Browser add-ons

Mozilla jumps to deal with Google Toolbar demise

Google has canceled its toolbar for the current and future versions of Firefox, and Mozilla is scrambling to help users who might be left in the lurch and postponing their browser upgrades.

The toolbar offers a variety of services, including a search box, a way to use bookmarks stored on a server, and a measurement of a Web site's PageRank--a score Google gives that measures its influence in Google search results. But Google has chosen to do in the Firefox version.

"As we all know, over the past few years, there has been a tremendous amount of innovation … Read more

Speedy Firefox 5 Mobile lacks Flash

The bottom line: Firefox 5 Mobile brings both familiarity and power to the Android browser scene, but it's Firefox's killer Sync that will drive attention to Mozilla's new mobile browser.

Review: Editors' note: Portions of this review are based on CNET's review for Firefox 5 for desktops.

Mozilla's foray into the Android Market ports much of the desktop Firefox experience to your mobile device. The look and feel of the desktop browser have been remarkably replicated, and the browser itself doesn't feel alien compared with other Android browsers.

If you have a Maemo phone, … Read more

Soluto update socializes solving crashes

Crashes and their potential to harm productivity and personal data are the bane of many computer users, but the ability to diagnose and prevent them has arrived in the latest version of Soluto (download), available exclusively today from CNET Download.com. Soluto 1.12.113 beta sees two major new features, crash protection and browser add-on management, form a tripartite attack on problematic computer performance with the program's original feature, boot time management.

Called "Heal Crashes" within the program's main interface, the crash prevention feature takes information that Windows logs but ignores, and uses it to … Read more

Speedy Firefox 4 Mobile lacks Flash

The bottom line: Firefox 4 Mobile brings both familiarity and power to the Android browser scene, but it's Firefox's killer Sync that will drive attention to Mozilla's new mobile browser.

Review: Editors' note: Portions of this review are based on CNET's review for Firefox 4 for desktops.

Mozilla's first foray into the Android Market ports much of the desktop Firefox experience to your mobile device. The look and feel of the desktop browser have been remarkably replicated, and the browser itself doesn't feel alien compared with other Android browsers.

If you have a Maemo … Read more

Three productivity-enhancing Firefox add-ons

About a year ago Google Chrome became the first browser I open each day to check the daily news, e-mail, and social networks. It's just faster, plain and simple. But Firefox remains the browser I use for work because of the many productivity-boosting add-ons that have been released for the program.

Recently I've been using three Firefox extensions to help me get more work done in less time: one removes all the extraneous material from Web pages to show only the main content, another monitors the amount of time I spend on work-related and non-work-related sites, and the … Read more

Free Chrome add-on turns Web into music library

ExtensionFM is a free Chrome add-on that catalogs every free MP3 file you run across and builds a virtual library. It's an amazingly convenient way to discover and catalog new music without waiting for downloads, and may convince me to use Chrome on a regular basis.

Chrome has always seemed like a solution in search of a problem: I've had Firefox installed on my PCs and Mac for years now and it works fine 99 percent of the time. If I need an alternative I can always go with the built-in Internet Explorer (Windows) or Safari (Mac). Chrome … Read more

Make your passwords stick

Sticky Password creates a password storehouse for passwords throughout your system, although the program is somewhat more limited than that sounds. In addition to the generally strong password management feature, the keystone of the program, it offers a good selection of useful secondary features to bolster its value.

Sticky Password will import passwords from your browser, and ask you to create a master password for accessing them. That same master password can be used to restrict access to your computer, requiring the master pass before resuming from sleep or hibernation. It supports multiple accounts, fast access via the system tray … Read more

AlertBox keeps an eye out for site updates

RSS is great technology, but one of its shortcomings is that it doesn't always represent all of a site's content stream. Many times there are parts of a news or content site that change either through an editorial hand, or with items chosen by users. A new Firefox add-on called AlertBox helps track these "scraps" of content, and can be used to keep an eye out for any changes. This includes things like price changes, edits or updates to a news story, and the top stories on content sites.

To make sure it's not looking … Read more

Three productivity-enhancing Firefox add-ons

I'll save us both some time by getting right to the descriptions of three Firefox add-ons that shave minutes off my workday. Hey, they add up!

