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Chrome to make search-by-image easier

Chrome to make search-by-image easier

Google updated the beta versions of its Chrome browser on Thursday with new features that push the envelope just a bit further.

Chrome 30 beta for desktops takes a stab at making image lookups on Google easier. Right-click on any photo embedded in a Web page, and you'll see an option to "Search Google for this image." Click it and a new tab will open with search results for that image.

Also in desktop Chrome are several new application programming interfaces (APIs) for Chrome Web apps, or Chrome Packaged Apps. These "packaged apps" are a … Read more

Download Picks highlight the best all-around software on Download.com

Today, Download.com is proud to announce its inaugural Download Picks. These software titles are applications in our four major platforms--Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS--that have been identified as the best and most trusted applications on our site.

Programs that receive the distinction of being a Download Pick are selected based on the following criteria: high editorial rating; high user rating; popularity (download count); publisher support (is the software regularly updated and is the publisher responsive to users and developers?); historical performance; and unique features or "best in its class" status.

There is no automatic algorithm … Read more

Firefox for Android gets new 'awesomescreen' interface

Firefox for Android gets new 'awesomescreen' interface

Firefox years ago helped unlock the potential of the browser address bar with its "awesomebar," and now its developers hope to do the same thing for mobile browsing by revamping the "awesomescreen" in Firefox for Android.

Mozilla has accepted a new awesomescreen design into its early-stage "nightly" builds, user interface engineer Lucas Rocha said in a blog post Wednesday. Features in nightly builds typically make their way to beta and final releases after weeks of testing, debugging, and refinement, so it will be awhile before ordinary users see the feature.

The new approach effectively … Read more

Newer IE versions found to be dramatically more reliable

Newer IE versions found to be dramatically more reliable

Microsoft is making progress revamping Internet Explorer to shuck its bad reputation among Web developers, newly released measurements of browser reliability show.

Sauce Labs' Selenium service has run 55 million automated tests of Web sites and Web apps over the years, and the company kept track of the results. Although IE was the worst performer overall, newer versions show much lower rates of troubles bad enough to crash the browser, according to a Sauce Labs blog post Tuesday.

Overall, IE's error rate was 0.25 percent. But that's largely because of IE6's 0.31 percent rate and … Read more

Chrome update introduces reset button

Chrome update introduces reset button

Your personal stew of settings changes, add-ons, and other customizations can sometimes weigh down your browser, which is why Google has introduced a reset button in the latest build of Chrome stable.

Chrome 29 (download for Windows, Mac, or Linux) also includes more of your personal information in its Omnibox search suggestions, while Chrome 29 for Android (download) gets rudimentary Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) support.

The Omnibox improvement adds your recently visited sites to its mix, "resulting in more timely and contextually relevant suggestions," according to Google's blog post about the release.

Chrome's browser reset is … Read more

Despite DRM opposition, Chrome for Android to get Google's Widevine

Despite DRM opposition, Chrome for Android to get Google's Widevine

In a move that paves the way for watching Web-based Netflix videos on an Android device, Google is adding its Widevine digital rights management software to its Chrome browser for Android.

Google engineers on Monday announced their intention to build the DRM feature into Chrome for Android on a mailing list for Blink, the browser engine at the heart of Chrome and its open-source foundation, Chromium. Google acquired Widevine in 2010; Netflix and Blockbuster use the technology for barring unauthorized copying and optimizing online streaming.

DRM in the browser has been a touchy subject. Ian Hickson, for years a central … Read more

GPGTools offers quick encryption options for OS X Mail

GPGTools offers quick encryption options for OS X Mail

If you regularly send confidential information via e-mail and wish to make it as secure as possible, one option for OS X users is GPGTools, which provides encryption and decryption services for any of your e-mail accounts.

GPGTools is a free and open-source encryption project for OS X, based on OpenPGP, which gives OS X users quick access to options for signing and encrypting e-mail messages, as well as offering file-level services for encrypting documents and folders. The project has been around since 2011, but was recently updated to version 2, and supports a number of new features. The suite … Read more

Firefox updates amp up social side, and more

Firefox updates amp up social side, and more

Mozilla updated Firefox for desktops and Android on Tuesday with new features aimed at giving both versions of the browser a bit more pop.

Firefox for Windows, Mac, and Linux now offers a Share button. The icon looks like a paper airplane and allows people to share the Web site they're on with several services, including Facebook. It leverages the recent Social API to bring a bit of a mobile browser feature to desktops.

The browser also now comes with mixed content blocking. This means that on sites that serve both secure and insecure content, page elements that are … Read more

Loom lets you intelligently sync photos Dropbox-style across your devices

Loom lets you intelligently sync photos Dropbox-style across your devices

There are many photo storage services available out there competing for the right to hold our digital memories. Apps like Instagram and Flickr were designed to make sharing photos online easier but were not specifically designed for private storage. Cloud depositories like Dropbox or Google Drive work amazingly well with documents and spreadsheets but not with images or movies. Loom comes onto the scene with a fantastic app to tackle a specific problem in a great way.

The Loom app automatically uploads all of your photos and videos from your iPad and iPhone to be shared interchangeably. The Web and … Read more

What's My Computer Doing?

What's My Computer Doing?

At the end of a sweltering wedding season, many of us may be familiar with that drunken guest who falls asleep at dinner and is startled awake later, exclaiming "What's going on? Where am I? ... Where are the cookies?"

Those hazy, existential queries of the inappropriately inebriated aren't much different than the plaintive cries of modern PC users. Amid a shifting landscape of services, processes, modules, add-ons, plug-ins, drivers, BHOs, and DLLs--new Windows and Mac users trying to learn what the operating system is actually doing as their boxes suddenly whir can often feel overwhelmed. Here … Read more