Web Services and Games: Best of 2010

Phone service in Gmail and productivity enhancer Evernote are among the picks for best Web services

Our choices of Evernote, Google Voice, and Prezi push this category to do business, but it still has fun with Facebook, the MOG music service, and the shopping site TheFind.com, among others.

Netflix

Streaming video service and video-by-mail plan; starts at $9, Watch Instantly free with monthly plan A dominant and growing provider of streaming-video movies and TV shows, Netflix came on strong this year with its Watch Instantly service. Aside from the popularity of the service on desktop PCs, the Netflix Watch Instantly app has made a splashy debut during the past year on other devices, including the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. (#4 in the PCWorld 100)

Netflix review | netflix.com

Blizzard Entertainment StarCraft II

Game; $60 Twelve years in the making, the highly anticipated sequel to the 1998 real-time strategy gaming classic does not disappoint. (#17)

Blizzard Entertainment StarCraft II coverage | blizzard.com

Blizzard Entertainment World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Game; $40 The third expansion--and dramatic overhaul--of this megapopular massively multiplayer online game demonstrates why World of Warcraft is still the one to beat. We've played the beta version enough to feel confident that it will absolutely be among the year's best titles. (#24)

Blizzard Entertainment World of Warcraft: Cataclysm coverage | worldofwarcraft.com

Google Voice

Phone service; free Want a Manhattan area code, but you live in Kansas? This service lets you fake it with a single number to reach multiple phones and text inboxes, with free SMS texting and call conferencing. Mobile apps are available, too. Voice transcriptions need work, however. (#34)

Google Voice review | Download | google.com

MOG

Mobile app and service; $10 a month after trial MOG differs from the likes of Pandora in that it lets you stream the songs you want to hear, not those that it selects. For instance, you can make "artist stations" that play only songs by the person or band in question. (#38)

MOG coverage (Android) | MOG coverage (iPhone) | mog.com

Google Gmail

Web service; free We like the cool, new features such as the Priority Inbox, which intuitively sorts your incoming e-mail by importance based on what Gmail has learned about your e-mail reading and sorting habits. Also new is voice calling, which joins the e-mail, instant messaging, and videoconferencing functions already built in. (#41)

Google Gmail coverage | gmail.com

DimDim

Online service; free, more than ten users starts at $25 per month DimDim is an easy-to-use online meeting tool that requires no installation. It enables polls, document sharing and storage, and four-way video chat. You can embed videos and Picasa photo albums, as well. (#60)

DimDim coverage | dimdim.com

Second Rotation Gazelle

Web service; commission on sale At this site you'll find price quotes for old gear, plus recycling options for tech items no longer worth money. It also offers bulk trade-ins, and can help you run a gadget collection drive to support a cause. (#63)

Second Rotation Gazelle coverage | gazelle.com

Facebook

Social networking site; free Despite taking a tumultuous ride through a wilderness of privacy woes early in the year, Facebook continues to assert itself as an essential part of online life. The addition of the Places geolocation service and revamped privacy controls keep Facebook on our list of the best for the second year in a row. (#64)

Facebook coverage | facebook.com

Fuze Box Fuze Meeting

Web service; $29 to $69 per month If you want to make a presentation or share your screen with far-flung colleagues, Fuze Meeting is a smooth way to do it. The service doesn't require the people watching your presentation to grab any heavy downloads, and in our experience there's little lag time. (#70)

Fuze Box Fuze Meeting coverage | Download (trial) | fuzemeeting.com

Evernote

Web service; free, premium service $5 per month We've long touted Evernote's amazingly useful cloud-based note-taking capabilities. This year's innovation is the service's open ecosystem of plug-ins. (#71)

Evernote coverage | Download | evernote.com

TheFind.com

Website; free This shopping search engine goes deeper than Google and Bing, letting you filter products by brand, proximity, color, and payment method. It also lists coupons and reviews. The site's merchant program helps small businesses showcase their wares, so users can shop from sellers of all sizes. (#94)

TheFind.com coverage | thefind.com

Prezi

Web service; basic version free This unique PowerPoint alternative enables remote meetings and provides a virtual whiteboard to doodle (or plot a world takeover) with others. Its nonlinear way of sharing and zooming in and out of a presentation feels more natural and collaborative than flipping through pages. (#98)

Prezi coverage | Download (trial) | prezi.com

This story, "Web Services and Games: Best of 2010" was originally published by PCWorld.

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