How To Decrease Launch Delay For Windows 8 Desktop Apps At Startup

Although Windows 8 is designed to run Modern UI apps, the majority of us still spend most of our time using the desktop mode. One thing that you might have noticed is the few seconds of delay before Windows launches any desktop applications that are set to run at Windows startup. This includes desktop-related system utilities, items in the Startup folder, and apps that add a registry key for launching at startup. Microsoft hasn’t stated any clear reason behind this delay, but it looks like this mechanism was implemented to let the Modern UI part load first before letting Windows start desktop-exclusive services or apps.  Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a way to minimize this delay, there is a simple registry hack for that. Read More

8StartButton Is A Unique Modern UI Start Menu App For Windows 8

During the last year, we have seen a large number of free and paid Start Screen modification and replacement tools for Windows 8. Some provide you with a Windows 7-like Start Menu and disable the Start Screen, while others change the way the Start Screen looks. Back in October, Waqas compiled a list of the best Windows 8 Start Screen modifiers and Start Menu applications to get back the old Windows 7 feel. However, several new applications from the same genre have appeared since and if a new tool offers something different, we try to review it for our readers. 8StartButton is one such Start Screen replacement utility that caught our attention. It allows you to replace the Start Screen with a highly customizable Start Menu providing you full control over the system. You can access all the installed programs as well as system options, and pin your favorite programs as tiles inside the Start Menu. You can choose to open Start Menu or the Start Screen as the default function for the button, disable the Start Screen hot corner, and choose to boot Windows directly to the desktop. Read More

Create Simple Photo Collages With Ease On Windows 8 With Cool Collage

Photo Collages are nice. No wait, they are great in fact. You can stick all your favorites images over one large background, and show them to your friends & family whenever you’re in the mood to recall those amazing moments you once captured. Collage making apps are widely available on several platforms including Windows, and we’ve covered plenty of them already including PictureCollageMaker, Shape Collage and Collageit, just to name a few. Today, we are bringing you a Modern UI photo collage maker for Windows 8 and Windows RT. Meet Cool Collage - a simple and easy to use app that lets you create gorgeous photo collages from your Windows 8/RT device in just a few clicks. Grab your coffee and read on. Read More

How To Browse & Launch Windows 8 Store Apps From Desktop

Since the release of Windows 8, we've been seeing a lot of apps and hacks that allow you to access the functionality of the Modern UI or Start Screen from the desktop, or vice versa. For instance back in November, we covered a tip on adding an 'All Apps' shortcut to windows 8 desktop and taskbar. Even though Microsoft has aimed to transform the way people use Windows, there are a lot of people unwilling to embrace the change and simply want to use the OS conventionally. Some of the best examples are the sheer number of Start Menu tools that allow you to disable the Start Screen and bring back the Start Menu in Windows 8. While the desktop is still the default workspace for most people, one cannot deny the usefulness of Modern UI, specially Windows Store apps. However, if you have disabled the Start Screen, accessing these apps can be a bit difficult. Today, we will guide you through the process of enabling access to all your Modern UI apps right from the Windows desktop environment. Read More

Popular Search Engine DuckDuckGo Releases App For Windows 8 And RT

DuckDuckGo is a popular search engine that promotes privacy as its key feature and aims to burst the ‘filter bubble’, which the company believes limits search queries by profiling people on the internet. Profiling means that search results are displayed according to a person’s taste, habits, occupation, country etc. and the information regarding these is extracted from a user’s previous queries and a web browser’s cookies database. While most of us tend to Google our way through nearly all our web searches, many might not know that the world's leading search engine uses tracking algorithms to instantly filter the results and display suggestions custom-tailored for you. DuckDuckGo believes otherwise and presents the exact same results to everyone searching for the same query. The company has now released a Modern-UI app for Windows 8 and RT platforms. Sporting a very minimalistic and elegant design, DuckDuckGo allows users to search the internet using DuckDuckGo search engine, check on daily Water Cooler stories, and much more! Read More

PhotoWhirl: Exquisite Location Based Photo Discovery App For Windows 8

If you’re given a million bucks to do anything you want with them, what would you do? How about a trip to all seven continents? That’s what I’d do if I had that kind of money lying around in my account. Okay, enough of day dreaming but to me, photo discovery apps are probably the next closest thing to traveling around the globe for free. Not only can I discover amazing new places, people and unseen landscapes, but I also don’t have to spend a dime to enjoy my virtual world tour. PhotoWhirl for Windows 8 is a wonderful app that uses geotagging information from popular image sharing sources like 500px, Flickr, Panoramio, Google Places and Instagram, and lets you explore new photos from not only around your vicinity, but also around any location in the world. You can use the integrated Bing maps API to browse thousands of photos shared by various photo junkies. Read More

