Google Toolbar for IE goes Instant

Though Google Toolbar 7 for Firefox launched several months ago, the Internet Explorer version (download) went live just this week. It brings Google Instant to the popular toolbar, along with more robust privacy options and a cleaner interface.

Although the support for Google Instant search is the most notable feature improvement in version 7, what appears most interesting is the way that the toolbar lets you know that features like Instant, which require tracking to work, actually do track you. While this might not be news to some, it's a strong reminder that many of the data-rich features that … Read more

Must-have Firefox mobile add-ons

One of Firefox's most popular features is its add-on support, with its accompanying deep add-on catalog. The new Firefox 4 Mobile for Android (download) and for Maemo devices (download) also support add-ons, so we've got a collection of Firefox mobile add-on essentials for you that covers the bases, from useful ad blocking to interesting, mobile-specific password helpers.

The best-known add-on that's a must-have is Adblock Plus (download), ported by the developer from Firefox desktop to mobile. If you're not familiar with it, it blocks ads by using blacklists to filter out the ads. Once installed, the … Read more

Wrap Firefox in a Cocoon of privacy

Web browsers are ground zero for Internet security threats, and the debate over responsibility for preventing those threats has resulted in a Gordian knot. The people behind the new add-on for Firefox called Cocoon (download) want to cut through debate by serving the entire Web to you via proxy. (Cocoon is also available at

Made by Santa Barbara, Calif., start-up Virtual World Computing, Cocoon's goal is to put the Internet on a server to prevent individual users from having to touch it, Cocoon Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Jeff Bermant said in an interview today at CNET'… Read more

Must-have restartless Firefox add-ons

The future of Firefox's add-ons arrived in Firefox 4 with the introduction of "restartless add-ons." Based on the new Jetpack API and Add-on SDK, restartless add-ons--also known as bootstrapped add-ons--don't require a restart to be used or removed. Not coincidentally, they also provide Firefox with a venue for competing directly with other browsers, which use add-on frameworks that were created after the technology that supports restartless add-ons was created.

Firefox doesn't offer many restartless add-ons just yet; at the time of writing, there were only 143. Also, there's been documented problems by existing add-on … 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

Mozilla Dash clears the board

Home Dash is a new add-on from Mozilla Labs' Prospector project that re-imagines the Firefox interface for Firefox 4 on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It removes nearly all defining features from the interface in an attempt to emphasize the contents of the Web page you're viewing. Gone are the status bar, bookmark bar, navigation buttons and URL bar, leaving behind only the dedicated Firefox 4 menu button from the upper left of the interface.

All those components get replaced with a translucent Firefox logo below the menu button. Click the logo or use the Control + T hot … Read more

Mozilla blocks Skype's Firefox-crashing add-on

Mozilla has barred a Skype extension for Firefox, accusing it of causing 40,000 browser crashes a week and of dramatically slowing page-load times.

"We believe that both of these items constitute a major, user-facing issue, and meet our established criteria for blocklisting an add-on," Mozilla said in a blog post yesterday. Because the extension is installed by default when Skype's main software is installed, a "large number of Firefox users who have installed Skype have also installed the Skype Toolbar, knowingly or unknowingly," Mozilla said.

Mozilla is in contact with Skype programmers and will … Read more

DownThemAll powers up to next version

It's hardly the only multifeatured download enhancement add-on in Firefox's deep add-ons catalog, but DownThemAll is one of the best. It just got better with an upgrade to version 2 that supports Firefox 4, can customize download speed limits, and sniffs out media including support for HTML5.

While support for Firefox 4 was essential to the add-on's continued life, the granular controls over download speeds are a welcome surprise. You can now set different maximum download speeds by individual download, by server, or as a global preference. Separately, you can also set download limits by server.

Firefox'… Read more

Free Outlook add-on simplifies data export

Microsoft has done little to improve the import and export features in recent versions of Outlook. In fact, the program's Import and Export Wizard appears unchanged since at least Outlook 2003.

One change for the worse is that it takes several more clicks to reach the import/export function in Outlook 2010 than it does in earlier releases of the program. In older Outlook versions you simply clicked File > Import and Export to open the wizard, but in Outlook 2010, you must click File > Options > Advanced > Export.

You can save yourself a few clicks and … Read more