There are few, if any, horizontal platforms that offer users the capability to e-mail, create, and edit documents and pictures, and collaborate across all three major desktop computing platforms as well as almost every major smartphone platform. Glide 3.0 has just updated, introducing changes aimed at parental control and creating a child-friendly environment.

Glide's circular interface with pie-chart divisions makes navigating a more interesting task. (Credit: Glide)

The new e-mail filter lets parents intercept all messages sent to a child's in-box. Parents can then approve or deny the e-mails so children can only see preapproved messages, filtering out pornographic spam, phishing attempts, and other junk. Parents need to create a secondary e-mail account in Glide that they can control access rights too, similar to how Glide allows rights controls for attachments if you're familiar with that system.

From there, parents will be able to access the child's e-mail from a drop-down menu on the upper right corner of the e-mail interface. When the parent enters the child's account, they can approve each e-mail individually or as a group by clicking on the e-mail and clicking Approve or Delete. Since all e-mails sent to the child default as unapproved until given a green light, parents don't have to worry about children seeing unauthorized e-mails.

Both children and adult can take advantage of the new drawing and coloring tool. It works a bit like MS Paint, except with Glide's collaborative tools built in, and a much more interesting interface. Colors appear as crayons in a box, and users can choose from preselected backgrounds, a blank canvas, or images in their own libraries to drawn on. Standard drawing tools are included, such as a freehand pen, line tools, typographic text, and shapes. Glide Draw also offers zooming and undo/redo. The tools can be accessed from the Draw text link at the bottom of Glide's main interface.

Existing features in Glide have also gotten a power boost. E-mail import and export capabilities have been overhauled. An Import button will copy the body text of an e-mail into a Glide Write document, while the new Export button creates a PDF, DOC, DOCX, or RTF out of the body text. Attachments can also be one-clicked to a destination folder, and Glide Writer and the Glide e-mail interfaces have seen a design redo.

Interestingly, the Glide Application suite has been integrated into Glide e-mail, so that the word processor, presentations application, photo editor, and collaborative tools are available to all e-mail recipients. Even if you're not a Glide user, the tools will be available to you. This includes automatic group discussions and online meetings. Utilizing Glide Desktop Applications (download for Windows, Mac, Linux, or Solaris) participants can synchronize the files that they're discussing.

Webkit-based browsers Safari and Chrome also earned full support in the Glide OS improvements.

Its stunning cross-platform usability and its equally impressive granular rights-granting for file-sharing and attachments aside, performance improvements appear to not have been part of the most recent Glide OS update. It's not the fastest loading Web application, but users looking for something that will function anywhere on almost any desktop or handheld should check it out.