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Top downloads of 2013

This year the tech world buzzed about iPad Mini and Microsoft Surface, Android vs. iPhone, PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One, smart watches and fitness bands, Google Glass and Chromecast. Newsworthy gadgets all, but their sleek screens and circuits are nothing without the software that operates, connects, and protects the devices, not to mention makes them more fun and useful.

But you already know that, because you good guests of our site have downloaded just under 800 million apps in 2013. That would be double the worldwide gross of "Gravity," if downloads were dollars, and it's more than … Read more

Just days after 10.9.1 update, Apple preps Mavericks for 10.9.2

Just days after 10.9.1 update, Apple preps Mavericks for 10.9.2

Apple has launched another update to OS X Mavericks, but for now, it's only available to developers.

Dubbed OS X Update Seed 10.9.2, the prerelease update includes some minor tweaks to Mail and deeper integration of FaceTime audio into Messages and associated apps, according to 9to5Mac, which earlier reported on the update. Apple also asked developers to specifically focus their time on testing VPN, Graphics Drivers, and VoiceOver, according to a listing in the Mac App Store.

Apple launched its OS X Mavericks 10.9.1 update earlier this week. It's not uncommon for a subsequent … Read more

Google kicks toolbars out of Chrome Web Store

Google kicks toolbars out of Chrome Web Store

Google is kicking toolbars and other "multipurpose extensions" out of the Chrome Web Store in an effort to keep its browser's interface uncluttered and to protect users from unpleasant surprises.

The change will be disruptive to many extension programmers, but Google is giving them until June 2014 for existing extensions. New ones must abide by the new rules immediately, said Chrome engineering director Erik Kay.

"Extensions in the Chrome Web Store must have a single purpose that is narrow and easy to understand," Kay said in a blog post on Thursday. "While this has … Read more

Google Dart target: Chrome soon! Other browsers...someday

Google Dart target: Chrome soon! Other browsers...someday

Minecraft is one of the most widely used games around these days. So it was notable when the programmer who wrote it, Markus "Notch" Persson, embraced Google's Dart programming language for Web apps.

"I love it," Persson tweeted in November, shortly after Google released Dart 1.0.

That's music to the ears of Google developers who created Dart to rewrite the rules of Web programming and, as they see it, to overcome shortcomings of the JavaScript language at the foundation of Web apps today. To fully succeed, though, Google will have to persuade a … Read more

Opera updates Coast browser for iOS with music and PDF options

Opera updates Coast browser for iOS with music and PDF options

Opera Software has finished a new version of its Coast browser, an attempt to get a better foothold on Apple's iOS, with new music and PDF controls.

When a Web page can play music, Coast will indicate that with a graphic-equalizer animation in the page's tab and let people control the music with a lock-screen control. Coast also now offers options for saving PDFs or opening them with other apps, the Norwegian browser company said.

The updated Coast also lets people set a home-screen image. Last, for moving among Web pages, Opera dumped its older buttons and moved … Read more

Apple delivers OS X Mavericks update with Mail fixes

Apple delivers OS X Mavericks update with Mail fixes

Apple has released the first update to its OS X Mavericks operating system. The update, which Apple has been working on since before the initial release of Mavericks, offers the usual stability and compatibility fixes for the operating system, and is a recommended update for all who are using OS X.

The update 10.9.1 revolves largely around the use of Apple's Mail program and its integration with services like Gmail, and specifically improves the following features of OS X:

Improved support for Gmail in OS X Mail, and fixes for users with custom Gmail settings Improves the … Read more

Download's merriest music apps

Download's merriest music apps

Your in-laws are criticizing your carving skills, Grandma Edith's guzzling the port, and the tree's catching fire. Yes, Christmas can feel so predictable. Take a break from the melodrama with Download's favorite festive music apps.

Bjork: Solstice ( iOS)

Bjork is far out, and that's why we love her. Based on the track "Solstice" from the Icelandic singer's "Biophilia" album, this free app allows you to pull rays out of a sun to create harp strings that are then plucked by orbiting planets. With a tilting motion, your creation morphs into a … Read more

The 10 best Christmas songs of the last 40 years

The 10 best Christmas songs of the last 40 years

It'll be more of a blue Christmas than a holly jolly holiday if you're stuck suffering through the same old songs that your parents have been playing on the gramophone for as long as you can remember. So spice up your next holiday get-together with Download.com's list of our 10 all-time favorite holiday hits from the last 40 years.

Some of our picks, such as "Frosty the Snowman" and "We Three Kings," are perennial classics that have been reinvented in interesting ways by some of our favorite artists. Others, like "Christmas … Read more

Google emulates 1980s-era Amiga computer in Chrome

Google emulates 1980s-era Amiga computer in Chrome

The Amiga 500 lives again -- in Google's browser.

Google developer Christian Stefansen on Thursday resurrected a version of the venerable computer system from the 1980s in the form of a Web app that runs in Chrome. Forty-year-olds who want to relive their childhoods or younger people who want to see just how hard their elders had it can visit the Amiga 500 emulator for Chrome online, boot the machine, and play some games.

Chrome emulates the old operating system by a Chrome-specific version of the Open Source Universal Amiga Emulator. Stefansen brought its 400,000 lines of code, … Read more

Lightroom 5.3 supports Nikon Df and D610, Lumia 1020 phone

Lightroom 5.3 supports Nikon Df and D610, Lumia 1020 phone

Adobe Systems released Lightroom 5.3 on Thursday, extending its support to two Nikon full-frame SLRs, the enthusiast-oriented D610 and the retro Nikon Df, and one of the two first mobile phones that can produce raw photos, the Nokia Lumia 1020.

Nokia just released the Lumia 1520 phablet, making it the first phone that can produce raw images -- those that record the unprocessed sensor data before conversion into more convenient but less flexible formats like JPEG. For Adobe, though, it's the more mainstream Lumia 1020 that got the first Lightroom support, although its software won't be updated … Read more