TouchSmart computers are great - they are like these awesome giant tablets with PC-grade horsepower. Only problem is that you're saddled with trying to find the best software that takes advantage of those snazzy all-in-one PCs.
Don't get me wrong! The TouchSmart 610, for example, comes with a lot of great stuff on-board. Like this wacky Recipe app that Ann recently showed off on the blog. This story, however, is about recommending creativity apps that you either bought, might consider buying....or maybe you're just looking for an extra freebie or two to take advantage of what you have.
This, to me, seems like the most obvious use for a TouchSmart. If you even fancy yourself as someone good at stick figures, you can get something out of a touch screen PC. There are a ton of art programs out there -- ranging from the high-end high-cost professional photo editing suites to totally free stuff like Paint.Net and a couple good options in-between. Now, if you paid clothes attention to Project Runway (pun...sorry) you saw designers compete using TouchSmarts. How well does it work for a slightly less artistic person like me? Let's find out.
Here are some artsy apps that I’d recommend checking out:
ArtRage – This is what I used for the above video. I personally like the interface on this one…even though I’m hardly one to judge art tools. Just putting it out there.
Roxio Photo Show – Resize your photos, sure, but this also gives you the ability to create cards and invitations with whatever media you have at your fingertips (literally).
Corel Paint-it Touch – This art program is built with your fingers – and touch screens – in mind. I mean, they put “Touch” in the name. It’s easy to manipulate images and make relatively fine brush strokes with your hands.
Microsoft Collage – Use your hands to easily assemble on-screen collages with your images. Like what you created? Save it as your desktop or share it with friends. How much will it set you back? Nothing! It's part of the Microsoft TouchPack for Windows 7. If you don't already have it on your computer, you can download it right here.
Paint.Net – This is a very feature complete image application….and, best part, it’s free.
A LITTLE MORE MULTIMEDIA
In the same way that you can paint on your PC screen or fine-tune a photo, that touch interface is pretty awesome for adjusting sliders and editing scenes. Here are a couple solid tools to consider. Now mind you, I'm no video editing pro....and this is no z800 workstation. It's an All-in-One PC that could work on modest video projects, not Inception 2: Electric Boogaloo. It’s a digital DJ deck….and everything in-between. Here are a couple programs making my list:
Corel Digital Studio 2010 – This suite is fully-compatible with touch screens. It also happens to be a good all-in-one media suite that lets you work on video as well.
Windows Live Movie Maker – The free-to-download video editor can actually get a surprising amount done when it comes to basic video production.
FEEL THE MUSIC
Want to play some instruments? Go online and try your hands on a virtual piano or a virtual drum kit - both work well on a touch screen. Have you considered what it could be like for being a virtual DJ? You could download VirtualDJ or the open sourced (Read: TOTALLY FREE) Mixx audio software. Or, if you’re completely out of your element and just want to try scratching a couple turntables, give OtsTurntables a spin on that big, bad touchscreen. It’s pretty damn cool and surprisingly deep.
Are there any apps that you’ve tried using on a TouchSmart that you’d recommend? I’d love to hear em!
(…by the way, don’t think I’m done with the TouchSmart. I’ve been digging around for a bunch of cool games that you might not have thought to play with a touchscreen – but should! Stay tuned for that)