Navigate Web pages using only your keyboard. When it comes to speed, I'll take a keyboard over a mouse any day of the week. A post from April 2008 explains how to create a keyboard-shortcut list you can access quickly. I also wrote about using your keyboard to move and resize windows and shortcuts for Word and Excel.

Now I can park the mouse when I surf. Instead of clicking, I enter … Read more

Find the right Firefox add-ons

If you're a Firefox user, chances are you've been using add-ons to extend its functionality. But if you haven't, or if you're looking for new add-ons, I've found 20 for you to try. But since installing all 20 will probably slow your browser to a crawl, I've broken them into four categories. I have grouped the add-ons into "packs" for business professionals, shoppers, social-network fanatics, and students.

The business professional

Xmarks (download): If you're running a business and want everyone in the office to have the same resources available to them, Xmarks is the way to do it. Simply download it into your browser, create an account, and install it on all the browsers in the office. Once configured, every Xmarks instance connected to that account will be automatically updated whenever a user adds a bookmark. In other words, if one employee adds Webware to their bookmarks, every other person in the office who's running Xmarks will have it installed, as well.

Jigsaw Contact and Company Search: Most business professionals need to have easy access to a company's contact information. If you're one of those people, consider using the Jigsaw Contact and Company Search. Jigsaw, a global online business directory, features millions of contacts and company profiles that can be searched by title, geography, and business.

Stock Pilot (download): Sometimes going to Google Finance is too time consuming to get quick public company info. Try using Stock Pilot instead. The add-on allows you to switch between financial sites to research a particular stock. It also boasts RSS alerts to update you when news breaks about a company you're tracking. Ready access to SEC filings makes it a handy tool for anyone who wants to see a company's quarterly or annual financial data.

TripSync: Once you install the TripSync travel manager add-on, you'll be blown away by its functionality. You can book and hold reservations to places across the world, receive travel alerts, and place your itineraries on Outlook and Google Calendar. TripSync is designed specifically for the business professional, so it's a bit more useful than using a site like Expedia.

WOT (download): WOT, short for Web of Trust, is designed to ensure security and privacy are maintained while you're browsing. Once installed, the add-on warns you about risky Web sites. It also alerts you to sites that deliver malware or send spam. The add-on shows you safety ratings on over 21 million sites.

The shopper

1 Stop travel and retail shopping engine: If you want to find the best deals across the U.S., Europe, or Canada, the 1 Stop travel and retail shopping engine add-on is a good place to start. While you're browsing, it allows you to search for flights on more than 40 airlines. It also lets you search for deals on more than 20 sites, including Amazon, eBay, and Wal-Mart. Once you start searching in the add-on, it finds the desired page and automatically opens it in a separate tab.

Buy it online (download): If you've ever been on a Web site and found a product you'd like to buy, but were forced to go to Amazon.com to search for it, you'll be happy to know that there's an add-on designed specifically for you. Dubbed "Buy it online," the add-on adds another option when you right-click on a product title on any Web page. If you click the "Buy it online!" button, you'll be shown a listing of all the stores on the Web that are currently selling the product. All the retailers listed are well-known and trustworthy.

eBayBuddy (download): If you're obsessed with eBay, there's a great add-on you might want to consider. Dubbed eBayBuddy, the tool is available in the right-click menu in Firefox and allows you to have full access to eBay's site map, search, and more. It's a great way to quickly and easily find products on eBay without being forced to deal with the site itself.

KeepCash Coupon Notifier (download): As someone who frequents coupon sites and goes to a retailer's page with the discount ready to be used, I found KeepCash Coupon Notifier to be an extremely useful add-on. Whenever you go to a retail site, it automatically searches its database to find any coupons currently available for the site you're on. If there are, it will list them for you to be used while you're shopping.

PriceAdvance (download): When you run PriceAdvance and surf to a retail site to research a product, the add-on will tell you its price on a handful of other prominent sites across the Web. For instance, if you're on Amazon looking to buy an Xbox 360, the site will automatically search for other retailers selling the console and display their pricing, so you can be sure that you're getting the best price.… Read more