Google Earth

This is the globe that you always wished you had! Spin it with your fingers, zoom all the way in to be able to see the car in your driveway, turn roads, labels and boundaries on or off. There even are tours of interesting areas, 3D flyovers, and photos and data that users have added. Google Earth is a "must-have" first app for anyone who loves armchair exploration. Many companies and agencies use the Pro version of Google Earth for things like city planning and route development.

Google Drive

Google Drive is an excellent cloud storage and file synchonization service, and comes with a generous 15GB of free space. While Google Drive also has a paid 1TB tier for the same $9.99 per month as Dropbox's 1TB tier, there's also a 100GB tier for $1.99 a month, if you need just a bit more space.


Facetime is Apple's video chat program for all of its iOS devices and for modern Macs (OS X6.6 and above).  It is installed automatically on iOS devices when you set up and activate it, and if it's not already on your Mac, it is available from the Apple Mac App Store.

Google Hangouts

Hangouts is a full-featured messaging service from Google. It features instant messaging, telephone (VOIP), audio and video chats, either one-to-one or with a group, screen sharing and file transfer. It is straightforward and easy to use, and all you and the person(s) you're going to "hangout" (sonnect) with have to have it is a free Google+ account. Calling other countries will cost you a little bit (but much less than Skype, like 2¢ a minute to UK landlines) and calling any phone in the US, landline or mobile, is free!


Skype lets you talk to other Skype users, anywhere in the world, by video, audio or instant message at no charge. You can also use Skype to call landlines or cellphones anywhere in the world, on either a pay-as-you-go basis (buy some credit and buy more if/when it runs out) or by subscription. It's available for almost every computer and mobile platform except ChromeOS (Chromebooks).

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