Most Desktop and Mobile Platforms: There's no shortage of digital comic book readers out there, but new service Graphic.ly stands apart: instead of downloading CBR files, you build up a library from their web store and sync it across all your devices. More »
Trustware's BufferZone was an early entrant into the desktop sandboxing arena. Sandboxing, of course, is the security-by-isolation system which has since been built into apps like Google Chrome and Adobe Reader X. Recently, Trustware launched a promotion and gave away BufferZone Pro for free -- and now the company is making the discount permanent. From now on, BufferZone Pro will be freeware.
But, wait -- BufferZone still doesn't support x64, and maybe you're thinking that there will be a paid version once a 64-bit Windows version arrives. Not so, Trustware's Efrat Schneider told me in an email: "The product will continue to be free," he replied.
If you're looking for a free way to tighten up security on your Windows system, BufferZone is an excellent app for the job. We'll let you know when the 64-bit version becomes available.
If there's one single thing that truly sets Chrome apart from its herd of rivals, it's the Omnibar. Chrome users already know and love this feature, but Google's just made it possible for developers to create extensions that will push it even farther ahead of the competition by providing an API for it. Now, there are already huge numbers of extensions available for Chrome -- many of which we here at Download Squad couldn't live without -- but none of them have thus far been able to make full use of the Omnibar.
As an example of how the API can be used, take a look at Switch to Tab, shown above. It allows users who leave ridiculous amounts of tabs open to use the Omnibar to search them all for the specific tab they need to find. It only shows up to 5 results right now, but the concept is pretty decent just the same -- and there's no telling what kind of goodies that devs will come up with now that they can treat a browser's address bar like a command line.
Google's Chrome beta update brings with it a slew of goodies for the adventurous users who prefer slightly more cutting-edge features over tried-and-true stability. Version 10.0.648.82 hit the beta channel earlier today, and it affected just about every piece of the browser, from the settings interface to the rendering engine.
Browser settings are now opened in their own tab, as opposed to a separate window. The added space and cleaner layout that this provides is actually quite nice, and when you think about it, a browser that can use multiple tabs really has no reason to make new windows at all, so it just makes sense. One cool side-effect of moving settings into a tab is that they're actually browsable, meaning that if you get good enough at it, you can go directly to the page for certain settings just by using its address -- like "chrome://settings/advanced" or "chrome://settings/browser."
One of the ways Internet Explorer 9 seeks to "bring the Web to your desktop" is by allowing sites to be pinned to your taskbar, and use jump lists to quickly and directly access specific parts of a website. A handful of big-name sites already offer Windows 7 integration, including Facebook, Twitter, CNN, Flixster, and IMDb.
Microsoft has also shared how this works (and Scott Hanselman has posted an excellent how-to article), so it's possible for other browser makers to implement, too. If you're a Google Chrome user, in fact, you can install an extension (developed by an independent programmer) which adds jump list actions to a drop-down menu on the Omnibar!
Unsurprisingly called IE9 Jump List Tasks, the extension adds a green arrow to the Omnibar whenever you visit a supported site. If jump list actions are detected, clicking the arrow will display a menu like the one you see above. It's not quite as cool as being able to poke your taskbar icons, but it is a neat display of how the feature can be utilized in non-IE browsers. The extension also didn't work for me on all the sites I tried -- Twitter and Facebook lists weren't detected -- but it was still cool to see it pop up elsewhere, like on IMDb and Flixster.
Incognito mode in Chrome is great for private browsing sessions, but its annoying that it disables other things too, like cookies. Here's how to keep sites from being logged in your history in an otherwise normal Chrome session. More »
Chrome: Adding extra features to Gmail isn't a new idea, but Minimalist Gmail for Chrome is the best tweaker yet: You can hide items, add row highlights, and even change the five Google links at the
When Google made the decision to introduce an in-tab bookmark manager for Chrome, it only made sense that other personal pages -- like your settings -- would move to tabs as well. A tabbed options page for Chrome began taking shape in July 2010, when we shared a video of the feature working in Chromium. Now, it's become the default in Chrome Canary.
It's just as easy to get around in the tabbed settings page and perhaps a little easier, since the search field allows you to find specific settings instantly -- and we do mean instant. As with Google Instant in the Omnibar, Chrome will load settings which match your input in real time in the righthand pane. The search function will even pull in portions of separate settings pages, which you can see in the screenshot after the break.
BleachBit -- the open source system clean-up utility for Windows and Linux -- has added several new features to its latest version that make it an even better tool for removing unneeded files files from your computer. Support for Google Chrome and Chromium has been greatly improved: BleachBit can now remove everything from DNS prefetch data, to autofill history and DOM storage. Support for HTML5 localStorage cleaning has also been improved and now works with Opera.
