Looking for useful or fun programs? Here are some recommendations from the Tom's Guide community for the ninth week of 2011.
Hot apps is a weekly rundown of the most popular apps according to our sister site, Tom's Guide. The following software are ranked from first to tenth by total downloads over the last week, making them community picks.
Unless otherwise specified, all featured apps are free, and run on Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, and XP.
Capture Fox. Here's a Firefox add-on that turns the web browser into a screencast tool. Capture Fox is great for recording video tutorials on websites, other Firefox add-ons, and even other programs. No updates for this beta app have been forthcoming since 2009 however, and it only works on Windows XP, Vista, and 7. New entry.
Horoscope. The astrology-driven app stays near the top of the list. This desktop gadget for Windows Vista and 7 provides regular updates on possible futures, based on what the user's Zodiac sign is. Remains at #2.
SkipScreen. A useful Firefox add-on designed for services like RapidShare and Megaupload, SkipScreen does as its named. It bypasses ad-filled web pages that file-sharing sites force their users to wait through. Great for surfers who are tired of seeing how a monthly fee leads to faster downloads. New entry.
WoW Explorer. Another desktop gadget for Windows Vista and 7, WoW Explorer keeps World of Warcraft players updated on the status of the different game servers they can log into and play their virtual character. Remains at #4.
FoxyTunes. At the very least, FoxyTunes lets you control music playback right from your web browser (Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) or Yahoo Messenger. Supporting features include easy one-click access to lyrics, album covers, music videos, and artist bios. Users can also easily tell everyone else what they're listening to through Twitter or email. New entry.
UNetbootin. Need to create a flash drive or CD that can boot with a free OS or recovery environment like Ubuntu or Kaspersky's Rescue Disk? UNetbootin takes care of everything. A good internet connection is recommended for those who don't want to wait too long. Down from #5.
Evernote. This is the iPad client for the Evernote service. It lets users sync their notes and annotations—whether written or typed out—with an online database for easy access later on, and from other devices. Down from #6.
Omega Messenger. This app lets users manage multiple instant messaging accounts. Supported services include AIM, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and even ICQ. Down from #7.
Angry Birds HD. The popular game is also available on the iPad. A bunch of colorful birds seek revenge on pigs who've stolen their eggs. Players launch the birds like catapult projectiles, so that the pig's fortresses come crashing down like a house of cards. Down from #8.
PstPassword. A utility designed to unlock Outlook PST (personal storage table) files, PstPassword is designed for forgetful users who've let their Outlook password slip away. Down from #9.
Staff Picks: Paint.NET is a worthy free Photoshop replacement. Foxit PDF Reader takes up minimal system resources. BurnAware Free is a burning app that's fully compatible with Blu-Ray burners and Windows 7. And of course, who wouldn't want to download the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird?