Improving the Pokki Menu

| By adrian | Comments 75

Today’s Pokki release is the first since launching the Pokki Menu, which brings the missing Start Menu functionality back to Windows 8. This release adds support for accessing Windows 8 apps from the desktop, and includes several bug fixes.

Existing users will receive the update over the next few days, thanks to Pokki automatic updates. If you can’t wait – right click on the Pokki acorn icon in the taskbar and select “Check for updates”.

Windows 8 apps

With the introduction of Windows 8 comes a new type of app, called Windows 8 apps, which are accessible only from the Windows 8 Start Screen. This restriction can make launching these apps difficult for users that spend the majority, if not all, of their time on the desktop. With today’s Pokki update, now you can easily launch and manage Windows 8 apps from the Pokki Menu.

Browse all your Windows 8 apps from the Apps panel, where they are conveniently grouped under a “Windows 8 Apps” folder.

Know exactly which app you’re looking for? Windows 8 apps are incorporated into Pokki search. And just like all your existing apps, files, folders and websites, you can favorite Windows 8 apps for quick access.

If you plan on launching Windows 8 apps from the desktop on a regular basis, the Pokki Menu offers several options to easily return to the desktop when in a Windows 8 app:

  • Pressing the Windows key on your keyboard
  • Click on the bottom left hot corner

Both can be enabled through the Pokki Menu settings by right clicking on the Pokki acorn icon in the taskbar and selecting “Settings…”.

What’s Next

Providing the core Start Menu functionality missing from Windows 8 is just part of Pokki Menu’s mission to make it easier for you to find, organize, and launch your favorite apps, websites, files and folders. Here are a few features you can expect in coming releases:

Rich, context aware, web search

Early data indicates that significant amount of users are using the Pokki Menu for searching the web. We’re working on bringing rich, context aware (eg. weather, calculator, etc) search results into the Pokki interface.

Optimized for touch

Touch may not replace the keyboard and mouse/trackpad as the primary interface for the PC, however it is an input method we believe many users may find useful. We’re looking to not only optimize the Pokki Menu interface for touch screens, but also trackpad gestures.

Smart launch

We believe speed is really important, especially when launching your favorite apps, settings, or websites. The smart launch feature allows you to quickly type an app or setting name, path to file or folder, or website into the search box and hit enter before any results are shown or selected. The Pokki Menu will intelligently determine what to launch.

Windows 8 theme

We’re working on an additional user interface design which tightly integrates with the Windows 8 look and feel.

Bug fixes

The following issues were addressed with today’s release:

  • Addressed installation issue that could prevent Pokki from starting or appearing in the taskbar.
  • Library shortcuts in the Pokki Menu sidebar now open the appropriate Libraries directory, including non-default locations.
  • Pokki Menu is correctly positioned above the taskbar when the Pokki toolbar is moved in the taskbar.
  • Pokki Menu is correctly positioned when a Windows 8 app is snapped to the left or right of the desktop.
  • “Disable bottom left hot corner” option no longer disables the top left hot corner.
  • The position of the Pokki toolbar in the taskbar is now restored on log-on and restart of the computer.
Comments (75)
  • Kay.

    “Disable bottom left hot corner” option no longer disables the top left hot corner. ty helps when trying to switch between apps

    • arif

      i cant downluod yoru programs, why?

      • Michael11009

        you cant spell them right :)

    • Adrian

      This should be fixed in the latest version.

  • iron2000

    Not a Pokki user at the moment, how customizable is the Pokki Menu?
    Is it possible to hide the Pokki Apps section and the Notifications section?

    Maybe an option to change the image of the Pokki start orb?

  • Hans E. Molin

    All programs does not show up when searching. Both ODBC config programs in administrative tools for example.

  • Keith Dixon

    Hi – The Windows8 Apps folder doesn’t contain any apps. Is there a way I can get them in there, or is this a path problem?

  • Keith Dixon

    Oh, and the Search function isn’t finding any Windows 8 apps either.

    • Adrian

      This should be fixed in the latest version of Pokki. Have you tried it?

  • Alan Snider

    Working great on my Win7 and Win8 machines. Makes my older computer run Pokki apps litning fast. Really cool!!

    Is there a place to make suggestions on additional apps, etc

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    It’s wonderful, I’m already sending links to my PEP’s about it. Now please add multiple monitor support. The start button should show up on both sides.

