It’s raining apps across all the platforms! Earlier in the week, Microsoft launched the company’s iconic productivity suite Office on its arch rival Apple’s iPad. Meanwhile, several great apps arrived on Windows platform as well.

This week we’ll see how to update a computer which don’t have an internet connection. An application that will keep your system’s drivers up to date; an extension to auto-refresh Twitter on desktop, and check out how to make Chrome even faster.

Software

Bing Desktop (Type: Free; OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 9MB)

Bing desktop

If you use Google Desktop, the application that lets you search the web and desktop files from within the toolbar-Esque software, Bing Desktop will not feel anything new to you. But what is the use of this application then, if you may ask? Its integration with all the other desktop application comes in very handy. So for instance, you are working on a Word file, or some other editor, you won’t have to leave the page if you wanted to access some information from the web. Also, using it, you can have new beautiful Bing images as your wallpaper every day.

HostMan 4.3.100  (Type: Free; OS: Windows – all versions, Size: )

HostMan

Windows contains a gamut of host files. These files are used by the operating system to map IP addresses to hostnames. Tinkering these host files will let you block access to some websites, redirect them to elsewhere and many other things. Usually, what most people do is edit those host executable files using any text editor and make the required changes. That as you can guess, is a jabbering task. Instead, you can use this small nifty application, and perform even more operations without much hassle.

App Social (Type: Free; OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 4.3MB)

App Social

App Social is a great application available for Windows 8 and higher and Windows Phone that lets you discover more cool apps. These app recommendations are made on the basis on other users’ ratings. More often than not, you will find some unknown yet useful applications, something you might not have come across otherwise. Take it to a spin, and let us know how you like it.

Driver Fusion (Type: Free; OS: Windows – all versions, Size:5MB)

Windows requires drivers to work efficiently with a new hardware. (Although, slowly the operating systems are becoming smarter, for example, Windows 8.1 automatically recognizes several hardware peripherals that include graphics cards and WiFi card. Similarly, various Linux-based distro such as Livemint and Ubuntu don’t necessarily require drivers). However, if you are running Windows 7 or any other older version of Windows, things aren’t as smooth. Driver Fusion is a nice application that not only notifies you and help you find the right drivers, but also helps keep all the modules up to date.

WSUS Offline Update 9.0(Type: Free; OS: Windows – all versions, Size: )

WSUS Offline Update is an extremely useful application that lets you download the updates that you want to install on your computer. Once done, you’ll be able to transfer the update files on any other media including USB flash drives, and then can have it installed on your system anytime you want. You won’t need a working internet connection to avail this process.

Browser extensions

Data Compression Proxy (Chrome)

Make Chrome Fast

Chrome for Android and iOS use a technique that ensures the web-page to load faster. It uses specific DNS settings for the fast commutation of data. Turns out, if you can tinker your Chrome’s desktop client with the same settings, the pages can be made to render fast on desktop as well. But how do we find those settings? We don’t. Just install this extension, and it will take care of everything for you.

Link Revealer (Chrome)

On several instances you’ll find yourself clicking on suspicious links, just hoping that it won’t land you to any vicious page. Actually, there isn’t much choice to speak of. You see a link, and to find out where it takes you, you really have to click on it! Well, if you have Link Revealer extension installed on your Chrome browser, you can in fact just hover your mouse over the link and the original destination URL will pop-up. Share this info with others!

Edit the Cookie (Firefox)

This Chrome add-on will let you monitor the cookies the browser is dealing with. Furthermore, you can block cookies from specific websites and similarly allow few sites to save cookies on your computer and disallow the rest.

Only Minor Update (Firefox)

As funny as the name sounds, the extension actually does a great job. Mozilla follows an aggressive update cycle. Every once in a while, it will introduce new features to the web-browser Firefox. This extension makes sure that your browser only installs the required bug fixes, performance enhancement and security updates. This will help your browser stay secure without having to install the new features.

Auto-Refresh Twitter (Firefox)

If you prefer to use Twitter on your desktop browser, which is still a fine way to access the service, you will certainly find one thing annoying. Although Twitter lets you know how many new tweets have arrived, it doesn’t pushes it to your feed automatically. If you want the auto-refreshing feature, this extension is what you need.

Tip of the week: Disable extensions to make your browser faster

Extensions are really useful.It brings so many great features to the browser. However, if your browser have been lagging a bit lately, and you’ve already tried cleaning the cache and cookies, there is one more thing you can do. Try uninstalling the add-ons that you don’t use anymore. It will technically reduce the memory usage by the browser, and that should do the trick.


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Author

Manish is pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Engineering but spends more time in writing about technology. He has written for a number of Indian and international publications including BetaNews, BGR India, WinBeta, MakeTechEasier, MediaNama, and Digit magazine among others. When not writing, you would find him ranting about the state of digital journalism on Twitter.