Our Favourite Apps This Month: July 2018 

Every week at Lifehacker, we highlight the best new apps and browser extensions that can do something awesome for your devices (or life). If you took an Internet-free sabbatical or went on vacation for a week, you probably missed some gems.

Here are the best downloads we featured this month:


Windows

Synchronise your games and smart lighting: Hue Sync

"...I love Philips' Hue Sync app — a free utility for Windows or Mac that lets you align your music, movies, or gaming with your lighting setup. First off, it's practical: When I'm running my fifth Starcraft II co-op match of the day, I like to have something to keep me entertained. Having lights that match the general ambiance of the maps I rotate through adds a fun degree of immersion."

Install and update apps more easily with a package manager: Chocolatey 

"If you want another helping hand to ensure your favourite apps stay updated — or a much larger directory of user-maintained packages (apps) to pick from — consider Chocolatey. No, not the delicious sweet, nor the command line-based app installer. Well. Sort of. The Chocolatey GUI is what you'll want to check out, because it gives you a lovely graphical interface for installing and managing your apps, which is a lot easier to handle than a lot of command-line typing."

Transform your favourite websites into "desktop apps:" Web2Desk

"Still, for one-off uses, Web2Desk is certainly handy (even if the service isn't all that unique). While I wouldn't use it for any web service that already has an offline app — like Trello, Twitter, or Whatsapp, to use three examples Web2Desk highlights on its site — it's certainly helpful if you want to, say, let your favourite idle clicker game chug along in a window independent of whatever you're doing in your web browser."

Get Apple's Quick Look preview on your Windows PC: QuickLook 

"The Windows app, cleverly titled 'QuickLook,' is completely free. Install it, run it, and you'll be able to preview "certain file types" — the developer doesn't specify — by highlighting them in File Explorer and hitting the spacebar to open up a preview. (Don't hold it down; tap it.) And tap spacebar one more time to close the preview. It's as easy as that. The app automatically sets itself to launch every time you start Windows, a necessity for its primary feature to work." 


Mac

Transform your favourite websites into "desktop apps:" Web2Desk

Even though we just mentioned this in the Windows section, it's worth noting that this tool can also help you create Mac "desktop apps" of your favourite websites.

"Still, for one-off uses, Web2Desk is certainly handy (even if the service isn't all that unique). While I wouldn't use it for any web service that already has an offline app — like Trello, Twitter, or Whatsapp, to use three examples Web2Desk highlights on its site — it's certainly helpful if you want to, say, let your favourite idle clicker game chug along in a window independent of whatever you're doing in your web browser."

Switch Between Mojave's Day and Night mode with a click: NightOwl 

"Install it on your [macOS Mojave] system and have it run whenever you launch macOS, and you'll get a little icon — an owl, of course — that you can click on to switch between light and dark modes. You can even set it to make a cute little owl sound whenever you make the switch." 

This universal clipboard is even better than Apple's: Paste 2

"Although there are plenty of clipboard management apps that keep a record of everything you've copied, and Apple's own Continuity feature lets you access the contents of your clipboard across all of your devices, Paste 2 puts these features, and more, under one roof."

Synchronise your games and smart lighting: Hue Sync

As noted below, Hue Sync also works great on the Mac!

"...I love Philips' Hue Sync app — a free utility for Windows or Mac that lets you align your music, movies, or gaming with your lighting setup. First off, it's practical: When I'm running my fifth Starcraft II co-op match of the day, I like to have something to keep me entertained. Having lights that match the general ambiance of the maps I rotate through adds a fun degree of immersion."

Remove every trace of unwanted apps from your Mac: CleanApp 

"If you want to have a Mac that's as free from garbage and stray files as you can get, I recommend giving it a try before you install anything else from our Mac Pack. Here's why: The app runs a background process that keeps track of everything an app dumps on your system when you're installing it. When it's time to remove said app, this ensures that CleanApp takes everything off your system that shouldn't be there."


Android / iOS

You can finally have dark mode in YouTube on Android: YouTube Vanced 

"[Ad blocking], in itself, makes YouTube Vanced a great download. Throw in dark mode, background playback, and some useful tweaks for playback, and I don't see any reason not to use this awesome Android alternative to YouTube."

Print a book of everything you've done over the year: Gyroscope 

"Gyroscope's premise is simple: You connect a bunch of services and enable all sorts of tracking features on your device, and the app automatically pulls in this data to create interesting timelines of everything you've been up to. (Android, iOS)" 

Copy and paste Firefox passwords from your iPhone: Firefox Lockbox 

"If you're a heavy Firefox user and you aren't using a separate password management extension — just saving your passwords in your browser — you're a perfect candidate to try Lockbox. Install it on your iPhone or iPad, pull it up, and log in using your Firefox account. Once you do, you'll see all your saved logins and passwords in a big ol' list."

Automatically save money after shopping at Walmart: Savings Catcher 

"You might think there's nothing inherently special about Walmart's app for Android and iOS, but it actually contains one clever little trick that could save you a decent amount of cash on your purchases over time."


Chrome / Firefox

Save Gmail Attachments to Dropbox on any device: Dropbox add-on for Gmail 

"Google and Dropbox are now collaborating on a brand-new 'Dropbox add-on for Gmail,' which will make it easy to share the contents of your Dropbox directly within Gmail. If you're going the other way, it's also a lot easier to dump files directly into your Dropbox, saving you the step of having to pull up your Downloads folder and manually drag the file over yourself." 

See your Firefox and Chrome history in Windows 10's Timeline: Windows Timeline Support 

"Grab the free 'Windows Timeline Support' extension for Chrome or Firefox and you'll now be able to see your browsing history in your Windows Timeline. (To access the Timeline, hit the Windows key + Tab on your keyboard, or click on the Task View button in your taskbar.)"

Stop Netflix's annoying trailers: Netflix Tweaked

"...The Chrome and Firefox extension Netflix Tweaked blocks the service's trailers from playing automatically in your browser. And that's not all. As an added bonus, the extension also slaps your 'Continue Watching' and 'My List' feeds in the number one and two positions below the service's featured content at the top. You won't have to scroll past any Netflix promotions to pull up the shows you were, or want to be, watching."


As always, if you have amazing apps or browser extensions you think we should feature, let us know in the comments below or send an email to [email protected]


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