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  1. If you were reading Neowin at the weekend, you may have seen that the Linux Mint 21.1 Beta ISOs were undergoing testing before release. For those eager to try out the Beta, the wait is now over. The Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce editions are now available for download. While they should all be pretty stable, they are Betas, so you may encounter bugs, which you should report. The main change in this update is the theming used. In this update, the Mint team has opted to make colours more vibrant but reduced where they are used, making sure they’re not too distracting. In this update, accent colours have been removed from the panel and in menus and folders are now yellow. Controversially, the Mint team has also opted to use the blue Aqua theme by default, taking away the familiar mint colour. While this is a big change, one of the core philosophies of the operating system is that users are in control. For that reason, when you see the Welcome screen after installation, one of the first things you’ll be able to do is choose the accent colour and whether you’ll use the light or dark theme. If you want the old theme back in its entirety, select the “Mint-Y-Legacy” theme, it’s installed by default. Another change users will immediately notice is the icons that are shown on the desktop. The home folder has been removed from the desktop because it’s easy to get to from the main menu and the panel or by pressing Super + E on the keyboard (Super is the Windows key). The only things on the desktop now are the installation icon, items you drop on the desktop, files placed in ~/Desktop, and mounted devices. Bibata-Modern-Classic is the new default Other notable changes include a new default cursor and several new alternatives, as well as new sounds that are “modern and reassuring”. Additionally, there are different icon themes to select including Mint-X, Mint-Y, Mint Legacy, Breeze, Papirus, Numix, and Yaro. For a point release, this update is certainly a big one. Linux Mint is normally known for its slow, gradual changes, so users aren’t too shocked, but this update gets away from that a little bit. If you’d prefer to revert to the old look, you can do so easily by selecting the old theme and cursor. The Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce Betas are available to download now. If you don’t like what you’ve read about the new changes and want to stay on Linux Mint 21, that’s fine. It will continue to receive updates until 2027. Linux Mint 21.1 ‘Vera' Beta arrives with new theme and cursors
  2. Besides the official Media Creation Tool app Microsoft provides for creating Windows 10 and 11 install media, users can opt for numerous third-party utilities. Rufus is among the most popular options (as proven by the Microsoft Store App Awards 2022), and today it received an update to version 3.21 Beta. The latest release brings improved Windows support (the app is now better at detecting and reporting Windows versions) and several other improvements. Here is what is new in Rufus 3.21 Beta: Allow the provision of an arbitrary local account username in the Windows User Experience dialog. Improve Windows version reporting from ISO/.wim Update UEFI:NTFS' NTFS drivers to v1.4 and exFAT drivers to v1.9 Switch to remote download for nonstandard GRUB (Fedora 37, openSUSE Live, GeckoLinux) Fix UEFI:NTFS partition not being set in MBR mode for ISOs with a >4GB file (UwUntu) Fix GRUB support for Arch and derivatives, when a non FAT compliant label is used (#2086) Fix incorrect detection of GRUB with nonstandard prefixes Fix tab order not working on the Windows User Experience dialog You can download the latest Rufus Beta from the app's repository on GitHub. Stable versions (portable and installable) are also available on the official website. If you prefer using stable software, check out what is new in Rufus 3.20. If you are new to Rufus, see our guide describing how to create a Windows 11 bootable USB using Rufus. Rufus 3.21 Beta is out with improved Windows support and several fixes Frontpaged: Rufus 3.21.1947 BETA
  3. Stardock announced WindowBlinds 11, an app that allows Windows users to customize the look and feel of their taskbars, window frames, and other aspects of their Windows 10 and Windows 11 PC desktops. A public beta that allows Windows users to try the popular customization app before it officially releases is available now. WindowBlinds 11 allows for unique customization of the Windows Start menu, taskbar, window frames, control buttons, and more using desktop interface themes called skins. WindowBlinds 11 comes equipped with many default skins, but thousands more are available on WinCustomize.com. Users can modify any skin by adjusting the colors, fonts, transparency, and more. “This app has been a cornerstone in our suite of desktop enhancements,” said Brad Sams, Vice President of Stardock Software. “We are thrilled to be releasing the newest version with several highly requested updates, including a new automatic dark mode and improved high DPI support for new skins.” WindowBlinds 11 comes equipped with an in-app browser to make it even easier to find new skins to download and the user interface has been refreshed, too. In addition to being designed to work with all announced versions of Windows 11, support for widgets on the taskbar and for tabs in File Explorer is also included in this release. “Windows 11 introduced a new design language for the OS but we know it’s not for everyone,” Sams said. “With WindowBlinds 11, you can enjoy the benefits of a modern OS, but also the flexibility to customize the interface to fit your own personal theme.” The WindowBlinds 11 beta is available for Windows 10 and Windows 11 users as part of Stardock's Object Desktop suite or individually for $14.99 during the beta period. An upgrade option is available for WindowBlinds 10 owners for $9.99. For more information, visit www.stardock.com or the WindowBlinds 11 website here. Object Desktop includes programs such as Fences, Start10, Groupy, SoundPackager, DeskScapes, and Multiplicity. Disclaimer: Neowin's relationship to Stardock Stardock announces WindowBlinds 11 public beta with automatic dark mode
