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The Download Blog

No text? No problem for Chrome's search by image

No text? No problem for Chrome's search by image

Google Chrome updated on Tuesday with some new features that will make it easier to search on desktops and easier to use on Android.

The stable channel for Chrome on desktops, version 30, now comes with "search by image." Right-click on any image, and you'll see an option to search using the image as the subject of the query. This works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Other changes in desktop Chrome include new Chrome Web apps application programming interfaces (APIs), which will make the Web apps function more like native mobile apps with in-app payments, saving to … Read more

Microsoft claims massive speed boost in latest IE 11 build

Microsoft claims massive speed boost in latest IE 11 build

Buoyed by the good news of market share growth in August for Internet Explorer, Microsoft is touting major improvements in the new Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 Release Preview on Wednesday.

The virtual machine version of the IE 11 Release Preview will be available at modern.ie later this week.

The IE 11 Release Preview, equivalent to the "release candidate" stage of the traditional software development cycle, is the last pre-release version of IE 11 before it becomes available to all Windows 7 owners. Roger Capriotti, IE's marketing director, would only say that the final version … Read more

New Android Firefox simplifies mobile browser sharing

New Android Firefox simplifies mobile browser sharing

From features to speed, mobile browsing isn't quite what its desktop sibling is, but if Tuesday's Firefox 24 update is any indication, the gap between them is quickly shrinking.

The new, stable version of Firefox 24 for Android focuses on tying the mobile browser to several quick sharing tools.

Among the list of options in the Android menu button while using Firefox is now a "quickshare" button, based on your most commonly-used sharing tools. It lets you share with one tap and automatically picks up on your preferred sharing tools.

"Bump sharing" will also … Read more

New Chrome Apps take the Web out of the browser

New Chrome Apps take the Web out of the browser

Looking at its history, Google's a betting company. On September 4, 1998, the company bet that the world would want a better search engine. On September 2, 2008, the company bet that people would want a better browser. And on Thursday, the company unveiled a new kind of Chrome App that bets that people want to use Web apps, sans browser.

Chrome Apps, known in development as Chrome Packaged Apps, allow Web developers to turn their sites into single-serving apps that function like more like apps and programs written in native code. The apps are currently available only on … Read more

For Chrome, the Omnibox is not enough

For Chrome, the Omnibox is not enough

Google has begun to make its latest revision to the New Tab page in Chrome available to a small group of people, the company said in a blog post on Monday.

Google has said that it hopes that the cosmetic update, first announced last December and previously available to some people only in Chrome's Beta and Dev testing channels, will result in faster search times. The New Tab page with embedded search is available to a limited number of people on Chrome Stable for Windows and Mac, and Chromebooks.

The search box includes an open Application Programming Interface (API), … Read more

Chrome to make search-by-image easier

Chrome to make search-by-image easier

Google updated the beta versions of its Chrome browser on Thursday with new features that push the envelope just a bit further.

Chrome 30 beta for desktops takes a stab at making image lookups on Google easier. Right-click on any photo embedded in a Web page, and you'll see an option to "Search Google for this image." Click it and a new tab will open with search results for that image.

Also in desktop Chrome are several new application programming interfaces (APIs) for Chrome Web apps, or Chrome Packaged Apps. These "packaged apps" are a … Read more

Chrome update introduces reset button

Chrome update introduces reset button

Your personal stew of settings changes, add-ons, and other customizations can sometimes weigh down your browser, which is why Google has introduced a reset button in the latest build of Chrome stable.

Chrome 29 (download for Windows, Mac, or Linux) also includes more of your personal information in its Omnibox search suggestions, while Chrome 29 for Android (download) gets rudimentary Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) support.

The Omnibox improvement adds your recently visited sites to its mix, "resulting in more timely and contextually relevant suggestions," according to Google's blog post about the release.

Chrome's browser reset is … Read more

Firefox updates amp up social side, and more

Firefox updates amp up social side, and more

Mozilla updated Firefox for desktops and Android on Tuesday with new features aimed at giving both versions of the browser a bit more pop.

Firefox for Windows, Mac, and Linux now offers a Share button. The icon looks like a paper airplane and allows people to share the Web site they're on with several services, including Facebook. It leverages the recent Social API to bring a bit of a mobile browser feature to desktops.

The browser also now comes with mixed content blocking. This means that on sites that serve both secure and insecure content, page elements that are … Read more

Microsoft readies IE 11 for Windows 7, too

Microsoft readies IE 11 for Windows 7, too

Browser aficionados and haters alike will be overjoyed that Microsoft is keeping its promise to keep the new Internet Explorer up-to-date on Windows 7 as well as Windows 8.

The Internet Explorer 11 Developer's Preview for Windows 7, which debuted on Thursday, introduces the most of the new features and functionality of the Windows 8.1 default browser.

Roger Capriotti, Microsoft's marketing director for Internet Explorer, said that, like IE 10 for Windows 7, IE 11 won't have the modern interface, but it will have performance benefits.

"We're faster than the folks at Chrome or … Read more

MaskMe guards your privacy like a vigilant angel

Who hasn't bought something online, only to receive a torrent of marketing spam that follows you around like a rabid puppy?

Abine's new MaskMe browser add-on and mobile app, debuting Monday, ensure that you can use the Web while avoiding the data stalkers by preventing you from giving out your contact info in the first place.

MaskMe is a freemium add-on for Firefox (download for Windows | download for Mac) and Chrome (download for Windows | download for Mac) that creates and manages dummy accounts for your e-mail address, phone number, credit card, and Web site log-ins. Upgrading gets you … Read more