The Download Blog

Capture, record the screen with Jing 2.1: First Look

Its emphasis on getting screen captures and screencasts shot and shared makes the freemium application Jing extremely quick and easy to use for Mac and Windows users. I use its big brother, the professional capture app Snagit, at work (we take a lot of screenshots in these parts,) but I've often installed Jing on laptops and on other peoples' computers when I need something light and free.

The one irony for Windows users is that if you don't have the .NET framework installed, it adds a few more minutes of set-up time and a heftier footprint. The benefit … Read more

Digital postcards and an online flight sim: iPhone apps of the week

Of all the great enhancements, fixes, and goodies in iPhone OS 3.0 (video overview here), I quickly realized there was one glaring omission. With the useful addition of a Voice Memos app, an old problem reared its ugly head. The update put the Voice Memos app icon on the home page, pushing whatever lone app icon that sat in the lower right of the homepage onto its own screen on the next page. This meant that in order to maximize my use of page space (I have a lot of apps!), I now had to rearrange my apps on … Read more

Songbird 1.2 debuts new features

Browser and jukebox freeware mashup Songbird brings onstage four new features to help manage songs, communicate better with iTunes, customize volume, and expose more information from Last.fm.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Songbird 1.2's biggest new feature is the ability to automatically organize files across multiple folders according to each track's metadata. This can be especially useful both if your music is scattered across disparate folders, as well as forcing naming conventions on inconsistent files.

There's also the ability to introduce iTunes library tracks and playlists into Songbird, and export tracks from Songbird to … Read more

Minor update to Safari 4

Apple has released a minor change to Safari 4 for Mac users.

Safari 4.0.1 addresses incompatibilities between the browser and certain features in iPhoto '09, including Places and Facebook publishing. No changes were made to the Windows version.

When the original version 4 was released last week, it surprised many observers with its new position as one of the faster browsers available, rendering JavaScript at speeds comparable or faster than Google Chrome.

Mozilla pushes Firefox 3.5 RC to beta testers

If you've been using the Firefox 3.5 beta, you now get to upgrade to the release candidate for Firefox 3.5. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, The noticeable changes to the release candidate from beta 4 and the b99 pre-release version are not readily apparent. Generally, you can expect the release candidate to be more stable than its beta predecessors, although if you're using an add-on such as Nightly Tester Tools or MR Tech to force incompatible add-ons to work in the beta you may be compromising your stability somewhat.

The upgrades to Firefox 3.5 … Read more

Will new browsers really upgrade the Web?

Mozilla is exhorting users to "upgrade the Web" with Firefox 3.5 and variations on that better-browsing theme can be found with Google's Chrome, Apple's Safari, and Opera.

The hope is that the Web will evolve from a series of relatively static pages to a lively home for Web applications--everything from today's e-mail to tomorrow's spreadsheets. But it could take awhile for reality to catch up with the vision.

It's indeed a bright, shiny future for browsers, and the avant-garde is advancing rapidly. Web developers eager to invigorate their Web sites or build fancy Web applications have to reckon not only with the massive, slower-moving army of ordinary Web browsers, but also with inconsistent support for the latest technology.

Browsers of the future Many of new browser features stem from HTML 5, the still-not-finalized next iteration of the HyperText Markup Language standard that defines how Web pages are described. HTML 5 has spurred the arrival of built-in video and audio, local storage that Web sites or applications can use, "Web workers" that can perform background processing tasks for a Web application, drag-and-drop for better user interfaces, and other technologies. … Read more

Opera tries to Unite users across browsers

You wouldn't know it by eyeballing most of the latest browser news, but there is more to browsers than JavaScript speed. Mozilla introduced its add-on alternative called Jetpack, and on Tuesday Opera debuted Unite for Windows, Mac, and Linux, which turns your browser into a Web server and the Norwegian publisher hopes will "reinvent the Web."

That's fast become the browser equivalent of the cliched comic book tag, "In this issue: Everything Changes!" So United uses your browser as as Web server, but what does that mean?

"The initial applications offered by Opera … Read more

Inside 'Unite': Opera's browser-server

On Tuesday, Opera Software introduced a technical preview of Opera Unite, a component of its Opera 10 browser. Earlier this morning, I sat in on a Webcast where Opera's Chief Development Officer, Christen Krogh, ran through a demo and answered questions. Opera Unite, which uses your Opera ID to log in, is a Web server housed within the Opera browser. With it, you'll be able to host a Web site, and share files, music, video, notes, and chats with others.

The sharing process begins when you select the hard drive where your files are stored, and then select … Read more

Firefox 3.5 'Web upgrade' planned for end of June

Mozilla plans to issue a release candidate for Firefox 3.5 on Friday and the final version by the end of the month, Firefox director Mike Beltzner said Tuesday.

The browser, code-named Shiretoko, began its life as a modest 3.1 upgrade. But as Mozilla's ambitions expanded and other browsers such as Google Chrome exerted competitive pressure, the new Firefox was promoted to version 3.5 and its planned ship date slid back several months. You can grab the Firefox 3.5 beta for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Firefox 3.5 comes with a spate of new features--5,000 … Read more

Flip Video gets channels, iPhone app for viewing

Pure Digital Technologies, maker of the Flip series digital video recorders, has a new update for its FlipShare software going out Tuesday that makes it easier to share videos without having to use YouTube, MySpace, or another video hosts.

Users can now create channels that can only be accessed by users who have been invited by e-mail. Any time you add a video to one of these channels, the people on your list get a message that contains thumbnail previews and direct links to the newly added clips. While the video quality may not be up to snuff compared with … Read more