How about embellishing your desktop with some fancy stones? Okay, I kid, but apparently that’s what this new application called Krento is all about, though the ‘stones’ in question are quite functional, rather than merely cosmetic. It’s a fascinating Windows freeware that amalgamates the essence of an app dock, an application launcher and a widgets creator by letting you add fancy looking shortcuts for applications, folders, files and website URLs for instantaneous and quick access. Furthermore, you can add Toys (Windows Vista-like desktop gadgets), customize skins and do much more, all in an aesthetically pleasing interface.
Once installed, the application adds a pulser icon near the Taskbar and double-clicking it activates Krento’s main UI. Alternatively, you can click the mouse scroll wheel button to launch the app.
Krento displays a widget on your desktop called Circle. A number of varying application and miscellaneous stones – basically the shortcuts that revolve around the orbit of the circle – can be added, ranging from a shortcut of your favorite web browser to a web link of your Facebook account. You can create as many circles as you want, albeit the application displays only one circle at a time. In addition, there is no practical limitation regarding the number of selected stones either. The bar at the center of the circle contains navigation buttons for Applications, Settings, Select Circle, Default and Power Management. It’s worth mentioning that the stones can be revolved via the mouse scroll wheel.
Krento comes with two stock circles out of the box – Desktop and Default. However, you may add additional circles via hitting ‘Select Circle’ on the main widget and clicking ‘Create new circle’. You can specify a circle’s name, icon and a mini description according to your preference.
Likewise, a wide-array of stones can be added to the selected circle. The options include regular or special system folders (Documents, Pictures, Music), Recycle Bin, system power options (Restart, Shutdown, Standby), system utilities, Control Panel, URLs of social networking and other sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yahoo, Wikipedia etc.), and much more. To add a stone, hit Ctrl + A and choose your desired stone from the list.
The software also features an application search panel that can be triggered from the center bar on the main UI. The search function helps in quickly opening an application via entering its name in the search field and then clicking its icon within the console. If a keyword matches multiple items, it displays all the pertaining results. This can come handy as a quick app launcher similar to Launchy or Executor.
You can also right-click the widget and select additional options and actions from the context menu. These sllow you to select a circle, delete or modify an item, add a stone, move to the next or previous circle, change the current skin, and access the app’s options.
There’s a wide variety of skins to choose from including Aero Royale, Aero Touch, Astro Grey, Bloosom and Krento Brushed, just to name a few. Just click a skin and it will be applied in a jiffy.
Upon right-clicking the Pulser, you will be be presented with context menu that has options to install new stones, toys and Krento skins. Toys are basically gadgets for Calendar, Clock, CPU usage etc. that you can add to the desktop.
Krento’s Settings window allows you to configure a host of different parameters under General, Tuning and Circle sections. You can toggle auto startup behavior, specify launch hotkey for both the keyboard and mouse, change circle location and default language, modify the size, transparency and radius of the circle, and so on.
Krento’s eye candy seems dated by today’s standards when we compare it to modern user interfaces but for those who are fond of UI elements from the past decades or just want to use it as a productivity tool, it can come quite handy. It works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.