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Start11 v2 2.06 Arrives with New Features

More new Features, More Bugs Squashed

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 by BradSams | Discussion: Start News

Today we are releasing a new build of Start11 v2, v2.06 with new features and a couple of quality-of-life updates. The new build is rolling out now for anyone with Start11 v2 installed and it can also be accessed from your download page too.

New in this release are options to auto-hide the taskbar from the right click menu, option to set a tab as the default tab in a group in your menu, and added universal apps, all apps, and steam apps as options for quick access shortcut menu links.

 

 

All of these features are the result of direct feedback from our users and is our commitment to making Start11 v2 not only the most advanced Start menu experience for Windows, but also one that is shaped by those who use it every day. If you have any feedback about this release or have requests for features, make sure to head over to our forums and let us know what you would like to see in the next release.

If you want to grab the latest update right now, you can open Start 11 v2 and have it search for updates. You can do this by right clicking on your taskbar, click “Configure Start11”, click “About” and then “Check Now”.

For those who haven’t tried Start11 v2 yet, you can learn more about the app here and also download a free trial. And if you are looking for the best value, check out Object Desktop as it contains all of our best apps for one low price.

 

Releasing Start11 v2 2.05 with a New Enhancement

New feature, bug fixes, and more.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024 by BradSams | Discussion: Start News

Today we are releasing a new build of Start11 v2, version 2.05, that introduces one new feature along with a smattering of bug fixes. The update is rolling out now for anyone with Start11 v2 installed and it can also be accessed from your download page too.

New in this release is an enhancement to the items you can pin to the new Start menu styles. We have added the option to pin a website directly to the Start menu app canvas which allows you to easily deep-link content from your menu.

The way we use this feature at Stardock, is that we create web-links to many of our key dashboards on Jira and PowerBI. It’s a small enhancement but one that continues to make Start11 v2 the most advanced Start menu experience for Windows 10 and 11.

If you want to grab the latest update right now, you can open Start 11 v2 and have it search for updates. You can do this by right clicking on your taskbar, click “Configure Start11”, click “About” and then “Check Now”.

If you run into any issues with this release, make sure to let us know in our forums as we monitor the feedback closely and will try to triage any issues as they arise.

For those who haven’t tried Start11 v2 yet, you can learn more about the app here and also download a free trial. And if you are looking for the best value, check out Object Desktop as it contains all of our best apps for one low price.

Fences 5 is Coming to Steam

The best Windows desktop organizational tool has a new home.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024 by BradSams | Discussion: Fences News

Fences 5 is coming to Steam and you can add it to your Wishlist today. While you can purchase Fences 5 directly on Stardock today, we know that many of our customers like to purchase software on Steam and the good news is that we expect to have it available on that platform in February.

Keeping your desktop organized is the foundation of a healthy workflow. Time spent trying to locate files is time lost; Fences keeps your desktop organized with features that can automate the process or provide you with the tools to keep your desktop content organized yourself.

New in Fences 5 is Chameleon™, an innovative new feature that makes your desktop content blend into your wallpaper. By absorbing the colors of your desktop content and with a full range of options to dial in your perfect experience, Chameleon™ raises the bar about how to reduce your desktop distractions without sacrificing functionality.

And everything you love from Fences 4 is included like Peek™, automated rules, quick hide functionality, and a lot more, are included.

With Fences 5 landing on Steam and Start11 v2 coming soon as well, it has never been easier to purchase your favorite Stardock apps. But as always, you can purchase both apps today directly on Stardock and for the best value, Object Desktop has both applications included as well as many other great apps like Groupy 2 and WindowBlinds 11.

Start11 v2 is headed to Steam

The Best Start Menu Experience Heads to Steam

Wednesday, January 10, 2024 by BradSams | Discussion: Start News

Start11 v2 is the most advanced Start experience for Windows and we are happy to announce that we are bringing the application to Steam. You can head on over to the page and add it to your Wishlist to be notified when the application becomes available.

When we released Start11 v2 late last year, our goal was to find new and innovative ways to bring features and functionality to Windows. If Start11 v1 was about bringing back missing features from Windows, v2 was about extending the functionality while enabling truly personalized Start menu experiences with App Canvas.

Along with the new Start menu features, the taskbar has new functionality that is worth exploring. With v2, you can now pin a file, folder, or create a folder menu, for the taskbar. While this sounds like a simple addition, pinning the Downloads folder to the taskbar makes it significantly easier to access one of the most frequently used folders in Windows.

With Start11 v2 on Steam, we will offer both single and multi-device options, much like we did with Start11 v1.

With Start11 v2 headed to Steam, we will soon also make Fences 5 available as well. But as always, you can purchase both apps today directly on Stardock or for the best value, Object Desktop has both applications included as well as many other great apps like Groupy 2 and WindowBlinds 11.

Start11 v2 Makes Searching Better, Private

Keep your Windows search data private and local

Thursday, January 4, 2024 by BradSams | Discussion: Software Blog

At the end of last year, we released Start11 v2 that is packed with new features like three new Start menu designs, pinning folders to the taskbar, and new search experiences. If you haven’t checked out Start11 v2 yet, take a look at everything new here.

