There are so many Windows apps out there, that picking a list of the very best, most must-install software for your desktop or laptop feels daunting. We've pored over pages of recommendations, countless forum posts, and lots of comments to come up with this year's Lifehacker Pack for Windows, a list of software champions across four categories: productivity, internet/communications, music/photos/video and utilities.
Tagged With utilities
A lot of games require a big time investment — at least, if you want to have the best gear, the funniest emotes, the most locations unlocked, a shot at completing all the achievements, etc. And while you could play fair and square, you could also be that person and use hacks, exploits, or other creative techniques to achieve whatever it is you’re trying to do in your favourite title, even if that’s “ruin everyone else’s day by using a utility to kill them a lot faster than they can kill you.” That’s fun too, right?
iOS: Exchanging hilarious or embarrassing screenshots is a regular occurrence among a few of my friends, though it often involves receiving multiple images at once, occasionally in the wrong order. Whether you send screenshots of a long text message chain, an emailed receipt you're sharing with a partner, or an entire website you think looks cool, you should download Tailor, a utilitarian app that will automatically stitch screenshots together into a single image.
In terms of functionality, Apple's generic, preloaded keyboard has certainly improved, but even after adding its own App Store, complete with stickers and apps, it's still a little bland. What I do love about Apple is its support for third-party keyboards. You can ditch the generic offering and download enough keyboards for every conceivable customisation option you want.
iOS: Every once in a while, Apple will push out a minor update that fixes some random little problem with its operating systems. This time around, it's the Apple ID page in 10.3, which finally has a more cohesive settings page with access to everything from two-factor authentication to serial numbers on your other devices.
Mac: You might know Parallels best as a tool to run Windows on a Mac, but the company also have a menu bar app called Parallels Toolbox that crams a bunch of utilities, like hiding the desktop and muting a mic, into a single app.
Windows: RansomFree is a new tool that promises to stop ransomware attacks before they can get busy encrypting all of your data. Instead of watching specific processes or trying to use signatures to identify ransomware, it observes the behaviour of running processes instead, warning you when something's up.
Mac: You have a ton of options for different system monitors on the Mac, but if you're looking for something a little more customisable than the rest, MenuBar Stats 2 is worth a look.
Mac: When it comes to video players on Mac, VLC has long been the best choice. That doesn't mean there can't be competition though. IINA is a video player still in early development that is looking to give VLC a run for its money.
Chrome: Trello is an incredibly powerful productivity tool, and Next Step for Trello makes it a little better. The add-on lets you add checklists and check boxes to Trello cards, check them off directly in a card and arrange them so you see just the next step or all steps.
Windows: Rainmeter is hands-down the most popular tool for customising the look of your Windows desktop and it's hitting version 4.0 with some new skin creation tools.
Burner is already great to give a phone number to people you may not want to have your real number, but its chat bot, Ghostbot, makes it even better -- and safer. Whether it's a bad date who won't stop texting you or an annoying match on a dating site, Ghostbot can take care of it for automatically.
A shiny Netflix subscription or Spotify gift card may not be the most fun item on your wish list, but they and other web services you use every day can still make great, useful gifts that keep giving long after the season is over. Here are some of our favourite premium apps and web services worth gifting.