Echo Comics Is A Windows 8 Comic Reader With SkyDrive Support

Even though comics are mostly a bunch of JPG images combined together in an archive, a dedicated comic app provides a better comic reading experience than a just a normal image viewer. CBZ and CBR are the two of the most famous formats for comics and there are numerous comic reading apps available that support these formats, providing you with special options such as bookmarking the place where you left reading the comic, offering multiple-page views, managing your comics library, and creating separate lists for your favorite comics. Previously, we have covered some good comic apps for both Windows 7 and Windows 8 (Modern UI) including the open-source MComix and ComiXology’s Modern UI comic reader. Tablets are great for reading comics and books, and Windows Store has been getting some very good comic readers by various developers. Today, we bring to your another comic reading app for Windows 8/RT called Echo Comics that lets you access CBZ and CBR comics stored in both your local drive and your SkyDrive account. Read More

Charming Reddit Is A Windows 8 Reddit Client Focused On Images

Reddit is among the most popular websites on the internet right now. It provides users with a platform to share social news and entertainment content in the form of a link, text or an image. Other users of the service can then express their opinion by voting it up or down, and leaving comments. Because of its huge community, it offers a great way to discover new and interesting information, and have a discussion on it with other people having similar interests but vastly varying opinions. Previously, we have covered some great Windows 8 apps such as ReddHub and Snoo that allow you to browse the content posted on reddit. Charming Reddit is another reddit client for Windows 8, but one that focuses on providing a better way to view images shared on the network. Read More

Official CNN App Makes Its Way To The Windows 8 Store

Windows Store is being frequently updated with new Modern UI apps by popular and new developers alike, and one of the latest entrants in Windows 8's tablet-friendly app ecosystem is the official CNN Windows 8/RT app. Simply labeled CNN App For Windows, the app not only looks great, but is also jam-packed with a multitude of features. It keeps you informing about the latest breaking news and headlines from one of world’s most popular news channel. Some of the prominent features of the app include Live tile support that keep swiveling latest headlines on the app’s Start Screen tile, video broadcasts of top stories, CNN’s iReport integration, and changeable font size for better readability. Read More

Music DJ Is A Great Alternative To The Stock Windows 8 Audio Player

There’s never been a shortage of music players for Windows, but the the exact opposite can be observed when it comes to Windows Store in Windows 8, which has yet to receive a top notch music app that can challenge the likes of iTunes and WinAmp. Since Microsoft has designed Windows RT to run Windows Store apps only, the need for a decent Modern UI music player is definitely not to be neglected. Even though the OS does include a native music app, it doesn’t even compare to the plethora of full-featured desktop media players for Windows. If you aren’t satisfied with the default Modern UI player, try Music DJ instead. While it's no WinAmp, this free app lets you listen to your favorite tunes and offers several features not available in the stock Music app. Read More

Add Custom Program & Website Tiles In Bulk To Windows 8 Start Screen

The Windows 8 Modern UI has had a mixed reception from its users, with some of them asking for a return to the conventional Windows style, and others welcoming the bold new look and feel. Most of the discussions have been about the Start Screen that has replaced the desktop in terms of being the default workspace, while the desktop has become more like another app running over the Modern UI framework. Whatever side you are on, one thing is for sure – if you want to continue using Windows, you will have to get used to the new interface. There are a lot of tools available that allow you to get the Start Orb back but if you want Windows 8 to look like Windows 7, why would you upgrade in the first place? At AddictiveTips, we often bring you tools that extend the functionality of Windows. The latest one we've come across is TileManager that allows you to create tile shortcuts in batch on the Start Screen. You can edit the names of shortcuts before placing them on the Start Screen, and change their icons. Read More

Access & Stream Media From Multiple Cloud Services On Windows 8 With Cumulo

When dealing with multiple cloud storage services together, things can get a little bit confusing. Keeping a tab on apps for each cloud storage service you use can become tedious, no matter what platform you’re using the service on. Most major cloud service providers such as Dropbox have eventually started to release dedicated Windows 8 apps, but what if you could access multiple cloud services under one interface? This is where Cumulo for Windows shines. Cumulo is a simple and intuitive app offering a feature fairly unique to it at the moment: providing you with simple way of accessing your SkyDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, SugarSync and Box accounts from one place. Read More

Find Great Movies To Watch With MovieNight For Windows 8 And RT

Whenever someone else suggests a new movie, a lot of us check out its rating, cast and plot on the Internet before buying or renting it. You must be familiar with IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes as two of the most famous online databases used by people to look up information on movies, celebrities, TV shows etc. Based on your experience, you might have your own preferences among these sources; however, there is no doubt that both these services provide great analysis. Today, we have an app for Windows 8 called MovieNight that allows you to view movie ratings, look it up on Netflix, and buy it on Amazon, all from its Modern UI interface. In addition, you can see lists and details of the overall top movies, latest DVD releases, top rentals and movies up in theaters right now. Read More

