Nick Peers

Ultimate Settings Panel 1.0 now available, puts key Windows shortcuts just a couple of clicks away

Ultimate Settings Panel 1

UK developers Techy Geeks Home has released Ultimate Settings Panel 1.0, a brand new collection of shortcuts to key system Control Panels and other tools for Windows users.

Version 1.0 offers easy access to key Windows shortcuts as well as useful management utilities for Microsoft Outlook 2010, System Configuration 2007 and System Configuration 2012. More categories are promised in future versions.

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Auslogics Browser Care 2.0 puts you back in control of your browser’s key settings

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Auslogics has released Auslogics Browser Care 2.0, a major new version of its Windows browser management tool that’s aimed at novices.

Version 2.0 adds a new system health scanner tool, promises better handling of Chrome, Firefox and IE plugins, fixes all known bugs and implements an improved browser cache cleanup feature.

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Emsisoft Emergency Kit 9 overhauls interface to simplify malware cleaning

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Emsisoft has released Emsisoft Emergency Kit 9, a major new build of its portable malware cleaning toolkit for Windows PCs. The new build jumps from version 4 to 9, which brings its version numbering into sync with the main Emsisoft Anti-Malware line of products.

Version 9 promises a simpler, more user-friendly user interface, faster scans and improved detection, clearer log entries and a new Pro license for use in a commercial environment.

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Windows 8.1 August Update arrives -- minor improvements and bug fixes the order of the day

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Microsoft’s long-awaited "Update 2" for Windows 8.1 users has materialized in the guise of August 2014 update rollup for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2. Also available separately for 64-bit Windows, the update is currently listed under optional updates in Windows Update.

The update is not as major as the previous Update 1 release, but does nonetheless contain a number of improvements and tweaked features.

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IObit Advanced SystemCare 8 Beta adds new protection modules, supports UI theming

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IObit has launched the first public pre-release version of its forthcoming system and security suite, IObit Advanced SystemCare 8 Beta. The new build launches with a number of new tools, including brand new Protect Module.

It also showcases another redesigned user interface and introduces support for themes, allowing users to customize the program with photos.

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Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 6 adds new portrait tools, photo effects, delivers UI improvements

Ashampoo

German developer Ashampoo has unveiled Photo Optimizer 6, the first major new build of its fast, user-friendly photo tool for over two years.

The program adds a number of new portrait-enhancing tools and a slew of extra effects, but also delivers various "structure" improvements to the user interface and promises a more efficient, faster image-editing tool. It also drops support for Windows XP.

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LastPass 3.1.50 improves folder management, further tightens security

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Password-manager specialist LastPass has released LastPass 3.1.50, a major new version of its cross-platform tool for securely storing online passwords in the cloud.

Version 3.1.50 comes with one new feature, which sees the tool now capable of automatically suggesting a folder name for putting newly saved popular sites into folders for better organisation. It also comes with various improvements and tighter security.

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WordPress for Android gains major new features

WordPress

WordPress has updated its two mobile apps with the twin releases of WordPress for Android 3.0 and WordPress for iOS 4.2.

The different version numbers highlight the disparity between both platforms, although ironically it’s the Android version that is more fully featured than the iPad and iPhone build.

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Parallels Access 2.1 improves Lock’N’Go Magnifying Glass feature, supports Google+ login

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Parallels IP Holdings GmbH has launched Parallels Access for iPad and iPhone 2.1 and Parallels Access for Android 2.1, a useful new update to its desktop remote control app.

Version 2.1 now allows users to sign in using their Google+ accounts, plus promises slicker drag-and-drop performance when using the Lock’N’Go magnifying glass among other improvements and the usual stability fixes.

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Wunderlist 3 adds real-time sync and refreshed design, drops support for Windows desktop

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6 Wunderkinder GmBH has unveiled Wunderlist 3.0, a major new release of its to-do list manager for Mac. Also available for iOS and Android, the biggest surprise with this new release is the lack of a Windows update from version 2.

For the platforms still supported, Wunderlist 3.0 comes with the promise of a revamped real-time sync engine, major redesign and the promise of over 60 improvements.

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Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 10 [Review]

Xara

Do you really need separate applications to cover your design needs, whether photo editing, digital art or simple design tasks like producing flyers and scrapbooks? For those who want everything in one package, Xara has the answer.

Xara Photo & Graphic Designer can’t compete with the very best specialist tools like Photoshop, but it’s certainly a match for most. And that’s even after you realize that it’s effectively bundling two or three design packages in one for a very price. And for most people that will be enough.

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AOMEI OneKey Recovery allows you to recreate your PC’s recovery partition

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AOMEI Technology has shipped AOMEI OneKey Recovery, a brand new tool that allows Windows users to create a custom recovery partition on their PC. The tool is primarily designed for use on a system whose on recovery partition has been lost, but should work with any PC.

The app creates the recovery partition from the user’s current setup, which means all existing programs and settings will be preserved.

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Microsoft unveils Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad 1.1, adds user-requested features

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Microsoft has unveiled the first major update to its stable of iPad Office apps with the release of Word for iPad 1.1, Excel for iPad 1.1 and PowerPoint for iPad 1.1.

All three apps gain exclusive new features, but all gain the ability to export documents to PDF, improved picture editing tools and support for third-party fonts.

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Google Chrome 64-bit Beta arrives, edges closer to final Windows release

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Google has moved its dedicated 64-bit Windows build of Chrome one step closer to its final release with the launch of Google Chrome 37.0 Beta (64-bit). The new release requires Windows 7 64-bit or later to run.

The new build, which is also available in 64-bit form for Linux, moves to the beta channel, but despite media speculation, users should not assume a final release is just a few weeks away – it could yet be months before Google deems the build is stable enough for general consumption.

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LibreOffice 4.3 arrives, promises more intuitive spreadsheet handling, adds 3D modelling to Impress

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The Document Foundation has released LibreOffice 4.3 FINAL  for Windows, Mac and Linux. The new release sees some notable user-interface tweaks, performance enhancements and a number of new and tweaked features.

TDF is particularly keen to highlight four major new features: improved document interoperability, comment management, more intuitive spreadsheet handling in Calc, and support for animated 3D models in Impress.

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