  4. Oracle released the first beta version of the upcoming virtualization software VirtualBox 7 this week. The new version is available as a test version for Windows, Linux and Mac devices. One of the main improvements of VirtualBox 7 is that it supports Windows 11 officially. VirtualBox users who tried to install Windows 11 in previous versions of VirtualBox may have run into hardware compatibility verification issues. While there are ways around those, it has been a burden. VirtualBox 7 improves the Windows 11 setup experience as well. Besides the improved setup screen, which makes the selection of the local folder for the VM and the ISO image easier, it is supporting unattended setups. It is possible to skip the unattended installation by checking the box on the first page of setup. Unattended installation support allows users to add a user account right away, enter a product key, set up a hostname and domain name, and enable Virtual Box Guest Additions. If the host supports the requirements of Windows 11, the installer in the VirtualBox environment won't throw the unsupported error message anymore during installation; this speeds up the installation of virtual Windows 11 systems significantly. VirtualBox 7 includes a number of additional improvements. Oracle classifies VirtualBox 7.0.0 as a maintenance release: • Audio recording: Now using Vorbis as the default audio format for WebM containers. Opus is no longer being used. • Audio: Added “default” host driver type to make it possible to move VMs (appliances) between different platforms without the need of changing the audio driver explicitly. When the “default” driver is selected, the best audio backend option for a platform will be used. This is the default for newly created VMs. • Guest Control: Implemented initial support for automatic updating of Guest Additions for Linux guests • Guest Control: Implemented ability to wait for and/or reboot the guest when updating Guest Additions via VBoxManage • VBoxManage: Added Guest Control “waitrunlevel” sub-command to make it possible to wait for a guest to reach a certain run level • Windows hosts: Added experimental support of running autostarted VMs in session 0, to allow running VMS even when a usser is not being logged in (disabled by default, please consult the manual) • Audio: Added “default” host driver type to make it possible to move VMs (appliances) between different platforms without the need of changing the audio driver explicitly. When the “default” driver is selected, the best audio backend option for a platform will be used. This is the default for newly created VMs. • Guest Control: Implemented initial support for automatic updating of Guest Additions for Linux guests • Guest Control: Implemented ability to wait for and/or reboot the guest when updating Guest Additions via VBoxManage • VBoxManage: Added Guest Control “waitrunlevel” sub-command to make it possible to wait for a guest to reach a certain run level • Windows hosts: Added experimental support of running autostarted VMs in session 0, to allow running VMS even when a usser is not being logged in (disabled by default, please consult the manual) The company has not revealed yet when VirtualBox 7.0.0 Final will be available. Now You: do you use virtualization software? (via Deskmodder) Oracle VirtualBox 7 Beta adds support for Windows 11
  5. Rufus, a popular third-party app for creating bootable media, has received yet another wonderful update. Version 3.20 BETA introduces the option to create a local offline account and copy regional settings from the current Windows installation. The only caveat here is that the account creation feature can only make a user with the same name as the current one and a blank password. After the first reboot, Windows will prompt you to change the password. Here is the rest of the changelog containing other bugfixes and improvements: Enable applicable Windows User Experience options for Windows 10 Make Windows User Experience options persist between sessions Add automatic local account creation and regional options duplication. This is limited to creating an account with the same name as the current user and with an empty password that the user will be prompted to change after first reboot. Add a workaround for ISOs that have a syslinux symbolic link to /isolinux/ (Knoppix). Revert to offline insertion of registry keys for the TPM/SB/RAM bypass where possible. Remove storage bypass, since this is a bogus bypass that doesn't do anything. Improve BIOS compatibility when displaying the "UEFI boot only" alert message. Fix Windows User Experience dialog appearing twice for Windows To Go. Fix Windows User Experience options not being applied for ARM64. Fix Microsoft Account bypass not being applied unless TPM/SB/RAM bypass is selected. Rufus recently became a go-to utility for those who want to use Windows 11 and not deal with its weird policies and rules. The app can make a Windows 11 install media that bypasses TPM and Secure Boot requirements and automatically rejects data collection prompts. Version 3.19, now available in the stable channel, introduced a much-needed option to bypass the Microsoft Account requirement during the initial setup. You can download Rufus 3.20 BETA from its repository on GitHub. The stable release is available on the official website. The latest Rufus update lets you copy regional settings and create a local Windows account Frontpaged: Rufus 3.20.1926 BETA
  6. Neowin speculated yesterday that the Linux Mint 21 beta releases were imminent, now, the team’s lead has confirmed their release. The team recommends using the beta releases for testing purposes only, as they may contain critical bugs. If you are desperate to give them a go, you can boot them from a LiveUSB without having to install them to your hard drive. Unlike previous versions of Linux Mint, users of Linux Mint 20.3 will be able to upgrade to Linux Mint 21 thanks to the work put into the new graphical Upgrade Tool. Before the introduction of this tool, upgrades were only easy between point releases, and it was preferred that big upgrades were done via a clean installation. With Linux Mint 21, there are lots of improvements. Improvements include better thumbnails for more file types including AppImages, Epubs, and Webp files, a process monitor to see what’s going on in the background, and the inclusion of the back-up software Timeshift as a XApp. The Cinnamon edition ships with Cinnamon 5.4 which includes a major rebase of the window manager, Muffin. If you’d like to give the beta images a whirl, check out the blog posts for the Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce editions for comprehensive information about each of the releases and download links. If you’re waiting for the stable version, it should be ready about a fortnight from now. Linux Mint 21 “Vanessa” beta arrives in three flavours
