Before we get started, don’t worry: It looks like the new version of Windows doesn't change the formula too much. After a leaked version dampened the fanfare of the Windows 11 reveal, yesterday Microsoft shared everything you need to know about its next OS.
That included how Windows 11 changes the tablet PC experience. The final version of the OS seems to have some nifty upgrades, like larger touch targets so you can more easily resize apps. There's also a reworked touchscreen keyboard, which sits in a corner of the screen for thumb typing.
At its core, though, changes come in the form of a new Start menu, via the new centered taskbar we saw last week. New features include Snap Groups, collections of apps that you lump together on the taskbar, launching or switching to pairs or trios — or more — of apps at the same time. Maybe you want Chrome alongside Slack? (Shouldn’t you be using Edge?) Maybe a Word document alongside your Evernote collection?
Windows 11 can also, finally, juggle apps across multiple displays without wreaking havoc on your workflow — something we knew was coming. If you disconnect an external monitor from your laptop, all of the apps from that secondary screen will just be minimized — but it’ll remember the placement for next time a monitor is connected.
Of course, there’s a lot more. For what to expect when it launches later this year, start here.
— Mat Smith
Apple might be planning a cheaper iPhone with a big display
We could get a 6.7-inch iPhone priced under $900.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst who's been historically accurate when it comes to Apple predictions on Apple's future plans, expects the next iPhone lineup to include affordable 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch models. Kuo believes Apple will launch the two low-end models along with high-end 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch iPhone 14s next year — we’re likely to skip unlucky number 13. Kuo also thinks the affordable 6.7-inch model will cost less than $900. Continue reading.
The cheap smartphone will come with Google and Snapchat's services built-in.
Making $900 look incredibly expensive, Google’s collaboration with Jio in India has borne fruit. Last summer, Google became the latest tech player to invest in India's biggest mobile network, Jio. Its 7.7 percent stake was the second largest after Facebook's 9.9 percent share. Google said it would work with Jio on low-cost Android phones built for India's mobile-first society — and here it is. I say it’ll be cheaper than the rumored big, cheap iPhone, but Jio hasn’t unveiled pricing just yet.
The device will have onscreen and in-camera translation tools that can read aloud text from messages, web pages, apps and photos. Google is also promising to deliver regular Android security updates for the JioPhone Next. It will also feature an upgraded camera over other low-end handsets, complete with improved nighttime and low-light photos and a HDR mode. Continue reading.
Android apps are coming to Windows 11
They're properly integrated into the OS, too.
One of the greatest disadvantages for Microsoft's app store is a dearth of compatible apps, which made things like Windows on ARM hard to love. Today, the company announced that Android apps will work on Windows 11 — better than they have in the past.
They won't just be limited to emulator windows on the software. The integration means the apps will be in the Start menu, show up with individual dedicated icons on the taskbar and launch with desktop shortcuts, too. They'll start to appear in the Microsoft Store, but you can also install them via the Amazon app store. Continue reading.
A $240 5G phone that's predictably average.
For $240, the OnePlus Nord N200 5G offers compelling features like a 90Hz screen and triple camera system — but only on paper. In reality, there are caveats like a not-great LCD panel and sluggish performance. Yes, it’s a cheap 5G phone, but there are too many areas in need of improvement, according to Reviews Editor Cherlynn Low. It’s also a T-Mobile exclusive. Continue reading.
Save on 'Mass Effect Legendary Edition,' 'Cyberpunk 2077' and many other titles.
The 2021 Steam Summer Sale has begun and until 1 PM ET on July 8th, you can score deals on thousands of PC games, big and small. Among the titles you can pick up at a discount are Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which is half off at $20, and Mass Effect Legendary Edition (already down from $60 to $50). Many people's favorite game of 2020, Hades, is down 30 percent to $17.49, while Sony’s Horizon Zero Dawn, now on PC, has dropped from $50 to $30. Continue reading.
BCIs are exciting, but don’t buy into the fiction just yet.
Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) are devices that read the electrochemical firing of the brain’s myriad synapses, interprets and translates that signal into a digital format that can be understood by computers. Research on the technology began in the 1970s, and by the mid-1990s, the very first BCI prototypes were installed in human craniums.
Despite numerous advances over the past decade, BCI technology, both invasive and non-invasive, still faces significant roadblocks in getting out of the lab and (literally) into the public’s consciousness. Continue reading.