Web Services and Games: Best of 2010
Our choices of Evernote, Google Voice, and Prezi push this category to do business, but it still has fun with Facebook, the MOG music service, and the shopping site TheFind.com, among others.
Streaming video service and video-by-mail plan; starts at $9, Watch Instantly free with monthly plan A dominant and growing provider of streaming-video movies and TV shows, Netflix came on strong this year with its Watch Instantly service. Aside from the popularity of the service on desktop PCs, the Netflix Watch Instantly app has made a splashy debut during the past year on other devices, including the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. (#4 in the PCWorld 100)
Game; $60 Twelve years in the making, the highly anticipated sequel to the 1998 real-time strategy gaming classic does not disappoint. (#17)
Game; $40 The third expansion--and dramatic overhaul--of this megapopular massively multiplayer online game demonstrates why World of Warcraft is still the one to beat. We've played the beta version enough to feel confident that it will absolutely be among the year's best titles. (#24)
Phone service; free Want a Manhattan area code, but you live in Kansas? This service lets you fake it with a single number to reach multiple phones and text inboxes, with free SMS texting and call conferencing. Mobile apps are available, too. Voice transcriptions need work, however. (#34)
Mobile app and service; $10 a month after trial MOG differs from the likes of Pandora in that it lets you stream the songs you want to hear, not those that it selects. For instance, you can make "artist stations" that play only songs by the person or band in question. (#38)
Web service; free We like the cool, new features such as the Priority Inbox, which intuitively sorts your incoming e-mail by importance based on what Gmail has learned about your e-mail reading and sorting habits. Also new is voice calling, which joins the e-mail, instant messaging, and videoconferencing functions already built in. (#41)
Online service; free, more than ten users starts at $25 per month DimDim is an easy-to-use online meeting tool that requires no installation. It enables polls, document sharing and storage, and four-way video chat. You can embed videos and Picasa photo albums, as well. (#60)
Web service; commission on sale At this site you'll find price quotes for old gear, plus recycling options for tech items no longer worth money. It also offers bulk trade-ins, and can help you run a gadget collection drive to support a cause. (#63)
Social networking site; free Despite taking a tumultuous ride through a wilderness of privacy woes early in the year, Facebook continues to assert itself as an essential part of online life. The addition of the Places geolocation service and revamped privacy controls keep Facebook on our list of the best for the second year in a row. (#64)
Web service; $29 to $69 per month If you want to make a presentation or share your screen with far-flung colleagues, Fuze Meeting is a smooth way to do it. The service doesn't require the people watching your presentation to grab any heavy downloads, and in our experience there's little lag time. (#70)
Web service; free, premium service $5 per month We've long touted Evernote's amazingly useful cloud-based note-taking capabilities. This year's innovation is the service's open ecosystem of plug-ins. (#71)
Website; free This shopping search engine goes deeper than Google and Bing, letting you filter products by brand, proximity, color, and payment method. It also lists coupons and reviews. The site's merchant program helps small businesses showcase their wares, so users can shop from sellers of all sizes. (#94)
Web service; basic version free This unique PowerPoint alternative enables remote meetings and provides a virtual whiteboard to doodle (or plot a world takeover) with others. Its nonlinear way of sharing and zooming in and out of a presentation feels more natural and collaborative than flipping through pages. (#98)
For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.