  7. Earlier this year in May, Microsoft made internet connectivity and Microsoft Account (MSA) mandatory for installing Windows 11 22H2 Insider builds. Thankfully, the OOBE\BYPASSNRO workaround, which we discovered earlier, still worked, and later, one of our forum members found a simple bypass trick to install Windows 11 22H2 via a local account. Now Rufus has joined in too and with its latest pre-release version 3.19 Beta, a new option for bypassing the mandatory requirement for a Microsoft account (MSA) on Windows 11 22H2 has been added. This comes as a part of the new selection dialog for Windows 11 setup customization in Rufus. Alongside the bypass for MSA, the new dialog also gets the option for the TPM and Secure Boot bypass which were added with a previous Rufus 3.18 Beta version. Here is the changelog for the new Rufus 3.19 Beta which describes these new features: Add a new selection dialog for Windows 11 setup customization: Secure Boot and TPM bypass have now been moved to this dialog Also allows to bypass the mandatory requirement for a Microsoft account with Windows 11 22H2 (NB: Network MUST be temporarily disabled or unplugged for the local account creation to be proposed) Rufus 3.19 Beta also has several other changes and improvements. You can find all of them here. Rufus 3.19 adds bypass for mandatory Windows 11 22H2 Microsoft Account requirement Frontpaged: Rufus 3.19.1096 BETA
  8. At its Google I/O event on Wednesday, Google released the second beta of Android 13. The search giant highlighted several new aspects to Android 13 including better privacy controls that help users to limit what data apps have access to, an improved Material You theme system that works across more apps, a new Settings & Privacy page that can help you boost your security, swanky music controls that adjust their look based on the music you’re listening to, and the ability to change the language of each app – something that music be quite handy if you are bilingual and prefer certain apps in a particular language. Google said that many of these features are present today in the second beta of Android 13 and that the new operating system is being made available on a range of devices from Google’s device-maker partners including Asus, Lenovo, Nokia, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Tecno, Vivo, Xiaomi, ZTE, and, of course, it’s available for Pixel devices too. If you want to find out how you can download it, head over to the Android Developer website. With Android 13, privacy and security are very important focuses for Google. Users will have more control over the files they give apps access to, for example, “Files and media” has been removed and two new categories have taken its place, “Photos & videos” and “Music & audio”. Another way that Google is preserving privacy is by no longer needing users to grant location to apps just to enable Wi-Fi scanning. To protect the data you may have copied to the clipboard, Google is adjusting Android so that you get a notification when an app accesses your clipboard. The system will also erase your clipboard history after a short period so apps are blocked from copying information. While this is good from a privacy perspective, it sounds as though it could become annoying if you’re trying to copy and paste between apps, especially if your phone is a bit sluggish. To ensure we are as safe as possible, Google is going to introduce the Settings & Privacy settings page. Here, you’ll see things such as app security, screen lock, Google Security Checkup and Find My Device settings and any requests Google wants you to make to tighten up your security settings. Aside from all of the features mentioned, Android 13 will also improve the tablet experience. It brings better multitasking on tablets and an updated taskbar so you can switch between single tablet view and split screen. To enter split screen mode, just drag and drop a second app onto your screen from the taskbar library and it will share the screen with the app already open. Furthermore, if you are using a stylus pen with your tablet, you’ll be able to rest your hand on the screen without it being misidentified as the pen. Google said that it’s updating more than 20 of its apps to work better on large screens and third-party developers such as TikTok, Facebook, and Zoom are being revamped to work better on tablets. Google releases Android 13 beta 2 with finer privacy controls and improved Material You
  9. Mozilla changed the download behavior of Firefox when it released version 97 of the browser, by skipping the prompt that allowed users to choose whether to Open a file, save it, or cancel the action. When you click on a download link, the file gets saved to your Downloads folder. Most other browsers have this behavior enabled by default, so Mozilla was following the trend. That's not always a good idea. Since the browser downloads files by default, this could result in the Downloads directory getting cluttered with files that you did not want to download, i.e. accidentally clicking a link, or clicking the wrong link. It wasn't surprising to see that many users weren't happy with this change. There are a couple of ways to prevent files from being downloaded, the first of which is to simply change an option under Firefox's Settings > General > Files and Applications. Set it to "Always ask you where to save the Files", and Firefox will display a File Explorer dialog that prompts you to select the download folder, you can hit the Cancel button to skip the download. A better solution is to change a preference in the about:config page that restores the classic behavior, i.e. the prompt that has the Open With and Save options. You can find how to enable the old behavior here. Firefox 101 Beta brings back the download prompt After listening to feedback from users, Mozilla has added the Download prompt back in Firefox's beta channel. A reddit user spotted that the latest version, Firefox 101.0b2, displays the old prompt, giving more control to the user on how the download should be