Backup & Restore Data Of All Windows 8 Store Apps With A Click

Considering the amount of emphasis put on the new Modern UI apps by Microsoft, it’s fairly clear that these apps are meant to play a pivotal role in the success of Windows 8. While not ready to rival app stores on competing platforms, the Modern UI apps library in Windows Store is steadily growing, with the aim to bring Modern UI variant of all popular apps to the platform. Windows 8 offers a file history option that lets you backup your system but while quite handy, this feature doesn't allow backing up only the app data of Windows Store apps. So if you plan to reinstall Windows 8 and want to retain your progress and settings for the Windows Store apps and games you have installed, you'd be out of luck. Well, not anymore, thanks to Windows 8 Apps Data Backup. It is a lightweight app that lets you backup and restore app data for your Windows Store apps, allowing you to retain your settings and progress, and (manually) sync the data between two Windows 8 computers. Read More

Pokki For Windows 8 Gets New Light Theme, Customizable Favorites & More

The first thing you'll notice missing upon switching to Windows 8 is the familiar Start Menu, which has now been replaced with the Start Screen. Although the new design looks much prettier, many users have found the transition to be fairly unintuitive when compared to the old Start Menu. Back in October 2012, we covered Pokki for Windows 8 that aimed to bring back the start menu while allowing you to install a plethora of Pokki web apps. The application has seen millions of installations, and has now been updated with a few awesome new features, an all new light theme, and the ability to use Windows logo as Start Menu icon. Read More

Listen To Your Google Play Music Library On Windows 8 With gMusic

Google Play Music is Google's answers to the iTunes Store, Amazon MP3 and the like. It is a cloud-based music service by Google that allows users to listen to music and buy new tracks and albums from the Play Store. The mobile app for Google Play Music comes installed by default on Nexus devices and can be installed from Play Store on other devices running Google's Android mobile operating system. Using a Google account, you can also access the player from your web browser. It hosts both free and paid music depending on whichever mode of distribution the artist or the record label chooses. Each user is allowed to upload up to 20,000 of their own songs to the service for free and music can be played online as well as stored on your device for offline playback. Being a mobile platform, Windows 8 and RT-powered tablets are a great option for people who like to carry their devices around but if you are already an Android user, buying the same songs again from Xbox Music for your Windows 8 device seems like a waste of money. Today, we bring to you an app for Windows 8 called gMusic that allows you to access your Google Play Music library and listen to all the songs on your Windows 8 and RT device. It also allows you to rate songs, create playlists, and browse for new music from within the app. Read More

Disable Taskbar Transparency In Windows 8 With Opaque Taskbar

Compared to its predecessors, the Windows 8 UI has received a major overhaul. The famous Aero Glass effect has been discontinued and replaced with a more simpler interface. Instead of rounded corners, the windows are now squared and the title bars and other borders are not  transparent anymore. Some people have welcomed these changes while others are still in love with Aero. If you are of the former type, you might find one thing a bit annoying. While everything else has been changed to be opaque, the taskbar in Desktop mode still retains its transparency. Now using a tool called Opaque Taskbar, you can easily change the transparency of the taskbar and make it opaque to match the rest of the UI. Read More

Get Desktop Notifications For New System Updates In Windows 8

Ever since it was first revealed, Windows 8 has triggered a lot of love and hate discussions among users and critics alike. The bold tiles, punchier design and tablet-friendly UI sets this version of Windows way apart from its previous iterations. Microsoft has a long history of providing several updates over an operating system’s life span, pushing various security and performance features to the OS. The native Windows Update utility handles this job fairly well and notifies you about latest updates. Even though Windows 8 also includes this feature, it doesn’t really show any system tray icon or push notifications if you have chosen to install updates manually. This comes as a surprise because the Update Panel already contains the option to ‘Check for updates but let me choose whether to download them’. Until Microsoft steps forward and addresses this issue, users can turn to third party tool Windows 8 Update Notifier, which offers desktop notifications for system updates. Read More

Official Dropbox App For Windows 8 And RT Now Available For Download

With data backup and syncing growing to become a somewhat of a necessity, the world of cloud storage services has become saturated with options for the end user. However, Dropbox still remains one of the the most popular cloud services with clients for all major platforms, including Windows, OS X, iOS and Android. Ever since the release of Windows 8, people have been waiting for the official Modern UI app for Dropbox. Well, the long-awaited app has finally landed in the Windows Store. The app doesn't seem to sport the kind of quality one would expect from a name such as Dropbox, but it does provide you with the basic functionality of accessing and viewing your cloud files and folders. Moreover, it lets you share cloud content over Facebook, Twitter and through email. Keep reading to find out more about the app and what's currently missing from it. Read More

35 Best Windows 8 Store Apps Of Year 2012

Since the launch of Windows 8 and the Windows RT-donning Microsoft Surface in the last quarter of 2012, the Windows Store has come a far way in both quality and quantity of apps. Even though a vast majority of users may not care for the new Modern UI elements introduced in the latest iteration of Microsoft's desktop operating system, many among them will appreciate the value Windows Store apps add to the overall user experience. After your positive response on our compilation of best Windows desktop applications of 2012, we decided to treat our Windows 8 and RT using readers to a similar list. What follows is a collection of the best Windows Store apps that we covered during the past year. Even if you aren't a fan of the new OS, sift through the list once and see if the apps can change your mind about it. Read More