Microsoft’s ‘Project Siena’ Lets You Create Your Own Windows 8 Apps Without Coding

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"Everybody should learn to code," they say. Well, as a student of Software Engineering, I'm here to tell you everybody can't become a coder. It takes a good amount of theoretical knowledge, relentless practice, and a lot of patience to be able to create something even as simple as an average quality, one-trick pony of a mobile app. There's no way around it. Unless, of course, you are Microsoft! Yes, Redmond has come up with an app called Project Siena that allows you - at least on paper - to create other apps without writing a single line of code. Read More

herdProtect Scans Running Processes & Startup Items With 68 Cloud Antivirus Engines

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The discussion on whether one should use multiple antivirus or anti-malware programs to protect their computer has been part of many debates. Most security experts believe that you don’t need to install many security programs to keep malicious threats at bay, and that doing so would instead create various conflicts between them, making them less effective. Recently though, cloud-based virus scanners like Virus Total and Metascan have surfaced as better alternatives to using more than one anti-malware app. These services allow you to scan suspicious files through a series of tests using a host of antivirus engines by uploading the files to a cloud server. If, instead of scanning your individual files one by one, you want to scan your PC this way, herdProtect is what you’re looking for. This Windows app checks your PC with 68 anti-malware engines and warns you if any threats are found. Read More

Polkast Is A Personal Cloud For Remotely Accessing Desktop Files From iOS, Android & Kindle

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So you don’t like keeping your private files on a cloud storage? Neither do we – especially after all the hullabaloo the National Security Agency’s PRISM project has managed to cause. Though that doesn't mean you have to completely sacrifice the ability to remotely access your important information. Cloud services aren't the not the only definitive answer to remotely accessing files stored on your PC on your mobile devices. After using Polkast for a few hours, I immediately knew there was something good about it. Poklast basically acts as your personal cloud to let you access files stored on your Windows PC, Mac, Linux or NAS Storage device (such as ZyXel or Synology) from iOS, Android and Kindle Fire over Wi-Fi or the internet. Read More

Draw Or Annotate Anywhere On Your Windows Screen With DeskMarker

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Being a blogger by profession who loves writing about technology as part of his job, there are certain applications I always keep in my toolkit. Screenshot programs and image editors top the list for me, but there are also some additional, less frequently used apps that help me out in certain situations. For instance, sometimes I come across the need to emphasize something on my desktop by simply drawing over the area using image annotators. Though if you just want to temporarily draw on the desktop in real-time, then an application like DeskMarker can work wonders. This highly simple, free for personal use application lets you draw and erase anything over your desktop with a simple pen tool by using your mouse and keyboard. Read More

Launch Any Application From Windows Run Dialog With Add2Run

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If I had to choose my favorite feature of Windows, I’d name it the Run command dialog. This tiny component of Microsoft's operating system lets you painlessly launch files and programs without much effort. Furthermore, it’s fairly easy to access too – a quick hotkey combination of Win + R on your keyboard does the job; could it get any better? Dare I say, yes – it definitely could! Especially after using Add2Run – a tiny portable utility that makes the Run command all the more intuitive, interactive and functional. This barebones application lets you swiftly open frequently accessed items on your computer by assigning them aliases, which means instead of having to type the full command to access a utility, tool, file or application, you can simply type its alias and it will be executed or opened instantly. Read More

How To Bring Back Windows Experience Index To Windows 8.1

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After more than an year in the market, Windows 8 is yet to overcome its subdued defeat, as the Metro UI operating system is far from earning the same praise its predecessor once received from users and critics alike. And while Windows 8.1 did reinstate a few missing pieces such as Start button and boot to desktop, Microsoft also quietly removed a few handy features that were already available in Windows 8, one of them being the Windows Experience Index or WEI. For the uninitiated, it’s a built-in Windows feature that assigns a score to your Windows PC based on your software and hardware configuration, giving you a rough idea about how well your system will perform at certain tasks. If you've upgraded to Windows 8.1 but miss the WEI feature from the previous version, then we've got a handy third-party alternative for you by the name of ChrisPC Win Experience Index. Read More

Get An On-Screen Virtual Trackpad In Windows 8 & 8.1 With TouchMousePointer

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Windows 8 has been designed with touch navigation in mind from the ground up. Those who have already hopped onto the bandwagon would be aware that the operating system’s new Start Screen and Metro interface feels easy to navigate on a touchscreen device or PC. However, things get a bit clunky when you switch to the desktop mode, where touch navigation feels less-user friendly, and quite non-intuitive. Although you can attach a mouse to control Windows even on touchscreen tablets or notebooks, there are instances when using a mouse is not an effective option, such as while on the couch, in your car etc. TouchMousePointer is a third-party application that adds an on-screen virtual touchpad to the Windows desktop, that's similar to a hardware touchpad found on laptops, complete with left and right click buttons. You can easily specify the pad’s position on the desktop, and tweak its settings. Read More

