Apologies folks, I know I have failed to keep you updated as I should.
But here we go
Two years ago, an abandoned, virtually unknown piece of open-source software was suddenly embraced by a small team of designers and programmers with a vision of its potential. Since then, Rainmeter has become the premier desktop customizing platform for Windows PCs, and with over 3 million downloads*, its passionate and supportive user community is growing by the day. The result is a gallery of hundreds of creative skins, gadgets and plugins, and an app that just keeps getting better.
To commemorate the second anniversary of Rainmeter's "rebirth," we've decided to surprise our users with the big jump to 2.0. A whole-number jump may not mean much at Google anymore, but it's still a big deal for us. Here's the gist of what Rainmeter users can expect:
- Adding new skins is easier than ever. Rainmeter can now recognize and install downloaded skins automatically in just a few clicks. It'll even make a backup if you're copying over an old version, while leaving your personal settings untouched.
- We've added Illustro, a new set of default skins, which have been specially designed to help new users learn the basics.
- You can now do a lot more with skins than just look at them. Skins now support text input, letting you tweet, search Google, jot down a quick note - and whatever else you can think of - directly from Rainmeter. This feature also reduces the need to edit code by hand, making it faster and easier to change your personal settings: colors, fonts, passwords and more.
- Rainmeter itself is much lighter. There is now a single installer for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. Users can choose which of our featured skins to download during the installing process, or later, if they prefer. Our downloads page can be opened directly from Rainmeter's context menu.
- A portable install option has been added.
- New plugin integrates Rainmeter with the CPU temperature monitor, CoreTemp.
- We've improved support for grouping skins, making it easier to toggle skins' visibility and lock them in place to prevent accidental dragging.
- Under the hood, there are plenty of new tools for skin developers. Support for the Lua scripting language is now baked in, as is a template for C# plugins. Expanded styles and modules now behave more like CSS. And we've added some powerful image manipulation tools for automatic cropping, flipping, rotating, tinting and more. We can't wait to see what creative programmers can do with these features.
- We've overhauled Rainmeter's online manual, including our in-depth, hands-on tutorial series, Rainmeter 101.
To coincide with this special occasion, we're also pushing major updates to our three flagship skin suites - Gnometer
, and the well-known Enigma
. These suites' new features include expanded support for web services, including Twitter, Facebook, Remember The Milk and Google Calendar; media players, including VLC, Spotify, Windows Media Player and Zune; and, as always, much more.
Starting February 6, 2011
, Rainmeter 2.0 can be downloaded at Rainmeter.net
. New versions of Gnometer, ABP and Enigma are expected to drop the following week. Rainmeter runs on all versions of Windows XP, Vista and 7.
I have considered writing a review, but feel that my bias would compromise any such review.
If someone is willing to write a review with pro's and con's, I would be grateful, and deliver the review to the rest of the Rainmeter community