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Showing posts with label PC. Show all posts

March 14, 2019 , , , ,
After a long wait, Microsoft is adding the capability to use Android apps on Windows 10.

The Redmond giant has started testing the 'phone screen' feature of its 'Your Phone' app for Windows 10.

The feature will let you access apps from PC but is only available for Insider running the latest test build of Windows 10 at the moment.

Here's how it works.

Now, use Android apps on your Windows PC: Here's how

Now, use Android apps on your Windows PC: Here's how
Now, use Android apps on your Windows PC: Here's how

How phone screen works

Last year, Microsoft debuted 'Your Phone' app as a way to access photos and messages directly from an Android device.

Then, in October, the company unveiled its 'Phone Screen' feature - a capability that allowed Windows 10 users to access their entire phone on PCs.

It mirrors the phone screen to Windows 10 and provides a list of apps to access directly.

So, basically, you could use apps without touching your phone

Simply put, the feature makes a range of apps accessible directly via PC. You could, for instance, launch Uber to book a cab or respond to a Snap without even touching your phone.

However, there are some basic requirements to use this feature
As the feature is still in the testing phase, people with the latest insider build of Windows 10 (build 1803 or newer) would only be able to use phone screen mirroring.

Microsoft also says that users would need a phone with Android 7.0 or newer and a PC with Bluetooth's Low Energy Peripheral mode to use this feature successfully.

Phones currently supported

In the current state, phone screen mirroring can work if you have Samsung's Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, S9, or S9 Plus and a supported PC. Microsoft has promised to expand the list of compatible devices and PCs, moving forward.

Clearly, Microsoft is embracing Android now

Though there's no word on when we might see this feature in a stable build of Windows 10, the development clearly shows that Microsoft is gearing up to embrace Android.

Users have been asking for mobile apps on Windows for a long while and, with a feature like this, Microsoft is delivering it.

To note, ChromeOS already allows users to run Android apps.

July 20, 2017 , , , ,
Facebook Will Now Charge Money To Read Articles!
Facebook has decided to implement a new form of monetization on their platform, which has now 2 billion users. Their master plan is to charge money from users, who want to read articles being published directly on their portal via Instant Articles. Analysts are questioning this logic, as they are pondering hard over this question: Will the disappointment of Instant Articles be repeated now?

During Digital Publishing Innovation Summit in New York, Facebook’s news partnerships head Campbell Brown announced that they will launch a paywall within Instant Articles, which will allow only paid readers to read the content.
As per Campbell, publishers who are (still) part of Instant Articles, have requested Facebook to deploy this paywall mechanism. And Facebook is simply complying with that request.
He said, “One of the things we heard in our initial meetings from many newspapers and digital publishers is that ‘we want a subscription product — we want to be able to see a paywall in Facebook.”, adding, “And that is something we’re doing now. We are launching a subscription product.”

As per reports coming in, a new paywall mechanism would be deployed within Instant Articles. When a reader will click on a particular paywall protected article on Instant Articles, he will be directed towards the publisher’s own website, wherein he would be required to pay for reading the content.

Both a premium and metered paid plans would be introduced within this new system.

The plans and charges for the digital subscription, it seems, would be determined by the publisher, with Facebook taking a cut, as per speculations.

Starting October, the trial run of this new paywall powered Instant Articles will start, which is seen as an ‘appeasement’ step for publishers.

Disappointment Of Instant Articles Will Be Repeated?
The foundation of the new paid articles program is Instant Articles, which has been seen as a major disappointment by the publishers.

Complains of less revenues and less traffic has been regularly being directed towards Instant Articles platform, and the new paywall scheme can be the result of these complaints.
New York Times, one of the leading participants of Instant Articles pulled their plug, and started providing lesser articles to Facebook.
The Times, another elite participant of Instant Articles, stopped using it after a year and a half, because they discovered disappointing results in terms of revenues and eyeballs, both.

While Bloomberg never participated in IA, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN, CBS News, NPR, the Financial Times and Vice News always advocated against the format.

