Nick Peers

Access Google Maps on your Apple Watch with latest iOS update

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Google has unveiled updates to its Google Maps for iOS and Google Maps for Android apps. The big news in this latest release is the addition of support for the Apple Watch on the iOS platform.

Both Android and iOS users also gain additional new features including support for comparing ETAs across a range of transit options, plus the ability to generate directions and call businesses directly from a list of places.

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Get Belight Software's Get Backup Pro for your Mac -- absolutely free!

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The latest version of OS X -- El Capitan -- is just days away now, and the excitement is building. But before you plunge in and install it, what happens if something goes horribly wrong with the new install? You might be able to roll things back with Time Machine, but Belight Software has an alternative.

Belight wants you to start using its three-pronged backup solution Get Backup Pro instead -- and to tempt you into switching, it’s offering a free license for the Pro version, worth $19.95 -- but hurry, you’ve only got around 48 hours left to grab it!

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CCleaner 5.10 and CCleaner for Mac 1.10 focus on browser cleaning

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Piriform Software has released CCleaner 5.10 and CCleaner 5.10 Portable for Windows PCs, along with CCleaner for Mac 1.10.

Both builds focus on browser improvements, while PC users gain faster start-up times and improvements to the program’s support for window and DPI resizing.

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Firefox 41 adds instant messaging support to Firefox Hello

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Mozilla has released Firefox 41 FINAL for desktop, with Firefox for Android 41.0 due imminently.

The desktop build introduces a large number of mainly incremental changes – the most interesting are profile picture support for Firefox Accounts and the addition of instant messaging to Firefox Hello -- while the mobile version makes it possible to utilize different search providers from the search panel.

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Opera 32 adds password sync, improved bookmarks view

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Opera Software has unveiled Opera 32 FINAL, a new release of its desktop browser for Windows, Mac and Linux, with an Android update due to follow.

Version 32 is another build light on major new features, with the company keen to promote its recent acquisition of the SurfEasy VPN service. What has been added is password sync, a new view for bookmarks and support for animated background themes.

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VirtualBox squashes bugs, adds new guest resolution to pre-defined menu

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Oracle has released VirtualBox 5.0.4, the first publicly flagged maintenance release for the 5.0 series of its virtualization tool for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Version 5.0 introduced support for USB 3.0 and hardware virtualization among other improvements, and version 5.0.4 is almost exclusively a bug-fix update.

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Skype 6.0 for Android, iOS unveils intuitive new features and design

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Microsoft has rolled out a major refresh of its Skype mobile apps with the release of Skype for iPhone 6.0, Skype for iPad 6.0 and Skype for Android 6.0.

All three apps come with a redesign aimed at making them easier to use as well as improved search tools. iPad users also gain all iPhone features, while Android users also benefit from some platform-specific improvements.

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Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4.0 launched for Windows 10 users

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The Windows Club has released Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4.0 for Windows 10 users. The lightweight, portable freeware tool makes it easy to tweak various aspects of Windows that usually hidden away or require access to Registry editor or Group Policy Editor.

The new release sits alongside the previous versions, Ultimate Windows Tweaker 3.1.2 for Windows 8/8/1 and Ultimate Windows Tweaker 2.2, which requires Windows Vista or 7.

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Parallels Desktop 11 adds Windows 10 integration, extends Cortana to Mac desktop

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Parallels IP Holdings GmbH has released Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac, a major new release of its market-leading virtualization tool.

The app, which allows users to run virtual versions of Windows, OS X and Linux in a virtual environment, adds full support for Windows 10 while readying itself for El Capitan’s imminent release. It also promises significant performance improvements.

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Corel Painter 16 gains sound-sensitive brushes, promises more realistic effects

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Corel has unveiled Corel Painter 16 for Windows and Mac, a major new release of its acclaimed digital paint program for professionals.

The new build introduces new brushes -- including a selection that react to sound -- as well as paper and flow map rotation. Corel also claims Painter 2016 delivers a significant performance increase over previous builds.

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Firefox 40 unveils Windows 10-friendly design, tightens download protection

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Mozilla has released Firefox 40 FINAL for desktop, with Firefox for Android 40.0 due to follow by the end of the week.

Version 40 provides added protection against potentially malicious downloads on both platforms, while desktop users enjoy a raft of new features, including a new Suggested Tiles feature and add-on management dialog.

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Opera 31 unveils redesigned Discover service, tweaks sync options

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Opera Software has unveiled Opera 31 FINAL, a new stable release of its desktop browser for Windows, Mac and Linux.

After the excitement of three major new features in version 30, Opera 31 is a bit of a damp squib. Only two relatively minor new features make their bow in this latest release: a redesigned Discover feature and improved sync capabilities.

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LibreOffice 5.0 unveils streamlined user interface, adds 64-bit Windows build

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The Document Foundation has released LibreOffice 5.0 64-bit and LibreOffice 5.0 32-bit. This is a major new release that will form the cornerstone of future development on mobile platforms as well as the upcoming LibreOffice cloud version.

Version 5.0′s highlights include a brand new 64-bit Windows build to accompany existing Mac and Linux releases, plus compatibility with Windows 10, a user interface facelift, better interoperability with major office suites and a number of new features across its component parts, particularly Writer and Calc.

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AIDA64 5.30 supports Windows 10 and Intel Skylake, broadens benchmarks

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Budapest-based FinalWire Ltd has released a major new version of its Windows diagnostic and benchmarking tool with the release of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 5.30.

The new release, also available as a portable build, introduces support for Intel’s forthcoming Skylake processor line while also promising advanced support for the RTM releases of Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016.

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CCleaner strengthens Windows 10 compatibility

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Piriform Software has released CCleaner 5.0.8 FINAL and CCleaner 5.0.8 Portable, the latest builds of its Windows cleaning tool.

The new build promises compatibility with the RTM build (10240) of Windows 10, and adds support for Microsoft Edge Browser Monitoring to the Professional version of the software. By adding Edge to the Browser Monitoring feature in CCleaner Pro, users can now automatically clean the browser whenever it’s closed (or be prompted to do so).

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