handled. A support page on Mozilla's website explains the change. It also highlights a new option that is available in Firefox's settings. Take a look at the two options below the "Applications" section. The first radio button, when enabled, will Save files by default. The other one, will "ask whether to open or save files". This is essentially the same as changing the preference, but is a more user-friendly way to enable the old download prompt. Opening a file quickly, an easy way to cancel a misclick, and the choice of where the file should get saved are all very useful options to have. Mozilla plans to add an option to allow using the Temp Folder for starting downloads Regardless of whether you clicked on the Open or Download option (while clicking on a link), the file gets saved on to the computer's drive. The only difference between the two options, is the folder where Firefox saves the files to. In prior versions of the browser, clicking the Open button would save the file in the Temporary folder, before opening it in the corresponding program. This option was particularly useful in some scenarios, e.g. if you wanted to read a PDF once. But since Firefox 97 removed the download prompt completely, all files were dumped in the Downloads folder. This has caused some inconvenience for users, there is a lengthy discussion about it on reddit and Bugzilla. The issue has been updated by a Mozilla developer, who stated that a future update for Firefox will add an option to re-enable the use of the Temp folder, (via a sub-folder) for starting downloads. The new option will be an opt-in, i.e., it will not be enabled by default. The "use temp folder" option will be a toggle under about:config, and will also be available via an enterprise policy. Mozilla's developers believe that a file that is saved in the temp folder could result in it being deleted, so users could lose an important file. There are also some concerns regarding the performance on network shares. That's why users will have to decide whether they want to enable the option to use the temp folder for starting downloads, or stick with the default download flow. I think they shouldn't have messed with these options in the first place. Firefox 101 Beta brings back the download prompt allowing users to choose whether to open or save files
  10. The first public beta is here The first public beta of Android 13 is now available for anyone with a compatible Pixel device to download and try out, the search giant announced today. Its release comes ahead of Google’s annual developer conference next month when the company is expected to fully detail its plans for the update — due for release later this year. For end users, the most interesting features are those that have already appeared in Android 13’s initial two developer previews. There’s support for Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio, a new photo picker that lets you restrict which of your photos an app is able to access, new app icon theming options, and a new permission that could cut down on notification spam. Apps will need to ask for permission to access specific filetypes. Image: Google In contrast, the new features for this public beta are much more developer-focused, like changes to the app permission for accessing shared media files in local storage. In a blog post, Google VP of engineering Dave Burke says the permission will now be specific to the type of media an app needs to access — images, video, or audio — rather than simply asking for permission to access all files. Keystore and KeyMint, the parts of Android that can handle cryptographic keys, have been updated to provide more informative error codes. There are also new APIs for audio playback. For more information on how to sign up for and download the beta, check out Google’s Android 13 developer site. Anyone already running the developer preview should automatically receive the new beta. Android 13’s beta is no longer just for developers
  11. Hands-on with the new File Explorer beta on Windows 10 Earlier this week Microsoft released the second update for Windows 10x emulator which included the new File Explorer Beta. Last night we reported how you can install File Explorer beta on Windows 10 and now we have some screenshots to share what’s new in File Explorer beta. This is still the first beta release so it’s barebone compared to the actual File Manager on Windows 10. However, it does give some insights into Microsoft’s roadmap for the future. The first thing you will notice is the modern design which looks much better than the current File Manager. Moreover, Microsoft has also improved the animation which looks better than the current File Manager. However, the new manager is still choppy at best and is missing features. We expect Microsoft to keep updating the File Manager on Windows 10x emulator but the company has not commented on if the app will make its way to Windows 10 in the future. For now, the only way you can try it is to follow the steps in our initial article. That said, we don’t actually recommend doing it as this is not an approved Microsoft app and can damage your PC. If you’re really keen on trying it out then you should set up Windows Sandbox and install the app. Source: Hands-on with the new File Explorer beta on Windows 10 (MSPoweruser)
  12. AdGuard 7.5 Beta introduces DNS filtering and Windows Telemetry blocking support The developers of the privacy app AdGuard have released the first beta version of Adguard 7.5 for Windows to the public. The new version introduces two new features: DNS filtering and Windows Telemetry blocking. Anyone can download the beta version for testing, or wait until version 7.5 is released to the Stable channel. Windows Tracking protection is a new option of the program's built-in Stealth feature. You need to enable Stealth Mode under Settings > Stealth Mode to get started. It lists numerous options, sorted into groups such as Browser API, Tracking methods, or Miscellaneous, that go beyond the mere blocking of advertisement and tracking on the Internet. The new Windows Tracking section introduces four options at the time of writing. The first two, Disable Windows Telemetry and Turn of Advertising ID, are turned off for users who enable Stealth Mode. The other two, Disable Microsoft Defender automatic samples submission and Disable WAP Push message routing service, are disabled