The Download Blog

WordPress app hits the iPhone fashionably late

Just a week and a half ago WordPress for the iPhone was announced with a pretty killer screencast detailing what you could do with it. Tuesday morning it finally showed up on the app store (download it here), and I've had ample time to play with it. The good news is that it's very enjoyable to use and quite capable for creating posts on the go. The bad news? You've got to have an iPhone or iPod Touch to take advantage of it.

The key benefit to using this app is writing and publishing quick posts on … Read more

First Look video: iTunes (Mac)

iTunes needs little in the way of an introduction--especially for Mac users. Apple's popular media player comes equipped with the capability to play your music, rip CDs, help you buy music from the iTunes Store, and much more. Those with new iPhones (or the latest firmware update) should definitely download this latest version to gain access to Apple's iPhone App Store.

Check out this First Look video with's Jason Parker to find out a little more about iTunes, along with some features and hot-keys experienced users may not already know.

Featured Freeware: DExposE2

If you're looking for an Expose emulator to port that cool app-switching feature from the Mac to Windows, DExposE2 is probably about as close as you can get to a direct copy for either Windows XP or Vista. It gives them three choices for jumping between open programs, and it doesn't slurp up more RAM than it should.

Using the F9 key, you'll be able to minimize your applications to fit on the screen, then choose one to bring to the front by hitting Tab or left-clicking your mouse. F10 highlights only the active windows belonging to … Read more

5 reasons to take the iPhone on vacation

Updated on 7/23/08 at 12:00pm PST.

Even if you won't get reception where you're headed, think twice about leaving your iPhone behind. The iPhone's all-new iTunes App Store makes it an even indispensable travel tool for international excursions, even if it's rendered essentially useless as a phone (unless you're not adverse to being charged oodles in roaming fees.)

Media console As romantic as travel sounds, a large hunk of it is wasted on waiting. There's airport check-in, long train and bus rides, and time to kill while a fastidious companion prepares … Read more

Lonely Planet Audio Phrasebooks for iPhone

Teaching yourself a few niceties in a foreign language requires more than an hour in front of a phrasebook. Piecing together sentences out of unfamiliar accents and sounds is neither easy nor accurate, and could earn you looks of bemusement or horror if your neophyte's pronunciation produces a garbled or unintended communication.

That's what makes Lonely Planet's collection of audio phrasebooks for English-speakers (about $10) so eminently usable. With phrases organized into categories for transportation, money, dining, and so on, travelers can easily browse for pertinent communications. Like print phrasebooks, the foreign spelling and transliteration are present. … Read more

Column: Will you be ditching your antivirus app anytime soon?

For the last few months, I've been hearing some well-regarded security people tell me they are considering ditching their antivirus protection all together. They haven't done it, but these individuals feel the days of having a special application scan to remove malware on your desktop are numbered. Malware has changed, but the applications to ferret them out have not.

Antivirus programs, as we know them today, are based on 20-year-old technology of pattern matching. Pattern matching may have worked in the days of the Micheangelo virus and even as recently as Netsky, but methodically matching each and every … Read more

Twitter app Twinkle shines on Apple's new device

One of the things I've noticed in the emerging wave of iPhone applications is that many of the highest rated applications could be found on the App Store's illegitimate precursor--Nullriver's application installer. Several of these applications have been under almost constant development for the greater part of a year, long before Apple made the SDK available. In the case of newcomer Twinkle, that extra time really shows.

You might remember our hands-on with Twinkle back in April. Its claim to fame is that it mixes in location-based services with Twitter, not only letting you tweet with your … Read more

Featured Freeware: Digsby

Digsby will easily be the instant messaging freeware of choice for the super social set. Web 2.0 fans, that's you. In addition to supporting the major IM networks--Yahoo, MSN, AIM, ICQ, Google Talk, and Jabber--Digsby also pulls in Web mail feeds, as well as access to MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. Updating Twitter is a breeze from the application's main interface, though users wishing to do anything more than read Facebook and MySpace feeds will be redirected to their online accounts.

Windows users can initiate text, video, and audio chat from the conversation window, and transfer files, … Read more

Featured Freeware: TrueCrypt

The ultimate open-source encryption program, TrueCrypt is loaded with powerful features that those concerned with protecting their data from thievery should want--and have.

It offers 11 algorithms for encrypting your private files in a password-protected volume. You can store your encrypted data in files (containers) or partitions (devices). TrueCrypt works hard to offer powerful data protection, recommending complex passwords, explaining the benefits of hidden volumes, and erasing telltale signs of the encryption process, including mouse movements and keystrokes. Though the interface may not be immediately intuitive, its powerful, on-the-fly encryption for no cost still earns the freeware security tool a … Read more

Featured Freeware: Lightning

Lightning makes Thunderbird soar above Outlook for home use, and places it on nearly equal ground in the office. It includes an overhauled interface with easy-to-use buttons for jumping between e-mail and your calendar, LDAP directory support for event invites, and Sun Java Calendar Server support.

Work on the plug-in is now handled by Mozilla as it prepares to integrate its code into Thunderbird for the big Version 3 update coming later this year, but that doesn't mean Lightning isn't ready to be used now. A menu bar for switching between mail and calendar views can live either … Read more