  • Tomer

    Great app, quick question though. I shrunk the pokki area on the taskbar too much, causing the button to move to the right of the taskbar. Now I can’t seem to move it back to where it was (as a replacement to the start menu). Tried restarting and changing the settings several times… Any ideas?


    • Adrian

      Hi Tomer,

      This isn’t an easy task, given how the taskbar was designed. Unlock the taskbar, and grab the “grabber” you previous used to change the Pokki area space, and drag it to the far right or far left of the taskbar. This will cause the taskbar items to move around. Continue to play with it until you find the order you want.

      Another more dramatically way is to uninstall and reinstall Pokki.

  • SeriousPaul

    Beautiful, but is greedy of ram and slows down a little windows startup. Start8 consumes only 1 mb of ram, but pokky is free and I hope that will improve.
    Why don’t you make a lighter version without the app store?

    • Adrian

      Thanks for the feedback. We released a version last week that dramatically improves the Windows startup speed, and the boot to desktop option. Please let me know if you still experience a slow down.

      We have some improvements coming regarding to memory, however to be transparent with you, it’s highly unlikely we’ll be 1MB.

  • Pokkimon

    Pokki – A few things i’ve noticed, unable to remove recently used programs list(bugged), some program folders have double entries (Internet download manager, winrar). Please make notification and apps optional or create a hide option. When right-clicking pokki context menu, is the sleep option meant to be there or is it what ever computer setting is set to (shutdown, hibernate etc.)

    • Adrian

      Thanks for the feedback.

      1. We released an update to address the recently used programs list. Right click on the Pokki acorn icon in the taskbar and select “Check for updates”.

      2. We’ll investigate the double entries.

      3. We’re working on an interface update where notifications are optional.

      4. The sleep option is to sleep Pokki itself, and not the computer. I understand the confusion and we are planning to address it.

  • lastofthefamous

    Pokki is great and helpful if you prefer your Windows 8 to have a glimpse of “old” Windows feature. I can’t wait the next update with themes. I hope it has the ability to change the acorn icon into something else. A thing I’ve noticed, now when I pressed the Windows key from the desktop mode it won’t take me to Start page?

    • Adrian

      Thanks for the feedback.

      There is an option to disable the Windows key from opening the Pokki menu, and instead opens the Windows start screen. Right click on the Pokki acorn and select “Settings…” and then uncheck “Windows key opens Pokki menu”.

  • Alberto Giacomel

    Please fix the three lower buttons (Start Screen + Shutdown + options) mouse over behavior The active area is on the upper part of the button and not the whole button. It’s quite frustrating… Thank for your work, Pokki is an awesome start menu alternative for Windows 8!

    • Adrian

      This should be fixed (as of a few weeks ago). Can you ensure you have the latest version of Pokki? Right click on the Pokki acorn icon in the taskbar and select “Check for updates”.

      • Alberto Giacomel

        If I relaunch Pokki, the behavior of the buttons will be correctly handled, but after I check for updates it starts working in the bad way (the active area is on the upper part of the button and not on the whole button)

        • Adrian

          Thanks for the additional detail. We have fixed the bug and it’ll be going out in the next release (early/Mid January).

          • dins

            having same problem but the update may have not shipped yet.. also since a recent windows update its now nolonger going to the desktop for me, although I have unchecked and saved, checked and saved the option for allowing such..

          • dins

            to give more information.. if I press the tile to go to the desktop right when I see the screen the icon for pokki Is faded out, as when you use tools>relaunch pokki to show you that you cannont use the button yet as the second program isn’t started.. so it may be something to do with the order of which programs are started after/during the windows boot..

          • Adrian

            Pokki starts-up as soon as the desktop is loaded. The desktop is loaded by Windows after you sign into Windows. As a result, there is a delay while Pokki is starting up and prepare the menu for use. Once Pokki is ready for use, the icon will change from faded to normal.

          • dins

            accept there was no delay at all before it just went straight to the desktop after I signed in, now it just goes to the start screen and I have to manually go to the desktop every time

          • dins

            op, never minds, it appears to only have happened when restarting for updates, but theres always chance its some specific issue with other programs, like.. I have a couple games with securom for the anti piracy stuff and aparantly if you have specific dvdrom’s having the game installed will stop you from being able to burn dvds/ sometimes playing dvds. just really weird stupid things. but since its only when configuring updates its just a couple times a month at most usually so its no problem but may be something to note if other people have similar problems/experience

  • Quiz

    Awesome idea, awesome realization, awesome design. But still some bugs :)

    - I add SkyDrive to favourites, but it’s dissapear
    - Windows 8 Apps empty (but it wasn’t empty before)
    - Control Panel empty too

    And how I can add portable apps to favourites in Pokki?

