First look: MacOS Sierra public beta

The public preview of MacOS Sierra shows Apple continuing to make Mac a better partner for Apple's mobile devices, including moving iOS features over to the desktop.


With Sierra, your iOS personal digital assistant is now on the Mac. Seek Siri's help by clicking the Siri icon in the Mac menu bar, tapping her Dock icon, or using a keyboard shortcut (if you activate one in Siri's System Preferences).

She doesn't respond to "Hey, Siri," sadly. But you can control... Read More &raquo

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: Apple , beta , Mac OS X

Microsoft launches Office Insider

During the run-up to the release of Windows 10, Microsoft introduced an Insider program where millions of people could download the operating system for free, in exchange for beta testing it. That program still exists, though you now need an activated copy of Windows first, either purchased at retail or pre-installed on a desktop, laptop, or tablet. Microsoft has decided to extend this framework to its Office productivity suite, though it's not as open or early-access as its... Read More &raquo

Topics: Office Suites , Windows Software

Tags: beta , Microsoft , productivity , Office

Windows Insider builds are downloadable again

In the lead-up to Windows 10's release this summer, enterprising techies could download free preview builds of the operating system through Microsoft's Insider program. A new Windows OS for free was a pretty tempting carrot. However, Microsoft understandably shut off this spigot once Windows 10 was released, since it didn't want everyone to keep grabbing the test builds. Now that the dust has settled, Microsoft has turned the spigot back on, with one important change: the device you're installing the... Read More &raquo

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Windows 10 , beta , operating system

Activate Windows 10 with a previous Windows product key

There are two versions of Windows 10: the one you buy at retail or obtain from the Get Windows 10 free upgrade system, and the testing version available to members of the Windows Insider program. The latest test build -- version 10565, available to Insiders who are on the fast ring (the group that gets the quickest updates but the most instability) -- introduced a helpful new feature: you can now activate Windows 10 using a product key originally meant... Read More &raquo

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Windows 10 , beta , updates

Facebook beta testers wanted

Everyone has their two cents about new software releases, but this time your unsolicited advice is, well, being solicited. Today Microsoft has invited Windows Phone 8 users who also happen to be Facebook fans to test out its official Facebook beta for Windows Phone 8--prior to its release. The existing app can remain on your phone alongside the beta version.

The redesigned 7MB app now includes requested features such as support for high-resolution photos, post sharing, and Facebook Timeline,... Read More &raquo

Tags: beta , Facebook

IonMonkey, Retina support hit Firefox Beta

A JavaScript engine called IonMonkey, Mac Retina compatibility, and better touch support move into the new Firefox Beta, released today.

Firefox 18 Beta (download for Windows, Mac, and Linux) arrives with a new "just-in-time" JavaScript compiler called "IonMonkey" for faster site load times. While it doesn't appear to have been independently tested yet, Mozilla's own IonMonkey benchmarks from September indicate that it will make the stable version of Firefox 18 about 25 percent faster than the current... Read More &raquo

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: Firefox , Mozilla , beta , Windows software , JavaScript

Firefox's Social API debuts with Facebook Messenger

Mozilla's Social API has activated in Firefox Beta today with its first partner, Facebook Messenger. The innovation has the potential to forever alter how browsers interact with social-networking sites, but the project is still in its infancy.

The Social API (turn it on here: Firefox Beta or Firefox Aurora) looks at the problem of how to integrate modern social networking into the browser, Johnathan Nightingale, Mozilla's director of Firefox Engineering, said during a phone conversation with CNET. "People don't... Read More &raquo

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: Firefox , Mozilla , beta , Facebook , Windows software

MemShrink targets add-ons in Firefox beta

A plethora of changes land in Firefox for Android 15 beta, as its desktop counterpart moves its memory management improvements up a notch.

Firefox 15 beta for Windows (download), Mac (download), and Linux (download), brings the memory management improvements developed in Mozilla's MemShrink project one step closer to the stable version of the browser, this time focusing on long browser sessions and how add-ons affect Firefox. Nicholas Nethercote, a developer at Mozilla, wrote on his blog... Read More &raquo

Topics: Mac Software , Android Software

Tags: Firefox , Android , Mozilla , beta , Windows software

Security tweaks, PDFs herald new Firefox builds

Mozilla has updated both Firefox beta and Firefox Aurora with new features today, with small but notable security changes landing in the former and preliminary native PDF support hitting the latter.

The developer's build of the browser, Firefox 15 Aurora (download for Windows, for Mac, and for Linux,) now comes with preliminary native support for PDFs. This is a feature that arrived some time ago in Google Chrome, and helped that browser respond to large document handling faster... Read More &raquo

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: Firefox , Mozilla , beta , Windows software , Aurora

Flipboard Beta for Android impresses on phones, not tablets (first take)

Making its unofficial debut earlier this month on Samsung Galaxy S III demo units, Flipboard for Android has finally opened itself up...a little bit. No, the app isn't widely available on Google Play yet, but perhaps just as good, you can now download the official beta version of Flipboard through a public download link.

If you're not familiar with Flipboard on iOS, it's a magazine-style news reader app that has reached an amazing level of popularity. What... Read More &raquo

Topics: Android Software

Tags: Android , apps , beta , RSS , news , Reader