Software & Apps News - Page 8

The latest and most important Software & Apps news - Page 8.

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It's official: Latest Windows 11 update introduces Start menu ads in the form of promoted apps

Darren Allan | May 15, 2024 3:26 PM CDT

Windows 11 just got its latest cumulative update and there's some good and bad news here - the latter being the fact that adverts are officially debuting in the Start menu.

It's official: Latest Windows 11 update introduces Start menu ads in the form of promoted apps

If you've been following the story of adverts creeping into Windows 11, you might have noticed that with last month's preview (optional) update, a new form of promotion appeared in the Start menu - suggested Microsoft Store apps picked from certain developers.

Windows Latest observes that this is now rolling out to all Windows 11 users with the latest patch released yesterday (KB5037771).

Continue reading: It's official: Latest Windows 11 update introduces Start menu ads in the form of promoted apps (full post)

Windows 10 support expected to end with AMD's next-generation CPUs

Jak Connor | May 15, 2024 3:31 AM CDT

Microsoft's most-popular operating system, Windows 10, will lose support for new drivers on AMD's next-generation CPU platform, according to reports.

Windows 10 support expected to end with AMD's next-generation CPUs

Windows 10 is by far Microsoft's most popular operating system, with the company actively thinking up new ways to push users onto Windows 11 following the announcement it was ending support for the operating system in October 2025. Now, a new report from TechSpot citing a Weibo post from someone who claims to be Lenovo's China manager, AMD won't provide Windows 10 drivers for its Zen 5 CPUs, specifically starting with its Zen 5 Strix Point APUs.

Why would AMD choose to go down this route? It may not have anything to do with Microsoft directly but with the emergence and now importance of AI-based capabilities. The report states AMD is - like many other big tech companies - shifting its focus to AI performance, which is paramount for Zen 5 to be successful. Unfortunately, AI-based capabilities aren't likely to be coming to an old operating system such as Windows 10, especially when it will be hitting its end-of-support phase next year.

Continue reading: Windows 10 support expected to end with AMD's next-generation CPUs (full post)

Microsoft Edge is getting new AI powers that'll let you customize your browser

Darren Allan | May 14, 2024 2:00 PM CDT

Microsoft is ushering in fresh AI capabilities for its Edge browser, and this new work pertains to customizing the app.

Microsoft Edge is getting new AI powers that'll let you customize your browser

Windows Latest was keen-eyed enough to spot that an incoming feature called the 'AI theme generator' for Edge is part of a Microsoft 365 roadmap.

It'll work pretty much as you'd expect: you tell the AI what kind of theme you want via a simple text prompt, and it'll knock up some concepts along those lines that you can peruse.

Continue reading: Microsoft Edge is getting new AI powers that'll let you customize your browser (full post)

Microsoft to face Homeland Security over a cascade of security failings

Jak Connor | May 13, 2024 2:34 AM CDT

Microsoft has previously confirmed that it has been breached by hackers from both China and Russia, and now the US government wants to talk about it.

Microsoft to face Homeland Security over a cascade of security failings

The House Committee on Homeland Security has selected Microsoft's vice chair and president, Brad Smith, to attend a hearing called "A Cascade of Security Failures: Assessing Microsoft Corporation's Cybersecurity Shortfalls and the Implications for Homeland Security." For those that don't know, Microsoft has recently been put under the microscope by security researchers and the US government following a slew of security breaches.

Prominent incidents that likely caught the attention of Homeland Security were the attack on Microsoft Exchange in June 2023 that resulted in senior US government officials having their emails compromised - approximately 60,000, and the January 2024 attack by Midnight Blizzard. The latter of the two was traced back to Russia, and the breach resulted in Midnight Blizzard breaking into the email accounts of Microsoft executives and stealing messages and files from the leadership team.

Continue reading: Microsoft to face Homeland Security over a cascade of security failings (full post)

Microsoft officially bakes in another advertisement into Windows 11

Jak Connor | May 13, 2024 1:04 AM CDT

It was only a few weeks ago that Microsoft continued with its plan to roll out a controversial Windows 11 update that implemented new advertisements into Windows 11, and now users have spotted yet another additional promotion now baked into Windows.

Microsoft officially bakes in another advertisement into Windows 11

The new advertisement from a few weeks ago was implementing a "Recommended" section within Windows 11's Start menu. This new section first began testing within Microsoft's Insider program and according to Microsoft the recommendations within the section will be for apps sourced from a "small set of curated developers" that will meet Microsoft's quality standards. Notably, users are able to switch off recommendations within the Personalization section of Windows 11.

Now, Microsoft has rolled out a new advertisement within the "Settings" option for Windows, and this advertisement is for its Game Pass subscription service. The advertisement was discovered in the latest Dev channel version 26120.470 (KB5037864). The new Game Pass promotion ties in with the company's previous statements regarding Game Pass growth on PC still being present, while it stagnating on Xbox consoles.

