- WeatherBug: a beautiful
MetroWindows 8-style weather app
- Qsel: A nice-looking program launcher
- Clover: get amazing, Chrome-like tabs in Windows Explorer
About Windows Software of the Day
Windows has hundreds of thousands of programs. Because of this great volume and lack of a central store, software discovery (aka finding new and useful programs) is extremely difficult. With our Windows Software of the Day initiative, dotTech aims to change that. Everyday we post three programs, allowing our readers to discover new software, daily. Enjoy! [Subscribe to dotTech to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail]
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Software for August 17, 2012
If you’ve ever visited a building and seen a WeatherBug station, you might wonder what exactly they are. They’re thousands of little stations scattered throughout the country that measure extremely local weather conditions, giving you the most accurate weather possible. It’s definitely a step up from measuring at your local airport or TV station.
The Windows 8 WeatherBug app has a great interface. The background is a representation of the current time of day–when the screenshot to the right was taken, it was around 11pm, and over here in Portland, we have a lot of tall trees. The current weather, today’s weather, and the forecast are all shown simply in small tiles.
It also has several other views, other than the current station view. You can use its station select screen, or go to the Map for a full-on weather attack. You’ll be able to show overlays of current temperature, pressure, humidity, and windspeed, as well as selecting one of several satellite views.
Of course, it’s a weather app, and like all weather apps, it has ads. Luckily, they’re non-intrusive: they’re just stuck into a tile like the temperature, location, and everything else is. You can see it in the screenshot to the right: it’s not intrusive at all. Still, it’d be nice to have an ad-free weather app for once, but then there’d be no way for them to make any money.
Overall, the WeatherBug app is an awesome app, and it’s definitely a sign of what’s to come in terms of Windows 8 apps. It sticks fairly close to Windows 8 design standards, and though the tilework is a little oddly laid out, it works well for what it is. WeatherBug is a must-have app for any amateur meteorologist, or anyone who simply enjoys analyzing the weather.
Last updated: 8/16/2012
Supported OS: Windows 8
Download size: 36MB
There are thousands of different possible workflows, and billions of different combinations of apps you might use to work. If you’ve ever needed to have a quick-launch program for frequently used programs, try Qsel: with it, you can open programs, links, or files with a single click.
Qsel, which is entirely portable, is very easy to use. You set it up by category, and within each category, individual files, links, or programs. A possible configuration is shown to the right, with two apps and no separators. You can add as many apps as you want, but be warned that you’ll of course still need to fit it on your screen.
However, having a window full of shortcuts is no more useful than having a folder full of shortcuts. That’s why Qsel offers more: with a single tap of your keyboard, you can pull Qsel up. And, you can set it to launch items with one click and for the window to disappear after launch.
Qsel also claims to have “automatic drive letter handling on USB Flash Drives”, but what exactly that means is anyone’s guess. If you’re looking for an instant, awesome launcher that’s easy on the eyes, Qsel is definitely worth the download.
Version discovered: v2.16
Supported OS: Windows unknown
Download size: 107KB
VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/37
Portability: No installation required!
A few days ago, we covered TabExplorer. This free program let you add tabs to Windows Explorer by plopping them on top of the current Explorer window. Clover is different–very different. Instead of taking the tabs and plopping them on top of the current window, it entirely redesigns Windows Explorer with beautiful, functional Chrome-like tabs and bookmarks.
You probably never thought you’d live to see the day that Windows Explorer got proper, beautiful tabbed browsing, but with Clover, that day is today. The tabs are amazingly responsive, and act nothing like any tab app I’ve ever seen before. They even allow for standard tab-centric keyboard shortcuts, such as Ctrl+[number], Ctrl+Tab, Ctrl+T, and Ctrl+W. This allows you to adopt browsing habits such as easy tab management easily into Windows Explorer.
Of course, if you’re a heavy user of bookmarks you may still be asking why no one has implemented this in Windows Explorer. Clover has. Just like in Chrome, press Ctrl+D to bookmark a folder. It’ll be automatically added to your bookmarks bar, but you can just as easily as add it to your Other Bookmarks folder, which will then appear as a dropdown button on the right side of the bar. If you detest bookmarks, you can even just hide the bar entirely.
Clover is an amazing program for anyone who likes Chrome’s tabs even in the least bit. It’s responsive, fast, and brings tons of cool browser-based features to Windows Explorer. The developer’s website is only available in Chinese, but using Google Translate, it’s easy to find, and the program itself is entirely compatible with English. If you’re looking for tabs, bookmarks, or any other way to improve Windows Explorer even a tad, Clover is the awesome program that will let you do that. Virtually its only problem is the creation of a new Clover icon in the task bar to replace the Windows Explorer icon.
Version discovered: v2.0.121
Supported OS: Windows unknown
Download size: 2.6MB
VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42
Portability: Requires installation
[via The Windows Club]
dotTechies: We have tested all the software listed above. However, Windows Software of the Day articles are not intended as “reviews” but rather as “heads-up” to help you discover new programs. Always use your best judgement when downloading programs, such as trying trial/free versions before purchasing shareware programs, if applicable.