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Stardock ModernMix 1.05 adds new settings, squashes early bugs

25 April 2013, Nick Peers

ModernMixStardock Software has released ModernMix 1.05, the first major update to its paid-for Windows 8 tool for running full-screen apps in their own window within the confines of the Windows 8 desktop.

Version 1.05 adds background sound support for apps such as Netflix that don’t explicitly support it, meaning users don’t need to focus on the window in order to hear that app’s audio output. The new feature is joined by a preference that allows this support to be switched off if it’s not wanted.

Other changes include making it easier to configure individual app behaviour via ModernMix’s own configuration screen. Users can now double-click or right-click an app’s entry under App settings to configure its default behaviour, from whether it opens full-screen (a new setting in version 1.05), minimised or windowed to creating a convenient shortcut to the app on the desktop itself.

ModernMix 1.05

Run Modern UI apps in their own desktop window with the help of ModernMix.

Version 1.05 now initiates a “force create” action to ensure the desktop shortcut is created, even if the app has never previously been run. Sadly, on our test machine the desktop shortcuts failed to work, launching the ModernMix configuration screen rather than the app itself – however, apps worked flawlessly using the App shortcuts found on our favoured Start button replacement tool, Classic Shell.

In addition, the App settings page now lists all installed Modern apps, while ModernMix now alerts users when first running the program to the top-right corner overlay, which allows users to switch between full-screen and windowed mode.

Bug fixes for version 1.05 include one that ignored ModernMix’s “Return to the Windows 8 menu” setting when apps were dragged to close them. Another resolution ensures all apps – not those that have been run at least once – are named up correctly in the App settings screen too.

A fix has also been implemented for Netflix playback when the windows is inactive on a secondary display, while the main code has been tweaked to detect if the app launch has been made from the Windows 8 menu or elsewhere to ensure ModernMix correctly implements whatever user-defined options have been set.

ModernMix 1.05 is available now as a free 30-day trial download for PCs running Windows 8 (an email address is required for activating the trial). The full version can be purchased for $4.99.

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