Nvidia’s GeForce Experience Tool Optimizes Your Game Settings Automatically

Unless you are lucky (and rich) enough to own the latest Alienware, squeezing the best out of your rig on new games is an exercise in trial and error. Running latest games at maxed out settings will knock your fps (frames per second) down to single digits, but the preset quality modes often don’t do justice to your hardware. Getting the best possible combination of quality and performance often involves carefully balancing individual aspects like texture quality, reflection detail, and shadow quality.

Nvidia GeForce Experience is a new utility that strives to makes things a bit easier for gamers with a GeForce graphics card. The GeForce Experience software analyzes your system configuration and then recommends and applies the optimum configuration for recognized games. The GeForce Experience project maintains a cloud database of top games and their recommended configurations for various specifications. It can scan through your hard disk to detect installed games and their current settings. The Windows app clearly highlights the differences between your current settings and the recommended settings. It also explains the impact of some of the crucial settings with the help of images from the game.

GeForce-Experience

The GeForce Experience tool is currently in beta, and this shows. The tool picked up Max Payne and Team Fortress installations automatically. However, it missed Trine, Portal, Braid, and The Walking Dead. In its defense, none of these games are graphically demanding by today’s standards or they have simple configuration options. I have a hunch that the GeForce Experience uses the pre-existing GeForce guides, and is actually fairly restricted in terms of games available in its database. It also made a couple of questionable recommendations for Max Payne. It completely disregarded the native resolution and aspect ratio of my display, and it recommended turning off shadows completely. I accepted most of its recommendations and found them to be optimal, but changed the display resolution to match my AR, enabled shadows, and decreased the shader quality a notch (to compensate).

[ Download GeForce Experience Beta for Windows ]

TweetDeck Updated, Finally Gets a Light Theme

If you are a Twitter power user, then the web interface is hardly going to cut it for you. Unfortunately, with Twitter actively discouraging new apps that replicate core functionality, the choices for the power user are not many, and they seem to get slimmer by the day as existing apps get acquired (e.g. Hootsuite acquiring Seesmic) or cease active development. TweetDeck is not just among the oldest, but also among the most flexible Twitter apps out there. When Twitter acquired TweetDeck last year, there were fears that it might languish under Twitter’s control. Thankfully, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Towards the end of last year, TweetDeck was rewritten to get rid of Adobe AIR dependency and improve performance in the process. Since then, the TweetDeck team has been rolling out minor improvements on a regular basis. A short while back, TweetDeck pushed out its second major update since being acquired by Twitter.

TweetDeck-Light-Theme

If you are not a big fan of the dark look of TweetDeck, there is good news for you. The new version features a light theme, which is frankly is a lot more pleasing to look at. There are minor interface improvements everywhere, and the tweets themselves have been reformatted to adhere to Twitter’s mantra of consistency. You also get the option to change font sizes – Small (13pt), Medium (14pt) or Large (15pt). However, columns are still not resizable and tweets are still not expandable.

TweetDeck has been updated for all supported platforms other than iOS, which means web, Chrome, Mac and Windows.

Direct Download Links Office 2013 Consumer Preview

Microsoft unveiled the latest version of Microsoft Office and the successor to yesterday named as . Office 2013 is a refresh of the earlier version and has a metrofied UI, which is the future of Microsoft products including .

Microsoft Office 2013

Microsoft made the consumer preview version of Office 2013 available for downloads yesterday. However, the download is web-based and you will not have access to the installer at a later date.

If you are looking to download a version of Office 2013 to your desktop and use it to install the software on multiple PCs, you will find links for the direct downloads of Office 2013 below.

While you are downloading the Consumer Preview of Office 2013, you might want to check out some of our articles about the new announcement and features in Office 2013.

Have you been able to use Microsoft Office 2013 yet? What are your thoughts about it. Do feel free to let us know about it.

Google Analytics for Android

is definitely one of the best analytics service around and with the introduction of Realtime Analytics it definitely adds more value to web tracking. However, one of the problems I have usually faced is the lack of an official app for , Google’s own mobile operating system.

Google Analytics for Android

However, it looks like the wait is finally over, since Google has officially launched the Google Analytics app for Android which provides you with an option to view realtime analytics, daily unique visitors, daily goal conversions and critical alerts that affect your website.

While the app itself comes with only few charts, it allows you to add more charts including visitor and session charts, page tracking , event tracking, goals, AdWords tracking and more.

If you are someone who relies on analytics or wants to keep an eye on the go, the official Google Analytics app for Android is something you should definitely use.

I have been amazed with the app and the ease of use, however, I would still like a lot more in it. Nevertheless, the app is still useful and I am rating it a high 4/5. You can give the app a try by visiting the Google Play store at this URL.

Taking A Quick Look At Yahoo’s Axis Browser, The What’s and How’s

The browser wars has just heated up with the latest entrant, Yahoo’s Axis browser. For now there is a standalone app for the iPad and iPhone whereas for the desktop an extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. Let’s take a quick look at what it has to offer.

