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The Download Blog

Wayfinder Active is a way cool GPS app

The full product launch of Wayfinder Active is arriving in North America just in time for seasonal outdoor pursuits. This free edition of the premium GPS phone navigation system, Wayfinder Navigator, includes goodies that are just right for outdoor enthusiasts taking their phones on a stroll, jog, hike, or geocaching expedition. There are tools for monitoring your speed, distance, and caloric burn, for mapping routes and points of interest, for pulling up a dynamic compass, and for sharing routes or stats. For solo wanderers, there's also a panic button for calling out your location to an emergency buddy.

Appropriately, … Read more

FreeMobile411 launches on 4/11. Ha.

There's no real killer app yet for retrieving listings information on your mobile phone, but there could be soon.

On Aptil 11, FreeMobile411 launches the consumer version of its carrier-offered services. Visting FreeMobile411.com from your mobile browser gets you a decent-looking ad-supported WAP site that simplifies directory search and helps you avoid long waits while listening to ads from dial-in services like 1-800-FREE-411.

Enter the search term--it can be a business name ("Blockbuster"), business type ("video store"), or person ("Bill Blockbuster"). Then select the search type, and fill in either the city … Read more

BuddyFinder's friend-tracker: Kind of blah

At CTIA 2008 in Las Vegas, I took a look at LiveContacts BuddyFinder, Web app that launches on April 15.

To clear a little confusion, BuddyFinder and LiveContacts are two sort-of related names for the app, which is itself the free branch of the better-known FindWhere, a Dutch company with a much more useful, robust service--tracking people down (kids, an elderly parent, a wayward spouse) through their devices. FindWhere includes lost phone recovery, emergency alerts, and notification services if the device goes outside your specified bounds.

Of course, the free BuddyFinder doesn't do all that. Instead, it installs an … Read more

Featured Freeware: Ad-Aware 2007

The free security application Ad-Aware 2007 updated today, included in the new version is Spanish language support. An entry on the the Lavasoft blog discusses the latest release, the first in what is expected to be a series of localized versions of the software.

Ad-Aware was once the undisputed king of the download hill, but its reputation was tarnished a bit with the version 2007 release. Stability issues and concerns about the "always-on" updater were a few of the issues that pushed its CNET Download.com rating down to 4 stars. A full CNET review arrived at a … Read more

Host a video conferencing party on your phone

I'm looking at a cell phone screen and four faces are looking back. It's CTIA 2008, the biggest wireless and cell phone trade show of the year, and the CEO of iVisit, a multiparty video conferencing app for PCs, Macs, and mobile phones, is demoing the product, iVisit Teleport. I must say, the slick, feature-rich app looks pretty cool on Orang Diamaleh's large-screen smartphone.

The simplest way to think about iVisit Teleport is as a P2P social network that lets you call, chat, video conference, and transfer multimedia for up to 8 contacts at a time. You … Read more

Super-easy VoIP calls coming to Java phones

Quite a few services on the market offer some variation on the theme of making inexpensive international calls. Fring and EQO dress it up with IM and a social networking aspect that grants free international calls between registered friends and cheap calls to everyone else. Likewise, there's Skype to Go and Talkster, which both require you to punch in local access numbers to get cheap rates. However, Packet8's MobileTalk has risen above them all as a mass market solution that sheds the extra messaging frills, money-making ads, and prep time to make the call. (Note: Give yourself a … Read more

Stuck on Stickies

There's not much need for a sticky notes program if you've got a desktop widgets manager. If you don't, though, the alternatives can be as frustrating as a real-life sticky note that just won't stick. Some are shareware that hide their best features behind the registration wall, and others are low-end freeware that can be buggy. Stickies is different, combining the best and most important features that you could want in a notes program, with the glory of being free to use.

The program's main feature, the sticky note, can be customized on nearly every … Read more

Killer Download: Art for the artless

Drawing has never been my strength. I love looking at art and can certainly appreciate an artist's skill and patience with creating something pleasing to the eye. But when it comes to putting a pen or brush to paper, I simply don't have the talent. I always admired my friends who had the gift of being able to draw, but it was a gift I never received. I'm sure there are many of us who have thought it would be nice to be able to draw at one time or another.

Fortunately artists (or maybe even just … Read more

Featured Freeware: OpenOffice.org

More than a mere rival to Microsoft Office, the open-source OpenOffice.org (for Windows and Mac) includes the powerful applications for creating text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, diagrams, and databases that make it a serious Office competitor. It lets you edit basic documents and save them in a variety of formats, it's robust enough to handle equations and complex multipart documents with bibliographies, reference tables, and indexes, and on top of all that, it's extensible and uses less RAM than MS Office. What's not to love?

Bluefire plans a new cell phone security app

Traditionally focused on securing mobile devices for corporations and even the U.S. Government, Bluefire Security plans to enter the consumer market with Mobile Defender.

Bluefire's bid joins them to the ranks of other security vendors who have created mobile versions of their desktop apps. I got a chance to preview Mobile Defender at CTIA 2008 in Las Vegas. The app, currently available in private beta for Windows Mobile phones, has a simple four-button interface, with each button corresponding to an element of protection--firewall, SMS and MMS spam-blocking, an application protection shield that guards against auto-installing malware, and a … Read more