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The Download Blog

Google offers new sales options for Chrome Web Store

Google offers new sales options for Chrome Web Store

Google has added new options for developers selling software through its Chrome Web Store.

Those selling software for Google's Chrome browser and Chrome OS operating system now have a variety of new sales possibilities, according to a blog post Tuesday by Chary Chen of the Chrome Web Store team. Among those options are the ability to offer:

Free trials of Chrome extensions and Chrome packaged apps.

Themes that cost money.

Extensions and packaged apps that include in-app payment possibilities.

Subscriptions for Chrome extensions.

Google's Chrome Web Store has brought the app store approach to Web apps and to … Read more

Apple Maps may get major 'under-the-hood' upgrade

Apple Maps may get major 'under-the-hood' upgrade

Apple plans to make major improvements to the Maps app in iOS 8, a new report claimed on Tuesday.

Apple's top executives, including CEO Tim Cook and Senior Vice Presidents Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi, are currently working on Maps for iOS 8, 9to5Mac reported, citing people who claim to have knowledge of Apple's plans. The executives are focusing less on interface improvements this year and more on enhancements to the application's accuracy and reliability, the report said.

In addition, Apple has added public transit functionality to the app, ensuring that users can find directions when using … Read more

Use EasyDownloader to save Instagram photos, videos

Use EasyDownloader to save Instagram photos, videos

When you're checking out Instagram in a Web browser, it's easy to save a photo that you like. Videos might require a bit more work, but are still relatively simple to obtain. However, when you're using an Android device, saving photos and videos is a bit more difficult. Your choices are to crop screenshots or root your device.

Enter EasyDownloader, an app that will let you snag any photo or video you desire from your Instagram feed without the need for cropping or rooting. Instead, saving content is just a couple of taps away. Let's get … Read more

Security lessons from RSA

Security lessons from RSA

The RSA Conference, the flagship meetup for cryptography, information security, and IT experts from around the world, just wrapped on February 28. While RSA is largely for IT professionals and businesses rather than consumers, I learned a couple of new lessons about personal protection in the age of big data. Read on for lessons learned and tips for taking control of your online security and digital privacy.

1. Beware of hackers and protect your passwords

Hackers are no more evil than the average netizens, nor are they loners: They build social communities around their illicit activities. Whether they're cyber-criminals … Read more

Mozilla works to squeeze more life out of JPEG

Mozilla works to squeeze more life out of JPEG

JPEG, the decades-old image format, shows no signs of disappearing. That's why Mozilla announced a project Wednesday to try to shave another 10 percent off images compressed with the standard.

The non-profit organization behind Firefox announced a project called mozjpeg that aims to compress JPEGs more intelligently. Smaller file sizes means Web pages load faster, and Mozilla is deeply interested in improving the Web's performance.

"Photos can easily make up the bulk of the network traffic for a page load," said senior technology strategist Josh Aas in a blog post. "Reducing the size of these … Read more

Avoid spam calls, find numbers faster with Current Caller ID on Android

Avoid spam calls, find numbers faster with Current Caller ID on Android

Last year, I shared how to use the Whitepages Current Caller ID app to easily track blocked calls and texts. Now, Whitepages has added the ability to spot many of today's spam/scam numbers, along with some other convenient features.

If you don't have the app already, there's no time like the present to get a copy. Current Caller ID is available for Android 2.2 and up.

The UI for the app has received a makeover, sporting lighter colors and better organization for its features. For example, the previous version of the app had two tabs … Read more

EU to Apple, Google: Free game apps? Yeah, right

EU to Apple, Google: Free game apps? Yeah, right

Apple and Google will be among the organizations to talk to the EU this week about the impact "freemium" apps are having on the industry.

In a statement on Thursday, the EU's European Commission said that it wants to investigate in-app purchases on games that can be downloaded for free. The Commission argues that while games can be downloaded for free, they essentially compel customers to pay for add-ons that bring functionality to the title, and that belies the idea of truly playing a game for "free."

So-called "freemium" games and apps have … Read more

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

Apple releases OS X 10.9.2, security updates for prior versions

Apple releases OS X 10.9.2, security updates for prior versions

Apple has releases OS X 10.9.2 for people running OS X Mavericks, and a couple of security updates for those running Lion and Mountain Lion.

These updates are important ones because they address a number of security bugs, including the recent SSL/TSL vulnerability that could allow an attacker to intercept secure connection data on a local network.

The 10.9.2 update also adds a few new features to Apple's FaceTime and iMessage services in OS X, allowing you to now make and receive FaceTime audio calls, use call waiting for FaceTime, and also block incoming … Read more

BlackBerry could turn BBM into an ATM in emerging markets

BlackBerry could turn BBM into an ATM in emerging markets

BlackBerry might soon become a mobile ATM.

Speaking to Recode in an interview published on Tuesday, BlackBerry enterprise president John Sims said the company is meeting with firms in emerging markets around the world to explore the possibility of transferring money through BBM.

"Money movement is an important thing," Sims told Recode.

If BlackBerry delivers a full payment service, it wouldn't be the first time the company has dipped its toe in the water. Last year, in fact, BlackBerry provided a money-transfer service through BBM on a test basis in Indonesia.

Although BlackBerry's 85 million monthly … Read more