTTY

  42. SoundHound

    Category: Music Identification See also: SoundHound Is a Near Total Music App Replacement for iPhone and Shazam vs. SoundHound: Battle of the Mobile Song ID Services

  43. Thunderbird

    Category: Email See also: our full Thunderbird coverage and Backing up Gmail with ThunderbirdEight Killer Thunderbird ExtensionsHow to Sync Your Desktop Email Client (Outlook or Thunderbird) Across Multiple Computers, and more Thunderbird coverage

  44. Twitter

    Category: Social networks See also: Six Ways You SHould Be Using Twitter (that Don’t Involve Breakfast)Navigate the New Twitter Like a Pro with Keyboard ShortcutsFive Best Twitter ClientsHow to Deal with Your Biggest Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ Annoyances, and more Twitter coverage

  45. Wunderlist

    Category: To-Do List See also: Wunderlist Is a Simple, Elegant, and Free To-Do App that Synchronizes Across Your MachinesThe Best To-Do App for WindowsThe Best To-Do App for Mac OS X,The Best To-Do App for Android, and The Best To-Do App for Linux

  46. TrueCrypt

    Category: Encryption See also: Best File Encryption Tool: TrueCryptGeek to Live: Encrypt Your Data, andHow to Add a Second Layer of Encryption to Dropbox

  47. AutoHotkey

    Category: Utilities See also: Automate Windows with AutoHotkeyTurn Any Action into a Keyboard Shortcut, and The Best Time-Saving AutoHotkey Tricks You Should Be Using

  48. Instapaper

    Category: Bookmarking Tool See also: Battle of the Bookmark-and-Read-Later Apps: Instapaper vs. Read It Later andmore Instapaper coverage

  49. Quicksilver

    Category: Utilities See also: Hack Attack: A beginner’s guide to Quicksilver and Top 10 Quicksilver Plug-ins

  50. Pidgin

    Category: Instant Messaging See also: Chat Across IM Platforms with Pidgin 2.4Ten Must-Have Plug-ins to Power Up PidginUse Dropbox to Sync Your Pidgin Profile Across Multiple PCs, and Best Instant Messaging Application for Windows

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