It seems that Facebook needs to fight on two fronts here: Competition from Google’s AMP platform, which uses similar business model like that of Instant Articles, and the complains from existing publishers regarding less revenue.

Will paywall solve these issues? Or this would be yet another disappointment from Facebook. Do let us know by commenting right here!

July 20, 2017 , , ,
Intel Atom PCs will no longer get Windows 10 updatesIf you own a PC running on an Intel Atom Clover Trail processor, chances are that you wont get the latest Windows 10 Creators Update. According to ZDNet some compatible drivers are preventing owners from obtaining the latest update.
According to a Microsoft spokesperson, “They require additional hardware support to provide the best possible experience when updating to the latest Windows 10 feature update, the Windows 10 Creators Update. However, these systems are no longer supported by Intel (End of Interactive Support), and without the necessary driver support, they may be incapable of moving to the Windows 10 Creators Update without a potential performance impact.”
Microsoft has officially confirmed that it will no longer support Intel Atom Clover Trail processors for its new Windows 10 updates. This comes as a disappointing decision as Intel Atom Clover Trail processor based machines launched when Windows 8 was around and Microsoft itself gave a free upgrade to Windows 10.

Microsoft added that the older Windows 10 Anniversary Update will be seeded to Intel Clover Trail devices and the company will provide security updates until January of 2023. This essentially means that no new Windows 10 features will arrive. Intel gave up on Atom last year due to lack of good performance. If you are still using a machine running on Atom, we advice you move on.

July 20, 2017 , , ,
Blizzard Ending Support for Windows XP and VistaMicrosoft ended mainstream support for Windows XP in 2009 and for Windows Vista in 2012. Five years on, and Blizzard is finally going to stop supporting both of these now ancient operating systems for five of its most popular games.

He goes on to explain that when Microsoft ended support for its own operating systems there were still many people using them to play Blizzard's games. So Blizzard decided to carry on supporting them. In 2017, that's no longer the case. We've had Windows 7, Windows 8, and most recently Windows 10 released and the majority of gamers have upgraded their hardware and embraced more recent versions.

In a post on Blizzard's forums, community manager Nate Valenta announced that starting in October, "we will begin the process of ending support for Windows XP and Windows Vista in World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm."

Blizzard makes it clear that when support ends in October, the games listed above will no longer run on Windows XP or Vista. The end of support will be staggered, so not all games will stop working as we reach October, but it's best to assume they will.

If you are someone who still plays Blizzard's games on these old operating systems, take this as your 10 week warning. In 10 weeks the Blizzard games you enjoy playing are probably going to stop working unless you upgrade. And while performing that upgrade is going to mean spending some cash, it also unlocks several years of new games to play.

July 17, 2017 , , ,
Ever wish you could undo all the changes your kids have made to your PC at home? Or maybe you would like to install some software on your system to test it before purchasing, but you don’t know exactly what it will do to your system?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just restart your computer and all the changes made were simply wiped out? Luckily, there is a way to do this using a program called Deep Freeze by Faronics.
Now you would be right if you looked at that page and thought that this is a program that is used by big companies or institutions. However, those are not their only customers. They sell a standard edition of the program for $45, which in my opinion, is cheap considering the benefits.
I’ve spent a lot more on software and have normally been disappointed. That’s why nowadays I only use freeware or purchase subscription software like Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud. However, this is one program I can recommend purchasing because there simply isn’t a freeware that can do the same thing in such a convenient way.

Use Deep Freeze to Restore Your PC on BootIt’s worth noting that I have not been asked to write this review by Faronics or anything like that. I found out about the program because the community college where I am taking classes uses it and it works exceptionally well. I decided to try it out on my test PC that I use for installing software when I write reviews and it’s made life a lot easier.

