Cameyo 1.8

Version 1.8’s main items can be summarized as:
– Integration with Cameyo Online’s account & library.
– “My cloud apps”: apps you can use from any PC.
– New UI.
– Auto-update for managed (cloud) apps.
– Virtual integration mode, where apps can be seen as integrated into Windows (including Start menu items, file associations, shortcuts).

Here’s a quick preview:

My little misadventure with Windows (and how portable apps helped me)

Some of you may have noticed that Dropbox support is already integrated in 1.7.634. Run your apps directly from your Dropbox folder, and Cameyo will automatically set its file & registry repository on your Dropbox.

I’d like to share with you something. This week my computer crashed. My Windows profile did not come up anymore and I had to do terrible things through the recovery console to be able to boot again. Needless to say, my apps & settings were lost. But the good part of it was to find a clean & fast Windows environment. Why is it always like that – when our computer needs to be reinstalled, as much as we cry, we also say to ourselves “gee, it was about time I’d clean up the mess on this machine”?

But what is more interesting than this story (which probably already happened a couple of times to each of us) is that when I came back to my new Windows profile, I installed Dropbox and was so happy to find my Cameyo apps on Dropbox – ready to use, with settings and the last items I had worked on. So I have to admit that more and more I am using Cameyo apps on Dropbox rather than installing them on my machine. I find that portable apps mixed with Dropbox:
a. Allow me to use my apps anywhere. While my machine was reinstalling, I could actually log into a nearby machine and continue doing my work from there, using my Dropbox apps.
b. Keep my system clean & fast. By installing less software on my machine, I avoid having that “PC overweight” problem. It actually gives me the same assurance about using software as my iPhone. I never worry about using iPhone apps, and the same goes for Mac. That’s because their installation process doesn’t go as deep into the system as on Windows. Portable apps take Windows applications in this direction.
c. Reduce system trouble. Although I don’t know for sure what brought my computer down, it did happen after installing a few applications and rebooting.

So now I’ve actually become a portable apps + Dropbox fanatic!

OK that was my little story for this week. Next I will tell you about version 1.8 and the goodies it’ll bring.

Dropbox support

Dropbox is to be supported automatically in Cameyo. Whenever your virtual app runs from Dropbox, it will now automatically synchronize (files & registry & settings).
What does it mean? You can use your favorite apps directly from Dropbox, from any computer you want; your settings & work will automatically be in sync between those computers.

Let’s take an example:
– You put your virtual Web browser Firefox.virtual.exe on your Dropbox folder.
– Now when you run it, you can save bookmarks, install plugins, change settings, fill your auto-forms etc.
– Next time you close it and then go to another computer that’s connected to your same Dropbox account, you can re-run Firefox from there and… magic! Your same bookmarks, plugins, settings, auto-forms will be there exactly like on your previous computer!

A Beta of this feature is available in versions 1.7.610 and newer. Give it a try and drop me a line if you see any problems or ideas there.

I hate using hype & buzz words, but you’ll agree with me that Cameyo + Dropbox = CloudApps

Autoupdate capability

Many Cameyo users requested update / patch capabilities.
What most users don’t know is that Cameyo is already quite good at updating a virtual package to a new version.
There most recommended way to update virtual app 1.0 to 1.2 (or 2.0) is to repackage the new version and make sure it has the same “AppID”.
Once run, Cameyo will automatically patch the app’s files (but will keep the user’s data created with this app).

One roadmap item to make it easier is to implement http:// (or UNC) autoupdate paths. Autoupdate paths are optional paths, set by the Package Editor, and which indicate where the latest executable should always be.
The way this will work is: when the virtual app runs, it will first go to check if there is a *different* version on the autoupdate path. If there is, it will download it and swap the launch executable with it (i.e. Desktop\app.virtual.exe) and re-launch it.

One of the biggest development challenges will be to do all this without meta-file. We absolutely want to avoid having to put a .ini or .xml file (with version information) in the same path as the virtual app. So we’ll need to embed the version information in a way that even http:// autoupdate requests can find it quickly enough.

OK.. too much cryptic techie information for one post :)

Sneak preview at the Cameyo Online Library

Many of you have tried the Cameyo Online Packager, to submit applications for automatic virtual packaging. Cameyo is the first product ever to offer such service, and it is rewarding to just see the number of packages you all create every day using this service.

Here’s a sneak preview on the next step, the Cameyo Online Library:

The library will contain two separate storages: Public and Private.

Private storage
The Private will only be readable by your own user account. You can add your own applications, by using the result of the Online Packager.

Public storage
Contains applications that are free for public use.

Customizable applications
As you know, at Cameyo we like to innovate. Both Private and Public storages will have the ability to customize the way the application works for your specific account:

So for example you may decide that you want the FileZilla Client to run isolated, and with a custom menu:

Enterprise accounts

Many of you expressed your wish to be able to manage applications for your network users. Using Enterprise accounts, you will be able to create a company admin account with multiple simple-user accounts.
There, just like the Private storage, users will be able to see (but not modify) the list of applications the administrator has arranged for them.