Windows 11 Insiders Can Now Test Android Apps

Oct 21, 2021 - 8:53 AM - by Reverend
Microsoft is offering the first preview of Android app support on Windows 11, but only for those on beta Insider builds.

Android app support is arriving in the Beta Channel for US users under the “Windows 11 Build 22000.xxx. Series.” PCs built with chips from Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm can run it. Microsoft is hoping Insider users will help test-run the function before its mainstream rollout, which is expected to occur sometime next year.

“To dive in, open the new Microsoft Store and find a selection of mobile experiences that were not available on Windows before,” the company says. Users will notice the appearance of Amazon’s Android Appstore, which will let them test out 50 apps, spanning games, the Kindle reading app, and content for kids.

“​​Running Android apps and games on Windows 11 will feel familiar, effortless, and integrated—just as you would expect,” Microsoft says. “You can easily run these apps side by side with the help of the new Snap Layouts feature, pin them to your Start menu or Taskbar, and interact with them via mouse, touch, or pen input.”

In addition, you can copy and paste information between Android and Windows apps. Notification from the Android programs will also appear in the Windows 11 “Action Center.”
Microsoft image of the function

To run the apps, Microsoft is adding a new component in the OS called “Windows Subsystem for Android.” It essentially loads the Android OS over a Hyper-V virtual machine similar to the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

“The Subsystem includes the Linux kernel and the Android OS based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) version 11,” Microsoft says.” It is distributed through the Microsoft Store as part of the Amazon Appstore install, which will allow users to stay updated over time as we continue to add support for more APIs, capabilities, and scenarios.” The subsystem will also appear in the Windows 11 Start Menu and can be configured to your liking.

PCMag
  0 Replies | 307 Views


Windows Insiders get fix for AMD performance issues on Windows 11

Oct 15, 2021 - 8:15 PM - by Reverend
Windows 11 launched with a bug that caused AMD processors to perform worse on the new operating system. Then when this week’s Patch Tuesday updates rolled out, it seemed that the issues got even worse. Now, Windows Insiders in the Beta and Release Preview channels can grab Windows 11 build 22000.282, which contains a fix for the L3 cache issue that was affecting AMD processors in the original Windows 11 release. As previously reported, the issue with L3 cache was causing memory access to have additional latency, so applications that depended on memory access speeds could be as much as 15% slower on the original release of Windows 11.

This update should restore performance back to its usual levels, however, the other issue with AMD processors on Windows 11 doesn’t seem to have been fixed. That’s the problem where processors may not be able to assign a task to the fastest core available, which could impact the performance of apps that using only a single or a few cores. AMD seemed to indicate that a fix for this issue would be rolled out as a “software update”, rather than a Windows update, so we may have to wait for a new driver from AMD.

Aside from the fix for the L3 cache issues on AMD processors, today’s cumulative update for Windows Insiders includes a ton of fixes. This includes problems where some users may still see the Windows 10 taskbar instead of the newer one, and whole lot more.

XDA Developers
  0 Replies | 403 Views


End-to-End Encrypted Backups on WhatsApp

Oct 15, 2021 - 6:55 AM - by Reverend
WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. Five years ago, we added end-to-end encryption by default, which today protects over 100 billion messages a day as they travel between more than 2 billion users.

While end-to-end encrypted messages you send and receive are stored on your device, many people also want a way to back up their chats in case they lose their phone. Starting today, we are making available an extra, optional layer of security to protect backups stored on Google Drive or iCloud with end-to-end encryption. No other global messaging service at this scale provides this level of security for their users’ messages, media, voice messages, video calls and chat backups.

You can now secure your end-to-end encrypted backup with either a password of your choice or a 64-digit encryption key that only you know. Neither WhatsApp nor your backup service provider will be able to read your backups or access the key required to unlock it.

With more than 2 billion users, we are excited to give people more choices to protect their privacy. We will be rolling this feature out slowly to those with the latest version of WhatsApp. More information about how you can protect your chat backups with end-to-end encryption on iOS and Android can be found here, and more information about how we built it can be found here.

Turn on end-to-end encrypted backup

Open Settings.
Tap Chats > Chat Backup > End-to-end Encrypted Backup.
Tap Continue, then follow the prompts to create a password or key.
Tap Done, and wait for WhatsApp to prepare your end-to-end encrypted backup. You might need to connect to a power source.

