Looking for useful or fun programs? Here are some recommendations from the Tom's Guide community for the eighth 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.
TubeMaster++. This utility, which promises the easy capture of online videos, is the new king of the hill. As you indulge your schadenfreude or voyeurism through a web browser, TubeMaster locates the video's source FLV file, making it available for download. Users can also configure this app to convert its downloads into more usable video formats like AVI, MP4, etc. Up from #2.
Horoscope. The desktop gadget for Windows 7 and Vista remains near the top of the list. Get regular updates on potential fortune, romantic relationships, and everything else supposedly determined by your Zodiac sign. Up from #3.
AppRemover. A consistent favorite, AppRemover stays high with its ability to purge computers of unnecessary apps that simply won't go away. The utility goes above and beyond the uninstalling call of duty, getting rid of programs that have proven too tough for Windows own uninstall manager. Up from #4.
WoW Explorer. Regular players of the world's most popular MMORPG (in terms of subscribers) may find this desktop gadget—also for Windows 7 and Vista only—useful. WoW Explorer displays the status of the game's "realms", which represent the servers where players login to fulfill their World of Warcraft fantasies. Up from #5.
UNetbootin. If downloading a free OS or recovery environment like Ubuntu—and setting it up to boot from a CD or flash drive—sounds like too much trouble for you, UNetbootin does all of the hard work. Run it with a good internet connection, sit back, and relax. Up from #7.
Evernote. This iPad app lets users "write" down notes, annotations, and even drawings, for syncing with their online Evernote account. Evernote as an online service allows its users to access their scribblings from a variety of devices, including the Apple tablet PC. Up from #8.
Omega Messenger. The promise of this app: easy management of multiple instant messaging accounts (on services like AIM, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, etc.), without taking up too much of your PC's resources. Up from #10.
Angry Birds HD. The Angry Birds franchise is popular enough that explaining it seems superfluous. The iPad version of this popular game puts you in control of a flock of colorful birds out for revenge. The evil pigs have stolen eggs from the nest, and you have to literally launch the birds at the pigs' structures and cause them to come crashing down. New entry.
PstPassword. For absent-minded Microsoft Outlook users who've forgotten their passwords, PstPassword attempts to unlock a password-protected Outlook Personal Storage Table (PST) file, which contains all the emails, contacts, and everything else associated with a user's Outlook account. New entry.
PhraseMeme Scanner. The sole Windows Phone 7 app in this week's list is a multi-purpose code scanner. Take pictures of any popular barcode format (including QR Codes, UPCs, ITF, and many more) and PhraseMeme Scanner will search various online services like Google, Amazon for more information. New entry.
Staff Picks: Design your dream home with Sweet Home 3D, and check out Pro-Evolution Soccer 2011 for Android. EncodeHD is a video converter with output options designed for popular media players and smartphones.