Microsoft has at long last released what's effectively Windows 7 Service Pack 2 (SP2): a "convenience rollup" of updates that makes a fresh install or format of the beloved operating system much simpler than it has been. Until now, you'd have to install tons and tons of separate updates and reboot approximately a bajillion times in order to keep the OS current, but this update changes all that.
It's still not nearly as convenient as it could be: you can't download it through Windows Update for some ungodly reason and must download it manually instead, but not before installing the April 2015 servicing stack update for Windows 7. Also, you still need to install any updates that came out after April 2016.
Back in January, Apple released its exciting Night Shift mode, making your screen easier on the eyes at night time and helping you get sleepy when you should. Unfortunately, Night Shift could not be used in conjunction with Low Power Mode, a key feature for many users looking to make their battery last as long as possible.
The 9.3.2 update released today for all iOS 9 users changes that, allowing you to use both Night Shift and Low Power Mode simultaneously, in addition to sporting minor performance improvements and a fix for audio issues observed when pairing Bluetooth accessories with the iPhone SE.
The Windows 10 free upgrade will expire July 29, and with it will go the 'Get Windows 10' nagware that's been so persistent for Windows 7 and 8 users these last months.
"Details are still being finalized, but on July 29th the Get Windows 10 app that facilitates the easy upgrade to Windows 10 will be disabled and eventually removed from PCs worldwide," said a Microsoft company spokesperson. "Just as it took time to ramp up and roll out the Get Windows 10 app, it will take time to ramp it down."
Despite that, the company wouldn't confirm or deny the possibility of extending the offer prior to July 29, so the nagware disappearing isn't set in stone.
Microsoft's recent KB3133977 update for Windows 7 means those with ASUS motherboards will no longer be able to boot into their operating system. Instead, they'll be greeted with a red screen of death that cites a "secure boot violation."
The source of the issue is KB3133977, which enables Secure Boot in UEFI and is evidently an issue in this specific configuration. While it's been confirmed for awhile now, the update was always optional, until Microsoft recently made it mandatory for an unknown reason.
Microsoft has been notoriously aggressive with urging users of previous operating systems to upgrade to Windows 10. Between nag screens and upgrades on the sly, they've caused many a headache for those who simply want to stay with what they've got.
Now the issue is in the mainstream as KCCI Channel 8 -- based in Iowa, US -- was interrupted with the aformentioned nag screen during a weather broadcast, to the amusement of viewers and the weather reporter alike. See for yourself above.
Hand-off of tasks from mobile to desktop has become a bit of a blessing. It's easy to begin work, or even browsing Facebook, on your phone and simply start up where you left off on your larger and more powerful devices. For those that use various Apple devices, it's a natural element of those operating systems. And one that's sorely missed from Windows. Windows 10 might be getting similar functionality in the Redstone update coming this summer.
A user on Reddit seems to have stumble across what appears to be just that in the latest preview build of Redstone. A toggle was found nestled in the settings pane that would allow you to continue work on whatever device is running Windows 10, with Bluetooth, aside from using a cloud based solution like some applications and OS X do.
Though it's obviously limited to other Windows 10 devices, and could theoretically include the Xbox One, it's still a step in the right direction. You never really know or understand just how useful a future that is until you've migrated to an OS that doesn't fully support it. Just being able to select the mobile tabs in Chrome that I was perusing is quite nice, but this new take, with Bluetooth mind you, will be a much needed advancement for Microsoft.
In an 'it's about damn time' move, Apple is rumored to be in the process of renaming OS X to MacOS, which might be announced during its WWDC event later this year.
Apple talked about how it concluded product life spans for an Earth Day promotion, the company wrote: "years of use, which are based on first owners, are assumed to be four years for MacOS and tvOS devices and three years for iOS and watchOS devices" as determining factors, reports TNW.
TNW reports that it expects Apple to rename iOS to 'phoneOS' in the near future, with the 2017 iPhones - but I find that quite disturbing. Could Apple mature its smartphone OS and name it 'phoneOS'? Let us know in the comments, below.
Microsoft is making some changes to the usual BSOD page, which itself has been updated with Windows 8 and now Windows 10. The information contained on it, and what can be gleaned through logs anyway, can already tell you what happened with a quick search on Google (or, dare we say, Bing?). But now they want to make it a little easier to ascertain what's wrong with your PC, with QR codes.
This new system isn't quite active yet, but when it does go live, presumably with the next big release planned this summer, it'll connect the QR code seen above with a page that that'll explain, hopefully in easy to read terms, what happened and why. This could make it much easier to pin down problems with your build because things do happen and go wrong unexpectedly. Right now the landing page is generic, however.
Microsoft is on to something here. The information that you usually get is not always easy to sift through or investigate for everyone. Information can always be found, it's definitely out there, but the ease of use demonstrated here could make for a much easier and more convenient troubleshooting time. Not to mention it'd be far easier for customer support.
Those in the Xbox One Preview Program are in for a treat soon: Xbox team member Mika Ybarra implied on Twitter that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (also known as Redstone), will be made available for you as of late May or early June. Although it's not explicit, Ybarra also says Preview members will see Preview updates before the Anniversary Update, leading us to believe the updates are one and the same.
Once the Anniversary Update is released, the Insider Program and the Xbox One Preview Program will be combined to make this all a lot less confusing.
We already saw at BUILD 2016 that Microsoft has big plans for the future of Windows 10. Preview builds are already gaining the ability to play with Bash and Visual Studio 2016 is looking mighty fine. A new public roadmap points towards some new previously unannounced features that look very interesting.
The majority of these new features are business focused and also look to bolster cross-platform connectivity, but it also speaks to a more fluid user experience of the type that Apple has been pioneering. Except here it's a bit more productivity focused and not geared strictly towards consumption of media. It isn't a sign of more mobile devices taking over Windows, but instead of the recognition that we're inherently more mobile in how we interact with technology and this allows us to switch in a way that makes sense. Or potentially it eventually will. Have to start somewhere.