Note: You won’t be able to restore your backup if you lose your WhatsApp chats and forget your password or key. WhatsApp can’t reset your password or restore your backup for you.
Turn off end-to-end encrypted backup

Open Settings.
Tap Chats > Chat Backup > End-to-end Encrypted Backup.
Tap Turn Off.
Enter your password.
Confirm you want to turn off encrypted backup by tapping Turn Off.

Facebook Newsroom
  0 Replies | 299 Views


Apple extends repair program for AirPods Pro with crackling sound issues

Oct 14, 2021 - 7:31 AM - by Reverend
Apple last year launched a repair program for its AirPods Pro wireless earbuds, as some units had been affected by a problem causing “crackling or static sounds.” The company has now extended the AirPods Pro repair program with an additional year of coverage.

When the program was originally announced in October 2020, Apple said it would cover affected AirPods Pro for two years after the first retail sale of the unit. In other words, initial customers would be able to have their earbuds replaced for free until October 2021, since AirPods Pro were introduced in 2019.

Earlier this week, the AirPods Pro repair program webpage was updated with a new disclaimer saying that the program “covers affected AirPods Pro for 3 years after the first retail sale of the unit.” The change was first noticed by a Reddit user on r/AirPods and confirmed by Apple on the company’s website.

According to Apple, affected AirPods Pro units may suffer from crackling or static sounds and Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected. If you’ve noticed any of these issues with your AirPods Pro, you should contact Apple to take them to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

Apple will replace the affected AirPods Pro for free. The company said that AirPods Pro will be examined by technicians before the replacement. According to Apple, the affected units were manufactured prior to October of 2020. If your AirPods have the issue, you have three years from the date of purchase to have them serviced by Apple free of charge.

9to5Mac
  0 Replies | 317 Views


Instagram is testing an in-app feature that will notify users of service outages

Oct 13, 2021 - 10:36 AM - by Reverend
Instagram is testing a new feature that will notify users when the platform is experiencing an outage or technical issue. The notification will appear directly in users’ activity feeds. Instagram notes that it won’t send a notification every single time there is an outage, but if it sees that users “are confused and looking for answers,” it will determine if a notification would make things clearer.

The announcement comes as Facebook and its properties were hit with a lengthy outage last week on Monday and again briefly on Friday. The company explained that both outages were caused by configuration changes but were unrelated.

“Through conversations with our community and extensive research, we know how confusing it can be when temporary issues happen on Instagram. When they impact engagement or distribution, we also know that it can lead people to think that the problems are unique to them, based on what they post. That lack of clarity can be frustrating, which is why we want it to be easier to understand what’s going on, directly from us,” Instagram said in a blog post.

The new feature is a welcome addition to the app, as users will no longer have to wonder if the app isn’t loading because of an error on their end. Instagram is running the new test in the U.S. for the next few months. The company says it wants to start small with the feature and then expand it to more users if it makes sense to do so.

TechCrunch
  0 Replies | 347 Views


Windows 11 might tank Ryzen CPU performance, AMD warns

Oct 11, 2021 - 8:09 PM - by Reverend
AMD said Windows 11 can cut game performance on Ryzen CPUs by 10 to 15 percent, and the operating system may not utilize AMD’s “preferred core” technology, but a fix in the works.

A support note on AMD’s web site published this week said Windows 11 may increase L3 cache latency a whopping threefold, which can cause slowdowns in latency sensitive applications. Lighter duty, cache-sensitive games might see a 3 percent to 5 percent hit, and lighter-duty games as e-sports titles could see frame rates drop from 10 to 15 percent.

AMD also said its “preferred core” feature, which tells the operating system which core in each CPU can hit the highest clock, also doesn’t work right in Windows 11. Each CPU is tested to see which core will run the fastest at the factory and is marked so the OS will dispatch tasks to that “preferred core.” Since Windows 11 doesn’t seem to work with it right now, any performance bump from using the best core wouldn’t happen. The company said the performance cost would be most noticeable in CPUs with more than 8 cores and with TDP ratings above 65 watts.

AMD said both Microsoft and it are working on an update to Windows 11 that should address both issues this month.

PCWorld
  0 Replies | 329 Views


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