The Download Blog

Google Earth brings virtual tourism to iPhone

Correction made on October 27 at 9:40 a.m. PDT: See details below.

SAN FRANCISCO--Google already has customized some of its Web sites for display on the iPhone, but now the company also dived headlong onto Apple's highly regarded mobile phone with a full-fledge application, a handheld version of its Google Earth geographical software (download for Windows and Mac).

Google Earth lets people virtually fly around a 3D view of the world made from satellite and aerial imagery mapped onto the planet's mountains and valleys. The iPhone version reproduces this core experience, downloading imagery from Google's … Read more

Featured Freeware: Jazz Radio

This free add-on for Firefox and Internet Explorer gives jazz music lovers something to sing about. Jazz Radio is a toolbar that lets you tune in to radio stations worldwide that play songs from the genre.

The bar won't wow or disappoint you with its appearance. A few radio controls allow for fairly quick volume control and switches between stations. You'll have fast access to jazz stations in locations from the United States to the Netherlands, so you can listen to fusion, smooth, New Orleans, and big-band jazz, to name a few. None of the stations tested missed … Read more

Featured Freeware: PeaZip

Novice-friendly but with features for the expert and free archiving tools rarely cover all those bases, but PeaZip and PeaZip Portable hit back-to-back home runs.

Operating PeaZip is as easy as dragging files. Drop a ZIP file on the interface and PeaZip goes into decompression mode. Drop a regular file and it opens the archiving screen. Well-labeled buttons and simple functions make both processes quick and painless. Adding files and folders is also quickly accomplished using function buttons and traditional file browse tools.

Novice users will be able to use default settings to create well-made archives. Experienced users will like … Read more

Manage WordPress blog comments in AIR

If you're keen on moderating blog comments in near real time and would prefer to do so without a browser window open, you should check out Moderator. It's a hybrid tool that uses both a WordPress plug-in and an Adobe AIR desktop application to keep you up to speed with the latest user chatter on your blog.

Once installed, you simply leave it running and it will update itself throughout the day, letting you approve or deny comments to go live. Because it sits on your desktop you can keep your blog comments lean and clean without ever … Read more

iPhone apps of the week

As you know, I check out the iPhone app lists every day on my iPhone and at the iTunes Store. As I look for cool new apps, I find it interesting to see what moves to the top of the most popular lists every week and for what type of programs people are willing to pay money. One thing I've noticed is that programs (free or paid) continue to get more complex. As developers get more comfortable with the platform, we're starting to see games and apps that offer much more polish than the ones that came out … Read more

Find your inner 'Vader' or 'Smeagol' with Sonic Vox

Every once in a while, usually on a Friday, I get into something incredibly addicting and distracting. Today is one of those days. If you're like me (and gods help you) and you like to manipulate your voice in different ways--you know, to freak your cats or even your wife/girlfriend--Smule has come up with something cool to make your Friday go by faster.

Sonic Vox is an audio engine for the iPhone that alters your voice in real time. While you speak, the program contorts and shifts your voice depending on how you set the pitch … Read more

Choosy kills the idea of a 'default' browser for links

A system plug-in called Choosy is trying to change the way people are opening links on their computer. This small Mac OS X application gives you the option to choose which browser you'd like to open up any link with sans having to ever set a "default" browser.

In my case my default browser is Firefox, but it's not always the best solution. Sometimes I'm opening up a link for a site I know will work better in Safari or IE (like my work e-mail). With Choosy installed, clicking that link simply gives you a … Read more

iPhone gets 'new', new music

OurStage, a service that allows you to discover new, alternative, and underground music, has launched a version of its service for the iPhone. OurStage Radio for the iPhone can be found now at the App Store for free.

We've covered OurStage before and so far, the iPhone app just seems like a mobile version of its site/service.

Users are able to select different music, categorized in a surprising number of genres, like hip-hop, alternative hip-hop, and rap. There's also a Guitar Solo genre that actually has a huge number of artists available. Once you've listened, you'… Read more

Yahoo discontinues Vista-optimized IM program

One of the first applications designed to run only on Windows Vista has been discontinued.

Yahoo said on Friday that it has stopped development of Yahoo Messenger for Vista, a Vista-specific version of its instant-messaging program.

The custom implementation of Yahoo Messenger was one of the earliest, most mainstream, and highest profile programs to only run on Windows Vista.

"Yahoo has made the strategic decision to discontinue external releases of the stand-alone Yahoo Messenger for Vista client and focus on delivering one Windows experience that is optimized for Windows users today," Yahoo's Terrell Karlsten said in a … Read more