Static icons on the desktop have long been replaced. There are many dock applications available now, which have replaced the old traditional icon style. These dock applications have revolutionized the way of our old desktop’s looks. However, some people still prefer the way it was before i.e. without the dock applications, while other people prefer these applications, as they are better suited to their style of work.
You may find many such applications on the internet – some are free; the others are for purchase. Rocket dock, Object Dock and Nexus are a few to name. I will go through some of the primary features of all these applications, then in the last, we will have a brief look as to which application should be preferred and why. So, here we go.
The purpose of these applications is to simplify the processes, provide a unique new look, offer more customizable options and to be shown as something fancy. By keeping all these features in mind, these applications keep evolving within themselves and coming up with new features and options. Following are some of such features, which are offered by these dock applications.
1. Grouping of Icons:
When you install such an application, a simple dock occupies a place at your desktop. In this single dock, you can have all the necessary icons stacked up. Apart from the basic icons such as, My Computer, My Documents, Library, Recycle Bin etc. you can add any other icon that you would like to use. Gadgets can also be inducted in these docks to provide you a live updated view, whether it is the clock or the weather gadget.
2. Multiple Docks:
Software like the Object Dock provides you the luxury of having multiple docks at your desktop. These multiple docks can really help you, if you have tons of icons and all belonging to different groups and categories. You can assign each dock for a certain set of category for your ease. Moreover, each of these docks can be customized with different colors and themes separately.
3. Position and Placement:
You do not necessarily need to have the dock placed at the default space, whether you like it or not. You can place it literally anywhere at your desktop. There are a lot of options for position and placement for a dock. Opacity and transparency of the dock can also be changed according to your personal preference.
You can even hide the dock completely to free up the desktop space, and can bring it up by just hovering the mouse at that position. For instance, I have hidden the dock into the left most side of my screen, and I want it back, I take my mouse cursor at the side of the screen and the dock just pops up; I drag the mouse back, it hides again.
These docks serve a basic purpose of customization. All these applications and software provide you with infinite ways to customize your desktop. Different themes, icons and colors can be selected, especially in compliance with other visuals at your desktop. Internet is loaded with such themes and icons, which can be downloaded for free and to use them in these applications to have the best possible look.
Graphical presentations of such applications have been of top notch quality. There are several animated representations involved, for example, when you hover upon the icons, when you click on an icon, when you delete or move the icons: you notice different animations options. These options can be turned on or off, and can be overhauled by applying and selecting different customizable options.
A lot has been said about the features of such applications; however, many people also prefer not to use it. The primary reason of not using such applications is reported as the extra consumption of memory RAM and the actions being slow. On the other hand, some people prefer to use all these advantageous features on the cost of a 12-20 MB RAM.
Which software is to be used?
It all matters on you. Basically, they are all the same, with only a few minor tweaks here and there. To have a brief look, we can say:
1. Rocket Dock is the simplest in all of them. It uses the minimum amount of RAM and CPU usage, and because of which, it has the least amount, comparatively, of animations and customization options.
2. Object Dock is one of the more popular applications among its users. It has the option of tabs grouping, grouping of all the documents/folders/files belonging to same category, tons of customization and color options, lots of themes, multiple dock options and much more. It uses a decent amount of RAM consumption as compared to Rocket Dock. The major downsize of Object Dock is that it uses a fairly high percentage of CPU usage, when used with all the additional features on.
3. Nexus is another popular application, which consumers an even greater amount of CPU usage and RAM. However, Nexus allows an insanely high level of animated moves and options, for all the animation freaks out there.
The functions and purposes are all the same; it is just a matter of personal choices and preferences. Best of luck with these innovative applications!
Yuriq on December 07, 2019:
Nexus has the option to be treated same as taskbar, with windows not overlapping - and not being overlapped by - the dock. It also has CPU, RAM and traffic monitoring docklets.
shnbwmn from Cape Town, South Africa on June 23, 2014:
RocketDock is by far the best one, for me at least. It's free (!), has lots of addons for those into customisation, and more importantly, it's reliable. I've used it for a long time and have yet to have problems with it. The only thing that has irritated me slightly is the fact that despite checking the little "Run at startup" option, it doesn't do that. I've pinned the program to start menu, so it's no hassle.
With the paid docks out there, you'll get things like stacked docks, multi-docks, and all other kinds of fancy things, but if you're looking for a free, reliable, simple dock, then I'd definitely recommend RocketDock.
Sueswan on February 26, 2012:
I found your hub on dock applications very informative. I like my desktop the way it is. :)
Voted up and interesting.
Joyce Haragsim from Southern Nevada on February 24, 2012:
Great useful hub, I am forwarding this to someone who has so many icons on his screen. Thank you. Voted up, useful and interesting, Joyce.
klanguedoc on February 24, 2012:
Great hub. I have Apple's Dock on the Macs works the best, but that is a personal choice.