PortableApps.com Platform 12.0 Beta 2: New Branding, New Theme, Manual Proxy Support
Submitted by John T. Haller on December 27, 2012 - 4:42pm
PortableApps.com is proud to announce the PortableApps.com Platform Version 12.0 Beta 2 release. This second beta in the 12.0 line is designed to continue to test a new theme and menu layout change, updated branding that's more subtle and manual proxy support. Refinements have been made to the branding and menu and updated translations for 7 languages. Like previous releases, it has automated app updates, customizable folders (categories) in the menu, a full theming engine with multiple chrome styles, the Portable App Directory app store for automatic download and installation of portable apps, find-as-you-type search (just type / or F3) to easily find apps in your ever-growing collection, an improved updater, more-complete translations into more languages and lots more. If you'd like to see more features and functionality keep coming, please read a personal appeal from PortableApps.com founder John T. Haller to help! Read on for all the details...(permalink)
Existing Platform users can automatically update by clicking Help - Check for Updates and getting a fast-install 1MB update patch if they have the beta channel enabled under the Advanced tab in Options.
New in 12.0 Beta 2
Beta 2 refines the new subtler branding in the PortableApps.com Platform as well as the new modern theme. 7 languages have been updated with translations for the new proxy functionality. Complete details are available in the platform changelog.
New 12.0 Theme and Branding
For 12.0, we're simplifying the branding on the PortableApps.com Platform to make it more subtle and modern. The logo is also changed on the taskbar and system tray We're also introducing a new default theme that's more modern and clean with simplified iconography. The new theme is not yet complete, but we have included both a light and dark version, replacing the existing Default Light and Default Dark themes included in 11.0 stable. (Don't worry, we'll be bringing back the existing themes in an upcoming release for those who like them). The space at the top where the large PortableApps.com logo used to be will be used by an always-visible search bar in the final release which will have focus by default, enabling find-as-you-type search without the need for a hotkey. We recommend gray for folks testing out the new theme. It's still a work in progress and we're still finalizing the layout and colors, but we wanted our users to get a chance to look at what's coming.
Manual Proxy Support
The PortableApps.com Platform has always had automated proxy support built-in, using the local PC's proxy settings and an "It Just Works" setup. But quite a few power users and corporate/university users wanted a custom option. It's live now in the Options window.
12.0 Roadmap Revised - Costs and Injury
We had originally planned on releasing 12.0 in time for the holidays, but have had to scale back our schedule a bit. While our donations have been up since we began our donation drive (and covered our expenses for the first two months in a row ever), we've had to take some outside work to keep paying our rising bandwidth bills. Our bandwidth costs have tripled in the last year as a result of our growing userbase, greater selection of freeware and convenient app store. In addition, lead developer John T. Haller (Hi, that's me!) sustained a hand injury that impacted the amount of time he could devote to platform development. The outlook is good and will hopefully not require surgery, but he's unable to use two fingers on his right hand for another month or so.
All that said, we've got plans in place to help keep things moving. We will likely be switching to another provider for freeware software downloads which should save us approximately 40% in bandwidth costs going forward. This should help cut down a bit on the outside work needed to fund our bandwidth. We're also working on bringing on another platform developer to speed up development. We'll let you know more as we do. We are also picking up a trackball or trackpad to help Haller (me, again! referring to yourself in the third person is still odd!) speed his own development while injured. So, we should hopefully be good to go to get the features everyone is looking forward to live sometime in January, but we are not promising any dates. We'll be posting weekly status updates likely beginning in January so that everyone is in the loop!
Ongoing Donation Drive
PortableApps.com needs your help to keep bringing you great software! To learn more, read a personal appeal from PortableApps.com founder John T. Haller. Now you can sponsor the PortableApps.com Platform and help us keep delivering awesome software for free. With options ranging from having your name included to a full-blown site-wide sponsorship, there's a good fit for everyone. Sponsor us today and be a part of the action!
We also accept donations of any size to help with development and hosting:
Discussing The Release, Enhancements and Bug Reports
As there is much to discuss with this new release, we've separated out a few forum threads for discussing:
You can download the beta version of the PortableApps.com Platform from the PortableApps.com Platform Beta page. Get it today!
Please note that any bug reports and feature requests go in the PortableApps.com Platform Bug Report and Feature Request Tracker.