The “Interwebs” are a vast and mysterious place, with very interesting things lurking in the distant nooks and crannies. If you go spelunking for long enough, you might even discover some pretty cool free stuff.
Here is small sample of some of the best free stuff you can find online. This list is completely unscientific, in no specific order, and totally subject to change at any moment.
User-Friendly Homepage: iChrome
Install iChrome to organize your frequently used apps and websites on one pretty page. Customize it and use in Google Chrome as your home page or new tab page. There’s a free version (shown below) and a pro version for $20 per year. The upgrade adds a stunning video to your background.
Midday Break: iPet Companion
Nothing soothes the soul like playing with puppies and kittens. And now, you can take a free virtual visit to animal shelters (even when you’re stuck at the office!) through iPet Companion. There are live streaming cameras that you can move around to see the animals, and buttons you can click to jiggle cat toys and give treats to the puppies. It’s adorable, and after a couple of free clicks, you won’t be able to resist buying treats for the pups. But, hey, it’s for a good cause.
Retro Clock: Fliqlo
A 1970s-style flip clock screensaver is a high-tech way to add a bit of retro charm to your space. See them in action here. Cat not included.
Self-Destructing Email: 10-Minute Email
This is totally neat—kind of like the modern-day version of the self-destructing tape player in “Mission:Impossible.” This temporary email address that lasts for, as the name implies, 10 minutes. Use it when you need to give an email address to get access to a website that you don’t want spamming you later.
Online Photo Editing: Pixlr
Use this free app to enhance your photos. It’s not as sophisticated as Photoshop, but it also doesn’t come with the Photoshop price tag.
Random Free Stuff: Craigslist
Check out your local Craigslist, and under the “For Sale” section, there’s a sub-header for “Free.” You never know what people in your town might be giving away. As the saying goes, one man’s trash . . .
Feed Others: Free Rice
A noble concept, to be sure. The site will present you with a series of questions. For every correct answer, the World Food Programme will donate 10 grains of rice. It adds up.
Organized Desktop: Rainmeter
Use this free app to organize and customize your computer desktop. See more info here.
Ambient Sounds: A Soft Murmur
Use this on your desktop or download the Android app. (No Apple version yet). Just like the name says, you can get soft, soothing background noises piped in to wherever you are. There’s nothing like falling asleep to the sound of waves lapping up on the shore—when you live in an urban high-rise.