The Download Blog

Google releases Quick Search Box for Mac

Google has released a new Mac application that lets users search both their Macs and the Web in the same window as well as launch applications.

Google Quick Search Box was unveiled in January, but is now ready for a formal release, Google announced on its Mac Blog. It's a pretty lightweight application that Mac users can use as a universal search tool to find local documents, applications or Web sites featuring a certain term: for example, a query for "Wilco" allowed me to launch my iTunes library of Wilco songs, read news stories about the band, … Read more

Safari 4's fast, but not perfect: First Look video

Apple is touting Safari 4 as the fastest browser on the Web for both Windows and Mac. Depending on your computer's specs, that may indeed be true. However, if you need more than speed, Safari may not be the best choice. It's zippy with the JavaScript, but on Windows machines it still consumes a huge amount of RAM and still doesn't support extensions--something the Mac version can do.

What it does offer, though, is a uniquely visual browser right out of the box. Top Sites and Cover Flow for History and Bookmark browsing will either entice or … Read more

Safari 4 fast, but only minor tweaks from beta

Updated, June 17: The sandboxing of plug-ins, such as Flash, in Safari 4 will be limited to users running Mac OS X 10.6, which will be available this fall. The feature is currently not available, nor will it be available to Windows users. Windows users should also note that changing the default search provider is limited to either Google or Yahoo.

The public version of Safari 4 was released Monday amid all the iPhone noise at WWDC, and Apple confirmed what those who played around with the beta version already knew: Safari is now a serious browser for serious … Read more

New Firefox hangs in limbo between beta and RC

On the same day that Apple released the public version of Safari 4 for Windows and Mac, Mozilla published an update to its Firefox 3.5 beta. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, they're not calling this a beta version, but it's not a release candidate, either.

Within the next 24 hours, the Firefox 3.5 beta 4 will auto-update to what Mozilla is calling a "preview" version. Users can also force the update by going to the Help menu, then Check for Updates. At the time of writing, it doesn't appear that users can … Read more

Snow Leopard preview at WWDC

Editor's note: This review has been updated from its original to include source information.

Among the news and announcements at the WWDC Keynote this morning, Apple previewed the next iteration of Mac OS X Leopard. Snow Leopard, as Mac OS X 10.6 is known, appears to pack a lot of new features and is slated for release in September, though no hard dates were announced during the Keynote.

The goal of Snow Leopard, according to Apple, was not to reinvent Mac OS X, but to refine, simplify, and speed up the overall experience. They were careful to point … Read more

Apple announces Safari 4, QuickTime 10

Correction: QuickTime 10 is likely to be released with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard in the fall, and won't be updated Monday.

At WWDC Monday morning, Apple's Bertrand Serlet came out with guns blazing, not just in support of Snow Leopard, but of Safari and QuickTime, too. Announcing that Safari 4 would leave beta later Monday and that QuickTime would receive a massive overhaul, Serlet introduced new features while taking swipes at both Microsoft and Mozilla.

Safari 4 can be downloaded from CNET for Windows and Mac.

The senior vice president of OS X … Read more

Three productivity-enhancing Firefox add-ons

I'll save us both some time by getting right to the descriptions of three Firefox add-ons that shave minutes off my workday. Hey, they add up!

Navigate Web pages using only your keyboard. When it comes to speed, I'll take a keyboard over a mouse any day of the week. A post from April 2008 explains how to create a keyboard-shortcut list you can access quickly. I also wrote about using your keyboard to move and resize windows and shortcuts for Word and Excel.

Now I can park the mouse when I surf. Instead of clicking, I enter … Read more

Health and fitness tracker and an arcade shooter: iPhone apps of the week

As we gear up for the WWDC here in San Francisco, the rumors are flying as usual about what we might see during the keynote on Monday morning. Some people say Apple will announce new iPhones, others say we will get a precise release date for Mac OS X Snow Leopard. One thing is likely: We will probably all have the ability to download iPhone OS 3.0 sometime next week. I'm crossing my fingers.

I'll be at the keynote speech to witness the excitement and find out as much as I can about Mac OS X Snow … Read more

Norton can't block Bing porn

As a followup to my post from Tuesday about the ability for someone to view porn from within Bing, I just heard from a Symantec spokesperson that the company's Internet monitoring and filtering service, OnlineFamily.Norton (review), can't yet prevent Bing users from searching sexually explicit terms for Web sites or videos. The company plans to add Bing to its protected search engines in the next release. Other major search engines, including Google, are covered by the software's SafeSearch feature.

In the meantime, Symantec recommends that parents use OnlineFamily.Norton to block access to all of Bing--which … Read more

Speedy Opera 10 beta reconfigures as Web suite

Opera 10 has entered beta with the unstated goal of becoming more than a mere browser. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, the Norwegian program hopes to become a speedy utility--Turbo-charged, in their words--that handles browsing, e-mail, RSS, and torrents with robust features.

The most obvious changes in Opera 10 are the new default skin, created by British designer Jon Hicks, and a revamped Tab bar. The skin, Opera says, will continue to evolve before Opera 10 is finalized. Double-click or pull down on the bar below the tabs and above the location bar and you get thumbnail previews of … Read more