Web apps have increased in popularity at an astonishing rate over the past few years. While you’ve almost always been able to do things like play cards with others and check email, the kind of functionality found on some modern sites can actually compete with stand-alone programs that often come with a hefty price tag. Here are 5 things you can do from your browser, without installing any software:

Edit Photos
There are many browser-based image editing apps available on the web. Some of these mirror features from higher-end editing programs while others offer more simplicity, allowing you to upload and edit a photo in seconds without having to load a single local application. These apps include: Citrify, Pixlr, Phoenix, FotoFlexer, Splashup, and Mugtug Darkroom.

Check Email
More and more hosting providers are including web-based mail applications to their hosting packages. These applications allow you to check and manage your email from a secure website rather than having to be close to a machine on which you have an email application installed and set up. Services like Mail2Web allow you to access your POP3 or IMAP4 account, no matter who your email host may be.

Host Your Own Video Show
You don’t need to have your own television studio to start making live Internet television. Using nothing more than a browser and a webcam, you can broadcast live and create your own television show online for the world to see. Hosting is provided entirely in the cloud, allowing you to concentrate on content rather than software and setup. Services like Ustream.TV, Livestream, Justin.TV, and others give you the ability to create your own channel and customize its page to your own tastes.

Design and Manage a Web Site
A long time ago, you had to code your own website using programs like Notepad and Homesite, but now you can choose to use one of the many web-based editors to make your site shine. Sites like Squarespace and WordPress.com will not only allow you to customize your site’s look and feel using web tools, but they’ll handle hosting as well. All you need to get up and running is a browser.

Manage Remote Storage
Thanks to sites like Dropbox and web-based FTP clients such as Net2FTP, you can manage and share remotely stored files remotely without having to install anything. If you are at a friend’s house and discover that you really need that video file you were working on at home, you could log in and grab the file using your friend’s computer without worrying about installing programs or giving them undue access.