Nick Peers

Opera 44 Developer starts public testing, offers Touch Bar support alongside security improvements

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Opera Software’s first release of 2017 sees Opera 44.0 Developer made available for Windows, Mac and Linux users. The Developer edition is the Alpha branch of the browser’s development cycle.

Version 44 launches with four new developmental features, not all of which are available for preview (but likely to be switched on in subsequent builds over the coming weeks).

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Edit video in 4K for free with OpenShot 2.2

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The future is Ultra HD, or 4K as it’s known to its friends. Ultra HD TVs and displays are slowly coming into the mainstream, and of course they’re being joined by 4K-capable cameras. But how can you edit that 4K video feed without having to splash out on expensive software?

The answer lies with OpenShot 2.2, the free (and open source) video editor for Windows, Mac and Linux. It’s now capable of supporting 4K video editing, giving you all the tools you need to produce slick home video that looks great on your big-screen TV.

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IObit Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 10 strengthens protection, tweaks optimization tools

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IObit has released Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 10, a major new release of its flagship system security and optimization product for Windows. The new release centers around offering a larger anti-virus database through the integration of a new BitDefender antivirus engine.

Elsewhere, the application includes a number of new features already introduced when its little brother, IObit Advanced SystemCare Free, was updated in October. These include a new FaceID feature and component for managing start-up items.

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AOMEI Backupper Standard 4 adds real-time file sync, supports backup to cloud

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AOMEI has released AOMEI Backupper Standard 4.0, the second major update of its freeware Windows backup, imaging and cloning tool in 2016.

Version 4.0 adds an additional arrow to the tool’s bow -- the ability to sync file changes in real-time. There’s also added support for a number of popular cloud storage devices as well as a number of more minor improvements.

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Vivaldi ends the year with a series of tab-related improvements

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Hot on the heels of Opera’s final release of the year comes Vivaldi 1.6, a new version of the world’s most flexible web browser from Opera co-founder Jon S von Tetzhner.

Version 1.6 -- available for Mac, Windows and Linux -- debuts three new features, all revolving around the browser’s flexible tab management system. The highlight of these is the new tab notification feature.

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TidyTabs brings order to your chaotic desktop

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What’s the collective noun for all those windows cluttering up your desktop? A clutter of windows, maybe, or perhaps even a chaos of windows? If you’re wondering how to bring some semblance of logical organization back to your Windows desktop, you need TidyTabs 1.2.

TidyTabs gives away what it does with its name. It takes inspiration from the web browser revolution that saw dozens of separate, unmanageable website windows gathered together into a single, multi-tabbed window and takes it to the next level.

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Plex Media Player is now free to all users

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Non-Plex Pass holders rejoice -- Plex has made its desktop-friendly media player app for Windows and Mac completely free with the release of Plex Media Player 1.2.

Version 1.2 also introduces a major new feature -- when the app is run in windowed mode, it defaults to the web interface, allowing users to manage their server(s) remotely.

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Touché 1.0 extends Touch Bar functionality to any modern Mac -- for free

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Apple’s Touch Bar is a major new selling point for its latest generation of MacBooks, but that doesn’t mean you have to purchase one to find out what it’s all about. Touché 1.0 is a new freeware tool that places a virtual Touch Bar on the desktop of any Mac running the very latest version of MacOS Sierra (10.12.1 v2 or later).

This isn’t an emulator, but a virtual copy of the Touch Bar itself, identical in every way to the hardware-based bar found on the latest MacBooks.

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Vivaldi embraces IoT with support for Philips Hue lights, adds multiple tab selection

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Vivaldi Technologies -- led by Opera co-founder Jon S von Tetzchner -- has released Vivaldi 1.5, the latest version of its customizable web browser for Windows, Mac and Linux.

The big talking point in version 1.5 is Vivaldi’s integration into the Philips Hue IoT ecosystem, but the new release also adds a number of more universal features, such as support for tab drag and drop, which makes tab stacking much simpler than before.

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Firefox Focus for iOS promises to tighten privacy while browsing

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Mozilla has unveiled Firefox Focus 2.0, a brand new privacy conscious web browser for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Despite the version number, this is the first public release of the app.

The app aims to counteract two increasingly prevalent trends in web browsing: one, a lack of privacy, as users find their web activities tracking across multiple devices, and two, an increasingly cluttered web space where adverts jostle for attention and overwhelm basic content.

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Mozilla Firefox 50 trims start-up times, widens download protection

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Mozilla has released Firefox 50.0 for Windows, Mac and Linux, with Firefox for Android 50.0 due imminently. For the second release in a row it’s launched a week late, but this time the reason behind the pause is different.

The extra week gave Firefox 50 time to unveil its headline new feature: significant start-up improvements, achieved through an overhaul of the application’s add-on SDK module system. Elsewhere download protection covers a wider range of executable files, plus Firefox 50 introduces a smattering of useful usability improvements.

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Gmail for iOS unveils Material Design-inspired look, allows users to unsend email

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Google has unveiled a major new version of its iPhone and iPad email app with the release of Gmail 5.0.3. The major highlight of this new build is a complete redesign to more closely match its web and Android interfaces.

Gmail 5.0.3 also comes with a handful of new features, including instant search, an option to unsend mail and swipe-to-archive functionality.

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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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