PortableApps has issued a new beta version of its Platform 2.0 release, downloadable here. If you’re unfamiliar with PortableApps, I covered it previously here. It’s a suite of pre-selected free, primarily open-source applications that you can stick on a USB flash drive. It’s especially popular as a way to store many useful applications on a pocketable drive, so that you can work anywhere, from any computer. It’s only available for Windows at this point, but if you tote any type of portable drive, it’s worth having. Here are some of the details on the new beta.
You can find an exhaustive list of the enhancements in the new version of PortableApps here. Among them is the ability to switch themes, with many available color schemes, and to set the transparency of menus to your liking. One very handy new feature is that you can move your most often-used applications to the top of the menu of apps, so you don’t have to scroll for favorites. You can also uninstall any application from the suite by right-clicking on it, and selecting “Uninstall.”
I carry PortableApps on a flash drive, and like to use the suite on netbooks, because the applications have small footprints, and open and close quickly. In the new version, you can check any drive you’re using the suite on for errors, too.
One of the best things about PortableApps is that the (primarily open source) applications included in the suite are hand-picked and are generally very good. In fact, if you get the suite, you may just fall for one of the applications you try, and start being a full-time desktop user of the app in question.
Among many other applications available in portable versions, with launchers that let you run them from the drive you store them on, you get:
- ClamWin Portable (antivirus)
- Mozilla Firefox – Portable Edition (web browser)
- Gaim Portable (instant messaging)
- OpenOffice.org Portable (office suite)
- Sudoku Portable (puzzle game)
- Mozilla Sunbird – Portable Edition (calendar/task manager)
- Mozilla Thunderbird – Portable Edition (email client)
You should note that the beta is just a testing version, but it is stable, and it’s a quick download. Especially if you’re a fan of the PortableApps suite, you may want to try it out. There are a couple of known issues with the beta, but they’re minor, and you can view them at the bottom of this page.
What are your favorite apps in the PortableApps suite?