Aviary has an impressive suite of web-based software that is free to use. They have built scaled-down versions of Photoshop, ImageReady, and Illustrator that run within a web browser in Flash (not Air, for the techies). In addition, they have a multi-track sound editor that has the same core functionality as Apple’s Garage Band. Although Aviary is pushing the limits of what Flash is capable of, their execution is outstanding. This software suite works and works WELL!
Although these apps are lighter in features than their desktop counterparts, they are some of the most advanced web apps I’ve yet used. All are incredible models of how web-based software should work. These are the prefect tools if you have to do a little photo editing on an underpowered laptop or netbook. If you’ve ever had to edit some photos when you’ve been on vacation with your old junky laptop, I’ve got the solution to your pain. Photoshop on a crappy laptop just grinds your productivity to asnail’s pace. But these apps fire up in about 30 seconds and you’re ready to go. Working with large graphics files is nearly instantaneous because all the heavy lifting is being done on Aviary’s servers.
I highly, highly recommended Aviary as both a top-notch tool and an example of how to build web-based software. Check it out here.