Start menu replacement Pokki now fully touch-enabled

SweetLabs Inc has just released a new version of Pokki, its ambitious Start Menu replacement and app framework. There are few visual changes -- and not even that many in total -- but the release does deliver some high value improvements which should make a real difference to the product.

Full touch support for Pokki apps and menu will help make the program far more usable to a tablet audience, for instance.

If, as is rumored, we finally see Windows 8 tablets released with Retina-type displays, then Pokki will be ready: both the apps and the menu now come with high DPI display support.

Pokki has been held back a little by the lack of quality apps, but this release provides a few more goodies to developers in an effort to help. In particular, compatibility with the Unity 4 rendering engine should help bring a host of new games to the platform, while support for WebRTC introduces all kinds of real-time communication and audio/video capturing possibilities.

And the official release notes detail some very significant bug fixes (although of course it’s not exactly encouraging that these bugs existed in the first place). Boot-time slowdowns, critical crashes, and several issues which could prevent the Pokki menu appearing at all have each been resolved.

There’s no single killer new feature here, then, and if you just want a clone of the old Start Menu then there are simpler and more lightweight options elsewhere. This latest build does make welcome progress in a number of areas, though, and if you’re a Pokki fan -- or liked the idea, tried it before and ran into one of those annoying bugs -- then the new release has to be worth a try.

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