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The 50 Free Apps We're Most Thankful For

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The 50 Free Apps We're Most Thankful For

It's the time of year where we all give thanks, and among many other things, we here at Lifehacker are thankful for all the free apps out there that improve our lives (and the developers that make them!). Here are 50 of our favorites.

Every year we ask you which free apps you're most thankful for, and every year you offer a ton of suggestions both classic and new. Here, we've taken your votes (and added a few of our own) and ranked our 50 apps using those votes as a guide. So without further ado, here are 50 free apps for your downloading feast.

The 50 Free Apps We're Most Thankful For

  1. Dropbox

    Category: Cloud Storage
    See also: The Cheapskate's Guide to Getting Free Dropbox Space, How to Get 8GB+ Extra Dropbox Space for Free with Google AdWords, How to Supercharge Your Dropbox with Wappwolf, and more Dropbox coverage

  2. Google Chrome

    Category: Web Browsers
    See also: The Always Up-to-Date Power User's Guide to Chrome, The Best Packaged Apps for Chrome, The Best Chrome Apps You're (Probably) Not Using, Lifehacker Pack for Chrome 2013, and more Chrome coverage

  3. Firefox

    Category: Web Browsers
    See also: The Always Up-to-Date Power User's Guide to Firefox, The Best About:Config Tweaks for Making Firefox Better, Lifehacker Pack for Firefox 2013, and more Firefox coverage

  4. Evernote

    Category: Notes
    See also: I've Been Using Evernote All Wrong. Here's Why It's Actually Amazing, What's All the Fuss About Evernote? Should I Be Using It?, Note Taking Styles Compared: Evernote vs Plain Text vs Pen and Paper, Should I Use Springpad or Evernote?, and more Evernote coverage
    Alternatives: Springpad, Simplenote

  5. Pocket

    Category: Bookmarking
    See also: The Best Way to Save All the Useful Articles You Come Across Online and more Pocket Coverage
    Alternatives: Instapaper and Readability

  6. Skype

    Category: VoIP
    See also: Get Better Quality Video Chat, Disable Skype's Ads, The Five Best Webcams, Phone-ify Your Computer for Considerably Improved At-Home Calls and Texts, and more Skype coverage

  7. Google Maps

    Category: Maps
    See also: How to Set Up the Ultimate Personal Google Maps, Make your GPS App Give You Better Directions, Wean Yourself Off Your GPS Dependency, and more Google Maps coverage

  8. Gmail

    Category: Email
    See also: Master the New Gmail with These Tips, Shortcuts, and Add-Ons, Top 10 Clever Tricks Built Right Into Gmail, Get Google and iOS Living Together in Perfect Harmony, Fix Gmail's Newest Annoyances with These Userstyles and Userscripts, Everything You Need to Know About Gmail's New, Super-Confusing Layout, and more Gmail coverage

  9. Google Voice

    Category: Communication
    See also: The Most Helpful Ways to Use Google Voice that You're Not Using, Top 10 Clever Google Voice Tricks, How to Improve Your Google Voice Experience on the iPhone, Get the Most Out of Google Voice on Your Non-Smartphone, How to Port Your Number to Google Voice Without Paying an Arm and a Leg, and more Google Voice coverage

  10. Instagram

    Category: Photos
    See also: Know Which Shots Work Best with Each Instagram Filter, Normalize Turns Instagram'd Photos Back to Normal, Instagram Can Now Record 15-Second Video Clips with Special Filters, and more Instagram coverage

  11. Spotify

    Category: Music Streaming
    See also: Why Spotify Apps Are Actually Pretty Useful, How to Automatically Mute Ads on Spotify, How to Stop Spotify from Posting Every Song You Listen to on Facebook, and more Spotify coverage

  12. Feedly

    Category: News Readers
    See also: The Best New Features Feedly Has Added for Google Reader Switchers, The Best Extensions and User Scripts to Power Up Feedly, Five Best Google Reader Alternatives, and more Feedly coverage
    Alternatives: The Old Reader, Tiny Tiny RSS

  13. Google Drive

    Category: Cloud Storage/Office Suites
    See also: 8 Extensions That Make Google Drive More Powerful than Dropbox, File Syncing Faceoff: Dropbox vs. Google Drive, Instantly Send Any Gmail Attachment to Google Drive, Access Most Google Drive Commands with One Keyboard Shortcut, and more Google Drive coverage

  14. Google Calendar

    Category: Calendars
    See also: Get Google and iOS Living Together in Perfect Harmony, Manage Your Money with Google Calendar, How to Use Google Calendar as a Project Management Tool, 8 Great Experimental Features to Enable in Google Calendar's Labs, and more Google Calendar coverage

  15. Google Play Music

    Category: Music Streaming
    See also: How to Make Google Music Your Secondary Media Player (and Why You Should), Google Music All Access: Should It Be Your New Streaming Service?, Cloud Music Comparison: What's the Best Service for Streaming Your Library Everywhere?, Music Plus Makes Google Music Awesome, and more Google Play Music coverage

