It’s about time we started discussing our list of the best apps that popped up over the last week, or earlier and were too cool to be ignored.
This week, for all you Windows 8 and 8.1 users, we’ve got Firefox’s beta optimized for touch screen; an app that makes it incredibly easy to capture and edit on-screen activities; and some cool freeware from Nero.
Firefox 28 Beta (Type: Free, OS: Windows 8 or higher, Size; 30 MB)
Originally announced in 2012 and subsequently followed by a number of delays, a touch screen optimized version of Firefox is here. Although still in its beta version, the app sports many features that compliment Windows 8 and 8.1’s Modern UI. Some of these features include, pinch-to-zoom and navigation through pages using the swipe gesture.
Furthermore, the browser allows you to either view it in full-screen mode or just occupy a part of the screen, a feature that can come in handy on Windows running tablets. You can also tab through tiles to visit a website. In addition, you can also share a web-page to your favored social network.
dupeGuru (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 15 MB)
dupeGuru is an app that lets you remove duplicate files from your computer. Among its competition, this is one of the rare apps that manages to centralize all its features together in an appreciable and intuitive way. In addition to scanning for files based on similar file names, the app also uses checksum information and identifies redundant files even if they possess different attributes.
Share X (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 2 MB)
While Windows’ built-in Snipping Tool is reasonably good at capturing on-screen activities, but if you don’t like having to use annotating tools afterwards, maybe it’s time you switched to Share X. It’s a third-party application which lets you capture images, edit them – add effects, watermarks, text, and upload them directly on the web. In addition, it also lets you create animated GIFs of your on-screen activities. In fact, it packs in so many premium features that you will find it hard to believe that the app is free.
Free tools from Nero (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: Varies)
Nero has grown from being just a disc-burning software developer to covering a wide range of other fields including video editing, image viewing to even backing up hard-drives. This week we spotted some freeware available on its website, which must be downloaded!
Nero Wave Editor is among, if not the best audio editing tool out-there.
Nero Disc Speed will help you check how your driver and disc are doing.
Nero Cover Designer will help you create covers that you could label up on your disc.
Nero BackIt Up is a new app that Nero has released recently. The app, for now, is available for free, but will definitely have a price tag come March 31, 2014.
Process Lasso (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 1 MB)
I’m on a look out for the most powerful task manager for Windows. While I don’t really dislike the built-in Task Manager and Resource Monitor, both the tools leave so much to be desired. Process Lasso tries to bridge that gap to a very good extent. This app really gets deep inside the skin of Windows to bring out even the minutest of details. To begin with, it has an ‘Active processes’ tab which can tell you the exact number of processes from all running, which are actually active. Besides, it lets you configure the default priorities and affinities of CPU and I/O. You can also force a process to stay awake and limit the number of the instances it could try.
Easy Context Menu (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 1 MB)
The shortcut menus that Windows provide by default are limited. As you start installing more and more apps, they start compiling a list of even more menus. Either way, we still don’t get an option to add the context menu that we wanted. For instance, I could really use a shortcut that restarts the Windows Explorer, and while I am sure there is a hack of it available online, it just requires too much effort from my part. If you face similar issues, you can take out Easy Context Menu for a spin.
In complete fairness, this app too won’t have all the features that I want to see, but it lists many that just might have what you are looking for. And enhancing the folders isn’t the only place where it has you covered, since it has add-ins for Desktop, My Computer, Drives, and Sub Menu too. You don’t need to install the application either, just download the file and run it.
AOEMI Backupper (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 60 MB)
The name is weird, I will give you that, but the app doesn’t disappoint when it comes to packing in cool features. Besides letting you back up data, it also allows you to make true clones of hard-drives and restore them to their original state. Moreover, you also get the option to recover lost data.
Message Beam (Chrome)
For people who use Chrome on their system, and Android device and want to make a conjunction between the two to exchange files, Message Beam, which although is still in its nascent stage is a nice solution. Once you have installed the app on both ends, it is quite easy to set things up. You can download its Android app from here.
Google had this amazing tool called iGoogle which would let you customize your homepage, but sadly they killed the app last November. Now we have got another extension named iChrome which does just about the same thing. You can have your Calendar, Gmail, Notes and other services that you can use to spice up your personalized homepage.
Cloud Save (Chrome)
If you have a file that you would rather have downloaded to your Dropbox or SkyDrive or Google Drive account instead of your computer or tablet, Cloud Save will save you from all the hassle. This extension supports many more cloud storage services like Box.net, Sugar Sync, and even photo sharing services such as Flickr and Picasa.
K-Lite Mega Codec Pack 10.30 & VLC 2.1.3
Popular media player, also categorized as the best VLC-alternative, K-Lite Mega Codec Pack received an update. The new update brings along updates for its core elements including MPC-HC, LAV filters, ffdshow, MediInfo Lite and Codec Tweak Tool. VLC media player users can rejoice as well, as it too has bumped its version number up to 2.1.3 and added some new features and made some improvements.
Internet Download Manager 6.19
Reaching a definite version, the IDM has added Firefox 29 and SeaMonker 2.24 to its compatible browsers list. Also, a fix for better video recognition while using Chrome has been provided.
AVG Free Edition 2014.0.4335
Popular security suite, AVG received a minor update this past week. For those of you who are users of this app can get the update from the app itself, or you can also head over to the website and download the update file and align it manually. The new update includes bug fixes on its Email Scanner and Watchdog.
Additionally, Dropbox too received a minor update this past week.
Tip of the week: Resize the Taskbar preview
The Taskbar preview is a really fantastic feature to have. But when you move across bigger monitors and screens, the size of the taskbar preview doesn’t change. Turns out there is a way to fix it, after all. But it ain’t easy. Open Registry Editor (Type regedit in Start menu /Run), and follow this string, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband. Once you reach there, create a new DWORD value called, “MinThumbSizePx”, and assign its value to 300. Restart the system and see if that is good enough for you. You can then make edits accordingly.