We're following the trend of simplicity. Minimalistic design is what most programs aspire to present their potential users with. One-purpose and absurdly simple apps (see YO) make crowds fascinated and you start wondering "Why didn't I think about that first?" This is part of the policy that Apple follows: take a complicated app or device, remake it so that the most confusing processes perform under the hood and the user gets access to everything in just a few taps. The same is true for some of these Windows apps.
With so many programs in the app market, it's getting more and more difficult for developers to introduce something revolutionary and new. However, improving some old software, making it more functional and less difficult for users to master is always a great idea. Formerly overly complicated and ugly apps which brought horror into a heart of a casual user are now much simpler and more pleasant to work with.
Here are 8 apps that make difficult tasks seem much easier.
Most users know very little about the computer they're using right now. Piriform, the guys behind the famous CCleaner, have made spec browsing much easier with Speccy. This little program simplifies troubleshooting. Detailed information about the types and models of hardware currently installed on your computer will be presented in a simple, easy to comprehend manner. Finding the right drivers or compatible RAM becomes much easier once you actually know what to look for. You may not need this program if you're good with reading specs via the Control Panel, but everybody has a friend that may need remote assistance with a PC while not knowing a thing about it (save for the color of their laptop).
Photoshop is usually the first solution that comes to mind when one needs to edit some photos. However, it occupies a lot of resources and is pricy, even though most users don't actually need its advance photo editing functionality. The desktop version of Pixlr - one of the best Photoshop alternatives - is a new photo editor, which originated from a web-application. Having more desktop power it's capable of faster work with high-resolution material. This is a simple app for applying filters and effects, stylizing, and generally improving photos without additional fuss.
Citrio is a Chromium-based browser which has preserved all the features of Chrome. What makes it different is a number of preinstalled exclusive extensions. This browser makes downloading torrents, magnet links and usual files much simpler and faster due to a built-in download manager capable of speeding-up downloads. Fast downloads of online videos is possible via an easy-to-use video saver, while switching your proxy can be done in just two clicks within a proxy extension. All-in-all, it's not a browser that is easy, but its extensions that can replace several other programs.
Cometdocs is actually an "Online Document Management System", available for Windows, Android, and iOS. Most users prefer Google Drive or iCloud for storing their documents, however that's not the most interesting part in Cometdocs. This app integrates itself into the context menu of Windows, enabling file conversion with a single click. Pictures, text documents, and tables are easily convertible with the Cometdocs cloud service. The process is very fast and eliminates the need of opening a separate program or launching a browser.
Surprising somebody with an archive manager is not an easy task. However the B1 Free Archiver is more than just an archive manager. It excels in supporting a great number of archive formats, while being available on every possible desktop OS. There is even an Android and online version of B1. The interface is straightforward, navigation is ridiculously simple, and the preview option for some files is also a great feature.
This tiny app is another way of helping you concentrate on the things you should be doing by dimming out every window, save for the active one. LeDimmer is helpful in focusing your attention to the currently open window. While the idea isn't groundbreaking, by clicking on a button in a tray you will definitely stop yourself from wandering through multiple open windows.
Saladin is an open-source, free dual-pane file manager that is a great replacement for the traditional Windows Explorer. Moving files between folders is easy, no longer requiring you to open multiple windows and arrange them. All locations are available in a single click, just like all basic file management functionality. Move, Copy, Edit and other options are assigned to the F1-12 keys for faster work. With zip archives and FTP support, Saladin is an interesting solution for getting full control over files in Windows.
8Smoker Pro is probably the easiest way to tweak and tune Windows 8. Most of the existing Windows settings are gathered under convenient categories, letting you make Windows feel like home. Making it suit your preferences and performing system maintenance can be done in several clicks. Though, there is a slight learning curve to this app and it's still advisable to make some back-ups, 8Smoker Pro will let you feel like an advance user, even if you aren't one.
Windows might not be as customizable as Linux, but with a right program you can make it more functional and simple to use. Sometimes even the smallest app can outperform its more popular and bulky big brother.