The new search features in Start11 make it easier to integrate with popular third-party tools and also clear out any previous search data. While Windows likes to bring in all sorts of external web content into your desktop experience, Start11 keeps things local and private.

There are two new features that are worth highlighting that arrived with v2, integration with the Everything search tool. If you are not familiar with Everything, it sets the standard for quick searching of your local content and with v2, we display the results directly in the Start experience.

To get started, install Everything, and that’s it. Once installed, Start11 v2 is notified of the installation and will automatically display the results within the Start menu.

But what if you want to clear your search history? Start11 v2 makes it possible to remove any previous search data with a couple of clicks.

First, open up the configuration panel, click on Settings backup, and then click “Clear information”. Once you click this option, you will then clear out your history that lets you keep your searches private which is helpful on devices that are used by multiple people.

Start11 v2 is designed to optimize the local experience, we don’t put ads in the Start menu, there isn’t third-party web content being shown next to the results – it’s your data, and only your data.

If you haven’t taken a look at Start11 v2 yet, you can download a free trial here. Or if you are looking for the best value, Start11 v2 is part of Object Desktop that includes other great apps like Groupy 2, Fences 5, and many more.

 

 

How App Canvas Lets You Create Your Perfect Start Menu

Fully customizable from top to bottom

Wednesday, December 20, 2023 by BradSams | Discussion: Software Blog

Start11 v2 is the best way to customize your Start experience on Windows today. With more than 50 new enhancements in the second generation of the app, it’s a significant leap forward in personalization and productivity.

One of the new features in this release is the App Canvas. This is the customizable area in the new menu designs (Pro, Launcher, and App) that lets you create a layout that is personalized to your specifications rather than accepting a default experience.

The App Canvas is the area below the search bar in the image above. By clicking the + sign, or right-clicking in a blank area inside the App Canvas, you can then add Groups, Tabs, Pages, and more to the section.

With drag and drop functionality, it’s easy to create the perfect layout that matches your spec of the “perfect” Start menu. Your definition of perfect will be different than nearly every other user which is the true power of the App Canvas – make your Start menu fit your workflow rather than accepting a default layout designed for billions of users.

There are three core features that can be added to the App Canvas:

  • Groups – Great for organizing apps and content by a topic like Productivity. With a single view of a group, everything is always visible and you can fully customize the color and transparency.
  • Tabs – Similar to Groups but with tab functionality that gives you additional flexibility and appearance options to keep your App Canvas organized with a familiar interface.
  • Pages – As the name suggests, add pages to your App Canvas to put apps that are less frequently accessed out of sight but still quickly within reach.
  • Folders – While technically we consider this still a Group, you can also mirror the contents of any folder from File Explorer to your Start Menu.

All of the components of the App Canvas can be moved around which provides another layer of flexibility. And don’t forget to back up your layout with the new v2 features that let you export your settings to a single file.

If you haven’t checked out Start11 v2 yet, you can download a free trial to see what everyone is talking about. And if you are looking for the best value, Object Desktop includes Start11 v2, as well as our other great apps like Fences 5 and Groupy 2.

Fences 5 First Update is Rolling Out

Bug fixes, localization, and more

Monday, December 4, 2023 by BradSams | Discussion: Fences News

Today we are releasing a new update for Fences 5 that improves stability while squashing bugs. If you're eager to get your hands on the latest version, the update is currently being rolled out and can be manually checked for by accessing the Fences 5 configuration panel.

To get the update immediately, navigate to "About" and select "Check for Updates."

With this update, we are moving closer to dropping the Release Preview tag from Fences 5. In this update, there are improvements to localization, snapshots are now more resilient to monitor ID changes when the snapshot is saved vs loaded, fixes for Fence spacing in the config menu, and a lot more.

Fences 5 is the best way to keep your desktop organized. With powerful features that automatically sort files into a fence on your desktop to Folder Portals allow you to mirror any folder to your desktop, once you experience Fences, it will quickly become a core part of your workflow.

After installing this update, if you run into any bugs, make sure to let us know by joining the conversation in our forums and we are also on Discord.

And if you haven’t tried Fences 5 yet, you can download a free trial or if you are looking for the ultimate Stardock bundle, make sure to check out Object Desktop too.

Releasing a Build of Start11 v2.03

New translations are here and lots of bug fixes too

Tuesday, November 21, 2023 by BradSams | Discussion: Start News

Today we are releasing an updated build of Start11 v2 with new translations and bug fixes. The update is rolling out now and will be arriving on your machine in the near future.

If you don’t want to wait for the update to reach your device, open the Start11 app, click on “About” and then manually check for an update. Or if you are an Object Desktop subscriber, you can also download it through the Object Desktop Manager.

 

 

With this release, we are updating many of our translations for Start11 v2 which will provide a better experience for those using the application with a language other than English.  Did you know that if you want to contribute to the translations, we have all of the language files on GitHub?

