About ten years ago, as the cloud gained popularity, it was theorised that someday we wouldn’t need anything more than an internet-connected PC and a browser to do all of the amazing things that software did at the time.
Thanks to the modern cloud, that day has come.
While the cloud hasn’t yet replaced all software, the number of services that can be accessed from a browser is increasing. Today, all you need is an internet-connected PC and a web browser, and you can do things that a few years ago would have required gigabytes of free space for a local software installation and powerful PC hardware to do.
Here are five incredibly useful browser-based services to give you a taste of the state of things, and a hint of what’s to come.
Adobe Express puts much of the power of Adobe’s creative software at your fingertips, with a smart UI that lets you quickly create images for a variety of uses. Using a drag-and-drop interface, users can choose what they want to make from a huge number of templates, add images from various libraries, and add text and effects.
Adobe Express is currently in beta and free to use for now, but expect it to become a paid service soon. Just like the rest of Adobe’s software.
Find it here.
Midjourney is a generative AI that can turn natural language prompts into images. It’s accessed through a web browser. Basically, you tell Midjourney what you want it to draw, and Midjourney draws it. Released in July 2022 and still in beta, Midjourney and other generative AI services have inspired conversations about the threat that AI poses to human artists.
So far, the jury is out, but for now, there’s no denying that telling an AI what to draw and seeing a detailed and fairly accurate result moments later is pretty cool. The fact that it does this in your browser is nothing short of mind-blowing.
In fact, the header image for this article was generated by Midjourney. Neat, right?
Check it out here.
Every accounting service an SMME could need can be had with the Sage Accounting service. Based entirely in the cloud, all that’s needed is a browser and an internet connection, and businesses can access a world-class accounting solution for a monthly fee determined by exactly which services they sign up for.
In the old days, Sage would need to be installed locally on a PC. Moving that installation to another PC was a technical nightmare. With Sage Accounting, users simply log in to a browser window with whatever device they have with a username and password – the computer they use simply doesn’t matter.
Get Sage here.
Cloud software solutions are so advanced these days that you can even control your surveillance solution with them. The AxxonNet Cloud Managed Video Management System is one such solution: through a handy web-based dashboard, you can have a live view of the CCTV cameras on your network and do all of the back-end tasks you need to.
It’s not entirely cloud-based since your CCTV cameras will still need to connect to an on-premises server, but you won’t need to install software to do all of the admin and management of your system – that can be done in a browser.
Read more about AxxonNet here.
Every major virtual meeting solution (Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams etc.) works in your browser with no need for software installation.
This is amazing when you think about it – your browser connects to your audio and video equipment and broadcasts what they pick up to other meeting participants all over the world! And all you need to do is put in the right URL.
What a time to be alive!