Arguably one of the most exciting weeks for applications and new extensions in recent memory, this week we cover some really amazing stuff. The much awaited VLC found its way to Windows 8, various browsers picked up security updates and much more.
This week we have tools to fix hyperbolic and bad languages from the internet, an add-on that lets you record on-screen browser activities, tools to help you move from Windows XP, and some cool information about Google Drive.
VLC for Windows 8 (Type: Free, OS; Windows 8 and higher, Size: 9.8 MB)
After a long wait, certification delays and bug fixes, VLC for Windows 8 finally happened. As with its desktop version, and the Android and iOS counterparts, the app is capable of handling a plethora of video and audio files. You can head over to its Windows Store page to snag the apps. Beware though, there are plenty of clones at the Store.
Automatic System Cleaner (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 500 KB)
While there are many handy Anti-Virus suites available that will make your computer virus-free, unfortunately, none of them actually repair the affected files or undo the changes they have made to your system. That’s where Automatic System Cleaner comes in. Even if your computer is not affected by any virus, but you think you have messed up many of the default settings, which includes installation of 3rd-party toolbars, using this application you can undo these changes. In my brief testing I found this app to be very useful, and the fact that it integrates with many security suites and system cleaning applications, such as CCleaner, just makes things even more enticing. However, if you don’t have any other applications installed on your computer, the application will need to download those tools first.
PCMover (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: TBE)
As we are getting closer to the end of support for Windows XP, popularly known as Death of XP, many people are wondering whether to make the big switch now or hold on to the soon-to-be-retired OS for as long as possible. Folks belonging to the former category can use PC Mover to save their files, applications and settings, although the program needs an internet connection to function, and the free version can’t move the applications. PC Mover can also be used to do the same task on other operating systems.
Start Menu Reviver 126.96.36.1996 (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 6MB)
Missing the Start Menu on Windows 8 and 8.1? You can install the Start Menu Reviver to get that functionality on your modern OS. Interestingly, the Start Menu that this app brings to your computer is tile based. And there are Windows Phone-like elements to it as well. All in all, the application looks great, and the graphics are good too.
Light Image Resizer (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 7MB)
At times, you will find it very important to reduce the file size of images. It could be just to save storage space or bandwidth, or an application form that has specific requirements regarding the file size and resolution of the image. In any case, this freeware utility, Light Image Resizer can come handy. It does what it advertises and all the options are very well presented.
Extensions and Add-ons
Docs, the document editing tool that comes with Google Drive, got an interesting update this week. The online service, which can be made to work offline as well, added support for extensions. Don’t get too excited though. You can’t install Chrome extensions on it just yet. Instead, Docs offers few dozens of add-ons. There are extensions like twitter Curator which will let you insert tweets in an efficient way, and many other add-ons which allow you to include Thesaurus and other writing improvement tools. While there aren’t many add-ons available at this moment, but since it rolls-out early this week, we’ve spotted many new additions on the Store. Although, for a Google Docs user there are many things this productivity suite from Google leaves to be desired.
Screencastify for Chrome lets you record your on-screen browser activities. As handy as it sounds, the app also provides support for audio files. It even offers a one-click YouTube sharing option.
The media business has become very competitive. In the hunt for readers, many websites have started using hyperbolic headlines. if you are fed-up with it, you can install Downworthy, an extension available on all popular browsers which makes the necessary amendments to such titles. Cool, right?
Much like hyperbolic headlines, if you want to censor indecent language from the web, WebCensor will make it happen. It works on all your favored social networking websites and is available on Opera too.
Ads can get annoying, but what if you could replace those bothering adverts with say, your facebook feed or twitter updates? That’s exactly what Post Forward does. There’re a few glitches though. First of all it doesn’t work on all websites, secondly, it treats every pop-up as an advertisement, so you might have to disable it manually every once in a while.
Update your browser
The Pwn2Own hacking contest took place earlier this week. Various web-browsers participate in this contest and invite hackers to find vulnerabilities in their browsers. Reportedly, all the major browsers including Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer have had their security compromised. However, Chrome has fixed those loopholes in its most recent build.
BitTorrent client and Kindle for PC too picked up minor updates this week.
Tip of the week: Bing adds an Image Match search feature
The second most popular search engine, Bing, which does have a few points over Google, added the much longed Image Match feature to it. Much like Chrome, you can now upload an image or provide Bing a URL and it will start searching for matching content.