Top 10 Underrated Windows Apps
Some applications are essential, and everyone knows he has them on his computer. Some apps, however, are fantastic, but fly under the radar. Today, we’re looking at our top 10 underhyped apps on Windows.
We have shared our favorite under-hyped web apps a a few times before, but we were shocked to find that we hadn’t done the same for our beloved desktop computers. So, this week, we’re tackling Windows. Check back next week to see our favorite under-hyped Mac apps!
WizMouse is that app you didn’t know you wanted until you used it. It allows you to scroll windows when you hover over them, not just after clicking on them – something OS X and Linux have built in, but Windows seems to lack. It may seem trivial, but after using it for a while, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. It will even enable the mouse wheel in apps that don’t support it, or even reverse the “natural” scroll direction that some people prefer. Discover our original post on it for more.
Skitch isn’t necessarily the best screenshot tool, but it’s been our favorite screenshot annotation tool for the Mac for a long time, and now it’s on Windows. It’s amazing what a few well-placed arrows, text and shapes can do when you’re trying to explain something – and, while you could just do it in Microsoft Paint, Skitch makes it beautiful (and easy). If you use Evernote, the Evernote integration is also excellent.
8. Pot Player
You have probably heard of pot player before—after all, this is our App Directory pick for the best video player on windows. Despite this, however, it seems to be a much lesser-known app that deserves more attention. It’s fast, lightweight, and has more settings for tweaking your video than you can afford (plus, it can play just about any video you throw at it). As such, it deserves more praise from us than more popular players like VLC, at least if you want those advanced settings. If you’ve used another player and want more, PotPlayer is where you’ll find it.
7. Trash cans
The Windows taskbar is always there. best taskbar aroundbut that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Bins is a simple $5 app that adds some really handy features to the taskbar, including the ability to group multiple apps into a single square. Click on that square and it will launch the main app, but hover over it and you can choose which app to launch. It’s perfect for those with multiple music players, photo editors, or other things you don’t want to take up space on your taskbar. See our article on this subject to see even more things it can do.
chocolate brings lightning-fast, super-configurable package management from Linux to Windows. What does that mean? This means you can install a ton of apps at once (perfect for clean installations) effortlessly. Or, you can try out this new app without having to find its site, download the file, and install it yourself. Everything happens in a few keystrokes. Watch the video on the left to see it in action.
Dexpot is a great little utility that adds a ton of features windows on your desktop and gives them all sorts of shortcuts. Its main purpose is to divide your desktop into four different workspaces, much like the Spaces feature on OS X or the Workspaces feature on Ubuntu. It can also make windows transparent, give you an Exposé-like view of all your open windows, and more. If your desktop is starting to get a bit cluttered with Windows, Dexpot is the perfect app to save your productivity.
Growl is an incredibly popular program on Mac, but its Windows version doesn’t get much attention, despite the fact that it’s become quite a notification system. Growl essentially puts all the popups, bubbles, and other notifications on your desktop into a unified system that you can control, customize, send to other machines, or even transfer to your phone. It supports a ton of popular apps and it’s very easy to set up. Check our guide to Growl for Windows for more information.
At first glance, MusicBee seems like just another music player for Windows, but it’s actually the perfect balance between existing programs. It is complete, as WinampComment, but much lighter and 100% free. It’s not enough as customizable as foobar2000but is a lot easier to use and has enough customization features for the average user. It even has plenty of tagging features for those who might consider something like MediaMonkey. Moreover, he syncs perfectly with Android phones. Does this beat any of these players in their specialty functions? No, but it has a bit of everything, is super lightweight and is sure to fit into anyone’s workflow. If you haven’t found a music player you really like, give it a try. He was a competitor in our Hive Five on desktop music playersbut barely garnered 6% of the final vote, so we still consider it very underrated.
Nircmd is not an “application” in the traditional sense, but it is something we believe every hacker in life should have on their Windows computer. Essentially, Nircmd is a command line tool that performs all sorts of system functions with really easy to understand commands. Sound boring to you? Combine it with AutoHotkey– one of the most hyped applications in Windows – and you can perform almost all system tasks with just one touch. You can open or close your CD drive, start your screensaver, put your computer to sleep, change the volume, read text from the clipboard, kill instances of any program, or perform over 70 other tasks. Check Full List of Nircmd Features to see what he can do, and check our guide to integrating it with AutoHotkey to make it really awesome. picture by Neill T..
Microsoft’s note-taking app, OneNote, is one of those apps that nobody really talks about much, but is absolutely adored by everyone who uses it. Heck, you even voted for your favorite contour tool, personal project management tooland meeting minutes servicenot to mention third place for best note taking app. It’s also available for a ton of platforms (although it’s part of Microsoft Office), so if you find Evernote just isn’t powerful enough for your organizational needs, give OneNote a try – you might be surprised. of everything he can do given his lesser-known status.