In October, our reviewers might have floated from place to place like falling leaves; they certainly liked mobile software. When at the desk, they kept connected to the world outside with cloud storage and the Web. Video conversion struck a chord, as did security.
Marvelous Mobile Helpers
Blackberry app Qwell, which went from paid to free almost immediately after our initial review, helps stem the flow of less-than-urgent calls to your phone--without just stonewalling every call. Android and iPhone users can look forward to Qwell versions for their phones soon.
Does your PC play a video your iPhone won't? Xilisoft iPhone Magic ($50, free demo) works on XP, Vista, and 7 systems to convert files such as torrents and videos ripped from DVD to more iPhone-friendly versions. In many cases, Hamster Free Video Converter (free) can do the job, too.
Sweet Suites as Cheap as Free
DonationCoder.com packages several favorites, including Find and Run Robot and LaunchBar Commander, in its DcUpdater program (free/donationware). You can install DonationCoder programs from it anew or just update the ones you have.
Microsoft's Windows Live Essentials (free) includes a number of popular Web-centric consumer programs--Windows Live Mail and syncing program Windows Live Mesh, to name a few--in one download. If you're using Outlook, you might like sticky-note reminder program DeskNotes (free), which syncs with Microsoft's paid e-mail and calendar software.
Tools for Web Pros and Web Surfers
Web site professionals, you are not forgotten. CloudBerry Explorer for Amazon S3 (free) adds an elegant standalone front end to Amazon's Web-based cloud storage. Geek tool Project: Merge (19 GBP, 15-day free trial) compares XML files to speed up your Web design or database programming work.
If the dimming daylight has you squinting at your screen, iReader Firefox Extension (free) can help you read long articles faster and more comfortably.
No matter how lightly we flutter from one app or platform to another, though, we always want our own security rock-solid. To that end, we reviewed Search Engine Security (free), a Firefox add-on that helps you stay away from poisoned Web sites.
In October, we also celebrated the first anniversary of Windows 7 with our Must-Have Windows 7 Downloads story (if you're feeling impatient, jump to its file collection). You'll find more helpings of effiency-boosting programs in Work Smarter in Windows: 55 Productivity Tricks, and all kinds of software stars in Best Products of 2010: Full List, 1-100. And if you missed the seasonal collection Scare up Some Fun: Halloween Downloads, don't say "boo." Just bookmark it for next year.