- Wikipedia: a beautiful, official Wikipedia app
- XnConvert: a batch image processor
- CherryPlayer: play and stream music and videos
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 16, 2012
There is something beautiful about the world’s largest collection of human knowledge, and it’s not anything metaphorical. It’s Wikipedia’s Windows 8 app. The app is designed with all of ex-Metro’s design standards in mind, and it provides great-looking and instant access to the world’s information.
The front page of the Wikipedia app provides you with easy access to featured photos, featured articles, On This Day, and Recent Changes. Clicking on any image or article title will bring you directly to the article, and boy do they look nice. The pictures, while sometimes a little oddly arranged, generally look great and do a nice job of breaking up the long columns of text. Wikipedia, for design reasons, uses a series of horizontally scrollable columns rather than one single vertical column, and it can hamper readability, but it certainly looks nice. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of vertical columns of text inside Windows 8 apps.
The Wikipedia app is definitely a nice way to introduce yourself to Windows 8 apps. It follows
Metro standards very nicely, and is an absolutely stunning way to show off what native apps can do. If you’re looking for a nice way to start of your Metro collection, Wikipedia is for you.
Version discovered: Release 4
Supported OS: Windows 8 (ARM + x86)
Download size: 471KB
Want to batch process your images with wacky filters guaranteed to make you laugh? I won’t guarantee anything, but XnConvert can do effects, watermarks, and borders.
To add an action, add images and go to the Actions tab. From there, you’ll see three columns. The leftmost one is the one of most interest: click the small button on the top left and select a filter. You’ll see a preview of your images on your right change as you add and remove filters, but be warned some filters may take a while to render. You can adjust filter settings in the middle.
What kind of filters are there in XnConvert? You can do weird colour adjustments, but the more useful filters are the resize, crop, and watermarking filters. For fun, you can add old camera effects, or make your images into oil paintings.
After adding actions, you have to of course output your images. You don’t get too much fine control over the output, but are allowed to choose a folder, as well as filename and format, for the images. The time it takes to render each new image is heavily dependent on your chosen filters, but generally should only take a few seconds.
XnConvert is a nice batch image processor that means business. It has a sparse but nice interface, and doesn’t require a genius to pick up. It would be nice if it offered auto color and auto white balance adjustments, as those are the two most common ways to fix up images, but even as-is it’s still a nice batch program.
Version discovered: v1.22
Supported OS: Windows/Mac/Linux
Download size: 12.2MB
VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42
Portability: Portable version available!
When you turn on your computer for the first time, there is a default media player capable of many media tasks. However, it’s missing a lot of crucial functionality, and really hasn’t evolved too much since Windows XP, meaning it’s missing a lot of the Age of the Internet. CherryPlayer is different: now, you can watch YouTube videos, stream music from Last.FM, and more.
CherryPlayer is a multipedia player built from the ground up for the internet. In addition to supporting online services, it can also play local files of almost any format you can imagine: AVIs, MPGs, VOBs, MKVs, WEBMs, MP4s, MOVs, 3GPs, FLVs, OGVs, RMs, WMVs, DATs, and many more video formats are supported, as well as a comprehensive list of audio formats.
In addition to watching local videos, you can also stream or download any YouTube video with the click of a button. In combination with Last.FM and VK.com support, this means there’s hardly a media file on the planet you could miss. Overall, CherryPlayer is a comprehensive music and video player, and is definitely one to check out if you’re unhappy with your default media player.
Version discovered: v1.1.9
Supported OS: Windows unknown
Download size: 20.3MB
VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/40
Portability: Requires installation
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.