A big improvement to Windows 11 search is coming soon

Mar 10, 2022 - 8:17 PM - by Reverend
The next build of Windows 11 will deliver a richer search experience that is designed to deliver more highlights about the world around you and about your organizations. Microsoft promised that the update will roll out next week.

“Starting early next week, we will begin rolling out an update for Search in Windows 11 that highlights interesting moments in time,” Microsoft said, noting that the new search experience can still be accessed on the taskbar. In addition to the new spotlight on search highlights, the searching function in Windows 11 will also allow you to find files, settings, and quick answers on the web.

These highlights will include anniversaries and birthdays, holidays, educational moments, and interesting moments globally or locally. “You’ll find rich, bold content in search home that highlights what’s special about today,” Microsoft added in a blog post.

And if you’re logged in with your organization email account, the Windows search feature will also display relevant results that include your business files and contacts.

And for those running older machines, Search highlights is also coming to Windows 10, Microsoft announced. The update to Windows 10 will happen at a later date, with Microsoft looking to test this feature in a future Insiders Preview build of the operating system.

If you don’t want access to Search highlights, the feature can be disabled. Windows users can go to Settings > Privacy & security >Search settings > Show search highlights to disable or enable the feature.

The latest update to Windows 11 also brings a new Family app that serves as a hub where you can locate and track your children and gain insights about your family’s digital activities across Windows, Xbox, and even Android. Features include screen time monitoring, parental controls, and website filters.

Microsoft is also rolling out its Clipchamp video editor as an inbox app on Windows 11, making it easy for Windows 11 users to edit videos.

Digital Trends
  0 Replies | 1,072 Views

Fitbit recalls Ionic watch following skin burns

Mar 04, 2022 - 8:25 PM - by Reverend
Fitbit has recalled one of its fitness-tracking smartwatches due to the risk of it overheating and burning people.

The company, now owned by Google, said it had issued a voluntary recall of the Fitbit Ionic watch. It will give people who purchased the device a refund of $299 (£225) and a discount on a replacement product.

The Fitbit Ionic was manufactured between 2017 and 2020, and about 1.7 million of them were sold internationally. None of its other fitness trackers are affected by the recall.

Fitbit had received more than 170 reports of the lithium battery in its Ionic watch overheating, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The CPSC said it was aware of 78 reports of burn injuries in the US, including two reports of third-degree burns from an over-heating battery. A third-degree burn is a severe burn that destroys the skin and may damage underlying tissue. It often requires a skin graft.

The CPSC said it was aware of 40 burn injuries internationally.

In a statement, Fitbit said: "Customer safety is always Fitbit's top priority and out of an abundance of caution, we are voluntarily recalling Fitbit Ionic smartwatches."

It said the number of reports about the watches overheating represented "less than 0.01% of units sold".

Owners of a Fitbit Ionic can read more information on the Fitbit website.

BBC News
  0 Replies | 1,319 Views

TikTok to increase video limit to 10 minutes

Mar 02, 2022 - 11:36 AM - by Reverend
TikTok has gained over one billion monthly users in the five years since it first launched outside of China, a popularity it enjoys thanks to the short-form videos on the app that are usually less than a minute long. But its most defining feature is changing.

TikTok is now rolling out an update to its platform that will increase the maximum length of videos users can upload to 10 minutes. The app became famous for its 15-second-max clips, which were eventually increased to 60 seconds. That limit was pushed up to 3 minutes in July last year.

“We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience. Last year, we introduced longer videos, giving our community more time to create and be entertained on TikTok,” a spokesperson from TikTok said in a statement. “Today, we’re excited to start rolling out the ability to upload videos that are up to 10 minutes, which we hope would unleash even more creative possibilities for our creators around the world.”

TikTok’s continuing increase in the maximum length of its videos suggests it wants to compete more directly with YouTube. The move will allow users to make longer videos and could also appeal to some older audiences, but many people like TikTok precisely because it’s the home of shorter clips that reward brevity and creativity. These force users to think of clever ways to make compelling content under a minute long that captures the attention of potential new followers.

It appears that many TikTok fans are opposed to the change. Some noted that the extended videos allow more opportunities to spread misinformation at a time when the internet is rife with fake news.

While TikTok tries to be more like its rivals, social media companies, including Instagram, Snapchat, and even YouTube, have introduced short-form video sections in a bid to attract younger users.