by default but can be enabled in the Settings. The options are not as far-reaching as those offered by many Windows 10 privacy tools but they do block the sending of Telemetry data to Microsoft; it is possible that the section will get expanded in future updates. DNS Filtering is the second new feature. While it has been available in other AdGuard products, it is a first for the Windows version. The feature is not enabled by default. Once enabled under Settings > DNS, you may use it to protect DNS traffic from snooping by the Internet Service Provider and third-parties, and to make use of other features the specified DNS server has to offer. Apart from selecting a DNS provider from a preset list of available providers, including several AdGuard operated services, it is possible to specify customer providers and to enable encryption functionality, DNS-over-HTTPS, DNS-over-TLS, or DNS Crypt, on top of that. If you select AdGuard DNS, for instance, you get ad blocking, tracker blocking, protection against known malicious sites, a strict no-logging guarantee and traffic encryption. Closing Words The two new features will find their way into the final version of AdGuard 7.5 for Windows. DNS filtering makes it easy to pick a system-wide DNS provider that protects DNS lookups and may provide other useful services such as the filtering of malicious domains or tracking. You find additional details on the first beta version on the official company forum. AdGuard 7.5 Beta introduces DNS filtering and Windows Telemetry blocking support
  13. Stack Overflow is getting a dark mode, its most upvoted feature request ever It’s available in beta today Image: Stack Overflow Stack Overflow, the popular question and answer site for developers and software engineers, announced a new dark mode today. The company says the mode has been the site’s most upvoted feature request ever. It looks like, well, a dark mode. Here’s a screenshot, provided by Stack Overflow: Image: Stack Overflow You can turn on dark mode by clicking on your profile, “Edit profile and settings,” and “preferences,” the company tells The Verge. Making dark mode took almost a year, but work accelerated on it earlier this year after an engineer had an idea to launch an “ultra dark mode” as a joke at an internal hackathon, the company says. Work on the ultra dark mode contributed to the actual dark mode that’s here today. The company is also launching that ultra dark mode as an Easter egg, which will be available from April 1st through April 3rd. Here’s what that looks like if you’re curious. It doesn’t seem that useful to me, but it is indeed very dark. Image: Stack Overflow Stack Overflow plans to bring dark mode out of beta by the end of the second quarter of this year. If you want to turn on system-wide dark mode on your iOS, Android, macOS, or Windows 10 devices while you’re browsing Stack Overflow, you can follow our guide right here. Source: Stack Overflow is getting a dark mode, its most upvoted feature request ever (The Verge)
  14. Microsoft's Windows 10 Dockable 'News Bar' Now In Beta Microsoft is releasing a new app for Windows 10 called the "Windows News Bar" that will display a docked bar containing news stories from Microsoft News and acts as a stock picker for monitored stocks. Previously spotted by Windows sleuth WalkingCat in February, the Microsoft Store page has been recently been updated with screenshots of the actual program in use. The News Bar is being developed through Microsoft News where they state that the offered news will be shown from over 4,500 news outlets. "Microsoft's Windows News Bar works just like the Windows Taskbar. It's there when you need it, where you need it and how you need it. Customize its appearance in settings to find the experience that's just right for you. If you want to focus, don't worry, you can minimize the News Bar at any time and then bring it back when you're ready for it again", the Microsoft Store page reads. Testing the Windows News Bar When running, the News Bar will allow you to display a docked bar on the top, bottom, left, or right side of the screen that contains a continuously updated list of news stories based on your selected region. BleepingComputer has tested the app and you can see the different ways the News Bar can be docked below. The bottom right picture also shows you how it looks with transparency enabled. When clicking on stories, the selected articles will be loaded in the default browser in Windows 10. The News Bar settings will allow you to customize where the bar is docked, whether you wish to show images or text, and if the bar should be transparent. The News Bar requires Windows 10 April 2018 Update or later and is currently in Beta. To install it, users need to 'Redeem a code' and it not known when it will be publicly available. Source: Microsoft's Windows 10 Dockable 'News Bar' Now In Beta (Bleeping Computer)
  15. Hands-on with the iPadOS 14 developer beta Last year, Apple introduced iPadOS as a way to demonstrate that the operating system for iPhones and the one for iPads are not the same. There was one issue though, which was that they actually were the same. iPadOS 13 was still very much iOS 13, but with some extra tablet-centric features. The company announced iPadOS 14 this week at WWDC, and this is where we can see iOS and iPadOS drift apart a bit more. In fact, the UI changes coming in iOS 14 aren't coming to iPadOS. That includes widgets on the home screen and the new App Library. Presumably, this is because iPads have their own widget space on the home screen, and the dock is bigger. At the same time, we're starting to see some of the design elements that were introduced in macOS Big Sur. Indeed, iPadOS is beginning to become a cross between iOS and macOS. The release notes for iOS and iPadOS are still the same, but that will probably change at some point. Other than that, iPadOS 14 is very much focused on handwriting recognition. You can now use the Apple Pencil to write in any text field, and it will automatically be converted to typed text. In fact, Apple's goal is to make using the Pencil as easy as using a keyboard, adding gestures for erasing text, inserting space between text, and more. Check out the hands-on video below: Hands-on with the iPadOS 14 developer beta
