The Download Blog

Trusted open-source apps for Windows

Trusted open-source apps for Windows

Open-source apps must maintain accountability when it comes to security. They have an active community of developers and users who help discover vulnerabilities, peer-review code, and perform routine audits on a mass scale. Security holes are patched at a rate that discourages programmers from placing back-door malicious codes. Though not every open-source app is secure, the ones that are benefit from the community in a way that closed-source programs and applications can rarely duplicate.

Many of the apps listed here have been so widely distributed and scrutinized that even RSA Conference attendees trust and recommend them.

Gpg4Win

Gpg4Win is a … Read more

Opera Max promises to cut data usage across apps

Opera Max promises to cut data usage across apps

Android users looking to save on their data plans may want to get in line for Opera's latest beta app, Opera Max.

Initially announced in December, the app has spent the better part of two months in a private beta. On Tuesday, Opera is expanding the Opera Max beta to the public, albeit with a waiting list.

Like the company's flagship Opera Web browser, the Opera Max application is designed to compress data help save users from spilling their precious, allotted megabytes.

Instead of only helping out with Web sites, however, Max promises to do the same across … Read more

Amp up TV time with these second-screen Android, iOS apps

Amp up TV time with these second-screen Android, iOS apps

Let's face it, you're not watching television commercials. In fact, you're probably not paying attention all that closely to your favorite TV shows, either.

The sad truth is that many of us can't go longer than an hour without whipping out the phone or tablet. We can't be bothered to give the almighty tube our undivided attention when our friends are being snarky on Facebook.

Why not put that phone to good, practical use? There are some great apps out there that can actually enhance your viewing experience.

I've put together a small collection … Read more

Google: Under-the-hood change helps Web apps on Chrome

Google: Under-the-hood change helps Web apps on Chrome

Google has taught Chrome how to walk and chew gum at the same time.

The newest Chrome beta version, 33, includes a feature called concurrent compilation that means the browser takes a smoother, faster trip to an optimized version of the Web page code it's running.

"Concurrent code compilation is another step towards reducing latency in Chrome," said Chrome programmer Yang Guo in a blog post Thursday.

JavaScript performance is crucial to browsers, which increasingly run Web-based apps written in JavaScript, not just load relatively static Web pages.

Concurrent compilation takes advantage of the fact that most … Read more

Get in the games with top apps for Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

Get in the games with top apps for Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

Now that Bruno Bowl 2014 is over, it's time to turn our attention to the Winter Olympics. The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics officially kick off this week in Russia, and you can follow the action with these apps. Keep tabs on your favorite athletes and events from anywhere.

NBC Olympics Highlights

Get the latest news, video highlights, previews, and in-depth stories with this app for iOS and Android. You'll find the live-stream schedule, TV listings, and results all in one place, from NBC, the official network for this year's event.

Visa 360 Cam

Ever wonder what the … Read more

Mozilla revamping Firefox OS's app launcher

Mozilla revamping Firefox OS's app launcher

Firefox OS, Mozilla's smartphone operating system, is getting a new app for launching apps.

"The app integrates the contextual adaptive app search from EverythingMe with the Firefox for Android Web browser to offer users a personalized and customizable Web experience that is fun and intuitive," Mozilla said Wednesday in a blog post. The non-profit organization showed a preview of new app launcher Tuesday.

Firefox OS already used EverythingMe's software for presenting a dynamically generated array of links to Web apps.

"We are happy to expand our work together with this new product to give people … Read more

Romantic apps for Valentine's Day

Romantic apps for Valentine's Day

To those who don't celebrate Valentine's Day because they think it's more about consumerism than romance, I say that's why you're on your way to a lonely life at the convalescent home. Valentine's Day isn't just about gift-giving or an expensive night out. What matters most on February 14 is what these gestures represent: love and appreciation. With that in mind I've collected five Valentine's Day-themed apps to help you express affection without sacrificing any of your convictions or all of your money.

Be Mine

Even if you're not artistic, … Read more

Firefox 27 deepens its social integration

Firefox 27 deepens its social integration

On Tuesday Mozilla announced the public release of Firefox 27 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. For this release, Mozilla adds more stacks to its social APIs, bringing new partners like Delicious onboard.

Delicious is a built-in tool that lets users save and organize content from the Web. Now users can access Delicious via the Firefox sidebar.

Web developers can use the new specification "all: unset" in style tags. Prior to the addition of the unset keyword, many developers popularized the use of reset style sheets that individually set all properties to a default value. The CSS keyword &… Read more

Facebook file-sharing app Pipe shifting from Flash to WebRTC

Facebook file-sharing app Pipe shifting from Flash to WebRTC

Pipe just launched a new version of its Facebook file-sharing app, illustrating that the shift away from Adobe Systems' Flash Player to Web standards is getting steadily easier.

The new Pipe app uses a newer standard called WebRTC for real-time communications on the Web, the company said Monday. That standard got its start for Skype-like video and audio chats, but it's got a data-sharing ability too. The brains of the new app run in JavaScript, the universal language of Web programming, with a boost from the AngularJS project that makes JavaScript more manageable.

Pipe lets people send files as … Read more

Browser makers get past high-resolution image impasse

Browser makers get past high-resolution image impasse

It looks like browser makers have settled on a way to handle high-resolution images, which are now common with the arrival of screens like Apple's Retina displays.

Browser makers haven't offered Web developers a consistent, easy way to show the right image for a given screen's size and resolution -- an idea called responsive design. That's been a shame, because screens with high-pixel densities are increasingly common on laptops, tablets, and smartphones and can offer crisp, detailed photos and graphics.

The first breakthrough came in September when support emerged for a standard called srcset, which was … Read more