The Download Blog

First look: Vivaldi browser

First look: Vivaldi browser

Vivaldi, a Web browser now in tech preview, caters to power users who expect more from their browsers, letting them interact with content in new and exciting ways. Created by former Opera developers, Vivaldi is built on Chromium, the same platform used for Google Chrome, Comodo Dragon, and, of course, Opera.

On the surface, Vivaldi looks similar to other browsers, but a plethora of tools lie beneath that unassuming interface. Here are our six favorites.

Speed Dial

Customize your start page with Speed Dial, a popular feature started by Opera and the star attraction in Vivaldi. This iteration is incorporated … Read more

10 apps to make taxes less taxing

10 apps to make taxes less taxing

We all dread tax time: hunting for receipts and statements, figuring out which forms we need, decrypting IRS instructions, and carving out time to go through it all. In tax preparation as in health matters, prevention is the best medicine, so we've compiled 10 apps to give you a jump-start on filing, helping you track finances year-round and get maximum refunds for minimum effort.

Forecasting

TaxCaster (iOS, Android)

Get a head start on tax planning with TaxCaster, an Intuit app that helps you adjust your paycheck withholdings, so you either get your money back throughout the year or one … Read more

6 apps for your repetitive tasks

6 apps for your repetitive tasks

Every February, Punxsatawney Phil forecasts whether spring is coming (this week's verdict: more winter). But for most of us, Groundhog Day is about the movie, with Bill Murray's weatherman suffering the same day over and over again -- 12,403 times by one super-fan's estimate -- because we can relate to the frustration of doing the same things day after day. We have yet to see an app that will free you from a time loop, but these six picks will relieve the tedium of repetitive tasks. And if you can't get "I Got You … Read more

Windows 10: Microsoft aims for Windows everywhere

Windows 10: Microsoft aims for Windows everywhere

Windows Insiders have been trying the Windows 10 Technical Preview for a few months, but today Microsoft announced what everyone can look forward to in 2015. This ambitious OS overhaul wants to make all your Windows devices -- PC, phone, tablet, Xbox -- work better together via universal apps, Continuum, the Spartan browser, and Xbox apps. Here's what you need to know about today's announcements.

Windows 10 is coming in 2015, and it will be free

That's right, Microsoft has shifted its strategy and will offer Windows 10 absolutely free for current Windows 7, Windows 8.1, … Read more

10 apps to swap

10 apps to swap

After the holidays, you may spend Boxing Day exchanging gifts you don't want for ones you do. Consider trading in some mobile apps, too. If you've downloaded an app that left you cold, you can delete it, request a refund (iOS, Android), and find a more suitable option. Here are 10 apps that I decided to exchange.

Photos Camera+ (iOS) → VSCO Cam ( iOS, Android)

Camera+ is an award-winning app with plenty of shooting and editing options to create the crispest of photos. But if you long for more manual controls, an inspiring photo feed from your fellow shutterbugs, … Read more

7 must-have apps for iPad

7 must-have apps for iPad

Just one month after announcing new iPhones and watches, Apple will unveil another set of new products on Thursday. While nothing is official yet, we're anticipating next-generation iPads and Macs, the final release of Yosemite OS, and perhaps an Apple TV update. For the iPad, there are rumors of fingerprint sensors and a new color. Whether or not you're ready for a tablet upgrade, our seven app picks will enhance your iPad experience.

Snapseed

This award-winning iPad app is both feature-packed and free. Great for amateur photographers on the go, Snapseed lets you autocorrect photos in a snap. … Read more

8 keyboard apps for iOS 8

8 keyboard apps for iOS 8

Before iOS 8, those who didn't like iPhone's bare-bones keyboard had no alternative. Apple has expanded iPhone's default keyboard to include hundreds of emoji, but now it also supports keyboard apps from other companies, meaning more ways to make your thumbs happy. Whether you hate your default keyboard or just want to try something new, tap into our picks for iOS keyboard apps. Then read CNET's step-by-step guide to installing custom keyboards in iOS 8.

Swiping, not typing

SwiftKey

If you find typing tedious, SwiftKey's predictive texting saves you time by incorporating your common words … Read more

6 apps with Windows 10 features

6 apps with Windows 10 features

Microsoft has just announced Windows 10 for 2015, which will work across PCs, tablets, and phones. If you're in the Windows Insider program, you can try a preview build now, but you'll be installing software that's still being tested. Instead, here's how to get Windows 10 functionality right on your Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 PC.

Curb Start button withdrawal with Start8 or Start Menu 8

Killing the Start button was a bad call. Microsoft tried to appease users with the largely unhelpful Windows 8.1 pseudo-Start. Windows 10 will resurrect the button with some … Read more

Windows XP security

Windows XP security

Though Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in April, the popular OS refuses to die. Roughly 25 percent of desktop users are clinging to the OS, meaning XP still has four times as many users as Windows 8 or 8.1, according to NetMarketShare. Recently, independent security lab AV-Test investigated whether the outdated XP can be adequately protected.

Is Windows XP still safe?

The answer is a resounding yes. AV-Test found that the majority of security vendors have been able to defend against most of the known or recently discovered exploits. Vulnerabilities and other issues no longer being fixed by … Read more

5 labor-saving apps

5 labor-saving apps

On Labor Day most Americans enjoy a much-deserved day off. This work-free tribute to America's workers comes just once a year, but you can keep its spirit alive year-round with our five labor-saving apps. When you wrap up tasks quickly, you can get back to what really matters: R&R.

IFTTT ( Android, iOS, Webware)

IFTTT stands for "if this, then that," and that's exactly what the app does: build connections between apps to trigger automatic actions and save you steps. Just create a trigger, such as "Every time my boss' name is mentioned online,&… Read more