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10 stars of 'cross-platformity'

Victoria Ivey | June 12, 2013
At work or play, these 10 applications can be used across a variety of platforms.

When I want to sit back, relax and watch a movie, I need a video player. VLC Media Player is an open-source, cross-platform video player for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. It plays video files from your computer, CDs, DVDs, VCDs and online streams and works with most popular video formats. In fact, you'll hardly find any audio/video file that VLC Media Player cannot open. It's a bright example of free but extremely high-quality software.

Now, let's say that a file you badly want to play is located on a torrent tracker. If you really want to get it, you will need a torrent client. Here the first prize goes to uTorrent, which works diligently on Windows, Mac and Linux. The program is really tiny and thus needs minimum system resources. With uTorrent, you can see and manage your downloads, for example, pausing them and resuming them later.

When it comes to keeping everything in order on your PC, tablet or smartphone, Evernote looks like a real find. This service helps you save snapshots from the Internet, photos and audio files; make notes; create to-do lists; organize collective work; and more. And the choice of OS/devices on which you can use Evernote is really amazing: Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS and Android.

Dropbox rounds out our magnificent 10 list. This is software that can't do its job without being cross-platform. Dropbox is available for Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Kindle Fire. And despite all the analogs that have appeared recently, Dropbox remains one of the most popular ways to synchronize information across devices and platforms. Dropbox not only syncs your files across all your devices but also saves them out on Dropbox.com. That means that if your computer suddenly blows up, you won't lose your information, since it is stored in the cloud. That, of course, raises concerns about privacy. To be on the safe side, you can use the aforementioned B1 Free Archiver and create a password-protected archive to store in the cloud.

During my ardent hunt for cross-platform apps, I've realized several things. First of all, a large portion of cross-platform software is free. I didn't intend to choose only free software; such a list formed naturally by itself. The second thing is that this software turned out to be of incredibly high quality. Indeed, we are seeing software business models shift from retail software and shareware toward freemium and subscription-for-extra-features. The third thing is the growing tendency toward cross-platformity -- not all of these apps were cross-platform from the beginning. That suggests that we can expect more cross-platform goodies in the near future.

 

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