Many of our community members have contributed to updating our translations and we are always looking for additional help. If you have primary or second language expertise, you can help make Start11 better for everyone.

Along with the updated translations, we have squashed many bugs as reported by our users. You can view the entire changelog here. And if you run into any issues with this release, make sure to let us know in our forums.

If you haven’t tried Start11 v2 yet, you can learn more about the app here and know that it is also part of the award-winning suite, Object Desktop.

 

A Closer Look at What's New in Fences 5

An all-new desktop experience with Chameleon™

Monday, November 20, 2023 by BradSams | Discussion: Software Blog

Introducing Fences 5, the best tool for organizing your workflow on Windows, is taking a giant leap forward this week. With new features designed to reduce desktop distractions, easier-to-access Peek, and advanced tooling for enterprise deployments, Fences 5 is once again raising the bar on keeping your Windows desktop organized.

New with Fences 5 is Chameleon™ an experience for the desktop that allows you to blend your icons, apps, and folders, into your desktop wallpaper while retaining full legibility and functionality. With Chameleon™, your desktop content becomes less of a distraction while working on your tasks, and with a full range of customization options, you can dial in the exact desktop experience to keep your content organized while minimizing your distractions.

 

 

Also new in Fences 5 is a taskbar toggle for the patented Peek™ functionality. Peek™ is the fastest way to access your Fence groups and with the new taskbar toggle, it is now even easier to access peek. With a simple click on the icon, you can now enable Peek™ with your mouse to help you stay in your flow.

For those who don’t want to add the toggle to the taskbar, Fences 5 has a new option where you can enhance the “show desktop” button on the taskbar that is next to the system tray. With the new option enabled, you can change the default behavior of this button to be either a left or right-click to Peek™.

Fences is used in many industries from Education to Healthcare and to help our enterprise customers deploy and manage their fleet of desktops, Fences 5 has new functionality that is deigned to make it easier to capture configurations and load them on login.

 

 

New with Fences 5 for Business, is the ability to import and export configuration directly from the config panel or command line, options to lock configurations from manipulation, and the ability to load configurations on login from local and network locations are available.

And a lot more! There are updates to the configuration panel to make it easier to find a specific setting, new functionality from the drop-down menus inside of a fence to access frequently used items, enhancements to the Fences’ engine, icon customization options, and more.

 

 

When we started working on Fences 5, we had two objectives: how can we reduce the distractions of the desktop and how can we make Peek ™ even easier to use?

Chameleon™ is a feature that once you experience it, it’s hard to go back to a classic desktop. With all of the content you aren’t using melting into the background, it no longer pulls your eyes away from the task you are focused on but when you need your desktop, it’s a simple mouse gesture or single click to bring all of the content back into focus. It sounds trivial but for those who use their apps in a windowed view and not full screen, Chameleon™ is going to be your new best friend.

By adding Peek™ to the taskbar, we are making the best productivity enhancement to the desktops even easier to access. This update was the direct result of customer feedback as there is a keyboard shortcut to enable Peek™ (Win Key + Space) but we found it was not easily discoverable. 

Fences 5 is available as a Release Preview and you can learn more about Fences and all of its features, here. Or if you are looking for the best value, Fences 5 is included in Object Desktop too.

Start11 v2 Is Ready, Now with Rounded Taskbars and a Lot More

Turn your taskbar into a modern experience with new style options

Wednesday, November 8, 2023 by BradSams | Discussion: Software Blog

Today is the day, Start11 v2 is ready for prime time – we are taking the Release Preview tag off and adding new features. Rolling out now is the latest version of Start11 v2 with new features for the taskbar as well as a significant number of bugs being squashed.

If you want a deeper dive into many of the new features in Start11 v2, check out this earlier post from the release preview, but there have been a couple of additions since our initial release. Especially the updates for the taskbar - let's dive in.

Easily the biggest request we got after announcing Start11 v2 was the option to round the corners of the taskbar and we are happy to share that this feature is now included in the release today. And, not only can you round the corners, but in true Stardock fashion, you can fully customize the layout with various options to dial in the perfect taskbar for your desktop.

To begin building your modern taskbar, click on the Taskbar option in Start11 v2, then click the Taskbar blur, transparency, color, and rounded corners dropdown menu. From there you can select the intensity of the rounded corners, your preferred offsets on both the X and Y axis, and more.

One of the neat features that is included is how the taskbar can adapt if you are using a full-screen app. When a taskbar is floating with rounded corners, it can create an odd visual experience on the sides and below the taskbar when using an app that spans the entire display. To help reduce this visual irregularity, you can have the taskbar dynamically adapt to a traditional style layout when a full-screen app is detected.

These are the little things that add up that make Start11 v2 a truly great experience on Windows 10 and Windows 11. While the work is never done and we will continue to monitor feedback and patch bugs, this is a major milestone that we are crossing as we have taken Start11 from a product that brought back old features of Windows to a new era where we are adding new functionality that makes Windows a little more personal and a lot more productive.




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