The normal way to manage files is with the Windows File Explorer. Microsoft has improved it with each release of Windows. There are alternatives to the File Explorer that can be used in its place, and Directory Opus, by GPSoftware is the best file manager that I have seen on either Windows, Macintosh, or Linux.

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If you have been perusing BitTorrent lately, and yes, there are legitimate reasons to do so, then you likely have noticed that some things have changed. The links are now displayed as magnets and require some additional software for downloading. Clicking one of those links prompts you to install a program called the Torch web browser.

At first glance, you likely will think this is just the  latest form of malware. You are right to be cautious, but in this case your fears are unfounded. Torch is simply a new kind of web browser, and there is nothing malicious about it.

“Torch Browser is based on the Chromium technology platform, giving it fast browsing capabilities. With Torch, you can share sites you like, download torrents, accelerate downloads and grab online media – all directly from the browser. Everything you need is a just click away with Torch, so you don’t have to use or download additional programs and tools”.

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Snackr is a Software Replacement for Google Reader

Google Reader is going away. You have, by now, heard that Google is shutting down its popular Reader program. There are countless programs jumping forward to take the place of the the soon to be departed RSS reader. While Google’s mostly unsupported, at least recently, app is web-based, not all of the alternatives are.

There are both software and web apps that can fill the void, but many are under heavy traffic right now, so do not judge them by the way they currently work. In fact, the one I chose gave me a message upon sign-up that I was almost 47,000 down in the upload queue for my OPML file. After four days, I remain more than 7,000 behind and waiting.

However, that is not my only option, and I intend to test multiple sources for a replacement to my beloved Reader app, and I am looking at both web and desktop-based solutions. First up is a software program called Snackr. I am not sure I want to go with a desktop-based solution, but I am willing to try it.

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Welcome to the second post of my three-part series. In case you missed it, here’s Part 1, where I spoke about my thoughts on WIndows 8 Phones, the performance and stability of the operating system and the the current state of apps.

In this second part, I’ll tell you about the features of WIndows Phone 8 that I have come to enjoy. Here are the ones that made my list…

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StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Review

When you have such a huge community knitted around a title which is more than a decade old and is classified as one of the most successful and important games in the history of PC gaming, you know you are stepping into an inferno of expectations when you are making an announcement of the sequel. When Blizzard made that announcement in May 2007, I must say that I was intrigued, to be modest.

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You’re probably familiar with the infamous Windows notification balloon. While the majority of these notifications are often important, the Windows notification system is constantly ridiculed for lack of configuration. A solid notification system should consist of a configurable interface and support for a variety of applications. If you feel as though the default notification system does not suit your needs, you may want to have a look at Growl for Windows.

Based off of the popular Mac application, Growl for Windows is an excellent solution for those who multitask and wish to make their lives a little easier. Growl allows you to receive information on what is taking place in other applications via a simple notification in the corner of your screen. This eliminates the need for constantly switching windows which can negatively impact productivity. Growl has the ability to provide you with information such as the name of a song that is playing in iTunes, when a download is finished in Firefox, or when you receive a new IM in Pidgin.

Is Growl right for you? Continue reading to find out!
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If you have moved out from that home under a rock then you probably heard that the next iteration of Windows, code named Blue, leaked out to the web recently. Windows “Blue” is a code name only for now, but it is also the next Windows 8 update. The new version is not exactly the next Windows (that would be Windows #, rumored to be released in late 2014), which will apparently be actually called Windows 9, but Blue is also much more than a service pack.

Service packs generally bring a roll up of Windows updates, many of them for security patches, but Blue adds a number of new features, which we will get to in part two of this mini-series.

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The good folks here at AppStorm thought it may be of interest to take a look at how each of us works on a daily basis and now it is my turn to provide a bit of insight into what I use on a daily basis. Of course, being a freelance writer means I am not a normal use-case scenario as far a computer users goes, but perhaps some of you will find a few interesting things here that you can use in your everyday life.

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I’ve always wanted to write about a game for AppStorm. Even though the marketplace has an awful lot of games in its repository, Blocked In gained my attention the moment I saw it – mainly because of its ratings. It was love at first sight and I badly wanted to write about it.

Blocked In is basically a puzzle game and is one of the most downloaded game in the Windows Marketplace. True to the developers’ word, I found it a very addictive game. Should you give it a chance too? Read on to find out more!

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A few months ago on Windows Appstorm I reviewed Fontli. For me this was something brilliant, without Instagram on our Windows Phones Fontli filled a gap in the image social network category. Since then I’ve been using Fontli consistently and normally can’t go a single day without checking up on the latest images.

If you would like to read my full review follow this link: Fontli: Embrace The World Of Typography.

I’ve always been keen to interview the developers of some of the apps I love and today I have my chance. Anand Nair, UX designer, is an integral part of Fontli’s team and he was kind enough to let me interview him. Read on to find out what happens in the background of Fontli and how the team is structured!

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