Rich Internet Applications I couldn't live without

In the spirit of TechCrunch's Web 2.0 apps that Mike can't live without, I've done Rich Internet Applications I can't live without. It covers everything from my music to my social networking. I'd love to hear of others you use a lot.
Written by Ryan Stewart, Contributor

After seeing Mike Arrington's post about Web 2.0 companies he can't live without, I thought an RIA-themed version would be fun to do. I'm also very curious which RIAs you use on a daily basis, so if I missed any, leave them in the comments.


This year I switched from Outlook to the Flash-based Goowy and I've been happy with the switch. The integration with YourMinis is great and it gives me a snapshot of my day in the form of sports scores and comics and news. The email client has gotten much better over the pas few months and while there are still some issues, having a robust email client, contact list and calendar anywhere I go has been great. If the Goowy guys release an Apollo version of the app that allows me to take my content offline, it will make me a very happy camper.


I don't know what I would do without Pandora. I've got channels for everything from Garth Brooks to Enya and this year I'm hoping to get a Slingbox so I can use Pandora from anywhere in my apartment. Pandora is written in OpenLaszlo and makes for a great showcase application.

The New York Times Reader

I used to hate the New York Times. I hated having to register and I figured I could get my news from other places. But the Times Reader changed that. I leave it running overnight so that it can download all the news for me and then when I wake up I browse it between reading articles from Techmeme. It's been one of the more surprising RIAs that I've found myself using but it's won a spot in my morning routine which is the highest praise I can give it.

Yahoo! Maps

I know, I'm a sucker for Flash, but I've had nothing but good experiences with the new Yahoo Maps interface. It is built in Flex 1.5 and I think it's a richer experience than Google Maps. It was very, VERY slow when I was still running Flash Player 8, but with the upgrade to Flash Player 9 I haven't had any slowdowns. The traffic overlay has been very helpful and I think the integration with Yahoo Local is a big plus.


YouTube is great for looking at popular videos or random clips, but for regular content I always turn to Brightcove (I love the Wall Street Journal channel and the Smart Money channel). I wish that Brightcove had something like an Apollo app or a richer app that I could pop out from the website and browse through, but I do love the full screen feature that they implemented after the Flash Player supported it.


The flash based Wallop is my social network of choice for right now and the big reason is because of the media integration (being able to listen to my networks songs is great) and the mods. The mods make it pretty easy to trick out a page and do it in a way that it doesn't totally look like a MySpace disaster (though you could be close). I think the business model is good for RIA developers because it gives them a way to create interesting content for a growing userbase. My only complaint is that it's still hard to find people. I use MySpace because it puts me in touch with old High School friends (and because everyone is on it) but I like Wallop much more - it's more free form and fun.

Wishlist and Honorable Mention

The one thing I wish I had was a richer news reader that I could take with me offline. I've succumb to Google Reader, and I really like it, but I wish I had something like the NYT reader that I could sync and take with me later on.

Two applications I like but haven't had a chance to use are Fauxto, the web based image editor, and Jumpcut, a video site which provides a very cool video editor web application. I haven't used Fauxto just because I found out about it only a week ago and I haven't used JumpCut as much because I haven't gotten into uploading video yet. The video editing suite of JumpCut is fantastic and seems to have gotten better after being bought by Yahoo. I can't wait to see what else these guys come up with.

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