Portable apps are the applications that run directly on any Windows system without the need of installation. This makes it possible to carry these apps on a flash drive and use them on any Windows system, at the office, in your school lab, or in a public cyber cafe. And when it comes to portable apps, I find Cameyo to be the best tool for that.
Cameyo simplifies your software needs by allowing you to carry your favorite or essential apps with you. It also helps free up storage space on your computer while liberating you from installing and uninstalling rarely used apps. You can make portable bundles for occasionally needed applications and run their portable editions when you actually need them.
The created portable apps can also run in HTML5 browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Safari etc. You just need to connect to the Internet and launch those apps from Cameyo’s server on the target computer.
Cameyo vs. Others
Cameyo creates portable packages with advanced virtualization technology that makes them portable on various Windows systems. It is a free alternative to various enterprise-grade premium portable app creators like VMware ThinApp, and Spoon (formerly Xenocode Virtual Application Studio), etc.
Cameyo also competes well with various free application virtualization tools such as PortableApps.com, Evalaze, and Enigma Virtual Box, etc.
Portable apps created using Cameyo can be used on any system without the need of installing the software. It creates truly portable packages, which don’t even require any plugins or agents for executing on the target Windows system.
2. Cloud packaging
Cameyo can be used to create cloud packages of applications, which can easily run in any HTML5-compatible browsers. It allows you to run your portable apps on various target platforms without the need of installing any third-party software like Wine, etc. The cloud packaging feature is exclusive to Cameyo and is not available in other app packages.
3. Data encryption
Cameyo allows you to encrypt your data in the portable package, thus securing it against un-authorized use. This feature too is not available in other portable app creators.
4. Run on all popular OSs
Cameyo’s cloud packaging feature allows its applications to run on any popular operating system, name it Windows, MacOS or Linux and on any HTML5 browser on these OS. This is not possible in other portable app builders as their portable packages can run only on Windows platforms.
5. App data on USB/Dropbox
Cameyo’s created portable apps can store their data and settings on a USB drive or Dropbox online storage service for later use.
6. BYOD-friendly (Admin-less)
The portable software packages created by Cameyo are truly BYOD-friendly (Bring Your Own Device). It’s possible because these portable apps require neither administrator rights nor installation of some agents or plugins on the target system.
7. Portable app creation by restricted users
Cameyo allows even the restricted users and non-administrators to create portable applications on a system. This feature is either not available in other portable app creators or may require admin privileges for creating portable editions of some applications.
8. Create user restrictions
Cameyo allows developers to create various types of user restrictions on the portable packages like active directory group, expiration, password, scripting, etc.
9. Multiple Virtualization Modes
The portable applications created by Cameyo can run in two virtualization modes – RAM and hard disk. This allows people to run these portable apps on Windows systems having less RAM or memory. You would not find this dual-mode functionality in other portable app makers.
10. Software Developer’s Kit (SDK)
With Cameyo you can create SDK for portable apps easily and flexibly. It offers advance APIs that allow developers to add/remove files from existing packages, list virtual apps running on a system or web service to trigger virtual packaging, etc.
11. Public app directory
You can publicly access Cameyo’s online directory of portable applications. This online library allows you to download portable packages of various popular and commonly used open source and free applications. You can simply download portable packages according to your requirements without the hassle of creating them yourself.
1. App Menu
Cameyo lacks an app menu that can be used to list and search for installed or stored portable applications.
2. Automatic Updater
Another thing that Cameyo misses out on is an automatic updater for portable packages, which can be used to auto-update the portable versions of the software when the original software gets an update.
Creating portable apps with Cameyo
In the following tutorial, I’ll create a portable edition of Notepad++ (a popular file editor), and the same procedure can be used for any other software. For that, I am using Cameyo 2.7 running on Windows 8.1, and it is supposed to work as efficiently for other versions of Cameyo and Windows operating system.
Remember that the application you want to make portable shouldn’t be already installed on your system and running any other software during the process of creating the portable apps may get you into problems.
- Download Cameyo from its website. The tool itself comes as a portable package which can be directly started by opening the downloaded file.
- Download the software that you want to turn into a portable bundle.
- Open the downloaded file Cameyo.exe. It runs the Cameyo software, which actually creates app’s portable versions by making use of application virtualization.
- It asks you to choose a program to open – choose "Capture an installation" from the provided options to make a portable application.
- Cameyo gets opened with a graphical user interface as given below.
- Select the first option "Capture app locally".
- A small window at the bottom-right of your desktop will appear with a message saying "Taking initial snapshot before installation". This means Cameyo is trying to figure out the state of your system before the app’s installation.
- After Cameyo completes taking initial snapshot, a message appears which tells you to "Install the software you wish to package".
- Install the application for which you want to create a portable bundle and click the "Install Done" button.
- Cameyo will take the final snapshot of your system as it is trying to figure out the changes the system has undergone due to the installation of the program.
- After that, a window will appear with "Success" as its title. It informs you that the portable package is created. You can click on the given link to access the folder containing your newly created portable bundle.
Congratulations, you have successfully created a portable application through Cameyo. You can now open the created portable application by double-clicking on its icon and it will start working instantly without the need of cumbersome installation process.
Cameyo is free for personal use and is best suited for home usage as well as for small and medium scale businesses. You can distribute apps to around fifty users. It includes great virtualization, Windows 8 and 64-bit support, different virtualization types and online packaging of three apps per month.
Cameyo developer license
You can also get Cameyo for developer license, however for a price of 350 USD. It’s quite appropriate for software developers who want to distribute portable version of their applications and offers distribution of portable package of one app to unlimited users.
Cameyo developer license includes all the features of personal license along with command-line packaging, Cameyo SDK, custom logo, support for package editor, and online packaging functionality and online packaging of 50 apps per month.
Cameyo enterprise license
You can also opt for the enterprise license of Cameyo by requesting a quote. This option is suitable for large organizations and enterprises that want to distribute multiple apps to people. It includes all the features of developer license along with the flexibility of distributing portable packages of multiple apps to unlimited users.
Do you use Cameyo? Which is the first application that you turned into a portable package? Please share your story with Cameyo via the comments section below.