The Download Blog

Mozilla releases Firefox 3.5

Firefox 3.5, the embodiment of Mozilla's attempt to "upgrade the Web," is now available for Windows and Mac.

Firefox 3.5 has a range of new features, including a new JavaScript engine for faster Web applications such as Google Docs; the ability to show video built into Web pages without plug-ins; a private browsing mode; fancy downloadable fonts; and geolocation technology that can let Web sites know where you are.

"So much is happening on the Web right now, it's a great time for browsers," said John Lilly, CEO of Firefox backer Mozilla, … Read more

With 3.5 launch, Firefox faces new challengers

A funny thing to happened to Firefox on the way to vanquishing Internet Explorer: the Mozilla browser's success opened the door for a host of its other competitors.

Even as Internet Explorer's market share has slipped--down a dramatic 8 percentage points to 65.5 percent in about the last year--Firefox programmers face a surprising question: should they be more worried about the programmers in Redmond, Wash., or about those working on Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome, and Opera?

Firefox has gained about 3 percentage points to 22.5 percent in market share, according to Net Applications' statistics … Read more

The best Firefox extension: AutoCopy

Oh yes, I did just go there. Hands-down, without a skerrick of doubt, AutoCopy is the best Firefox extension. It may also be the best Firefox extension you've never heard of. Here's what it does, and then I'll tell you what makes it so great.

Developed at Mozilla, AutoCopy is a lightweight, single-feature add-on that copies any text you highlight to your clipboard. No more hitting CTRL+C, or using the context menu. That in and of itself is not so revolutionary. The feature has been around for a while in other programs. What makes it the … Read more

Two fun games go on sale: iPhone apps of the week

Everybody loves a bargain. With the iTunes App Store, it's getting to the point that apps go on sale almost every week. Of course, app sale prices can be either good or bad, depending on your perspective. If you bought that fancy game for $9.99 a few weeks ago only to find out it went on sale later for $1.99, you can't help but feel a bit cheated. But it also gives you the opportunity to swoop in and grab apps you wouldn't ordinarily buy.

This week's apps are both games and are both … Read more

Latest version of Cooliris embraces browser tabs

Cooliris has just released a new version of its add-on that lets users run multiple instances of its media browsing wall in different tabs of the same browser. Previously, the only way to get it to run like this was to open it in different browsers. This way you can have one tab open to search YouTube videos, another that's browsing online photos, and a third that's playing a TV show off of Cooliris' interface.

Users are only limited in the number of Cooliris tabs they can have by what their computer is capable of. I … Read more

Turn your iPhone into a home office

Up until last week, Quickoffice Mobile Office Suite was the most sophisticated Microsoft document reader and editor in the App Store. When Documents To Go came out (with and without support for Microsoft Exchange attachments,) some of you asked for a head-to-head comparison.

We'll see your request and raise it to a collection of business applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch that can help keep you productive at home or on the road.

Quickoffice versus Documents To Go

The starkest differences between Quickoffice Mobile Suite and Documents To Go boil down to price, file support, and interface. Both … Read more

Block scripts in Firefox

The Internet is full of threats like cross-site scripting attacks and clickjacking. A lot of these attacks work by injecting scripts in Web pages that you don't even know are there. You can give yourself a modicum more protection by running a Firefox plug-in called NoScript.

NoScript blocks all scripts from running until you authorize them. Let me show you how it works.

Go to and search for NoScript or get it from Install it as you would any add-on. Once you have it installed, look in the bottom right corner at the little … Read more

Turn your status updates into a story

It seems like just about everyone has a Twitter or Facebook account these days and I find myself checking the so called "status updates" for my friends and family more than I'd like to admit. I never thought when these services launched that a status update could become anything more than a simple yawn-worthy report of personal activity. But as we've seen with these services' growing popularity, and the recent explosion of activity during the aftermath of Iran's election, the idea of a status update has morphed into something much bigger. A simple sentence or … Read more

Meet Melody: Movable Type's open-source sibling

Community members of Six Apart's Movable Type platform (MT) are launching a new blogging service on Tuesday. Dubbed "Melody," it's an open-source version of MT that community members are free to build on and change.

Unlike previous open-source efforts though, this one is the first to break off (or "fork") from the main product, allowing for much faster and drastic changes. In many ways it's an answer to WordPress, a competitor of Six Apart that began as an open source project and has benefited from rapid development because of it.

Even though it'… Read more

10 impressive Adobe AIR apps

Since Adobe Systems relaunched its AIR marketplace, I've been spending some considerable time there. There are so many great apps, it's hard to pick just a handful worth talking about. But after taking some time to sift through all my apps, I've selected my favorites.

Adobe AIR aps

Adobe Media Player If you're a Photoshop, Premiere, or Dreamweaver user, the Adobe Media Player will come in handy. The app lets you watch a slew of videos that train you how to use Adobe's applications.

Although there are videos for advanced users, there are quite a few videos that help Photoshop novices find their way around the sophisticated program. You can also save your favorite videos and go step-by-step during instruction. It's a great app for anyone who wants to be creative.

AOL Top 100 Videos If you're a music lover, you'll love the AOL Top 100 Videos app. Instead of forcing you to go to YouTube to find videos or search through Google, AOL Top 100 Videos lets you watch them all right from the app. Besides having an outstanding design, the app lets you share clips with friends, create a "favorite videos" playlist, and pick the genre of music you like. The videos load quickly, and the quality is stellar.

Desktop iPhone Desktop iPhone is one of the coolest apps in this roundup. You can experience the iPhone user interface, check the weather, and record voice messages. But the Desktop iPhone app's best feature is the ability to make phone calls from the app with an account from online phone company Ribbit. More features, including Google Maps, Calculator, and other options haven't been enabled.… Read more