PortableApps.com is proud to announce the latest test release of our upcoming Platform (codename: Leo). 2.0 Pre-Release 1 is available for immediate download for testers and translators. This PR1 release introduces automated and customizable folders (aka categories) in the menu, our new 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 to easily find apps in your ever-growing collection, an improved updater with better support for proxies, an improved options selection window, more-complete translations into more languages and lots more. This latest release represents a big update to the underpinnings of the platform on the road to 2.0. So, how about we start checking it out... (permalink)
Customizable App Organization With Automatic and Custom Folders
You asked for it, you got it. And then some. The ability to organize apps into folders is just the tip of the iceberg. You can combine automatic folders (all apps 'know' if they are an Internet app or an Office app and will show up in the appropriate folder), your own custom folders, favorites to pin apps at the top or to the first page and a 'smart' list ordered by the apps you use most. You get to decide how to organize your apps so you can easily get to them. Here's a preview:
Portable App Directory™ - A Built-In Portable App Store
Now it's easier than ever to download, install and use the portable apps you want with the built-in app store. The Portable App Directory shows you an easy-to-navigate list of all the available apps you don't yet have organized by category. You check off the ones you'd like to install and it does the rest, just like our automated Updater. They'll even show up in the right categories in the menu when they're installed, all automatically.
New Themes and a New Theming Engine
This release also sees the introduction of our new theming engine. With a choice of 6 chromes and 17 colors each, you've got a lot of choices in how you'd like the menu to look. From our classic beveled style, to our modern flat look to our Aerish theme that blends right in with Windows Vista and 7, you can easily pick the look you like. And in Pre-Release 2, you'll be able to add in custom themes as well.
Find-As-You-Type to Quickly Search Your App List
In this release, you're now able to automatically filter the app list by typing a few letters of the name of the app you are looking for. With the menu displayed, you can just start typing (or type / to switch to find mode just like in Firefox). As you type, the app list is narrowed down to only apps that match what you've typed. You can hit enter to launch the first app in the list. Hitting escape or backspacing all the characters out and then once more with none entered will exit Find-As-You-Type mode and switch back to your normal app list. You can even hit the menu's hotkey (CTRL-ALT-SPACE) from any app to pop it up and just start typing to launch your app, all without a mouse.
Easy to Use Options Window
Customizing the PortableApps.com Platform to your liking is even easier with the organized Options window. You can alter the language, font size, transparency, automated language switching, app icon organization, change themes and more.
Improved PortableApps.com Updater - Keep All Your Apps Up To Date
The bundled PortableApps.com Updater has seen some nice usability improvements. It will automatically download the extra bits for online installers itself so you'll know exactly how much time is left. It's got improved translations. It automatically works with most proxies, even for online installers. There's even an option to have it automatically and silently check for app updates as you launch the platform. It's under Advanced Options, though it's disabled by default
as the menu will minimize when it runs (a bug we're working on) as there is a bug preventing it from working properly and causing it to block platform updates. This option should be disabled at present. It will be fixed in the next pre-release.
Discussing The Pre-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:
- 2.0 Pre-Release 1 bug reports
- Default app organization settings and "smart" list sorting
- Language updates and changes
- Version number change: keep 2.0, 1-2-5, Ubuntu-style 11.08, etc
- Portable Apps that have outdated installers and need an update to better work with the new app store
Donations - You Can Help Keep PortableApps.com Free!
With increased popularity comes increased costs for bandwidth and hosting. We're also heading to the open source convention in a couple weeks to teach other developers how to make their apps portable. Your donations are GREATLY appreciated and help make all this possible. Please become a PortableApps.com supporter today!
The Road To 2.0
We'll be releasing additional pre-releases over the coming weeks. While termed a pre-release, this is definitely a beta and there are still some known bugs in this release as well as incomplete translation loading in many places. After too much feature creep in the original 2.0 work, we've paired it back significantly to make it easier to test and get the releases out faster. We'll be rolling out file associations, automated app shutdowns, portable fonts, caching the full app list between sessions and a few other features in addition to bug fixes and translation updates over the coming weeks. We've already completed about 1/2 the work needed for much of it and will post more soon.
You can download the new test version from the download page. Get it today!
An update to fix some initial bugs has been posted.