  16. Google releases Android 11 Beta 1.5 to fix some issues Last week, Google finally released the first Android 11 beta build, following a long period of testing developer previews. Android 11 includes a handful of new features focused on privacy, as well as more visible changes such as the Bubbles API. We've compiled some of the best changes in this release, if you're interested. Being that it's a beta release, it naturally came with a few issues, some that were known and some that weren't. Today, the company has released Android 11 Beta 1.5 with a focus on fixes. There are no new features you should expect in this release, but there some major fixes, including for some crashes that forced devices to reboot. Here's what's been fixed: General Devices no longer crash (reboot) while using gesture navigation to switch apps in different orientations while rotating the device at the same time. On Pixel 3 and 3a, users setting up devices after reset can now activate a pSim service if the phone is currently using an eSIM service. Fixed issues that users were having when using contactless payments through Google Pay. Bluetooth The system no longer incorrectly enforces the Bluetooth privileged permission for RemoveBond. This resolves issues that could affect pairing, unpairing, and bond reset flows for Bluetooth devices, such as for Forget Watch on Wear OS devices. Despite the fixes, this release isn't without its own set of known issues, specifically with Android Auto. Users may hear audio coming from the phone's speaker rather than the car's speaker system when connected to Android Auto and listening to music, and it's also possible that Android Auto projection just won't start when you plug in your phone. Some of these issues can be fixed by updating Android Auto itself, Google Play Services, or the Google app, and the audio issue specifically is already fixed in internal builds of Android Auto being tested inside Google. In other words, you might not need to wait for a new beta release for these to be fixed. If you're interested in joining the Android 11 Beta and haven't yet, you can follow our guide to register for the beta program. It only applies to Pixel phones, and other smartphone manufacturers will be releasing their own previews for Android 11 separately, such as in the case of OnePlus. Google releases Android 11 Beta 1.5 to fix some issues
  17. vissha

    Windscribe 2.03.3 Beta

    Windscribe is a VPN desktop application and VPN/proxy browser extension that work together to block ads, trackers, restore access to blocked content and help you safeguard your privacy online. Features: Stop tracking and browse privately Governments block content based on your location. Corporations track and sell your personal data. Add Windscribe VPN to your browser and take back control of your privacy. Unlock geo-restricted content Windscribe VPN masks your IP address. This gives you unrestricted and private access to entertainment, news sites, and blocked content in over 30 different countries. Stop leaking personal information Prevent hackers from stealing your data while you use public WiFi, and block annoying advertisers from stalking you online. Just a VPN will not protect you from this. Share Privacy with Others Use Secure.link next time you send anyone a link to anything and show how much tracking is actually happening on most websites. We delete everything our privacy is a right. We don’t track you. We don’t keep logs. Go beyond basic VPN protection For comprehensive privacy protection, use our desktop VPN and browser combo (they’re both free). Extra Layer of Security Using a Windscribe will give you an additional layer of security. Savvy Internet users and newbies alike are switching to Windscribe VPN for Windows, making it one of the fastest growing Internet security companies. Tech sites recommend Windscribe for windows for all sorts of reasons, but mainly: To buy securely without giving away your location Stay safe on public networks To keep all your data, video calls, search histories, and financial data private To transfer files without worrying about someone watching (like your ISP) Bypass Censorship Windscribe VPN for Windows provides unlimited access to a truly open, free Internet. Our strong encryption offers privacy and security, so you can navigate around censorship restrictions and unlock regional content. Firewalls are erected to block users from accessing certain websites in some countries, workplace and even schools. Some websites like Netflix block access to premium content for countries other than the US. With Windscribe VPN for Windows, you can bypass this firewalls and restriction quickly and easily. If you find yourself in locations that don't allow you to access your favorite websites, you can use Windscribe VPN for Windows to bypass any location-based filter to gain uncensored access to content you want. Fast and Secure Internet Access Besides hiding your IP and mixing your traffic with that of other users, Windscribe VPN for Windows also encrypt your traffic between secured Windscribe VPN servers and your Windows computers to make your personal information inaccessible to third party agents like hackers, ISPs and 3 government agencies. We are continuously optimizing our networks to provide unlimited bandwidth and speed so you can stream you favorite movies and TV shows in high definition even while connected to Windscribe VPN. Changelog: Win - Beta: v2.03.3 - Added custom DNS server support - Added meme support and ability to upload custom background images - Added ability to blur IP via double click - Added subtle shadows to main screen assets - Fixed crash when hiding main windows when log viewer dialog is opened - Fixed installer error if firewall is ON while disconnected Mac - Beta: v2.03.3 - Added custom DNS server support - Added meme support and ability to upload custom background images - Added ability to blur IP via double click - Added subtle shadows to main screen assets - Fixed crash when hiding main windows when log viewer dialog is opened - Fixed installer error if firewall is ON while disconnected - Fixed crash on OS X Sierra (10.12) Home: https://windscribe.com/ Setup Guides: https://windscribe.com/guides Features: https://windscribe.com/features Changelog - Win: https://windscribe.com/changelog/windows Changelog - Linux: https://windscribe.com/changelog/linux Changelog - Mac: https://windscribe.com/changelog/mac Changelog - All: https://windscribe.com/changelog Download Page: