The Download Blog

Accounting on the go: Quickbooks for iPhone and Blackberry

Quickbooks, one of the leading accounting packages for small businesses, has just released web interfaces for Blackberry and iPhone. The iPhone version, seen to the left, sports a very slick UI and allows easy, at-a-glance access to all of your financial information, entered into Quickbooks Online.

At first glance, the web app provides a simplistic view of things. Features included are looking at who owes you, who you owe, vendors, employees, and bank accounts. Despite the initially simplistic look, as you drill down, you uncover a whole new level of detail.

Even though this seems to be a killer app … Read more

IE 8 beta gives other browsers a run for their money

Don't count Internet Explorer out just yet.

On Wednesday, Microsoft released the second public beta for Internet Explorer 8. If anything, this release brings IE up to par with alternative browsers such as Opera, Apple's Safari, and Mozilla's Firefox in terms of security and features. It also pushes Microsoft a little ahead of the competition.

The user interface hasn't changed much since Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1, except to add a Security pull-down menu between Page and Tools on the main toolbar. In addition to blocking phishing sites, IE 8 now highlights the main domain of … Read more

Voice-activated text gets you to the Evite party

As of Wednesday, Evite's Send-to-Phone text alerts--which let users get event details on their mobile phone--include a voice-activated directions service. Yes, the addition of direction texts means partiers have lost one of their top excuses for being late. That drawback aside, this free new feature could be quite helpful.

It works from any cell phone and doesn't require any GPS, data plan, or registration. Guests can just click the "directions" link in the Evite event details text message to launch a call to the voice-activated service. They then say their start address or intersection and get … Read more

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

Featured Freeware: Executor

Powered by hot keys and keywords, Executor is a program launcher customizable to an impressive degree. A skinnable bar appears at the top of your screen that makes up the most trafficked aspect of the program, with an extensive and organized list of settings available from the Windows Taskbar. As soon as you type in the first few characters of the program that you're looking for into the main UI, a list of potential choices appears. The more you type, the shorter the list becomes, or you can scroll down to click the item you want.

The important thing … Read more

Mozilla Ubiquity, Microsoft IE8, and the fracturing of Web pages

Mozilla on Tuesday released a public prototype of Ubiquity, a curious command-based interface to locating information on the Web and creating compilations of information from various sources. See: Mozilla offers do-it-yourself mashups for all.

At the moment, it's most capable as a command-line browser. You press the hot key, ctrl-space, and you can just start typing lookup commands, like "imdb Blade Runner." Or, if text is already selected in the browser, your command will act on them. Mouse over a restaurant page in Yahoo Mail, press the hotkey, and type "yelp" for a review, for … 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

Welcome to the new

Dear users,

Over the past months, we've been hard at work redesigning our site. You may have got a sneak peak at our new look and feel or you may be seeing it for the first time today. Either way, we hope that you enjoy the smoother, sleeker, and easier-to-navigate pages.

Wondering what, exactly, has changed? Here's a brief tour:

Easier-to-find content: We've reexamined our site layout to make it easier to find the software that matters to you. We've moved our Most Popular software lists front-and-center so that you can see which titles currently top … Read more

Avoid getting blitzed by Facebook spam

Like my colleague, CNET News' Caroline McCarthy, I've noticed a worrisome uptick in the amount of spam splatting against my Facebook Wall. It also nestles into my in-box in the form of a courtesy e-mail message prompting me to read my Wall.

While Facebook seems to have internal methods to resolve the malicious spam that has hijacked my friends' accounts, the only other recourse they offer is to update your antivirus software against an attack. That's too late. You want to block it before it ever drops its malware payload, and that means installing software that's designed … Read more

Featured Freeware: WikidPad

Yesterday we featured WikiTaxi, which makes Wikipedia portable. Today's Featured Freeware is WikidPad, which does the inverse: it mashes up Notepad and the generic wiki format to create an eminently "cross-referenceable" tool for keeping track of just about anything. Students, researchers, and other users who need to take notes should be especially interested in WikidPad, given that the format is perfect for taking and organizing notes. The localized cross-referencing system should be an excellent tool for those who need it.

Note that Mac and Linux users should follow the installation instructions from the WikidPad Web site.

The … Read more