Nine lovely services that will make your computer work like it should


Teeny tiny apps, designed for the details, can save us a click or show us something more pleasant. These little technologies refute the default settings to bring you something more efficient or more beautiful and likely a few less clicks.

For Chrome

Currently App1. Currently: a better new tab
Ditch the harsh-colored visited links thumbnails and and shiny apps buttons in Chrome’s new tab window for a beautiful display and animation of the time and weather. Customize the look for a fresh start in every new tab. I love this for its quiet colours and soft animations.

2. Awesome Screenshot: the best screen grab app
Finally a tool to help me take a screen grab of an entire webpage. Gone are the days of stitching together multiple images in Photoshop. This plugin also lets draw lines, arrows and annotations. Thanks @WookieBoy.

Text This To ME3. Text this to me: send links from your browser
Now for a nice little extension that will text your mobile phone a link to whatever URL is currently open in your browser. I love this because it’s faster than emailing or messaging a link to myself. This is especially handy for hard to remember long and wonky URLs. And yes, of course, it’s built on Twilio.

For Mac OS

4. Breakaway – SmartPause: silence the music when you unplug your headphones
Breakaway is brilliant. You’re grooving along to Prince and someone trips over your headphones or you quickly rip out the audio cable in a hurry to a meeting and now everyone in your office or the silent cafe is now also listening to When Doves Cry. Breakaway knows when your headphones are plugged in. When you unplug, the music pauses; when you plug back in the music plays again. As it should.

Dragon Drop5. DragonDrop: hang onto pictures and snippets from window to window
With a small shake of your mouse, DragonDrop will save an image, text snippet and many other goodies into a small modeless window on your desktop. Need to email a picture to a friend? Skip saving it to your desktop and let the DragonDrop give you a hand. Thanks Atish.

Little Ipsum6. Little Ipsum: Lorem Ipsum when you need it
Here’s onefor the designers in the room. LittleIpsum is a tiny taskbar app that lets you copy anything from a word to 4 paragraphs of Lorem Ipsum to your clipboard in one click. You’ll only realize how much you needed this until after you get it. Thanks @tsunamino

For iPhone

Dropbox iPhone Sync7. Dropbox iPhoto Sync
Work your way around using hardware or iCloud to syncyour iPhone photos. Visit the settings panel in the Dropbox iPhone app and switch on the Camera Upload switch. Then, every time the Dropbox app is open it will upload your pictures from your iPhone to a Dropbox folder on your computer. I recommend opening up the app when your iPhone is plugged in and charging otherwise the screen will lock and stop uploading. Thanks @immunoglobulin





Ifttt: Make your Instagrams your screensaver

Borrow my Ifttt (If This Then That) recipe that saves each of your Instagram images to a Dropbox folder. Set your screensaver to make a slideshow of all the images in said folder and poof, you’ll enjoy a personalized, beautiful flurry of images that’s always updating itself with photos you’ll be happy to see.

Solar App 9. Solar Weather App
This weather app, with gorgeous colours, animations and gestures with and nearly no buttons is my favourite way to get a quick look at what the day will feel like and weather in other cities. I love their product video too. It has a spot on my homescreen.

More lovely apps
This is my third installment that shares some great under-discovered apps. Check out other services below and let me know in the comments if I’m missing out on other goodies.
Brilliant (free) Services for better reading online
Seven online services that do more than mail you lipgloss


Nina Mehta is a writer and product design leader in Brooklyn, New York. She began her design career in journalism and has been writing online for 20+ years. Nina is from outside Chicago has since lived and worked in San Francisco, Berlin, London, and Tokyo. Learn about her work at

2 thoughts on “Nine lovely services that will make your computer work like it should”

  1. Jess says:

    Great list, Nina – definitely love the simple, functional apps that just make life a little better! One that I’d add, if you don’t currently use it, is TextExpander. It saves me from typing out certain things, like my email address, or city, with high frequency.

  2. Brittany says:

    I <3 these super helpful posts! Keep em coming.

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