The High Tech Society’s 10 Best Software Picks of 2012
The High Tech Society’s 10 Best Software Picks of 2012
By Terri Chapman
From the owner of The High Tech Society: As they year comes to a close, we at The High Tech Society like to evaluate the various software programs we have found throughout the year and often share them with one another. Before you delve into our 2012 best software list though, let me assure you that we are not paid for or sponsored by any software programs, nor paid for any reviews or opinions we give regarding them. Reviews are the writer’s opinion alone, although she may also include other user’s experiences when calculating an overall viewpoint as to worthiness. With that, I pass you to our wonderful Terri Chapman, as she was the one that took the time to compile this great list of what we picked for the top 10 best software picks of 2012.
Terri: As Kimberly said, we here at The High Tech Society like to share our favorite programs with one another, but this year we are sharing them will all of you! As a unique group of writers who have different tastes and use different software programs, as well as different operating systems, so we have some pretty diverse tastes in our software. We hope you find one you like too. So, without further adieu and in no particular order, here are our top software picks….and who knows, you might just find your next favorite software in the list!
10. Mac Magican
This free software of 2012 is compatible with Mac Snow Leopard, Lion or Mountain Lion OS X. Mac Magican has a screen you can understand and is easy to use. It has six ways it cleans your Mac. You can run them all at one time using a Quick Scan. The Magican software program cleans up your Mac by letting you delete or uninstall Mac apps you no longer use. It has real time display of what is running and allows you to kill unnecessary processes. This program is more than a simple cleaner and even has fan and temperature control. This software became one of the fave’s in our group when we did a review on it. In the past it had older versions that had many glitches that were complained about. This latest version of 3.0, however, seems to have caught them all as during our review, none were noticed.
6 Ways Mac Magican Cleans Your Mac:
2. Useless Binaries
3. Web Browser Cache
4. Other Caches & Logs
5. Unused Languages
6. Application Leftovers
MacKeeper is a bundle of important system utilities to do various tasks on your Mac, and is referred to as a Mac cleaner. MacKeeper has been around for awhile but it also has some new features in it that make it even better than it already was. MacKeeper is an easy way to manage tasks as well as keep your Mac clean and secure. You also get 100% protection with this 2012 best software, as well as expert technical support with Geek on Demand. The software cleans and optimizes your Mac. It also has Data Control features of files recovery, shredder, backup, and a data encryptor. This software is similar to Magican, however it does cost something. You can use the free trial for 30 days though and clean your Mac and if you like it the cost is around $40. Most of our Mac writers are using MacKeeper on their Macs and some combine it with the free Magican app for the little features that one or the other may not have.
8. AVG Anti-Virus Free
This is one of the best software programs for keeping your computer virus free. AVG Anti-Virus Free got better scores than commercial products. The program is free for personal use. You can remove malware as well as block it with the software. You have protection against exploits and phishing, a toolbar that has safesearch, and much more. The program adds an extra layer of security with the behavioral blocker that is Identity Protection. Almost every writer for The High Tech Society is using this free software to protect their Window’s computers, and so far, there have been no complaints. In fact, more than one writer has this down as their favorite on the best software for 2012.
7. Stellar Speed Up Mac
If your Mac has slowed down, then Stellar Speed Up Mac is for you. The new version of this software program is faster and more advanced. It’s easy to use. You can download the free demo version to take it for a test run. It has a scheduler for tasks. The software cleans up widgets, applications, and plug-ins you don’t want. There are interactive and user-friendly screen shots to walk you through the steps of speeding up your Mac. The owner of The High Tech Society, who is also herself a writer, is currently writing a review up of this software. She also nominated it for our top 10 best software list. By the way, this is a good time to point out that none of our reviews are sponsored or paid for in any way.
6. Dragon Naturally Speaking
Dragon Naturally Speaking software is a voice to text dictator. This nifty software lets you talk instead of type and rest your fingers. The software program has tutorials and accuracy improvement tests. The tests help you train Dragon to recognize your voice and improve your experience with it. The prices range from about $30.00 to $100.00 for Dragon Naturally Speaking but it’s an investment that would be worth it if you type a lot and have arthritis, hand or wrist pain, or trouble seeing. This software was recommended for our top 10 best software list by our head writer Brandy Cross, who also wrote a review on it.
Features of Dragon Naturally Speaking:
1. Email dictation
2. Open Web Browser and Applications
3. Chat on Facebook
4. Android and iOS app compatible
Let’s take a trip through the solar system and relax as while zipping around the galaxy. You can do this with Celestia. The free space simulation lets you see planets, stars, space stations, and everything else in the universe all in 3D. It has a zoom feature, point and go to interface making it easy to navigate your way through the stars. The software is compatible on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
4. Kindle Reading Software App
Reading on your PC, Mac, tablet, and phone is possible with this great software. You don’t need a Kindle to read on the go anymore. Many of The High Tech Society’s writers have this app, including me, and that’s how it has made our top 10 best software list! You can download one of the Kindle apps and have books wherever you are. You can buy any of the e-books and with the Whispersync technology; the book is transferred to your PC, Mac, or other device within seconds. You can highlight, take notes, and bookmark your page. Start reading your book on your PC and finish on your tablet. Reading has never been easier.
This goes along with our love for the Kindle app. Calibre is for all those e-books you have, you can use this software to organize them. A free library management tool, it also downloads news from the web and turns it into e-book form. Calibre converts files into different formats making it easy to read your e-books on various devices. It will also sync with the devices.
The top 10 best software for graphics recommended by our writers, is one that is free, it’s called GIMP. It is a versatile graphics manipulation package. There are high-end tools and a full screen mode for previewing and editing your work. You have options for photo enhancement and digital retouching. File formats range from JPEG to multi-resolution. GIMP is compatible with operating systems including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux and had hardware support.
Dropbox, as the name implies, acts as a drop box. It has become a top used app worldwide and and a top app among us. Using this in a business, such as this website with all the writers, makes it an especially great app when needing organization and sharing capabilities. How does it work? Simple, you drop files into the box icon on your desktop and you can then take the file out of the box on any computer on the same account. That’s not all though, the business part comes in with the fact that once in the box you can share it with others. With Drop Box you can easily share files, articles, documents and even ebooks, which helps keep everyone organized and on task. The software is free for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Mobile. Downloading and installation is easy. This is a simple way to back up files and share them with other computers or people. You can even get more free space by sharing it with others as it has a referral program.
That’s Our List, What’s Yours?
The choices by us at The High Tech Society for the best software of 2012 covered different areas, from cleanup to security and from education to just for fun. All of the software on the list can help you enjoy your computer experience more. I hope you check out the software picks and maybe find a new favorite to use, and if you do, let us know what your pick was. Also, check back with us next year for our 2013 picks, we would love to hear about new software! It may even make our 2012 best software picks!
We’re not done yet, check out some more of our favorite things in tech this year! How about the 10 best apps for your Android or iOS cellphone?