https://windscribe.com/download Downloads: Win - Win 7, 8, 10: Latest Beta: https://assets.totallyacdn.com/desktop/beta/Windscribe_2_03_build3_beta.exe Latest Stable: https://assets.totallyacdn.com/desktop/win/Windscribe.exe Legacy: https://assets.totallyacdn.com/desktop/win/Windscribe-legacy.exe Mac - MacOS 10.12+: Latest Beta: https://assets.totallyacdn.com/desktop/beta/Windscribe_2_03_build3_beta.dmg Latest Stable: https://assets.totallyacdn.com/desktop/mac/Windscribe.dmg Legacy: https://assets.totallyacdn.com/desktop/mac/Windscribe-legacy.dmg Linux: https://windscribe.com/guides/linux Windscribe for Your Phone iOS - iOS 10+ Android Android 4.2.2+ Direct APK Windscribe for Your Browser Google Chrome Chrome 39+ Firefox Firefox 57+ Opera Opera 37+ MS Edge 79+ Windscribe for Your TV Amazon FireTV Gen 2+ Nvidia Shield KODI Windscribe for Your Router DD-WRT DD-WRT Tutorial Tomato Tomato Tutorial Buy Pre-configured Just do it for me Config Generators OpenVPN Generate OpenVPN Configs IKEv2 Generate Ikev2 Configs SOCKS5 Generate SOCKS5 Configs WireGuard Generate WireGuard Configs
  18. MediaMonkey is a music manager and media jukebox for serious music collectors and iPod users. It catalogs your CDs, OGG, WMA, MPC, FLAC, APE, WAV and MP3 audio files. It looks up missing Album Art and track information via Freedb and the web, and includes an intelligent tag editor and an automated file and directory renamer to organize your music library. Its player automatically adjusts volume levels so that you don’t have continually fiddle with the volume control and supports hundreds of Winamp plug-ins and visualizations; or if you prefer, it can use Winamp as the default player. MediaMonkey includes a CD ripper, CD/DVD Burner, and audio converter for saving music, and manual or automated playlist editors for creating music mixes. It also includes portable audio device synchronization that allows you to synch tracks and play lists with devices such as the iPod and other portable audio devices. Gold FEATURES: - Find music with advanced search functionality that digs through your collection to find tracks according to almost any criteria that you can think of. Search for Composer, Year, Beats per minute; find Lyrics, etc. and stop pulling your hair out trying to find music you know you have. - Customize your library by setting filters to display only Artists or Albums that match criteria that you set. For example, set a filter that causes Artists to appear in the tree only if they contain Albums that are currently available, and are of any genre other than 'Children'. - Encode unlimited MP3s without having to manually install a new MP3 encoder (the free version of MediaMonkey includes a time-limited LAME MP3 encoder. If you're so inclined, you can manually replace it with the free LAME encoder, or you can just upgrade to MediaMonkey Gold). - Catalog your physical CDs and use the Virtual CD feature to keep track of what CDs you own and at the same time see which subset of tracks from those CDs are copied to your hard drive. Instead of tracking your CDs and tracks separately, the virtual CD function gives you an integrated view... - Import and save audio tracks from Audio CDs and MP3 CDs with unprecedented flexibility using the Virtual CD. It allows you to sample tracks from various sources, select which ones you want to import, and then import and save the files in a single operation. - Create Previews, short samples of audio tracks, that you can use when trying to decide which audio files you want to add to your collection. - Use a Sleep Timer to play your music, gradually fade it over a set period of time, and then turn off your PC - perfect for listening to tunes before you go to sleep. - Burn CDs at the maximum speed permitted by your hardware. All MediaMonkey Gold Features: - Audio / Music Manager - Media Player (play MP3, OGG, WMA etc.) - Equalizer / DSP Effects / Volume Leveler - Party Mode & Auto-DJ - CD Ripper: Encode MP3, OGG, WMA, FLAC - Audio Converter - Auto Renamer / File Organizer - Auto Tag Editor with Album Art Lookup - Find Duplicate Tracks and Missing Tags - Playlist Manager (auto music mixes) - Generate reports and statistics - Customization via scripts - iPod and MP3 Player Synchronization - Integrated CD/DVD Burner (Audio & Data) (up to 48x) (up to 4x) - File Monitor (automatically updates library) - Advanced Searches and AutoPlaylists - Advanced Portable Device Synchronization with on-the-fly format conversion - Unlimited MP3 encoding - Virtual CD / Previews - Advanced Filters - Sleep Timer Home: https://www.mediamonkey.com/ Changelog: https://www.ventismedia.com/mantis/view_all_bug_page.php?filter=5ed8d92f5bd6b Downloads: Installer - Debug: https://www.mediamonkey.com/beta/MediaMonkey_5.0.1.2419_Debug.exe Installer - Regular: https://www.mediamonkey.com/beta/MediaMonkey_5.0.1.2419.exe Fix - AMPED: Site: https://www.mirrored.to Sharecode: /files/APCQXTTZ/MediaMonkey.Keygen-AMPED.7z_links
  19. Hard Disk Sentinel is a multi-OS hard disk drive monitoring application. Its goal is to find, test, diagnose and repair hard disk drive problems, display hard disk health, performance degradations and failures. Hard Disk Sentinel gives complete textual description, tips and displays/reports the most comprehensive information about the HDD inside the computer or in an external enclosure (USB / e-SATA). Many different alerts and report options are available to ensure maximum safety of your valuable data. Hard Disk Sentinel monitors hard disk status, including health, temperature and all S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology, built in most hard disks today) values for each hard disks. Also it measures the hard disk transfer speed in real time which can be used as a benchmark or to detect possible hard disk failures, performance degradations.Hard Disk Sentinel can be effectively used to prevent serious damage or data loss because it has the most sensitive hard disk health rating system which is extremely sensitive to disk problems. This way even a small problem can't be missed and a failure or data loss can be predicted. This gives opportunity to backup important and valuable data. The Professional version has scheduled and automatic (on-problem) backup options to prevent data loss caused by not only failure but by malware or accidental delete also. Here are some key features of "Hard Disk Sentinel Professional": - Easy