  16. Google Now

    Category: Personal Assistant
    See also: How to Train Google Now to Give You Better Suggestions, Learn Over 60 Google Now Commands with This Infographic, Speed Up Google Now with This Simple Tweak, and more Google Now coverage

  17. Dolphin

    Category: Web Browsers
    See also: The Best Web Browser for Android, Dolphin Browser Releases a Beta with Early Access to New Features, Lifehacker Faceoff: The Best Web Browsers for iPhone and iPad, and more Dolphin coverage

  18. Wunderlist

    Category: To-Do Lists
    See also: Wunderlist Is a Simple, Elegant, and Free To-Do App that Synchronizes Across Your Machines, Back to Basics: How to Simplify Your To-Do List and Make It Useful Again, How to Fix the Recent Syncing Issues in Wunderlist, and more Wunderlist coverage

  19. Pandora

    Category: Music Streaming
    See also: How to Discover New Music in the Post-MP3 Age, Five Best Internet Radio Services, and more Pandora coverage

  20. Hangouts

    Category: Messaging/Video Chat
    See also: Five Google Hangouts You Can Join to Learn Something New (or Have Fun), 15 Free Google Helpouts to Get Expert Tips for Your Everyday Problems, Google Hangouts Adds SMS Support, Location Sharing, and GIFs, and more Hangouts coverage

  21. LastPass

    Category: Password Managers
    See also: The Intermediate Guide to Mastering Passwords with LastPass, How to Build a (Nearly) Hack-Proof Password System with LastPass and a Thumb Drive How to Automatically Fill in Repetitive Web Forms (and Avoid Tons of Tedious Typing), LastPass Updates with a New Design, Shared Passwords, and More, and more LastPass coverage

  22. XBMC

    Category: Media Centers
    See also: Create a Kickass, Seamless, Play-Anything Media Center: The Complete Guide, How I Built the Media Center of My Dreams for Under $500, How to Make XBMC Easier to Use (Especially for Non-Geeks), OpenELEC Is a Fast-Booting, Self-Updating Version of XBMC for Home Theater PCs, Top 10 Ways to Power Up Your Home Theater PC, and more XBMC coverage
    Alternative: How to Stream Your Media from Home to Your Phone Anywhere You Go with Plex

  23. VLC

    Category: Media Players
    See also: Master Your Digital Media with VLC, Set a Video as Your Wallpaper with VLC, How to Fix Movies that Are Really Quiet, then REALLY LOUD, and more VLC coverage
    Alternatives: PotPlayer

  24. Mint.com

    Category: Personal Finance
    See also: Is Mint Ready for Your Money?, How to Create (and Stick to) a Realistic Budget with Mint, Four Ways Mint Can Make Your Tax Season Easier, and more Mint coverage

  25. TeamViewer

    Category: Remote Access
    See also: Use Your Home Computer from Anywhere: A Comprehensive Guide to Remote Controlling Your PC, How Do I Troubleshoot My Parents' PC Remotely? and more TeamViewer coverage

  26. Avast! Free Antivirus

    Category: Antivirus
    See also: The Best Antivirus App for Windows, The Difference Between Antivirus and Anti-Malware, Why You Should Use Antivirus Even If You Browse Carefully, and more Avast coveage

  27. Any.DO

    Category: To-Do Lists
    See also: Five Best To-Do List Managers, The Coolest "Extra" Features in Any.DO, and more Any.DO coverage

  28. Ubuntu (and other Linux Distros)

    Category: Operating System
    See also: Getting Started with Linux: The Complete Guide, How to Find the Perfect Linux Distribution for You, Five Best Linux Distributions, Build a Killer Customized Arch Linux Installation (and Learn All About Linux in the Process), Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginners?, Turn an Old Computer into a Networked Backup, Streaming, or Torrenting Machine with Ubuntu, and more Linux coverage

  29. MusicBee

    Category: Music Players
    See also: MusicBee Is a Powerful, Easy to Use Music Manager, Five Best Desktop Music Players, Top 10 Underhyped Windows Apps, Music Player Showdown: Which Desktop Player Is Best for Syncing to Android?, and more MusicBee coverage
    Alternatives: Winamp (Deceased), MediaMonkey

  30. uTorrent

    Category: BitTorrent Client
    See also: How to Completely Anonymize Your BitTorrent Traffic with a Proxy, How to Disable Ads in uTorrent, How to Monitor Your BitTorrent Downloads from Any Computer or Mobile Device, How Do I Torrent Safely Now That Demonoid Is Down?, How to Add Automatic Virus Scanning, Video Conversion, and Remote Downloading to uTorrent for Free, and more uTorrent coverage
    Alternative: Transmission

  31. CCleaner

    Category: Utilities
    See also: The Maintenance You Need to Do on a Windows PC, Run CCleaner on a Schedule to Keep Your PC Crap-Free, CCleaner Enhancer Makes CCleaner Even Better, Now Cleans 270 New Apps, and more CCleaner coverage

