Oracle has released VirtualBox 4.3.0, a major update to its open-source virtualization tool for Windows, Mac and Linux. Version 4.3 introduces a virtual multi-touch user interface, adds new virtual devices including webcams, as well as a session-recording facility, plus offers improved networking functionality.
In addition, VirtualBox 4.3.0 also extends official support to the latest builds of Windows, OS X and Linux, including the forthcoming Windows 8.1 and Max OS X 10.9 Mavericks.
OS X Mavericks is coming -- we’re still not exactly sure when, but probably October 22 -- and if you want to create a backup install USB stick for when things go wrong, you’ll want to take a look at Lion DiskMaker 3.0 beta 2.
Lion DiskMaker is designed to create bootable rescue disks from your OS X installation files (from 10.7 Lion onwards). Version 3.0 beta 2 adds support for the forthcoming OS X Mavericks release.
It’s nearly here: dotPDN LLC has released the first alpha of Paint.NET 4.0, a major update and rewrite of its popular freeware image-editing tool for Windows. Featuring a rebuilt rendering engine, improvements to various tools and a tweaked user interface, the new release has finally reached the stage where daring members of the public can test it for the first time.
The new build does come with some restrictions -- as telegraphed at the beginning of its development, Paint.NET 4.0 will only run on Windows 7 or later.
Kaspersky has released updated installer versions of Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 and Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014. Both updates include the recently rolled out "Patch B", which adds support for Windows 8.1 and Firefox 23/24.
The update also fixes a number of bugs, but previously had to be installed separately after installing KIS 2014 or KAV 2014.
Nero has rebranded and re-launched its free media management tool with the release of Nero MediaHome Free 15.0. Formerly known as Nero KwikMedia, MediaHome debuted last month as part of Nero 2014 media suite.
The application, available as a free cut-down version, is much quicker to load than previous versions, and bundles a built-in media server for streaming music, photos and videos to other DLNA-compatible devices.
San Francisco-based Nitro Software has launched Nitro Pro 9.0, a major new update of its award-winning "Acrobat alternative" tool for creating, editing and converting PDFs in Windows.
The headline new feature in version 9, also available in 64-bit form, is integration with Nitro Cloud. It also shows off a refreshed look in keeping with the recent Microsoft Office 2013 release along with a number of new and enhanced features, including PDF compare and measurement tools.
Ever wanted to emulate an Android phone or tablet on your PC or Mac? Perhaps you’re a developer who wants a more convenient way to test code, or you’re looking to demonstrate Android in some way. Or perhaps you’re simply someone who wants to give Android a test run without going the whole hog and spending good money before giving it a whirl?
There’s a simple solution to all of the above -- and that’s to install the free Genymotion 1.3.0 for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Agile Web Solutions has released 1Password for Mac 4.0.1, a major update to its encrypted password manager tool. Also available for Windows and iOS, the latest version comes with the promise of over 90 new features, including support for multiple and shared vaults.
Other highlights include bypassing the cloud via Wi-Fi Sync, 256-bit authenticated encryption, iCloud support and a completely revamped user interface.
Google has released Chrome for Android 30 FINAL, a major new update to its mobile web browser. The main highlight in version 30 is updated swiping gestures, but other new features include the ability to search by image, faster searching through the Google Search app and improved password sync.
The chief changes are three updated swiping gestures. Users can now swipe horizontally across the top toolbar to quickly switch back and forth between tabs, or drag vertically down from the toolbar to enter Tab Switcher view.
Team MediaPortal has released MediaPortal 1.5.0 FINAL, a major update to its open-source media center for Windows PCs. Version 1.5.0 sees the functionality of the PowerScheduler++ plugin incorporated directly into MediaPortal, and comes with the promise of improved support for TV broadcasts delivered over the internet.
The update also adds support for US CableCard tuners and Windows 8.1, but drops official support for XP.
The app has been launched as part of Google’s drive to make it easier for advertisers to code content for a variety of platforms -- mobile and desktop -- using HTML5. The idea is that users can simply design the ad and it will work seamlessly across multiple devices with no additional tweaking required.
Seattle-based ACDSee Systems International has released both ACDSee 17.0 and ACDSee Pro 7.0, major new releases of its photo tools for Windows. The new releases come less than 12 months after the last major updates, but offer competitively priced upgrades that are less than half the price of the full versions at $29.99 and $59.99 respectively.
The new releases include a number of additional editing tools and filters in addition to a tweaked user interface and enhancements to key areas such as image management.
Versoworks has released Speckie 6.0, a major new version of its real-time spellchecking tool for Internet Explorer. The software, available free for personal use as well as in commercial form with additional features, adds support for the forthcoming Internet Explorer 11 with this new release.
Version 6.0 also comes with the promise of improved support for Rich Editors, and has updated the Settings user interface to be more amenable to touch-screen interfaces, despite the fact it doesn’t yet support 64-bit versions of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.
These days most browsers offer some form of basic protection against clicking a fake link and visiting phishing websites (facsimiles of genuine sites that attempt to trick users into giving up sensitive personal information like passwords and credit-card details). But they don’t offer much else protection against other dangerous sites.
This is where Web of Trust (WOT) comes in: it maintains a database of websites, rating them for safety, privacy and security and giving you a second opinion about whether or not a particular site is safe to shop at, share personal details with or even simply visit.
The VideoLAN organization has released VLC Media Player 2.1, a major new build of its popular open-source, cross-platform media player. Version 2.1, codenamed "Rincewind" is an essential app for Windows 8 users wishing to play DVD video on their PCs without having to pay for the privilege.
VLC 2.1 adds hardware decoding support to three major platforms and hardware encoding support for Windows, plus rewrites the audio core to provide better volume and device management.