Adding the browser enhancement is one easy process. Head over to the official Axis website and use to the button “Get it Now” to download the appropriate extension for your browser. Once done you’ll notice a black search bar at the bottom the browser window. Start typing in it and it will bubble up to show you the search results in real time. The visibly brilliant search interface offers a speedy experience without necessarily interfering with your browsing. The search results are shown in a carousel like manner and the search is carried out with Bing powered search engine. Users can then click on any of the results to open it on the very same tab(right click and it can also be opened on a new tab) and this cancels out the detested feeling of fishing for the dull text links. So unlike other browsers you get to search for keywords without leaving the current page or firing up a new search page. No wonder it works much like it’s publicized.

yahoo-axis-browser-extension

Apart from these, there is a bookmark button which can be used to add the current page to Favorites or a Read Later folder. Use the login option to link the Axis Browser to your Yahoo account. The bookmarks can then be accessed across any browser or devices that has Yahoo Axis Browser(or browser plugin) installed and logged in to with the same Yahoo account. This is nothing new as Chrome does it in a much better way and so does Firefox.

The iOS version of the app is however a native app that can act as a standalone browser. Unfortunately as Apple don’t allow external links to be opened on any browser other than Safari, Yahoo’s new brainchild search browser won’t be getting much traction unless it is primarily preferred for performing a search on those devices. On a personal note, I wonder why Yahoo didn’t launch for Android(a version is coming soon)?Thankfully Google allows other browser competitors to be launched by default for any external link.

It is not sure whether the new browser will be released as a standalone application for the desktop platforms in future or it will simply stay as a browser extension only intended for the amelioration of the search and browsing experience for the already popular browsers. It might also be a marketing strategy to gain popularity riding on the success of the widely used desktop browsers which can later be leveraged with an independent app. The fact that the internet giant uses Bing instead of its own search bear witness to Yahoo’s dependence on the existing market leaders. Microsoft has definite reasons to cheer as this move might see much deserved growth for its powerful search engine. We’ll have to wait a little longer to comment on that. In the present scenario, the tool is nothing but a new search extension for almost all the popular browsers out there. Speedy, seamless and less-intruding search experience is quite pleasing. The roll-out was hasty decision perhaps, leading to a serious security vulnerability but that is something already taken care of. For me, a Bing lover, this simply serves as a quick tool to use the service but not likely a replacement for the feature rich Chrome browser.

Use Sticky Notes with Evernote

I have been a big fan of note-taking software which allow me to quickly jot down notes for later. In the past  I have covered several note-taking and sticky notes software and even for . However, Evernote has always been one of the best software I have used for my desktop and mobile devices.

One of the things I usually miss while using Evernote is the lack of ability to post sticky notes on my desktop and a desktop widget which would allow me to quickly jot down notes without having to open up the app itself.

While searching for a Sticky notes application which would work with Evernote, I came across the "Sticky Notes" app in the Evernote Trunk, where external developers create apps based on the Evernote API.

Also Check Out Some Similar Software:

Sticky Notes for Evernote has looks and feels like any sticky notes app for desktop out there. However, the advantage of using this app is that it automatically synchronizes your notes to Evernote making it available on multiple devices. Additionally, you can also setup the app on multiple desktops and it will automatically synchronize notes on them, provided you link it with your Evernote account.

Sticky Notes for Evernote

Download Google Drive for Android, Windows and Mac

It was no secret that Google was working on a competitor to and SkyDrive and the official announcement came today. will provide users with 5GB of free space to all users. This is in line with Microsoft’s recent announcement to provide 7GB of free space for SkyDrive.

Google Drive

Google Drive will tightly integrate with and allow users to create and store documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF files and more and collaborate with friends and family online.  Additionally, Google Drive will also provide users with apps for PC, Mac and .

Also Read: Google Drive vs Dropbox vs SkyDrive | Google Drive, Another Privacy Disaster

Google Drive will directly compete with the likes of Dropbox and SkyDrive on PCs and mobile devices. It will also be an answer to Microsoft’s SkyDrive on Windows Phone 7 and iOS devices which is not available for Android devices. Dropbox on the other end is available for all mobile devices and also supports Linux. However, their initial free space is only 2GB which might potentially go up now. Additionally, Dropbox also allows for 16GB additional space from referrals.

Also See: Get 50GB Free Space for Android from Box.net | 5 Best Ways to Keep Documents Online

Google Drive will also provide users with a search functionality which will also make use of OCR to search images and scanned documents thanks to their acquisition of reCaptcha. This is definitely a big plus for them.

You can download Google Drive for your computer or device by using the link below; an iOS app will be released soon:

*Please note that the Android app is a rebranding of the Google Docs app for Android.

Sandisk Memory Zone: The Ultimate Android Backup App You Will Ever Need

Data backup is a real pain, especially if you are someone who has a couple of Android phones, a laptop, two desktop computers, a couple of websites, half a dozen USB drives along with two external hard disk drives, packed with all kinds of important as well as useless stuff.

