The Download Blog

WWDC recap: What's coming soon to iOS 8 and OS X

WWDC recap: What's coming soon to iOS 8 and OS X

For two hours on Monday, Apple presented new products, and we tech journalists and Mac heads have spent the rest of the week obsessively breaking down the pros, cons, and question marks. This year's WWDC was all about software, chiefly OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 and better integration between the two. Both will be out in the fall. In the meantime, pore over the specs and screenshots with us. (And for this week's non-Apple-related news, visit our software week in review.)

Mac OS X Yosemite

OS X is getting a fresh look, taking design cues from iOS, … Read more

Star Apps: Taryn Manning from 'Orange Is the New Black'

Star Apps: Taryn Manning from 'Orange Is the New Black'

Taryn Manning has been in films and on television since 1994, often in supporting roles opposite bigger names like Britney Spears in "Crossroads," Eminem in "8 Mile," Terrence Howard in "Hustle & Flow," and Charlie Hunnam on "Sons of Anarchy." The role of Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett on Netflix series "Orange Is the New Black" might have been just another ancillary entry on Manning's IMDb page, except the actress has been a scene stealer as the antagonistic drug addict turned born-again Christian. Now an official series regular, Manning … Read more

Star Apps: Taylor Kitsch

Star Apps: Taylor Kitsch

For Canadian actor Taylor Kitsch, playing hockey offers a great escape, and so does playing a diverse range of characters. Kitsch is best known for his roles in "Friday Night Lights," "Savages," "John Carter," and "Battleship." In his new film, "The Grand Seduction," he plays urbane Dr. Paul Lewis, a reluctant suburbanite won over by the townsfolk of a small fishing village, who want to land a lucrative business contract.

The role of Dr. Paul Lewis, an eccentric doctor with a penchant for cricket, is not your typical action hero … Read more

Reset the Net for privacy

Reset the Net for privacy

On June 5, Internet freedom fighters want you to stand up for your privacy and pledge to Reset the Net.

The campaign opposes mass government surveillance like the NSA's. Reset the Net wants sites and mobile apps to commit to using SSL, and encourages individuals to sign the pledge and download a collection of privacy tools and tips. Groups ranging from the EFF to Reddit have pledged support.

Fight for the Future is behind the campaign, the same organization that kicked off protests against the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect-IP Act (PIPA) in 2012, bills that many … Read more

Mix it up with DJ Music Mixer for 60 percent off

Mix it up with DJ Music Mixer for 60 percent off

A full-featured DJ and beatmatching system, DJ Music Mixer is a regular favorite with our users for having a beginner-friendly interface combined with a feature-rich toolset. It's a great entry-level software for learning and DJing small get-togethers. DJ Music Mixer helps you quickly grasp the basics without paying a premium price. For one week only, you can get it for only $11.98 -- 60 percent off the regular $29.95 price. Check out the trial before you buy.

Key Features

Mixes music and songs professionally with crossfade. Powerful equalizers with predefined settings. Complete mixing control with cue and … Read more

Star Apps: Needtobreathe

Star Apps: Needtobreathe

When Needtobreathe recorded its latest album, "Rivers in the Wasteland," the Southern rock band grappled with which direction to take after the departure of drummer Joe Stillwell. The band members, suffering inner tensions and the pressures of fame, felt the need to make bare-bones, from-the-heart songs to satisfy their collective soul and re-energize. The 10-time Dove-winning band chose wisely: The album landed at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Album and Rock Albums charts, and No. 3 on the Billboard 200. I chatted with Needtobreathe guitarist and backing vocalist Bo Rinheart about the new album and tour, getting … Read more

Star Apps: Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth

Star Apps: Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth

Smash Mouth, the alternative rock band best known for such hits as 1997's "Walkin' on the Sun" and 1999's "All Star," celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, Smash Mouth will release a greatest hits package and a live album, featuring tour performances from earlier this year. The band hits the road again in June for the Under the Sun Tour, a '90s flashback outing that also featuring Blues Traveler, Uncle Kracker, and Sugar Ray.

Any special surprises for fans on tour? We're going to do something special. Me and … Read more

Get Pixar's rendering software behind 'Toy Story' absolutely free

Get Pixar's rendering software behind 'Toy Story' absolutely free

Pixar's award-winning, in-house rendering software, RenderMan, will be free starting in August. All you have to do is sign up. The Emeryville studio has announced that it will offer the $500 rendering software for free, provided it is used for noncommercial purposes. The animation giant has also stated that the "free non-commercial RenderMan is exactly the same as the commercial version." This is pretty awesome news for aspiring digital artists.

The free version of RenderMan will be released with its commercial counterpart sometime in August. You can sign up here to get notified once it goes live. … Read more

Apple announces 4 updates for iOS 8

Apple announces 4 updates for iOS 8

Today Apple announced iOS 8, which will be available in the fall, and demonstrated its new features to developers at WWDC 2014. Like iOS 7, iOS 8 has a flattened and streamlined design, but its many updates point toward a more consistent experience across the mobile OS and OS X. Below are four of the most important features.

Notifications and widgets: Rumors about Apple bringing widgets to iOS have been confirmed...kind of. Rather than widgets appearing on the home screen, as in Android, widgets are contained in the notifications panel. iOS 8 will allow you not only to arrange … Read more

OS X Yosemite introduces 4 new features

OS X Yosemite introduces 4 new features

Apple kicked off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a slew of announcements about OS X, iOS, and the latest developer tools.

OS X Yosemite

The latest update to OS X is packed with subtle UI changes and improved utilities, some of them building on functionality from existing apps. Here are four of the key updates:

Spotlight: Spotlight now plants itself front and center on the screen. Taking cues from apps like Alfred, Spotlight will now display local and Web results in a single interface, even before you finish typing your search term. Apple has also integrated Maps, iTunes, … Read more