On Linux systems, BleachBit can now remove swap files (in addition to swap devices). The Windows version has added the option to remove Windows Update uninstallers -- including hotfixes and Internet Explorer patches. BleachBit's list of supported programs has also grown significantly since we last wrote about the program, and it's well worth checking out the full list of features to see just how much digital crud it can remove from your hard drive.
2010 has been one heck of a year for software development. We've seen scores of great new apps released and major updates for many of our favorites. "Release early, iterate often" has become the norm -- with alpha and beta downloads coming at us fast and 0.1 becoming the new 1.0.
The speed of change with some apps has been mind-boggling at times. Can you believe that Google Chrome's stable channel began this year at version 3? Let's take a look at some of our favorite apps which released major updates or debuted in 2010!
The two games are Poppit and Entanglement, and if you're running the Dev channel, by now you should have noticed them in your New Tab page. They just showed up there, without any prior notice or you having to do anything. What's next Google, a McAfee trial version with Chrome 11? Although unlike pesky anti-virus trials, the two games can easily be uninstalled if you so wish.
But since they're there, perhaps you should give them a try. They are supposedly HTML5-heavy, so besides being worthy time-wasters, they might also serve as useful showcases of what can be accomplished with the next generation of Web technologies. Or not. Your call.
If you haven't played with Chrome OS yet, it has one fundamental niggle that harkens back to the DOS days of yore: windows don't exist, and it has no way of displaying multiple tabs on screen at the same time. This means if you want to refer to a document while you compose an email, you need to repetitively switch between tabs -- and I think we can all agree that tab-switching is one of the most important omissions from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Chrome OS does support one way of displaying multiple Web pages at the same time, however: panels. If you've looked through our Chromium OS galleries (or taken a quick look at the screenshot above) you'll notice some always-on-top panels across the bottom of the screen. Panels are handy things -- capable of being resized, or quickly popped down out of view. By default, the download manager, popped-out Gmail chat windows and the media player display in panels -- but, for some reason, there's no way to load custom websites in panels.
Which brings us onto our very first Chrome OS-specific extension: Panelize. With Panelize you can put anything into a panel, such as Gmail, Reader, or even Download Squad. In one fell swoop, having to switch between tabs is a thing of the past!
Right Click to Set Chrome Web Apps to Open Fullscreen, Pinned, or Tweak App Options [Chrome Web Store]
We've shown you what some of the new Chrome web apps can do, but even if some of the apps are just links to existing web pages, installing from the web store allows for a few extra customizations. More »
Now that Chrome version 8 has hit the standard Stable channels, it's possible for anyone to peek at the early web app style that will come with Chrome's Web Store—once again. Just as before, right-click on a shortcut to Chrome, hit Properties, then edit its shortcut target to add
--enable-default-apps on Windows. Mac and Linux users, Google Operating System has the command line switch you'll need. What Chrome webapps are you most looking forward to seeing made official? [Google Operating System] More »
As a quick follow-up article to the Adobe Flash 10.2 beta announcement, we thought we'd show you how to disable Google Chrome's built-in Flash plug-in so that you can use a pre-release build like the 10.2 beta. It's a quick and simple process, but please remember that once you've disabled Chrome's built-in Flash you won't get the benefit of Chrome's internal Flash updates.
1. Download the Flash plug-in that you'd like to use with Chrome (10.2 can be found here).
2. Fire up Chrome and type about:plugins into the address bar; hit enter.
3. Click on Details in the top right of the window to expand the plug-in details.
4. Find the Flash plug-in that's listed as being in the Chrome directory and hit Disable (shown above).
5. Check which version of Flash you have by heading here.
That's it -- now you can jump on over to Adobe's Stage Video demo and watch as your CPU basically idles as you play HD video. If you want to reverse the procedure, just re-enable Chrome's built-in Flash plug-in and it'll take priority over the pre-release version.
Sandboxing in Chrome is currently only available for Windows, where it's particularly important for the relatively insecure Windows XP, and is rolling out to all Chrome Dev installations on Windows automatically. If you have a particular aversion to sandboxing your Flash experience, you can easily disable it with the flag --disable-flash-sandbox. For those of you who are running the beta or stable release of Chrome, but want to try out the developer version with Flash sandboxing for Windows, then head on over to Chromium.org and grab yourself the 'Dev channel' and install it over the top of your current Chrome version.
Adobe Flash Player is now sandboxed in the latest dev channel release of Google Chrome, bringing a huge security benefit to Chrome users.
Firefox/Chrome: The Lightning Reveal extension for Google Chrome reveals what lies behind Amazon's Lightning Deals before they're live on Amazon.