The 10-minute-maximum video length is rolling out globally over the next few weeks. Users need to be on the latest version of the app, and they will be notified upon receiving the update.

  0 Replies | 1,121 Views

Snapchat launches a real-time location sharing feature

Feb 25, 2022 - 8:01 PM - by Reverend
Snapchat on Friday announced a buddy system-like feature that allows its users to share their real-time location with friends for a period of time.

The safety feature is being rolled out as more people are returning to school campuses, traveling, going out on dates and otherwise resuming what they did before the pandemic, the company said. The feature, which is similar to Apple (AAPL)'s Find My app, allows users to share their real-time locations with a friend for 15 minutes, one hour or up to eight hours.

Snapchat partnered with It's On Us, a nonprofit founded in 2014 to combat sexual assault on campuses, in creating the feature.

Since 2017, Snapchat has allowed users to share their locations with friends on its Snap Map feature, which updates a location only when the user has the app open. The company said 250 million users utilize Snap Map each month.

Last May, Snapchat said it reached 500 million monthly active users. According to a survey conducted by the company, 78% of its US app users wouldn't hesitate to share their locations on Snap Map, and most do it as a safe way to connect to others.

Like the Snap Map, the new feature will remain off by default. Snapchatters can turn on their location "in an instant," the company said, but only with specific friends. To reduce the risk of stalking, the company has limited the amount of time and with whom Snapchatters can share their instant location.

Snapchatters can start using the feature by going to a friend's profile and tapping on a new option that allows for live sharing. The app provides an pop-up PSA that advises users that the feature should be shared only with trusted friends and family.

The company also announced this week that Snapchatters can change their usernames starting at the end of February -- a feature previously unavailable in the US.

  0 Replies | 1,219 Views

Microsoft Experiments With a Tablet-Optimized Taskbar for Windows 11

Feb 25, 2022 - 7:58 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft is improving the Windows 11 taskbar for anyone whose device doubles as a tablet.

In the latest Windows 11 Insider Preview Build (22563), a tablet-optimized taskbar has been introduced. Now, when Windows senses your device has entered its tablet mode, the taskbar will be adjusted automatically to offer two swipe-controlled states: collapsed and expanded.

Collapsed can be classed as the non-interactive state with a much smaller presence on the screen and shows critical icons only. That way other content can grab more of the screen space while important information remains visible. The expanded state is for when you want to interact with the taskbar and makes it significantly larger for easier touch input.

Switching between the two states is achieved by swiping up and down over the bottom of the display where your taskbar sits. It counts as a small tweak to the user interface, but one that should be appreciated by anyone using a 2-in-1 convertible or hybrid laptop who regularly enjoys tablet mode for consuming content.

Microsoft is rolling out the feature to Insiders slowly, so you may not have the option yet even though you are running the latest build. To check, navigate to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar behaviors and a new setting may be visible called "Automatically hide the taskbar when using your device as tablet" that's on by default.

Preview Build 22563 also includes a change to the Widgets to allow more dynamic content by blending in the news feed experience. The Search from Quick Access in File Explorer now includes content from OneDrive, Downloads, and any indexed location, and any files in Quick Access that aren't stored locally show thumbnails and work with OneDrive sharing.

  0 Replies | 1,068 Views

Snapchat will let you change your username starting February 23

Feb 18, 2022 - 8:39 PM - by Reverend
Snapchat users will be able to change their usernames later this month, the company announced on Thursday. The username change won’t impact aspects of users’ accounts, such as their friend lists, Snap codes, Snap scores, memories, etc. Snap says all iOS and Android users globally will be able to change their usernames starting February 23rd.

Snap notes that users won’t be able to select usernames that have already been used. Once users have decided to change their usernames, the app will also prompt them with a reminder that they can only change their usernames once per year.
How to change your Snapchat username

To change your username, you’ll be able to tap the Bitmoji icon in the top-left corner of the camera to head to the profile section. From there, you can select settings by tapping on the gear icon in the top-right corner. Once you click “username,” you’ll see a “change username” button marked in blue. You can then enter a new username and hit “next” to finalize the change.

Snap says username changes were one of its most highly requested features. It notes that as an app built around ephemerality, it’s aware that people grow and change and may want to change their handles. The feature has been long-awaited, but its launch isn’t exactly a surprise. In October 2021, reverse app engineer Alessandro Paluzzi first discovered the feature and revealed that Snap was working on a way for users to change their usernames.

  0 Replies | 1,353 Views

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