The Download Blog

Yahoo gets more social with new Messenger 9 beta

You can't take it with you, at least when it comes to your social graph.

But with a new beta version of Yahoo Messenger 9 software (download it for Windows) released Thursday, users have new options for reconstructing networks of friends and contacts they've built elsewhere.

The new beta of Yahoo Messenger 9 can help user invite contacts on AOL, Google's Gmail and Orkut, Microsoft's Hotmail, MySpace, and other online services to connect through the Yahoo service. Version 9 also includes a special group of all people in your Yahoo address book, helping to connect with … Read more

Cellity hands out e-mail, free SMS, and cheap calls abroad

Cellity Communicator (download) is an e-mail, SMS, and calling client and service for Java cell phones that's better than it looks. That may not sound terribly heartening, but it's no derisive knock. Designing an app that crams phone calls, conference calls, various tiers of texting, and e-mail into a mobile application and still manages to look simple is quite an achievement.

It is arguably overly so. Compared with other mobile communication applications, like EQO and Fring, Cellity Communicator reveals a rather dressed-down interface that requires a few too many clicks to get contacts added and messages started. To … Read more

Fring's iPhone and iPod chat app nets two for the price of one

Good things happen to software publishers that listen to their users.

Fring, an aggressively growing company that builds a chat and cheap calling application for Symbian, iPhone, and Windows Mobile platforms, heeded a swell of feedback from iPod Touch users who had been using the pre-release iPhone version for jailbroken iPhones on the voiceless iPod Touch (review). On Friday, Fring announced a new pre-release version for the iPhone that also fixes a bug found when using the application on the iPod Touch.

Both sides were pleased that the initial experiment had worked, Fring reports, but not quite satisfied with the … Read more

Firefox add-on shows all the files downloaded by the current page

These days you can't be too careful about what you download. A new Firefox add-on from Florian Queze called View Dependencies takes some of the guesswork out of knowing the content of a Web page, and the source of that content.

After you download the free add-on and restart Firefox, you'll see a Dependencies tab when you click Tools > Page Info to view information about the page that's currently open. The tab lists the files on the page, their URL, and their size. (Note that on at least one page I tested the file size was … Read more

Featured Freeware: What's Running

Ever wonder if your PC is keeping secrets from you? Wonder no more. The utility What's Running reveals all your system's active processes, services, drivers, and connections.

It's like Windows Task Manager, except far more informative. The cramped multipane interface is a bit hard to read, but even it has its good points: it lists processes in a parent-child hierarchy, not a bad way to accidentally spot malware. It also lets you choose which columns of information to display, and it makes stopping or prioritizing processes as simple as a mouse click--a right-click, to be precise. It … Read more

First Look video: Internet Download Manager

Even if you have broadband, downloading the big files can take a long time. Users with slower Internet access have to wait even longer. Fortunately there's a way to speed up downloads simply by changing the way you download. Internet Download Manager splits files into pieces and downloads each piece simultaneously to get the completed file to you much faster.

Even if download speeds aren't an issue for you, Internet Download Manager lets you schedule downloads for low traffic periods, restart interrupted downloads (like those broken during a power outage, for example), and it works with almost any … Read more

VSO Image Resizer: No-nonsense photo-scaling

When all you want to do is shrink or expand an image to a specific size, launching an image-editing application like Adobe Photoshop Elements, or even GIMP, FastStone, or Paint.NET is overkill. The program has to load. Then you have to browse for the image. That's precisely when a specialized application like VSO Image Resizer becomes the instrument you reach for.

Unburdened by all those powerful effects engines, this fairly bare-bones resizer loads quickly and does you the favor of popping open an image-selection browser for choosing one or more files from a given folder. Bam! That's … Read more

Customize the history settings in Firefox and Internet Explorer

Someday, browsers will make it easy to retrace our Web steps by providing total recall of every page we've opened. Until then, we get the imperfect history features in Internet Explorer and Firefox.

They're imperfect because they seem to remember every page I've visited except the only one I actually need to return to. At least Firefox gives you a few more options for changing how it records your surfing history. With Internet Explorer, the only two options you get are to 1) change the number of days your history is stored and to 2) clear your … Read more

Featured Freeware: FeedDemon and NetNewsWire

These well-crafted, standalone newsreaders makes an ideal choice for both novices who've never heard of an RSS feed and advanced users looking to put some oomph and flexibility into their reading habits. As the desktop clients for the online NewsGator, FeedDemon for Windows and NetNewsWire for Macs both can synchronize bi-directionally with their Web-based counterpart, making it easy to get your feeds wherever and whenever you need them.

Other useful features include a built-in Web browser that's built on Internet Explorer--sorry Firefox and Opera fans, tabbed browsing for when you need to open multiple feeds' Web pages, Watch … Read more

First Look video: ?Torrent

Hard to pronounce but easy to use, ?Torrent is a renowned torrent client. Factor in its robust feature set and that it can run on an old USB key, and you've got yourself a must-have program. And now, with Morrent, ?Torrent can be monitored from within Facebook.

Still not convinced? Watch this First Look video to learn more.