  32. HandBrake

    Category: Video Conversion
    See also: How to Rip a DVD to Your Computer, The Hassle-Free Guide to Ripping Your Blu-Ray Collection, Calculate the Perfect HandBrake Video Encoding Settings for Your Device, and more Handbrake coverage

  33. VirtualBox

    Category: Virtualization
    See also: The Beginner's Guide to Creating Virtual Machines with VirtualBox, Should I Run a Second Operating System in a Virtual Machine or Dual Boot?, How to Run Mac OS X Inside Windows Using VirtualBox, and more VirtualBox coverage

  34. CyanogenMod

    Category: Android ROMs
    See also: Everything You Need to Know About Rooting your Android Phone, How to Choose the Right Android ROM for You, CyanogenMod Unveils New User Accounts for Remote Find and Wipe, and more CyanogenMod coverage

  35. F.lux

    Category: Utilities
    See also: Flux Changes Your Screen Brightness by Time of Day, Make Your Computer and More Friendly to Use at Night, Prevent Eyestrain at Your Computer, and more Flux coverage

  36. GIMP

    Category: Image Editing
    See also: Top 10 Photoshop Tricks You Can Use Without Buying Photoshop, Build Your Own Adobe Creative Suite with Free and Cheap Software, Is GIMP better than Photoshop?, Tweak GIMP to be More Like Photoshop, and more GIMP coverage
    Alternatives: Paint.NET

  37. LibreOffice

    Category: Office Suite
    See also: Battle of the Office Suites: Microsoft Office and LibreOffice Compared, LibreOffice 4.0 Adds Better Collaboration and Text Comments, Plus a Ton More, and more LibreOffice coverage

  38. Thunderbird

    Category: Email
    See also: Backing up Gmail with Thunderbird, The Best Plugins to Supercharge Thunderbird, How to Sync Your Desktop Email Client (Outlook or Thunderbird) Across Multiple Computers, Thunderbird to Slow Down Development, Focus on "Security and Stability" Only, and more Thunderbird coverage

  39. Picasa

    Category: Photo Manager
    See also: How to Upload and Share Photos on Flickr, Picasa, or Facebook, Picasa 3.5 Organizes Your Photos with Facial Recognition, Picasa Now Offering Virtually Unlimited Photo Storage, Brings Google+ Tagging, and more Picasa coverage

  40. Twitter

    Category: Social Networking
    See also: Top 10 Uses for Twitter (That Aren't Self-Indulgent), How to Mute Retweets from Any User on Twitter, Navigate the New Twitter Like a Pro with Keyboard Shortcuts, Why's Everybody So Pissed About Twitter, and Should I Care?, How to Deal with Your Biggest Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ Annoyances, and more Twitter coverage

  41. AutoHotkey

    Category: Utilities
    See also: Turn Any Action into a Keyboard Shortcut, The Best Time-Saving AutoHotkey Tricks You Should Be Using, Show Us Your Best AutoHotkey Script, and more AutoHotkey coverage

  42. Launchy

    Category: Utilities
    See also: Why You Should Be Using an App Launcher (and How to make It Do More Than Launch Apps), The Best Application Launcher for Windows, and more Launchy coverage

  43. Quicksilver

    Category: Utilities
    See also: Hack Attack: A beginner's guide to Quicksilver, Top 10 Quicksilver Plug-ins, Turn Any Action Into a Keyboard Shortcut on Your Mac, and more Quicksilver coverage
    Alternatives: Alfred

  44. Mailbox

    Category: Email
    See also: Malbox Is the Best Gmail Client We've Seen for iOS, Get 1GB of Free Dropbox Space with Mailbox, and more Mailbox coverage

  45. Titanium Backup

    Category: Utilities
    See also: How to Set Up a Fully Automated App and Settings Backup on Android, How to Upgrade to a New Android Phone and Take Everything with You, and How to Speed Up Your Old or Sluggish Android Device

  46. Google Keep

    Category: Notes
    See also: Not Just Another Notes App: Why You Should Use Google Keep, Google Keep Adds Reminders So You'll Never Forget to Act on Your Notes, and more Google Keep coverage

  47. Adblock Plus

    Category: Ad Blockers
    See also: Everything You Can Do with Adblock Plus (That Isn't Just Blocking Ads), The Best Browser Extensions That Protect Your Privacy, and more Adblock Plus coverage

  48. MP3Tag

    Category: Music
    See also: The Start to Finish Guide to Whipping Your Music's Metadata Into Shape, Six Best MP3 Tagging Tools

  49. TrueCrypt

    Category: Encryption
    See also: How to Encrypt and Hide Your Entire Operating System fro Prying Eyes, How to Add a Second Layer of Encryption to Dropbox, and more TrueCrypt coverage

  50. 7-Zip

    Category: File Compression
    See also: What's the Best Way to Compress a Bunch of Files? and From Saucy Pics to Passwords: How to Share Sensitive Information Over the Internet

Title image illustrated by Dominick Rabrun. You can find his illustrations on his personal web site, or works in progress on his blog.

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