Access & Stream Computer Files & Media On Android With AirStream

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These days, one can easily access files stored on their computer on the go straight from a mobile device, thanks to high-speed internet connections and a bunch of apps and services out there that make it possible. Just a few weeks ago, I covered OnAir Player that lets you access and play media files stored on your PC from your iOS or Android device. However, if you want more flexibility and control, along with full access to all your files rather than just music, photos and videos, you should check out AirStream. It is the duo of an Android app and a desktop server app that gives you full remote access to your Windows, Mac or Linux computer from your phone or tablet, either via your local Wi-Fi network, or over the internet. Read More

ReIcon Is A Portable Tool To Save & Restore Windows Desktop Icon Layouts

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If you frequently fiddle with your screen’s resolution, you must be aware of the way it messes up your icon layout afterwards when you switch back to your preferred settings. Previously, we've covered Windows tools like DesktopSaver, DesktopOK and IconRestorer that allow you to save icons position and quickly restore the layout or previous state after switching back from a different resolution. ReIcon is another one such tool designed to overcome the same nuisance. Using this portable app, you can quickly save multiple icon layouts of your desktop and reinstate them on the fly. More details and screenshots after the jump. Read More

Create & Share Short 60-Second Videos On Windows With Movie Moments

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The ability to quickly edit casually recorded videos in a way that requires the least amount of skills can be a lot of fun, but things have gotten even more interesting lately with the popularity of Vine and Instagram that let users record short video loops and share them on social networks. Windows RT and Windows 8/8.1 are built by Microsoft with portability in mind, and both these operating systems can record videos on camera-enabled tablets and computers. On the flip side, Microsoft’s OS is yet to officially receive Vine or Instagram clients. Though, the Redmond company has provided its own take on creating and sharing short videos for Windows 8.1 and later. Movie Moments is a Windows Store app by Microsoft that lets you easily record, edit and share videos of up to 60 seconds in length, in the most simple fashion. Read More

Allow, Block Or Remove Apps From Windows Firewall Using Context Menu

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I still remember those Windows 98 days when a pesky virus popped into my computer from the internet, and wouldn't go even after trying all the antivirus solutions I had at my disposal. Luckily, Microsoft has been shipping its desktop OS with Windows Firewall, providing an sufficient protection against internet threats, hacks and security breaches. At its core, Windows Firewall lets you change the way your computer communicates with the outside world, automatically blocking suspicious incoming communication unless you open the port for it in the firewall's settings, using rules. However, those who often tinker with these rules would be aware of how tricky, tedious and confusing it can be to block or unblock the pertaining ports. If you want to overcome this, try Tweaking.com’s Allow, Block Or Remove - Windows Firewall tool that makes configuring those rules tenfold easier. Read More

AnVir Task Manager Offers VirusTotal Scan For Processes, Malware Quarantine & More

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Previously we’ve covered a plethora of third party Windows Task Manager alternative, with Process Explorer and YAMP being the most effective solutions from the lot. These tools provide advanced users, system administrators and those working in IT support much more information and many more options about the running processes and services compared to the default Task Manager, helping them find and kill rogue processes more efficiently. If you’re looking for another such app, then try AnVir Task Manager. It’s a feature-rich desktop program that boasts a ton of options not found in the default Task Manager utility, such as the ability to instantly upload and scan processes, services and startup items via Virus Total, more control over startup programs and registry items, user access management, as well as the ability to quarantine malicious scripts, trojans, viruses and other malware. Read More

Hands-On With Microsoft’s Bing Maps Preview For Windows 8.1

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Till just a few years ago, Google Maps was the primary mapping service of choice for pretty much every internet user, because it was the only option available that offered enough features at an unbeatable price tag of free. It all started to change when both Apple and Microsoft decided to enter the arena with their own mapping products. Though it takes a whole lot of time and effort to map the entire planet in an effective manner, so Google’s offering still remained on top, but if what we have just seen in the Bing Maps Preview for Windows 8.1 is to be taken as a sign of things to come, all that may soon change. It seems Microsoft has been working really hard on improving Bing Maps, and while they still have a long way to go to map all the major cities in the world in 3D, what they have accomplished so far is remarkable. Join us as we take a closer look at a preview of the future of Bing Maps. Read More

