Software & Apps News - Page 4

The latest and most important Software & Apps news - Page 4.

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Emojis are getting their own audio, one being a fart noise

Jak Connor | May 2, 2024 1:11 AM CDT

If emojis and gifs aren't enough for you to convey what you want to say, soon you will be able to send audio emojis to really drive your point home.

Emojis are getting their own audio, one being a fart noise

Google has begun rolling out to the beta version of the Phone by Google app that adds six sound effects to that can be played during a phone call. The sounds correspond to an existing emoji and are very similar to a soundboard that is played during dead air on a radio show or podcast. The feature is expected to be rolled out to the public sometime soon, but how popular it will be remains a mystery, given how generic the sounds are.

Interested in getting the new audio emojis? Here's what you will need to do. Download the beta version of the Phone by Google app, sign-up here. Once that is complete, open the Play Store app, navigate to your profile photo at the top-right corner of the screen, and press Manage Apps & devices and Updates available. Download the latest update for the Phone by Google app. In the event this doesn't work on your device, wait a few minutes it should eventually appear.

Continue reading: Emojis are getting their own audio, one being a fart noise (full post)

Microsoft confirms recent Windows update kills VPN connections

Jak Connor | May 2, 2024 12:47 AM CDT

Microsoft has confirmed with an update on its Windows health dashboard that a recent Windows security update has resulted in many VPN connections failing.

Microsoft confirms recent Windows update kills VPN connections

The company explains its April 2024 Windows security update and its April 2024 non-security preview update, which was pushed out to multiple versions of Windows, breaks VPN connections across client and server platforms. Microsoft writes it launched an investigation into the matter following user reports and that it will provide more information in "the coming days".

Versions of Windows affected by the connection severance are Windows 11, Windows 10, and Windows Server 2008 and later. Currently Microsoft hasn't revealed the root cause of this issue, and has advised affected users and businesses to contact its respective Help lines. Home users are instructed to use the Windows Get Help app, and enterprise customers are directed to the "Support for Business" portal.

Continue reading: Microsoft confirms recent Windows update kills VPN connections (full post)

Microsoft seems to be losing the battle to persuade Windows 10 users to upgrade to Windows 11

Darren Allan | May 1, 2024 12:45 PM CDT

It's a new month, and we have another set of Windows adoption stats to look at - figures that Microsoft won't enjoy perusing.

Microsoft seems to be losing the battle to persuade Windows 10 users to upgrade to Windows 11

The latest from analyst outfit Statcounter is that Windows 11 is again going backwards with its market share among Windows versions - and Windows 10 is ticking up.

In April 2024, Statcounter observes (via Neowin) that Windows 11 dropped the best part of a percentage point to end up on 25.65%, while Windows 10 put on a percent (almost) to go over 70%.

Continue reading: Microsoft seems to be losing the battle to persuade Windows 10 users to upgrade to Windows 11 (full post)

Hate Chrome or Edge? Streamlined Chromium-based Mac browser, Arc, is now out for Windows 11

Darren Allan | May 1, 2024 10:28 AM CDT

Arc, a Chromium-based browser previously on the Mac (and iOS), is now available to download for Windows 11.

Hate Chrome or Edge? Streamlined Chromium-based Mac browser, Arc, is now out for Windows 11

So, those Windows 11 users who've been searching for a streamlined web browser - one of the bits of ad blurb for Arc is that it's a "clean and calm" app - can now give this Chromium client a whirl, rather than Chrome or Edge. (There are other alternatives, of course - but those are the big two for Chromium).

As Neowin, which spotted this, points out, the Arc browser was in beta previously (since December 2023), but this represents its first public launch for Microsoft's OS.

Continue reading: Hate Chrome or Edge? Streamlined Chromium-based Mac browser, Arc, is now out for Windows 11 (full post)

Microsoft will now let you download and install apps directly from the Microsoft Store website

Kosta Andreadis | May 1, 2024 7:28 AM CDT

Microsoft has made installing apps from the Microsoft Store easier by implementing a new feature - the ability to download and run executables/installers directly from apps.microsoft.com. Microsoft's Rudy Huyn took to X to outline the update and its reasoning in great detail.

Microsoft will now let you download and install apps directly from the Microsoft Store website

The website for Microsoft apps has been around for a while. To install an app using the site, you click on a link, confirm that you'll need to switch to the dedicated store app, and then select and go through the install process on the app. Rudy Huyn said, "Feedback indicated that the install flow involved too many clicks."

