Can you imagine what a computer would be without any applications? It’s a bit like imagining a car without wheels. You’ve got the basic shell, but without the wheels you can’t really do anything. It’s a bit like that with a computer and its applications. Yes, you can use the computer, but you can’t really use it to its full potential.
No matter which operating system you run, there’s usually an app out there for everything. I know the feeling that once you’ve bought a new computer (or especially if you are migrating across to another operating system), you’ll want to get downloading as many applications as possible so you can get the best out of your computer. The question is, though, which ones do you download? Do you have to trawl through those endless “The Top 50…” lists to find a couple of applications you want to download?
How about a web app to help you find new apps for your favorite platform?
Well, there is luckily a way of discovering great apps without having to do endless Google searches and trudging through long-winded reviews. It’s called Wakoopa. Think of it as a social network for both web as well as Windows, Mac and Linux applications. You can use it to not only discover new applications, but also to track applications you are already using.
Let’s have a look how it works in a bit more detail.
Step 1. Sign Up to Wakoopa
Obviously, you won’t be doing anything without a Wakoopa account! Head over to social.wakoopa.com and click on Sign Up & Start Tracking - you’ll need to choose a username and password and you’ll need to enter your e-mail address in case you lose your password.
Step 2. Downloading and Installing Wakoopa
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll need to download a small application on your computer which tracks (in the background) any applications you are using. The application is free and doesn’t intrude with your computer’s processes.
As I use a Mac, the Mac OS X Tracker is automatically downloaded however you can download Tracker for Windows and Linux. Once you’ve installed the Tracker, it’ll pop up in your notifications bar and you can change some of the settings from within the application (as well as pause tracking your applications).
Once you’ve installed the Tracker, you are ready to start using Wakoopa!
Step 3. Editing Your Profile
Wakoopa is, after all, a social network for applications so you’ll want to edit your profile before you get started. This also allows other people to find you and helps you discover new applications quicker. Click on the You icon at the top then click on Settings.
Step 4. Tracking Your Apps
As soon as Wakoopa Tracker is installed on your computer, it will start monitoring all applications you use on your computer and relay this information back to your Wakoopa profile. Wakoopa then analyses your application usage and creates an overview of which applications (and websites) you are visiting most frequently.
To bring up your usage screen, click on You then Usage. If you don’t want Wakoopa tracking your web page usage, then go into the Wakoopa Tracker and click on Disable Web Application Tracking in the settings.
Step 5. Discovering New Software
The main reason you will want to use Wakoopa (and its main aim) is to discover new software. I would suggest just using your computer normally for about 3 to 4 days after signing up to Wakoopa, as this gives the Tracker enough time to collect information about your application usage and build up a picture of which programs you are using most often, thereby giving you better recommendations.
Before you start searching for programs, remember to set your platform filter so that Wakoopa suggests programs that work on the platform you are using. To do this, simply click on for… next to the Wakoopa logo on the top-left hand side of the screen and select your platform. You can choose between Windows, Mac, web and Linux applications (multiple selections are also possible).
Once you have left the Tracker to analyse your application usage, Wakoopa will start suggesting applications for you to download based on the applications you use on your PC or Mac. These pop up on your Dashboard under Random Software. If you want a richer variety of software recommendations, click on the Recommendations tab on the Dashboard.
Step 6. Sharing Your Thoughts
Wakoopa will let you write reviews on either software you own or new software you have discovered via their website. This helps other Wakoopa users discover which software is best and helps enhance the whole community. To write a review, click on the software you want to write a review about then scroll down to Write a Review. You can rate the application in question based on its features, performance, interface and price and value.
Wakoopa is also a great place to scout out applications before downloading, seeing as the reviews are independent (i.e. written from the user’s point of view) and owing to the active user database, there is usually plenty of reviews for a single app.
Wakoopa is an absolutely great place to discover new applications as it tailors its recommendations based on your actual application usage. As we all know, different people use their computers for different things (a programmer will use a different range of applications than, say, a graphic designer) and via the Wakoopa Tracker, recommendations are personalised.
If you’re on the hunt for some new applications, or simply looking for an alternative to your existing ones, then it is well worth signing up for a free Wakoopa account and seeing what it can offer you. With a huge database of applications and its personalised analysis software, though, you are sure to find something new.