We’re back with our weekly supplement of Windows apps, extensions and software updates. Alongside the regular updates, we also managed to spot some very cool giveaways from Microsoft, make sure to check the tip of the week section.
This week we’ll check an app that invites anyone to build Windows 8.1 apps; a powerful text editor; a program that guards your computer from the adware toolbars, and more.
Microsoft Project Siena (Type: Free, OS: Windows 8+, Size: 4 MB)
Project Siena is an app for Windows 8+ that lets you build apps for the same platform. Unlike most other app development kits, Project Siena is for complete beginners, that is, no programming expertise from your part is needed.
There are many visual objects placed in front of you, drag and drop the ones you like to give your app a nice body layout. Once you have built the app, you get the option to publish it on the App Store.
Poet (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 1.5 MB)
Poet is a plain text editor which houses a lot of powerful features. Much like browsers, it too has tabbed interface which will let you open and work on multiple text files at once. It makes basic operations like Find and Replace much easier. It also comes with an inbuilt spell-checker.
In addition, it also offers document comparison and supports code folding for many languages (XML, SQL, HTML, CSS Java, C#, etc.). Another intuitive feature which gained our attention was its support for plug-ins.
Unchecky (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 400 KB)
We all are aware that many apps we download bring adware toolbars with them. While we do know that we should uncheck such options while installing any app, many a times, when our guards are down, some bogus software makes their way to our computer.
Unchecky is a very tiny tool designed to tackle such situations. It is extremely light on resource usage, and runs silently in the background. It makes sure to unwelcome any useless and harmful tools. In our test, Unchecky worked as advertised, but it is also important to know that it doesn’t scan for any harmful toolbars that are already on your computer.
VSDC Free Screen Recorder (Type: free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 14 MB)
Whether you want to record a streaming video, or capture the ongoing screen activity, VSDC Free Screen Recorder will give you enough options to do it just right.
If you ever want to make a How-To tutorial, this tool is your best bet, as it even lets you draw on the screen and mark annotations. By default you will be capturing the entire screen, but you can tweak it to specify the portion of the screen you would like to capture.
JetBoost 2 (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 4 MB)
May be your computer falls in the “high-spec” category, may be it doesn’t. Regardless of that, there will come a time when you would wish your computer ran a bit faster. And when it does, you will wish you had something like JetBoost on your system. It has just one job, to make your computer run faster. It uses a lot of techniques behind the curtains and produces a stunning performance on the stage.
If you want to know what’s going on, you can click on the customize button, for everyone else, just click on the big Boost button, and your end of the work is done.
PureText (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 14 KB)
Don’t you hate it when you copy some text from a web-page and when you paste it on a word processor, the textual data seem to regain its original formatting? PureText is here to remove all the ornaments from such text – font face, font color, paragraph style and everything but the text. It is extremely light, once installed it runs in the background and makes sure that all the texts you are importing from the web are in their non-formatted state.
Viber (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 14 MB)
Popular messenger Viber ported a touch friendly version of their app for Windows 8+ this week. The app utilizes the tile and metro user interface that Windows 8 offers. In fact, it makes a very good use of Search charm and Snap View as well. You can read more about it here.
Cookies are incredibly useful, in fact, if it wasn’t for them, the web navigation as we know it today wouldn’t exist. They keep track of our log-in credentials for as long as we don’t end the session. But, we have now learnt that trackers and many vicious minds are after our cookies. Self-Destructing-Cookies is a Mozilla add-on that clears all the tracks as soon as you close the tab.
NoAds Advanced (Opera)
NoAds Advanced is an alternative to popular advert blocking tool Adblock on Opera web-browser. Much like Adblock, this add-on too lets you block adverts, scripts and other different annoyances the web cater to us.
It also maintains one EasyList which lets you decide the kind of things you want to block on websites.
From a glimpse of it, this add-on looks a bit unprofessional as you would find ample of spelling mistakes everywhere. But, when it comes to usability, this add-on stands tall across all its competitors. It lets you clean report files which are otherwise hogging space and resources on the browser. It also lets you get rid of not-in-use add-ons, plugins and search engines.
Popular note taking app Evernote got a minor update this week. Users will now be required to enter their password to sign-in even if they are offline. The new apps sees many bug fixes as well.
Keeping up with its aggressive update cycle, the latest addition is compatibility with Google Chrome 32. Recently added Cookies screen lets you clean individual cookies. Live monitoring notifications too have got some improvements.
Tip of the week: Know why your favorite programming language sucks
No programming language is perfect. All of them have got some shortcomings. Don’t get disheartened, though. Knowing such flaws can help you secure your job and understand the language better. There is an entire wiki page dedicated to why Your Language Sucks.
Microsoft is giving out free 20 GB SkyDrive storage space to all its Windows Phone users. If you’re one, make sure to check your email and register for it before 31st January.
Skype is also giving away free group video calls, and screen sharing features to everyone. You can claim it here.