We've just posted the Beta 5 of the upcoming 2.0 Platform (codename: Leo) release for testers and translators. The main purpose of Beta 5 was to debut the PortableApps.com Updater so you can keep all your software up to date, start testing our brand new theming engine (with 32 themes built-in) so you can make the menu look the way you want it to, and greatly improve multilingual support so you can use any language you want wherever you want. This latest beta represents a large behind-the-scenes effort to upgrade many of the underpinnings of the PortableApps.com Platform on the road to 2.0. So, let's get on to what's new...
PortableApps.com Updater - Keep All Your Apps Up To Date
One of the biggest new features is the first public test of the PortableApps.com Updater. The updater can track all your apps and ensure you're running the latest release. It can download and automatically install any apps that are out of date including the PortableApps.com Platform itself. For apps available in multiple language packs (Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice.org, etc) it will download the appropriate language pack based on the language you have the PortableApps.com Platform set to. Just click Manage Apps - Check For Updates! Check out the updater in action (click for larger versions):
New Theming Engine - Multiple Colors and Images, 32 Themes Included
We've also debuted a first look at our new theming engine. The theming engine combines a powerful colormixing system allowing themers and users to easily select a menu look they like. We're still using the old-style theme selector until the Options window debuts in Beta 6, but our two built-in themes (Default White and Dark) are included with 14 colors each as well as a Rainbow and Texture theme in both White and Dark to show what's possible with the new engine. Here are some examples of the new theme sets (click for larger versions):
Full Unicode Support - Use Your Favorite Language On Every PC
Another big feature we're debuting is full Unicode support. This means we can add support for languages like Serbian and Vietnamese; and that we can support running any language even if it is different from the language Windows is set to. That means that if you like your apps in Japanese, you can set the platform to Japanese even on an English Windows PC. Here are screenshots of the menu running in Japanese, Korean, Arabic and Simplified Chinese, all on a standard Windows 7 English PC (click for larger versions):
The Road To 2.0
From this point forward, we'll be releasing a new beta every week or two until we hit 2.0 final. Upcoming features include those we announced in the 2.0 Preview including the full theme switcher, improved options screen, file associations, full category/folder support with smart app organization and lots more. Once you're on 2.0 Beta 5, you can just check for new versions and you'll know as soon as Beta 6 is available for you.
Download The Beta Today
You can download the new test version from the PortableApps.com Platform 2.0 Beta 5 forum topic. Get it today!