AutoSizer Automatically Resizes & Repositions Application Windows On Launch

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Microsoft Windows already offers all basic window management features you'd expect from a desktop GUI OS. You can easily resize, maximize and reposition your desired applications however you please. But often enough, windows of your programs do not open the way you want them to. This is because Windows temporarily stores information about window positions and sizes somewhere within the OS, but these settings are eventually lost, forcing the user to reset the whole thing from scratch. Also, some poorly written applications always insist on starting in a certain size and position, regardless of your last setting. Thanks to AutoSizer, you can now resize and reposition any window on your desktop, and those parameters will be retained the next time you launch the program. It’s a very lightweight and user-friendly application that carries a bunch of handy window management options. Read More

Volafile.io Is An Anonymous File Sharing Service Built Around Chat Rooms

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The Internet has made it possible to be able to share anything we want with anyone we want, thanks to the plenty of file sharing services around. But the problem with many such tools is that they don't let you share files anonymously. Services like Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Drive are deemed among the top cloud storage and sharing solutions, but they require you to create accounts with them first. So, if privacy is your utmost concern and you want to be able to anonymously share files without having to create a user account, try Volafile.io. It’s a very user-friendly service that lets you send files to others in real-time using what Volafile refers to as ‘Rooms’, which are basically chat rooms that allow groups of users to collaboratively upload and download files. Read More

Genymotion Is A Fast, VirtualBox-Based Android Emulator For Windows, Mac & Linux

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If you are into development for a particular OS, or just want to test it out without a dedicated device, running it in an emulator on your development or everyday use computer can be very useful. When it comes to emulating Android on a PC, there a bunch of options available, including the official Android emulator that comes with the Android SDK for developers, as well as the popular Bluestacks App Player that is more focused on letting end users run Android apps on their PC. Though the SDK's emulator is known for being very slow, while Bluestacks is feature-limited for development scenarios. If you are looking for a much faster full-featured emulation of Android on your computer, your search just might be over with Genymotion. Pronouned Genie+Motion, this new player in the game works by creating a virtual machine through VirtualBox to deliver a marvelous real-time emulation of Android on your Windows, Mac or Linux PC, complete with ADB access and support for various hardware sensors. It works so well, you'll wish you had a touch screen for a monitor. Wanna explore it further? Let's get started. Read More

Remotely Stream Music Between PC, Mac, Mobile & TV With OnAir Player

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Not many years ago, listening to music was an expensive hobby. You’d have to buy an expensive CD or DVD player, and then keep your music collection on tape cassettes or optical discs at hand in order to play your favorite tunes. Then came the iPod era, and changed the scenario forever. Apple's popular portable music player and other similar devices allowed you to store a lot of songs and carry them around on the internal storage of the device for listening on the go. And now with the cloud and high-speed mobile internet access, anyone can stream music for free directly from the cloud using services like Spotify, Pandora, Google Music and many, many more. However, if you don’t like to rely on the cloud, yet want to stream your entire music library between mobile and PC, then OnAir Player is your best shot. It’s a music player that gives you remote streaming access to all the music files on your PC, Mac, tablet and phone. Read More

F-Secure KEY Is A Secure Password Manager For Windows, Mac, Android & iOS

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Password managers provide a secure solution for keeping your user account info accessible to you, yet out of plain sight and safe from unauthorized access by others. There are a ton of such applications out there that are capable of making password management a breeze, with LastPass, Dashlane, KeePass and 1Password being among the popular choices. Antivirus and online security software maker F-Secure has now also launched its own password manager dubbed F-Secure KEY for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. Working in a similar fashion as the other aforementioned tools, KEY lets you generate secure passwords and secure your existing user accounts by keying them all to one master password. Passwords can also be synced between devices, and are automatically filled out in login fields to make logging into websites a breeze. Read More

Set A Custom Boot Logo For Windows 8 Or 8.1 With 8oot Logo Changer

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When you boot your Windows computer, the first thing you see after the POST (the initial power-on self test) is the Boot Screen carrying a Windows logo at the center. This is a process during which Windows is loading the required system files to get the OS up and running. Swapping this boot logo with a custom image of your choice isn't a new concept, and there have been tons of tools available for the purpose for pretty much every version of Windows so far. However, most of these existing tools don’t yet support Windows 8 and 8.1. Fortunately, there’s now a new tool called 8oot Logo Changer that can replace the default boot logo of both these versions of Windows quickly and easily. Read More