It was plenty handy when it launched, and now that we're all carrying around phones and tablets that make for perfect reading canvases, it's downright indispensable. Instapaper (Free to signup, $5 app) is, for the uninitiated, an online service that lets you save nearly any webpage for later reading, thankfully stripping away nasty ads, formatting, and any other potential distractions, leaving you with nothing but beautiful words. And now, thanks to the latest iOS app update, you can also quickly browse through any links your friends are sharing on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr, transforming it from a simple reading tool to a constantly-updated source of awesome articles.

  • HelloFax

    Let's face it: fax machines are damned irritating. Like a local newscast that refuses to go HD, it's a relic of a time before the Internet was ubiquitous and used for everything from business correspondence to grocery shopping. HelloFax ($5 and up) aims to bridge this gap by offering online faxing services that let you send, receive, fill out, and even sign faxes straight from your web browser, giving you one less thing you have to print out.

  • Microsoft Windows 8

    Until now, touchscreen PCs were little more than gimmicks - finger-friendly add-ons to a very mouse-oriented OS. Microsoft Windows 8 ($TBA) looks to change all of that. By borrowing heavily from Windows Phone 7, Redmond has built a touch-optimized, tile-based main interface for Windows 8, melding the user friendliness of modern smartphones with powerful PC features like complete access to the file system, the ability to see more than one app at a time on screen, and desktop caliber apps — although we're still trying to figure out how you're supposed to use the Office toolbar without a mouse.

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