The reason installation directly from the site wasn't available was security, which is beneficial to users and partners releasing apps through the Microsoft Store. That said, switching to a two-click system for a select group of developers "led to a 12% increase in installations and a 54% increase in the number of applications launched after installation."

Continue reading: Microsoft will now let you download and install apps directly from the Microsoft Store website (full post)

Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage finally gets an offline mode - with a catch

Darren Allan | Apr 30, 2024 10:34 AM CDT

Microsoft's OneDrive is getting a mode that allows you to work with your files in the storage locker when you don't have an internet connection.

Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage finally gets an offline mode - with a catch

The catch we mentioned in the headline? This is that the feature is rolling out to begin with only to OneDrive work and school users (across the globe), but surely a broader deployment to consumers will follow soon enough.

How does offline mode work with OneDrive? You can continue to interact with the following views: Home, My files, Shared, Favorites, People, and Meeting.

Continue reading: Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage finally gets an offline mode - with a catch (full post)

Windows 11 has a couple of useful tweaks in testing for File Explorer and widgets

Darren Allan | Apr 30, 2024 9:52 AM CDT

Windows 11 has a couple of fresh changes which are hidden in preview builds, which a leaker has uncovered using ViVeTool.

Windows 11 has a couple of useful tweaks in testing for File Explorer and widgets

As anyone who follows Windows leaks will doubtless be unsurprised to learn, this is PhantomOfEarth (who accounts for a lot of spillage around the OS, as well as Albacore on X).

The first change which has been dug up using ViVeTool (the Windows configuration utility) is an improvement for File Explorer tabs which you can see in the above tweet.

Continue reading: Windows 11 has a couple of useful tweaks in testing for File Explorer and widgets (full post)

Windows 11 might hit you with an extra-lengthy nagging session after your next update

Darren Allan | Apr 29, 2024 8:30 AM CDT

Windows 11 is showing a bulked-up set of nag screens, and this is part of a push underway to get more folks using Microsoft's Edge browser, it seems.

Windows 11 might hit you with an extra-lengthy nagging session after your next update

Those are the findings of tech site Windows Latest, which observed being confronted by a multi-screen post-setup marathon of seven panels to be clicked through.

Typically, this is what you'll see after installing Windows 11, but as you've doubtless noticed, these multi-screen affairs also pop up sometimes after simply installing the latest monthly cumulative update for the OS.

Continue reading: Windows 11 might hit you with an extra-lengthy nagging session after your next update (full post)

HP laptop owners: that giant Caps Lock On pop-up isn't Windows 11's fault, here's how to fix it

Darren Allan | Apr 26, 2024 11:38 AM CDT

A new update from HP for its laptops has implemented a change that a fair few people are hating, and that's a notification that pops up when you hit Caps Lock.

HP laptop owners: that giant Caps Lock On pop-up isn't Windows 11's fault, here's how to fix it

This is a giant padlock icon that says 'Caps Lock On' and takes over a huge amount of screen real-estate whenever you press the Caps Lock key.

We guess the idea is that it's very possible to accidentally press Caps Lock, and if you don't notice, and you're typing for a bit and not looking at the screen, you realize that you've written a VERY SHOUTY SENTENCE LIKE THIS BY ACCIDENT (ahem).

Continue reading: HP laptop owners: that giant Caps Lock On pop-up isn't Windows 11's fault, here's how to fix it (full post)

Fears emerge that Windows 11 could hit you with a desktop watermark if your PC isn't AI-okay

Darren Allan | Apr 26, 2024 10:46 AM CDT

Windows 11 might just flag up a warning if your PC doesn't meet the system requirements to run AI Explorer, hidden code in the OS suggests.

Fears emerge that Windows 11 could hit you with a desktop watermark if your PC isn't AI-okay

This discovery was shared on X (formerly Twitter) by Albacore, one of the ever-present folks who while away spare hours sifting through the inner workings of Windows 11.

The clues were uncovered in preview build 26200 for the Canary channel, where Albacore found that AI Explorer checks for its requirements, and if the host PC doesn't meet them, a "warning will be present in its overlays."

Continue reading: Fears emerge that Windows 11 could hit you with a desktop watermark if your PC isn't AI-okay (full post)