A new version of MSIX Hero is there. This build has two new features and several other improvements and bug fixes.
New tab: System status
A sidebar has been added, which changes the mode between the packages list and the new view showing the status of your system.
This is a hub for settings and convenient shortcuts for set-up and maintenaince. It has currently four sections:
- Developer and sideloading: Enabling and disabling of side-loading and the developer mode.
- Automatic updates of Store apps: Enabling and disabling automatic download of new versions of apps managed by Microsoft Store.
- Repackaging on this machine: This is useful for MSIX IT Pros doing repackaging with tools like MSIX Packaging Tool, Advanced Installer, InstallShield, RayPack etc. With a single click, the user can view which services and processes are running, but should be rather disabled in order to avoid repackaging “noise”. It currently covers a bunch of services (for example Windows Update, Windows Search etc.) and also some running processes (Windows Installer, Global Assembly Cache Tool etc.). The list is dynamic and only shows the services and processes that are actually applicable to your environment. For example, below are three suggestions from MSIX Hero, one about still active Windows Update, one about running process (msiexec), and one about a generic setting which is already correctly set-up.
- MSIX Tooling: This is an experimental view which shows which apps capable of creating, editing or repackaging to MSIX format are currently installed. The selection is currently limited to apps distributed in MSIX format and listed here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/msix/partners. If some app from the list is not yet installed, a button to open its Store page will be shown:
Future versions of MSIX Hero will expand this concept by also including selected apps not available in the Store. A feedback about priorities is always welcome!
Capabilities are one of the core security features of APPX/MSIX apps. A declarative manifest from a developer defines upfront what each app may ask for and which extra security/privacy risk is to be attributes with it. The capabilities are easy to discover in manifest files (XML), but reading them is tedious and sometimes confusing due to their cryptic names.
This is where MSIX Hero jumps in, by providing a human-friendly overview of capabilities, separating them to functional groups and with a nice touch of icons and actual name. For example, this is what Adobe XD MSIX app can access when installed on your machine:
- In the Dependencies tab, Windows 10 names for both minimal and tested OS are now clickable and open Wikipedia article about Windows 10 version history.
- Opening MSIX Log Viewer is now much faster. Additionally, it fetches more records at once.
- Progress bar for loading packages is now displayed directly over the package lists (does not cover the sidebar or other controls) and its messages are now using a slightly different wording.
- Sometimes when refreshing the list of installed packages for all users and having at the same time a specific package selected, the refresh routine would enter an endless loop. This is now fixed.
- For early Windows 10 versions not supporting MSIX, a caption MSIX Core was added automatically. This is now fixed, the caption is only added if and only if the actual target device family name is
- In previous build due to a regression it was sometimes possible to de-sync normal packages view and its wider variant with columns. This is now fixed.
- Opening a package without a manifest file could crash the Package Expert window. The issue is now fixed.
The app will be updated automatically in few hours if you installed it from app installer file. New users can download MSIX Hero from the Download page.
Your feedback is important, let me which other features you would like to see in MSIX Hero.