Features and Benefits
Since I’m talking up the program so much, let’s go over what it does. Basically, it makes it so that anything you do to your computer can be fixed by just rebooting the machine. Want to delete the entire System32 folder? Go for it. Randomly delete keys from your registry? Not a problem. Install malware and viruses on your system? It’ll be gone after a reboot!
The last point there about viruses brings up one limitation of the Deep Freeze program. Basically, it acts like a reset for your computer hard drive. When it reboots, it gets reloaded to the last frozen state. Whatever happens in that time between reboots is a free for all. This means a virus or worm installed will definitely be removed on reboot, but it could cause damage to other systems until the next reboot happens.
In corporate environments or in institutions, the user accounts are also restricted and the computers are normally forced to restart at least once a day. For home use, I’m the one using it, so I don’t really need that much control. If I’m working with something I know is dangerous, I’ll make sure to restart my computer immediately after.

What I like about the program is that you don’t have to spend any time trying to lock down your computer and you don’t have to spend any extra time recovering your computer. I’ve previously written articles on using system restore, backing up and restoring your registry, restoring your PC to factory settings, and even clean installing Windows 10, but they all require a lot of work plus more work reinstalling your programs, etc., etc.

Deep Freeze also has another state called Thawed. You can reboot the system into thawed mode, whereby you can install more programs, update settings, drivers, etc., and then refreeze the computer in the new state. It’s kind of like using a virtual machine, but not exactly the same thing. Virtual machines are great and I use them a lot, but setting them up can take time and requires a decent amount of technical knowledge.

Installation & Use
Using Deep Freeze requires pretty much no technical knowledge. What the program does is very technical, but the interface is bare-bones and very easy to use. I should also mention that the support is excellent. Since they have a lot of huge corporate clients, they have local staff available that speak great English. I had one issue after installation, which I’ll mention below, so I called and had a representative in less than 2 minutes.

Once you purchase the program and download the ZIP file, extract it and run the application. You should see the main install dialog.

Click Next and then accept the license agreement. After that, you’ll need to enter your license key that should be on the final purchase page and emailed to you.

On the following screen, you’ll pick which drive to configure for deep freezing. I have multiple hard drives in my computer, but I chose to just stick with the C drive since that holds the operating system. You can use it for data drives also if you like.

Next, you have to configure the ThawSpace size. This is a virtual partition that can be used to store data you want to retain even if the system is frozen. I personally recommend unchecking the Create ThawSpace box because it just makes things more confusing.

If you want to retain anything like a file, it’s best to save that data to a drive or partition that is not frozen. If you only have one drive with one partition, you should cancel the install and partition your hard drive. If you have a tiny drive and not enough space to partition, then you can create the ThawSpace, which will show up as another drive when you are using Windows.

The program will now be installed and the computer will reboot. You should see the Deep Freeze icon in the taskbar notification area.

Now this is the place where I had to call customer support. When I right-clicked or double-clicked on the icon, nothing happened. I couldn’t figure it out and the rep told me it’s a security feature. You must either hold down the SHIFT key and then double-click or hold down CTRL + ALT + SHIFT and then press the F6 key.

You’ll see the password dialog pop up, but you can just click OK since there is no password set after a fresh install.

On the main screen, you’ll need to click the Activate Now button to activate the product. You’ll also want to click on the Password tab and type in a new password so that only you can access the settings.

On the Boot Control page, there are basically just three options, which makes using the program very easy: Boot Frozen, Boot Thawed on next x restarts and Boot Thawed. Booting thawed means you’ll be able to make changes to the system and they will be saved rather than removed.

I suggest choosing Boot Thawed, then restarting your computer and then installing any Windows updates, software software, etc. Many times Windows doesn’t complete an update in one boot, so you have to reboot several times. Once you have completed all the updates, set it back to Boot Frozen and then restart.

Overall, it works very well and that’s probably because it’s been around for a long time. I would not recommend using this on your main machine until you test it out on a secondary system. I use it for my test computer, but don’t use it on my main PC since I’m the only one using it and I have a lot of security in place already.

Also, it does have a performance impact, though it is very minimal. If you have a computer with low specs, I would avoid using Deep Freeze. You don’t need a super fast computer, but it shouldn’t be anything more than 3 to 5 years old. With the low price, great customer support and simple setup, Deep Freeze is definitely a program more people could benefit from. Enjoy!

Satish Kumar

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