    • Adrian

      Thanks for the bug report. Sorry you are having trouble. Did this problem ever resolve itself?

      We don’t have a way to add external files to the favorites panel, however we will look into adding one.

  • hong

    what’s the relationship between pokki and microsoft?

    • Adrian

      There is no relationship with Pokki and Microsoft.

  • Salient

    I somehow moved my Pokki button over to the right near my clock. How do i get it back to the old start position?

    • Adrian

      1. Right click on the taskbar and ensure ‘Lock the taskbar’ is unchecked.
      2. Find a vertical bar in the taskbar that visually looks like little dots. Click and drag this bar from the left of the taskbar to the right. As you will notice, this moves all the taskbar entries.

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  • Jim

    You need to improve the search. I had to uninstall this because it was worse than the windows 8 search, which is worse that the windows 7 search. Example:

    Windows 7: winkey>”programs and features”> enterkey and there I am
    windows 8: winkey>”programs and features”>down arrow>down arrow>enterkey>enterkey
    pokki menu: winkey>”programs and features”> = me going “why isn’t this even showing up in the search?”

    I’ve had this happen more often for file searches. I tried to search for a gparted ISO I had just downloaded. The windows 8 “start thing” found it fast. Pokki didn’t seem to care to try. I love the web results and the design but until you improve the search to be as good as window 7, this program is useless to me.

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  • Joe

    DON”T INSTALL!!!… Stuffs up your Win* apps… Even after un-installing and re-starting I can’t use any Win* apps!!! GRRR! :-[

  • juanhidgo

    Is there a way to translate this great app to Spanish???

  • Sarthak Patel

    i want hibernate option . how can i get ??/

    • Sarthak Patel

      rply plzz…

  • confused

    Wow… having problems with the new update. Now the Pokki icon is gone and I get multiple boxes asking if I want it on the Toolbar. I say yes to each one, but it still doesn’t appear…

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  • Cyryll Andrew Delicana

    Hi. It seems it is still quite resource-intensive. It eats up quite a lot of ram. It’s quite sad that i had to uninstall it right after trying it due to the amount of ram it uses up. Is it possible for you guys to trim it down even further? All things considered its a great app, that doesn’t look or feel like any free apps out there. Nice job with this one!

  • Oki

    I downloaded and isntalled pokki,its works fine until i restart pc. after that pokki icon in gray and i cant click on it. i try unistall and istall again its same. What shoud i do? I use windows 8 64bit

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  • Kira

    Doesn’t want this…. The taskbar shortcut should be optional, not automatic.

  • Timo

    Pokki updates not work. After updates windows 8 not working any more.

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  • fiuchs

    Hullo , I really like this app and am looking at using this product for my office staff to reduce staff migration anxiety to WIn 8 – I need to do two things

    - disable the app menu function
    - replace the acorn logo

    Please advise any recommendatiosn for this ….

  • poyoman

    i cant open this application nfs.exe when i pin to pikko favorite error will appear and said ‘nsf.exe are not working’ can i know what happen and why?i can play if i direct open from the game folder location..

  • Cdafox

    My Pokki acorn has turned into a little house (indicating home) but I prefer the acorn. Is there any way of getting it back? Thank you very much :)

  • will

    my pooki icon used to stay pinned on the right side of the taskbar, since the update it keeps shifting to the left. how can i keep the pokki house icon pinned to the right of the task bar? thanks,

  • oc

    hi where is the “show windows logo” option?? I have two start menu icons now…

    • Reidmaster

      I am having this same issue…
      Happened with the latest update they released.

      • Tarnix

        re-installed after a while: it doesn’t replace my start menu anymore either :(

  • Tarnix

    I downloaded Pokki again today (windows 8.1). Did Pokki stop replacing the windows start button and shortcut? I have two menu buttons now and the Windows 8 modern options aren’t showing up…

  • Dhanang Wibowo

    I’m using Windows 8. After an update, it seems now Pokki doesn’t start when I pressing windows key.. Is there any reason why?