The real problem with data backup is that a backup is not full proof, until and unless the following conditions are met:

  • The backup must be up to date. A 6 month old backup is useless in most occasions.
  • The backup should be automatic in nature. It is literally impossible to manually backup data from so many devices every other weekend and keep track of the changes.
  • The backup should be incremental. If you delete an old backup and start copying 352 GB of data from an external HDD to your backup location, you know it is going to take ages.

Now coming to Android, I have always taken the default KIES route. And to be honest, it sucks.

There is nothing wrong with the program but whenever I realize that I have to manually backup everything from my Android device, a strange shiver runs down my veins. I have bricked my device twice, lost all the music, photos, apps and everything just because I was reluctant on backing up data from my Android. You never know when you are going to lose your phone, do you? So how would you keep a self updating recent instance of the backup?

Fortunately, the folks at Sandisk have come up with a powerful and seamless backup option for Android – the Sandisk Memory zone. I said seamless because Sandisk’s  app allows you to backup files and apps from your phone’s SD card to a cloud storage provider (Dropbox, for example). You can choose a schedule of the backup and completely customize the backup plan according to your requirements.

Once you have installed the app, run it and it will scan your entire SD card and the internal memory of your device. Next, choose a cloud storage provider where you would want to backup all the data, an example is shown below:

add-online-storage

I prefer Dropbox for regular files and use Box.net as a storage dump. There are ways to get enormous storage on both these services and luckily, I have managed quite a good amount of storage space on both Dropbox and Box.net. For free, of course.

For the phone backup, I would choose Dropbox over Box.net for two reasons. First, the entire backup will automatically appear on my desktop computer, the moment I run the Dropbox desktop client. Second, it is super easy to add files to my phone’s SD card from the desktop computer, all I have to do is copy the given files to my Dropbox folder and run the Dropbox app on my phone.

Once you have chosen your preferred cloud storage provider, you will be prompted to choose the items and the frequency schedule of the backup. I went ahead with “Only this time” just to make sure that all the data gets uploaded to Dropbox first. Next, I changed the setting to “Every day”, this will take care of the automatic incremental backup and I can rest in peace.

choose-items-frequency

 

Hit the magic button once and everything is put on the upload queue. It is recommended to use a Wi-Fi connection for large backups such as videos or MP3’s.

backup-in-progress

While the upload is in progress, it makes sense to fine tune the app preferences and choose to initiate the backup only when a Wi-Fi connection is available. There is more, you can connect your Google Docs and Windows Live SkyDrive accounts and use this app to upload, download files and documents to and fro from the Android. A piece of cake!

Overall, this is certainly the best Android backup app ever built. Wake up every morning, take the first sip of coffee, run the Dropbox app on your desktop and all files from your phone are right there. Too good!

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Key

Microsoft has been focusing on for all of past year and the OS has definitely turned out to be great. Microsoft just released the Consumer preview of Windows 8 (Download Windows 8) to the public after the press conference at .

If you install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview using the installer provided by Microsoft, you will not require a product key. However, if you create a installation media and start your PC from media and then install Windows 8 consumer preview, you will require a product key.

The product key for installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview is:

NF32V-Q9P3W-7DR7Y-JGWRW-JFCK8

OR

DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

Once again, you will only require this if you are using the ISO file and creating a bootable installer and installing Windows 8 using a USB drive or DVD.

If you install Windows 8 Consumer Preview using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup program, you won’t need to enter a product key—the setup program automatically provides the product key. If you create installation media, start your PC from the media, and then install Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Also Read:

This Chrome Extension Takes Out Gmail Chat From The Browser

I am not a big fan of IM programs and hence do not use desktop chat clients e.g Google Talk, Pidgin, Digsby or Meebo. The built in chat feature of Gmail is perfectly suitable for brief conversations but there is a small catch. During a chat conversation, you have to either stick to the Gmail tab forever or constantly oscillate between multiple tabs, which can be highly annoying at times. I am composing a blog post and here comes my friend whom I can’t ignore, I switch to the Gmail tab, send a message, fall back to the earlier tab and in comes the ding!

This cycle goes on and I have to find the Gmail tab within a sea of open browser tabs; there seems to be no possible way to get out of this situation other than sticking to the Gmail tab through the entire conversation.

If you are anything like me and want to detach Gmail chat from the browser, try this chat for Google chrome extension. This extension frees Gmail chat from Google Chrome, allowing you to reply to messages from no matter what web page you’re on at any given moment. The extension works exactly the same as the desktop Gmail client, with added support for email, video calling and Google Plus hangouts.

Once you have installed the extension, sign in to your Gmail account and you are through. Here is how the chat UI of the extension looks like:

chat-for-google-extension

To start a voice call or a Google Plus hangout, all you have to do is hit the respective icons on the chat window. One of the biggest advantage is the ability to send quick emails to your Gmail contacts, right from the desktop, without having to open Gmail at all. Type the name of the contact in the search pane, hit the result, compose your email and shoot! No more inbox gazing every 30 minutes.

send-quick-email

The extension is slightly slow and IM’s might take a little longer to go through. Another downside is that it doesn’t support multiple user profiles or multiple Gmail accounts, so if you are using a shared computer, you better use the standalone desktop chat client. [via]

Also read: Ultimate list of tips and tricks for Google Chrome