The Download Blog

CheckUp is your Mac's first-aid kit

Most of the time our Macs run smoothly due to the well-designed Mac OS X (choose your big cat) operating system. But over time, as you download more applications, visit more Web sites, and begin to use up space on your hard drive, your Mac won't run as quickly and smoothly as it did out of the box. Some users reason that it must be a RAM or hard-drive issue, but more often than not it's a question of maintenance rather than inadequate hardware.

I've talked about programs for uninstalling old or unused apps in an earlier post, … Read more

Timelope makes your browser history public, social

I had a funny moment earlier this week when I showed Google's Chrome to one of my friends. She was floored that one of the top nine most visited sites featured on the browser's start page was Woot.com. Given how much browsing I do as part of this job I suppose it was surprising even to me, but it's also a hint of how intriguing your browsing history can be to others.

A service called Timelope is banking on that idea, letting users share their browsing history (or at least selected parts of it) with the … Read more

What Chrome means for Microsoft

Aiming to react quickly to Google's Chrome announcement, Microsoft focused on how Chrome stacks up against Internet Explorer.

"The browser landscape is highly competitive, but people will choose Internet Explorer 8 for the way it puts the services they want right at their fingertips, respects their personal choices about how they want to browse and, more than any other browsing technology, puts them in control of their personal data online," Internet Explorer General Manager Dean Hachamovitch said in a statement.

Hopefully for Redmond, though, it recognizes this as far more than an attack on Internet Explorer 8. … Read more

Google 'starting from scratch' with own browser, Chrome

Update at 2:36 p.m. PDT: It's official: Google Chrome will be available Tuesday.

Word surfaced Monday of a Web "comic book" introducing Google Chrome, the search giant's long-rumored open-source browser project. While the illustrations, created by cartoonist Scott McCloud, were not announced by Google, they do contain the quotes and likenesses of 19 Google developers.

The detailed, 38-page comic appeared on Google Blogoscoped, an unofficial Google blog. Update: The comic is now available on Google Book Search. The book is broken down into five main sections covering stability; speed; search and the user experience, … Read more

iPhone apps of the week

Apple's iPhone App Store grows every day with new free and paid offerings. The lion's share of apps (and clearly the most popular) have been games, now with 626 digital time wasters at the time of this writing. I check the App Store almost every day for new stuff--mostly in the free category, but I've also bought my share of iPhone apps, too.

What do I look for? To be honest, I like it all--from the completely useless, but funny programs to the legitimately useful everyday apps. When I sift through the various lists of apps on … Read more

Earn your bandwidth black belt

Comcast has thrown down the bandwidth gauntlet. Starting in October, Comcast broadband users will be restricted to 250GB worth of downloads per month. When asked whether the cable company was planning on offering a bandwidth meter to customers, a Comcast representative stated that it hopes to, eventually, but until then Google would be a nice place to find one.

So, I've come up with a list of free bandwidth monitoring software for Windows and Mac that should tide you over until Verizon brings some Fios action to your hood.

First off, let's look at BitMeter. When running, it … Read more

Featured Freeware: WebMynd

This Firefox extension takes a stab at solving a common Web problem: finding again that which you had found before. WebMynd adds two very useful functions to your browsing: site-by-site recording of where you've been, and integrating your history and Delicious bookmarks into specific Google searches. It's the Back button with brains.

The site-by-site recording creates a timeline view of your browsing and a photo browser-like display. Want the site you found Friday after lunch? Rewind using the Reel view. Looking for the site with the purple logo thing? The Grid view is good for your visual memory. … Read more

First Look video: Photoshop CS3 (Mac)

Photoshop CS3 for Mac is still your top choice if you're serious about image editing. Loaded with features for color-correction, photo enhancements, filters, effects, and layer management, Photoshop is the pro-level image-editing software to measure all others by. If you'd like a closer look at some of the features Photoshop CS3 has to offer, check out our First Look video to see if you're ready to download the trial.

Google gooses Apple's Safari with Gears beta

As promised in May, Google has brought the open-source Gears technology to Apple's Safari, augmenting some browser abilities such as using Gears-tailored Web sites while offline.

The company announced a beta version of Gears for Safari (DMG file download link) on the Gears users mailing list Monday.

"We would love for you to install it and test it and file bug reports so we can polish it and find all the corner cases," said Google's Jeremy Moskovich.

Gears extends a browser so, for example, some Google Docs can be edited or viewed while the user isn'… Read more

First Look video: Cooliris for Firefox (Mac)

Cooliris for Firefox (formerly PicLens) is an add-on for Firefox that makes viewing images much more elegant and fun. Once installed, you can simply perform a search for images at a Cooliris-enabled site--like Google, Flikr, or Amazon--to bring up a full-screen 3D wall of results. Grab the bar at the bottom to watch your wall of results scroll by smoothly on your screen. When you find an image or movie you like, click on it to get a larger view. Cooliris also lets you search from within the interface by category or by site with its Discovery tools.

For more … Read more