The end of July and the beginning of August have seen the release of a number of important apps and updates. If you’ve found it hard to keep to speed with what has been going on in the world of software, this roundup is here to help. SoftMaker FreeOffice 1.0.3340 is a free alternative to Microsoft’s office suite that is capable of producing Office compatible documents as well as PDFs. The news that Windows 8 has been released to manufacturers has rekindled interest in all things Metro, and Immersive Explorer 0.1.1 Alpha extends the look and feel of the Windows 8 Start menu into a fledgly replacement for Windows Explorer. If you’re more interested in storing your documents in the cloud, Google Drive 1.3.3209 has been updated, providing you with access to several gigabytes of free online storage and the ability to sync with your computer. While you’re online, you may well visit Facebook from time to time, and Facebook Messenger for Windows 2.1.4590.0 is a handy free tool that can be used to chat with contacts, monitor status updates and more all from a neat sidebar on your desktop.
Regardless of whether you have a Netgear router or not NETGEAR Genie 22.214.171.124 can be used to take care of it. NETGEAR Genie 2.0.25 (mobile version) is always available so you can use your Android or iOS mobile to perform tasks such as controlling your media and running speed tests. To make your life online easier, you need a decent web browser, and Opera 12.01 FINAL and Opera 12.01 FINAL 64-bit have both been released, with improved performance and better HTML5 support. If you’re more of a Google fans, Google Chrome 21 FINAL and Google Chrome 21 Portable provide you with everything you need including an all-new API for high-quality video and audio communication.
There must have been times when you have wanted to print out what you can see on your screen and have had to use and image capture tool to capture the desktop before printing it; Hardcopy 2012.08.01 enables you to simply print in one step. To help you get things done faster, Send To Toys 2.7 enables you to add new options to the Send To menu so you can work with files more easily, while Windows Games Tweaker 2.0 is on hand for when you need a little light relief, opening up new options in Windows’ built in games. Everyone likes to get the best from their computer, and this is something that iolo System Mechanic Free 11 can help you with. This advanced tweaking and maintenance tool can clean up and optimize your system and is also available in a number of paid for versions that boast extra features – iolo System Mechanic 11, iolo System Mechanic Pro 11 and iolo System Mechanic Premium 11. Anyone who has made the jump to Mountain Lion should take a look at Mountain Tweaks 1.0.2 which can be used to tweak the latest version of OS X.
Moving onto apps with a media slant, DVD Author Plus 2.32 can be used to burn all types of not only data CDs and DVDs, but also video discs. If you want to be able to access a vast library of online videos ready for streaming to your iPad, look no further than Amazon Instant Video 1.0 (US only) assuming you’re a paid-up Amazon member. We’ve already mentioned screen capturing, and this is something that Jing 2.7 has been designed for. Available for Mac and PC, the program not only captures your desktop but can also record video, enables you to share image on social networks and automatically upload via FTP, and much more. Whether you’re creating a web site and need to keep bandwidth in mind, or you need smaller images to attach to an email, PNGGauntlet 3.1.2 can be used to reduce the size of PNG images without compromising on quality.
That’s it for another week. Join us again in another seven days for the next roundup.