Nick Peers

RealVNC rebrands as VNC Connect 6.0, switches to subscription-based model

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RealVNC Ltd has unveiled RealVNC VNC Connect 6.0, the newly rebadged and updated version of its VNC server and client package for Windows, Mac and Linux.

There’s a shift from a perpetual license keys to a subscription-based model, plus a large number of new features, including cloud connections, team-based remote access and sharing, and support for improving remote access.

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WinZip 21 adds direct email support, makes individual file sharing easier

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Fresh off the production line comes WinZip 21, a major new release of perhaps the best-known zip utility in the world. Version 21 introduces a number of new features and improvements, including more cloud connections (Pro only), enhanced MP3 file compression and streamlined sharing.

The update builds on WinZip 20, which introduced a new ribbon-based user interface. Version 21 continues to expand its flexibility with additional file and folder interactions.

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Opera 41 slashes start times, improves newsreader feature

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Opera Software has released Opera 41 for Windows, Mac and Linux, making reduced start times its major priority. The headline new feature is accompanied by a number of other performance improvements.

Opera 41 also includes a majorly revamped personalized newsreader, containing a wide list of tweaks and enhancements to give users some extra features to play with on top of the under-the-hood updates.

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Foxit Reader 8.1 adds Box integration, improves annotation features

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Foxit Software has released Foxit Reader 8.1, a point update of its Windows PDF viewer and creator. Version 8.1 widens the app’s cloud integration with two new services, including an extension of Foxit’s recently launched ConnectedPDF online document management tool.

Elsewhere, the new release also improves annotation workflow and collaboration, plus adds JavaScript form submission support.

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WebSite X5 Evolution 13 adds parallax scrolling support, 64-bit edition to boost performance

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Incomedia has released major new versions of its wizard-driven web-building tool with the launch of WebSite X5 Evolution 13.0. Website X5 Evolution is accompanied by both higher (Professional) and lower (Start) packages.

Version 13.0 adds support for parallax scrolling, includes new features like a Sticky menu and promises up to 50 per cent better performance thanks to a new 64-bit build.

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Postbox 5 adds dynamic content support, anti-tracking features

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Postbox, Inc has released Postbox 5.0, a major update to its Windows and Mac email client. Version 5 showcases a new look with high-DPI support in Windows, plus adds dynamic data support to responses and templates.

Other highlights include a new anti-tracking feature, Quick Post tool, new per-image scaling tool to help keep message sizes down, and global filters. There’s also 25 professionally designed email signatures and 70 business templates.

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Opera 40 unveils free VPN to secure web browsing, improves battery saver

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Opera 40 has been released, bringing an easy, convenient VPN feature to the masses. It’s also reworked the battery saver tool, which was introduced in Opera 38, and adds RSS feeds to personal news.

The VPN server allows users to browse the web securely through an encrypted, tunneled connection on any network (including insecure Wi-Fi open hotspots). It also makes it possible to spoof the user’s location, giving them access to otherwise geo-locked content.

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Delayed Firefox 49 finally makes its bow, decommissions Firefox Hello

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Mozilla has finally released Firefox 49 FINAL for Windows, Mac and Linux. The release has been held back a week due to the need to fix two 'blocker' bugs. The bugs -- which concerned loading Giphly embeds in Twitter, and slow scripts and unresponsive script dialogs when resuming Firefox -- have now been resolved.

Firefox 49 sees the new 'e10' multi-process architecture roll out to more users, plus improves Reader Mode with a new Narrate feature. Fans of the Firefox Hello chat tool will, however, be disappointed to learn that the feature has been decommissioned.

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Vivaldi introduces scheduled themes and individually sized Web panels

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Vivaldi Technologies has unveiled Vivaldi 1.4 FINAL and Vivaldi 1.4 FINAL 64-bit, a major update to its web browser aimed at those wanting maximum control over their browser’s look and functionality. Vivaldi is developed by a team led by Opera co-founder Jon S von Tetzchner, and runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Version 1.4’s headline new feature is support for scheduled themes, which builds on the recent introduction of customizable themes. Other notable changes include greater flexibility over Web panels, and a single-click option for reversing an accidentally closed tab.

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Geekbench 4.0 arrives, offers new GPU Compute benchmarks

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Primate Labs has announced the release of Geekbench 4.0 for desktop, Android and iOS. Geekbench 4 sees the benchmarking app merge its mobile and desktop datasets into a single, cross-platform workload.

Other changes see a redesigned user interface on both mobile platforms, plus new workloads across the suite’s CPU and GPU benchmarks, including a new GPU Compute category.

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Opera VPN launches for Android, adds network security check

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Three months after unveiling Opera VPN for iOS, browser developer Opera Software has launched Opera VPN 1.0 for Android. The Android build offers the same functionality as the iOS version -- secure VPN encryption to the web (with support for spoofing one of five countries), plus the blocking of both ads and tracking cookies. It also offers one extra feature not (yet) present in Open VPN for iOS: a tool for determining the security of the current network.

Virtual Private Networks provide users with a secure network connection over any internet connection, including insecure networks such as public Wi-Fi hotspots. VPNs can also be used to trick websites into believing the user is connecting from a different country to the one they’re in, helping bypass geographic restrictions.

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CCleaner 5.21 release fails to excite thanks to meager list of changes

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Piriform Software has released CCleaner 5.21 and CCleaner 5.21 Portable for Windows PCs. The app’s rate of development continues to slow, this release once again focusing on minor updates and improvements instead of introducing new app support or additional features.

The most notable changes are better cleaning of Chrome 52’s history and cache, and updates to its DOMStore cooking cleaning component, which is used by Internet Explorer.

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LibreOffice adds financial forecasting to Calc, streamlines main toolbar

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The Document Foundation has unveiled LibreOffice 5.2 64-bit and LibreOffice 5.2 32-bit. It arrives on time, six months after the last major release in the 5.x branch. Like the previous two major releases, LibreOffice 5.2 contains numerous user-centric changes and updates, continuing to refine the GUI while introducing significant new features.

Headline new features include the addition of a Standard (Single Mode) toolbar option in Writer and Calc. This provides a streamlined set of common formatting, function and insert tools that take up half the space of the original toolbar to increase the size of the available workspace.

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Firefox 48 FINAL improves download protection as part of wider security crackdown

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Mozilla has unveiled Firefox 48 FINAL for desktop. After the relatively minor releases of late, Firefox 48 contains a number of notable new features, both visible and behind the scenes, to excite users.

There’s improved protection against potentially malicious downloads, the requirement for add-ons to be both verified and signed by Mozilla before they will load, and a number of WebRTC enhancements -- and that’s just for starters.

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Polymail for Mac wants to provide a cross-platform email experience to die for

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If you’re still looking for the perfect email experience on Mac and iOS, then Polymail, Inc may have something to fill the gap left by Mailbox’s unceremonious exit back in February. It’s just officially released Polymail for Mac 1.01 after around six months in beta.

Polymail for Mac joins existing iPad and iPhone client, Polymail for iOS 1.21, to provide a cross-platform email client for Apple fans.

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