DDownloads is a simple tool which makes it easier to locate and download a host of essential free applications for your PC.
Suppose you've just bought a new PC, for instance. Instead of going online to download the various essentials you'll need, just click "Get Apps" here, choose the Windows Starter Kit category, and DDownloads will provide links for Adobe Reader, Flash Player, Java, the .NET Framework 4.5, Windows Essentials Codec Pack, and more. And just clicking one of these, then selecting "Direct Download" is all it takes to fetch a copy (although you can click "Direct Download from Page" as an alternative: this opens the download page in your browser, handy if you need more options or control).
Your PC is set up already? You'll still need to find software in particular categories, though, just occasionally, and again DDownloads can help. Clicking "Malware Removal", for instance, provides links to directly download Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, Spybot S&D, Threatfire, Spyware Terminator and many more. And there are plenty of other categories here: "Backup apps", "Browsers", "Email Clients", "Video Tools", 29 in total with (as we write) 241 applications covered.
While this can be very useful, DDownloads is quite limited in scope. It's not an applications manager, for instance - it can't look at your installed software and tell you whether any of your programs have free updates available. You still have to decide for yourself that you want to download something before DDownloads is able to help.
And the Category system isn't particularly well organized, with plenty of overlaps, and many programs not always appearing where you'd expect. "PC Maintenance" seemed like the obvious category for CCleaner, for instance, but it wasn't there, or in "Files and Drives". Only when we noticed the "Drive Cleaners" and "Piriform" categories did we find the link.
DDownloads also stores popular graphics programs in an "Image Tools" category, which maybe is a more ambiguous name (it could relate to disk images). OpenOffice and LibreOffice are in the "Documents" category, but not "Productivity", and the list goes on. If you're looking for something in particular then a Search tool helps, but a better choice of category names and placing would still be welcome.
There are problems here, then. But DDownloads does provide an easy way to find and download some excellent free applications, and if (for instance) you need to equip a new PC in a hurry then it could save you a great deal of time and hassle.
DDownloads 2.0 brings these improvements:
- Completely Redesigned UI (it no longer relies on complete Metro UI touch)
- Applications are stored in an Access Database (no longer .DEF Files)
- New Database Architecture brings new Columns like Descriptions of App, Developer, Size, Version etc.
- Completely rewritten Source Code
- Multilingual support
- New simple Download Manager
- New App Manager
- New Revision control
- New unattended App Installation functions