Portable applications – those can be run directly from a folder or external drive (typically a USB thumb drive) – are increasingly popular as people realise just how useful they are. They enable you to not only take your favourite programs with you, but all your carefully crafted settings and preferences too.
Problem is, portable apps are still the exception rather than the norm. Cameyo aims to make it relatively simple to take any program and transform it into a single executable file, which can be run from any drive on any computer with all of your settings kept intact.
It’s simple: in theory. Run the program and click the Capture Installation button. Wait while Cameyo scans your computer, install the program in question, then click “Done” and wait while Cameyo sees what’s changed. These changes make up your portable application, and include any other running processes and open windows, so make sure all your programs are closed before running it.
After the process is complete, open the folder on your desktop and double-click your portable application to test it. It’s not guaranteed to work, and you may run into trouble depending on what else is running on your PC when using the program. A package editor is provided, enabling you to view what Registry keys and files have been captured and make limited changes, such as removing irrelevant files from being monitored.
The program is still in a relatively early phase of development, and it shows – no documentation is supplied, and you’re reliant on the program’s forum for any kind of help and support, but it feels churlish to make too much of this considering the program is - and always will be - free. Interference from other system and security tools, plus the need to install your chosen package makes this a tool best deployed on a brand new Windows installation, making it one for more advanced users at this early stage in its life.