The Download Blog

Automatically remove tracking tokens from URLs in Chrome, Firefox

Automatically remove tracking tokens from URLs in Chrome, Firefox

Urchin Tracking Modules, or UTMs, are tracking tokens added to URLs. They are a tool used by Google Analytics to help calculate the unique number of clicks on a specific link, navigation choices on a Web site, and how much time is spent looking at it. The namesake comes from Urchin Software, a company Google acquired in 2005. Google Analytics borrows a great deal of its structure and features from Urchin 6.

To get started, you'll just need to install a copy of the respective add-on for your Web browser.

For Chrome:

Head to the Chrome Web Store entry … Read more

MaskMe guards your privacy like a vigilant angel

Who hasn't bought something online, only to receive a torrent of marketing spam that follows you around like a rabid puppy?

Abine's new MaskMe browser add-on and mobile app, debuting Monday, ensure that you can use the Web while avoiding the data stalkers by preventing you from giving out your contact info in the first place.

MaskMe is a freemium add-on for Firefox (download for Windows | download for Mac) and Chrome (download for Windows | download for Mac) that creates and manages dummy accounts for your e-mail address, phone number, credit card, and Web site log-ins. Upgrading gets you … Read more

Use Onefeed to replace your New Tab page in Chrome

Use Onefeed to replace your New Tab page in Chrome

Newer versions of Chrome spruce up the New Tab page by adding some shortcuts to your most-visited Web sites or Chrome apps. A previous extension I wrote about, New Tab Page adds the weather, some headlines, and links to Chrome apps. Onefeed does all of this, plus a custom newsfeed and social media updates from Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also attach your Dropbox account, if you really want to.

To get started, just install a copy of Onefeed for Chrome from Download.com or from the publisher's Web site via the Get Onefeed button. You … Read more

Google finalizes Chrome App Launcher for Windows

Google finalizes Chrome App Launcher for Windows

Chrome users who want to open their Web apps without having to first fire up the browser can do just that via the Chrome App Launcher for Windows.

Initially released in February as a developer preview, the App Launcher now is finished and in completed build mode for Windows users.

To grab the App Launcher, open Google Chrome and surf to the launcher link in the Web store. Click on the button to Get the launcher. The App Launcher icon then appears on your Windows taskbar and desktop. Close Chrome. Now, anytime you want to open one of your Chrome … Read more

Mozilla fleshes out Firefox OS simulator features

Mozilla fleshes out Firefox OS simulator features

Mozilla is at an awkward stage with Firefox OS: it wants its brand-new mobile operating system to attract developers, but there are very few phones available in the real world. To bridge the gap, the organization offers a phone simulator, and on Thursday, it updated the Firefox OS simulator to version 4.

Among the new features in the software, which is an add-on to the Firefox browser for personal computers, according to a blog post by Firefox OS developer advocate Angelina Fabbro:

• The ability to simulate touch-screen events with mouse clicks.

• A style editor tool that lets programmers create and … Read more

Opera 15 curates the Web

Opera 15 curates the Web

On Tuesday, Opera Software hit a new milestone with the final release of Opera browser for Windows and Mac. Highlights of this release include a complete migration over to the Chromium engine, as well as some new tools for improved content discovery.

Opera's move to WebKit and later embracing Chromium signals a new, much more competitive push by the Scandinavian browser-maker to keep up with speedier demands, yet still maintaining some of the classic signature features of previous versions.

All under the hood improvements aside, Opera has been branding itself as more of a discovery engine, rather than just … Read more

Rival mobile browsers chip away at Safari's lead

Rival mobile browsers chip away at Safari's lead

Safari, the top browser in terms of mobile usage, lost a little share to three rivals in June.

The Apple browser dropped from 60.0 percent of usage in May to 58.0 percent in June, still well ahead of competing browsers, according to statistics released by tracking firm Net Applications on Monday. Google's unbranded Android browser, in second place, also dipped, from 20.7 percent to 20.6 percent.

Picking up the slack were Opera Mini, which rose from 10.5 percent to 11.2 percent; Google's Chrome, which rose from 3.2 percent to 3.8 … Read more

RSS, autocomplete URLs hit new Android Firefox beta

RSS, autocomplete URLs hit new Android Firefox beta

Mozilla debuted a new Firefox for Android 23 beta (download) on Thursday that brought with it a flatter but more Web-friendly version of the familiar browser logo.

The new logo has been designed, wrote Sean Martell, Mozilla's lead visual designer, with "SVG compatibility and color consistency" in mind. It doesn't ditch detail just for the sake of it, he said in his blog post about the change, but actually adds more detail in some areas.

One major detail he pointed out that has changed is the fox's arm. It now comes from its shoulder, instead … Read more

With IE11, Microsoft gets all touchy-feely

With IE11, Microsoft gets all touchy-feely

The latest version of Microsoft's browser, Internet Explorer 11, comes complete with a host of touch features designed for Windows 8.1.

In a blog post announcing the launch of the preview version of IE11, Microsoft focused much of its time on the "touch optimized" feature set available. The browser includes a "stick to your finger" feature that allows users to pan, zoom, and swipe around a Web site. That swipe feaoture can also be used for folks to go back to a previous page or forward to a previously viewed page. In addition, the … Read more

Mozilla adds easy download monitoring to Firefox for OS X

Mozilla adds easy download monitoring to Firefox for OS X

If you are a Firefox user, you may have noticed that yesterday Mozilla released an updated version of the browser. This new update includes a number of security updates and graphics optimizations, but in addition OS X users are now able to monitor downloads directly in the Dock.

When you download a file in Safari or prior versions of Firefox, the download process can be followed by going to a special Downloads window, where you can monitor overall and individual download progress; however, this requires you to keep such a window open. Even though Safari's downloads toolbar menu will … Read more