Continue reading: Microsoft officially bakes in another advertisement into Windows 11 (full post)

Sonos channels its inner Apple, says it took 'courage' to make its iPhone app suck

Oliver Haslam | May 11, 2024 1:40 PM CDT

Sonos released an updated version of its mobile app back on May 7th, and while most similar app updates would just pass without too much interest among the masses, this one has very much gone in another direction. The app has been almost universally derided, with some accusing it of breaking accessibility and others simply lambasting the decision to remove features. But whatever reason people don't like it, they can all generally agree that it isn't great.

Sonos channels its inner Apple, says it took 'courage' to make its iPhone app suck

Sonos, on the other hand. would argue differently. The company says that it's aware that people don't seem to like the new update and that it's working to address the functionality that it has removed as part of this latest change. But in a statement provided to The Verge, Sonos says that it stands by its decision to roll the app out.

The Verge reports that Sonos believes that the changes it has made will ultimately result in a better app further down the line.

Continue reading: Sonos channels its inner Apple, says it took 'courage' to make its iPhone app suck (full post)

Windows 11 could get some big changes: Start menu 'companions' and Copilot in Settings

Darren Allan | May 10, 2024 1:50 PM CDT

Windows 11 has some interesting new features incoming based on the latest preview version of the operating system.

Windows 11 could get some big changes: Start menu 'companions' and Copilot in Settings

As well-known leaker on X (formerly Twitter) Albacore noticed, in the fresh preview build 26212 (deployed in the Canary channel), Microsoft has introduced what are called 'companions' for the Start menu.

These are widget-style concoctions that are attached to the Start menu in a floating panel that can be docked to the left or right-hand side, piping through info in real-time to the UI in a kind of 'Live Tiles' style. (Which of course was a piece of functionality Microsoft previously did away with - these were introduced with Windows 8, but Windows 11 dropped them).

Continue reading: Windows 11 could get some big changes: Start menu 'companions' and Copilot in Settings (full post)

WhatsApp announces a design refresh for its iPhone and Android apps

Oliver Haslam | May 10, 2024 12:00 PM CDT

WhatsApp, the Meta-owned instant messaging platform that works on just about everything with a display and an internet connection, has announced some changes to its iPhone and Android apps. The updates aren't new features as such, but more tweaks to the existing interfaces that people use daily. Changes include an upgraded color palette, an improved default chat background, and more.

WhatsApp announces a design refresh for its iPhone and Android apps

WhatsApp made the changes known via a lengthy post to the Facebook blog in which Idit Yaniv, VP, Head of WhatsApp Design, detailed the changes that are being made. All of these changes are rolling out to users now, although they require a server-side flick of a switch. Make sure that you have the latest version of WhatsApp installed on your iPhone or Android phone and hang tight if you don't see them just yet.

Meta explained that there are a number of different changes that have been made including the use of a new color palette that will allow the company to make better decisions about the way the app uses color as a whole. As part of that, the post also announced that Android users can expect a new, darker dark model. WhatsApp says that people had requested that the dark mode be less bright, so it's now one shade darker.

Continue reading: WhatsApp announces a design refresh for its iPhone and Android apps (full post)

Microsoft Edge users who haven't activated Windows 11, watch out: this change could be bad news

Darren Allan | May 8, 2024 11:55 AM CDT

Windows 11 users running an inactivated copy of the operating system may find that in the future, there's a further penalty exacted on them for failing to activate - and it involves Microsoft's Edge browser.

Microsoft Edge users who haven't activated Windows 11, watch out: this change could be bad news

Windows Latest noticed that in a fresh test build of Edge, there are several flags that hint at the potentially incoming move. These are:

Just by looking at those flags you can guess the functionality being leveraged: a check for activation, then a trigger if Windows 11 isn't activated that means Edge Settings are locked.

Continue reading: Microsoft Edge users who haven't activated Windows 11, watch out: this change could be bad news (full post)

TikTok sues US government to stop app shutdown and undo a new law

Jak Connor | May 8, 2024 11:02 AM CDT

The Senate officially banned TikTok in the United States, giving the popular app owner the choice of selling it to a US government-approved buyer or having it banned from app marketplaces.

TikTok sues US government to stop app shutdown and undo a new law

The US government has deemed TikTok a national security risk due to its owner being China-based company ByteDance, which officials believe have ties to the Chinese government. More specifically, the US government believes TikTok is capable of scraping the personal data of 170 million Americans, and that data could then be shared with the Chinese government. Furthermore, the US government believe TikTok could be used to spread misinformation throughout the US.

The banning of the app gave its owner 270 days to sell TikTok, with an additional 90-day presidential extension. TikTok and ByteDance have since responded to the new legislature by filing a lawsuit that directly challenges the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, which President Biden signed into law last month.

Continue reading: TikTok sues US government to stop app shutdown and undo a new law (full post)