OnSoftware top articles of 2012

These are the stories that you read most in 2012. It’s been a busy year in the software world, with plenty of controversy, big releases and some unexpected success stories.

We could never have predicted the popularity of Slender, the indie-horror phenomenon, and 2012 was the first year we saw Apple’s famous quality control slip, with botched decisions over YouTube and Apple Maps.

Read on to find out what was the most read article of 2012 on Softonic, and tell us what you remember most this year!

10: FIFA 13 Preview: The best soccer sim ever?

PES versus FIFA is a big event every year, but EA’s game has been pulling ahead of its rival for a while, and with FIFA 13 it has created the best and most complete soccer game ever. There are hours of fun to be had in single-player challenge, and the online modes are absolutely fantastic. Back in June James wrote an extensive preview – see if he was right!

9: 4 Alternatives to Hotspot Shield.

Region locking for sites, especially relating to media is ever more common, as companies fight to maintain the advantages of old media in the internet age. Some governments too are restricting their citizen’s access to certain sites. VPN (virtual private networks) applications can be the solution, and are very popular. Amber found four alternatives to the successful Hotspot Shield.

8: Windows 8 Consumer Preview released.

The launch of Windows 8 wasn’t the success Microsoft would have been hoping for, but it made a big impression the first time we used it. The Consumer Preview was the second look we got at the new OS, and while we loved the bold new interface, we were worried that keeping the old Windows desktop was a possibly confusing compromise. Have you moved to Windows 8 yet?

7: Android 4.1 vs iOS 6 vs Windows Phone 8.

The mobile OS wars were in full swing throughout 2012, with Android and iOS being joined by Windows 8 Phone. Each has its own advantages – Windows 8 looks the freshest, iOS has the tightest hardware integration, and Android allows for more customization. If there’s a winner, who will it be? Chris puts his money on Android to come out on top – let’s see what happens in 2013!

6: Steam Top 10 essential downloads.

At the end of a console generation cycle, PC gaming can really shine. Steam has really flourished in 2012, helping to put PC games back in their place. No-one is worrying about the death of PC gaming this year. If you’re new to Steam, check out my list of the most essential free games on the service, from Team Fortress 2 to Realm of the Mad God.

5: Get YouTube back on your iPad running iOS 6 with Jasmine.

The most die-hard Apple fan has to admit that iOS 6’s launch was a mess. As well as the whole Maps debacle, users were horrified to find the native YouTube app had disappeared, along with their saved lists and histories. There is now a new official YouTube app from Google, but back in September Lewis recommended a work around solution – Jasmine – until it was released.

4: Head to Head: Can UMPlayer overthrow VLC media player?

This year saw a challenger to VLC media player‘s position as the most downloaded media player. UMPlayer was that challenger, and Lewis put the two apps head to head to see how they stacked up. In the end, despite looking its age, VLC regained its crown, only to be beaten again by KMPlayer!

We’re sure VLC won’t retire just yet, and will be back in the running for top media player next year.

3: Grand Theft Auto V preview – what we’ve learned so far.

GTA is now such a phenomenon, that a trailer can be almost the biggest news of the year. But the excitement is not so surprising, as GTA V sees Rockstar return to San Andreas. Critics may love GTA IV or Vice City, but it’s the sprawling craziness of San Andreas that’s the fans’ favorite.

With the second trailer, we learned a lot more about what we can expect come Spring 2013.

2: How to download and install Slender.

Slender: The Eight Pages was the runaway viral hit of the year. A free horror game, with lo-fi graphics and a very simple idea really grabbed your attention. To begin with, some people struggled to run the game, so Nick explained the simple process, step by step.

Since Slender’s release there have been a ton of copy cat games, but none have equaled the original. What will the indie hit of 2013 will be?

1: Virtual DJ: how to mix.

Virtual DJ is huge, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s powerful, relatively user friendly and free for home use! Starting out can be a challenge though, and this basic DJing tutorial has been successful all year. Digital DJing is is obviously not a niche activity any more, but I’m curious to see how this develops now more and more of us are using streaming services like Spotify instead of MP3s.

What was your biggest software memory of 2012?

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