to use interface - All information are displayed in the main window of the application. Quick controls allow easy navigation to access all hard disks, partitions and different information. Intuitive user interface elements display information by using green/yellow/red color to indicate the level of problem. Detailed text description and context sensitive help guides the user thru the features and options. - 1. Install > 2. Configure > 3. Stay protected - Just install, configure alerts and backup options and your system is now safe. You'll be notified about the problems - but if everything is correct, Hard Disk Sentinel just sits on tray and displays current status. The data is protected even in 24 hours daily, 7 days a week. - Instant S.M.A.R.T. analysing - Hard Disk Sentinel can communicate with IDE, Serial ATA and SCSI hard disks to detect their status and temperature. Disk status are displayed immediately as you launch the application, there is no need to analyse disks for a long period. It displays the current and maximum temperature for the hard disk. - It can read all general and vendor-specific attributes and monitor their values. For advanced users, all raw data are displayed also including power-on hours or number of read/write errors. Hard Disk Sentinel interprets the performance and fitness related S.M.A.R.T. values and displays the calculated Performance and Health percentage, total power on time and estimated lifetime remaining. - Disk status in Windows Explorer - View the current health status and used space in Windows Explorer or in any other application, so you'll always know the amount of used space for each partitions and the disk condition. - Information on demand - It can display current hard disk temperatures and health on the system tray, in a small status window and on the desktop itself. Average and maximum temperatures are logged for all hard disks and these informations are displayed in graphs for statistical purposes. - Logging - Hard Disk Sentinel logs all degradations in all SMART parameters. For example, if a new uncorrectable sector is found on your hard disk, you will be notified. - Alerts - Hard Disk Sentinel can make different kind of alerts upon different problems. It can execute various tasks (even external applications) in case of a problem. There is an option to send daily emails about current status. - Hard Disk Details - Detects and displays every information about the hard disk, from the revision number and buffer size to all features it has. The maximum available and current transfer modes are also displayed. - Hard Disk Performance - Logs how much data were read from or written to the hard disk. Displays current transfer rates for both reading and writing and estimates the maximum available (theoretical) transfer rate for a particular hard disk. - Hard Disk Partitions - Displays partitions for each physical hard disks and type and usage informations about them so you cannot run out of space. Hard Disk Sentinel sends this information automatically in alert/status messages. - Shutdown - It offers option to shut down the computer on failure, overheat or parameter degradation. This option can be used to prevent further data loss. - Acoustic Management - It offers option to control the acoustic level of IDE/S-ATA hard disk. It is possible to increase performance or make the disks more silent. - Clock Synchronization - It offers option to synchronize the PC clock with an atomic clock via NTP (Network Time Protocol). - Improvements - Hard Disk Sentinel is constantly improving. More features will be available soon. If you have any idea which can be useful, just let us know. Changelog: Hard Disk Sentinel Pro beta version 5.70.8: - new function for advanced users (PRO version only): Disk menu -> Device Specific Information to detect and display additional details including: Power on time when last error detected/logged by the hard disk/SSD (registered version only) Time since last error detected/logged by the hard disk/SSD (registered version only) sector(s) where errors happened previously and their location by block number on the disk surface map (registered version only) ATA error log: last known errors, their description, registers, error details, last commands before error ATA self test log: last disk self tests, self test results and details (registered version only) ATA drive statistics: lifetime details, errors, temperature statistics ATA drive statistics: rotating media statistics (hard disk drives) or solid state device statistics (SSDs) ATA drive disk utilization and absolute limits for amount of reads/writes and temperature limits (if defined by the manufacturer) ATA drive temperature statistics, last known recorded temperature values ATA drive additional features and functionality supported by the hard disk drive/SSD NVMe error log NVMe self test log: last disk self tests, test results and possible error details (registered version only) SCSI/SAS defect list information SCSI/SAS background scan status information, protocol specific port information - Device Specific Information recorded and can be re-loaded to review previous statistics - Device Specific Information automatically shows the changes of most important values compared to previous data (registered version only) - improved database saving and option to re-load last known status of offline disks - improved support of Intel VROC NVMe RAID configurations - improved support of some Micron/Crucial SATA SSDs Home: https://www.hdsentinel.com/ Changelog-Beta: https://www.hdsentinel.com/beta5/hdsentinel_beta_revision.txt Download Page: https://www.hdsentinel.com/download.php Downloads: Installer: https://www.hdsentinel.com/beta5/hdsentinel_pro_setup_5708-ddsi.zip HD Sentinel 5.x PRO Activator 1.1 by @RadiXX11: RELEASE INFO: Date: 2019-03-13 Version: 1.1 File: Activator.exe MD5: deb25d06d1e4094a2f45dea644bb1b22 SHA1: a9af1858036613b979db2bb86a1a70b4a236010a CHANGELOG: Format of key file updated for version 5.30.10 DOWNLOAD - FIX: Site: https://www.upload.ee Sharecode [?]: /files/9694405/HDS5PA.1.1.zip.html MIRROR - FIX: Site: https://mega.nz Sharecode [?]: /file/IdFFCSQY#Let-9PQUw2LuO5pp1Cr3k3rTYAdb8jIB35bfprOQkjA Patch - MPT-Mod: Site: https://www.mirrored.to Sharecode [?]: /files/NFDCP22J/HardDiskSentinel.Patch-MPT-Mod.7z_links H.D.S.Hungary.Hard.Disk.Sentinel.Professional.v5.70.8.11973.Beta-DVT: Site: https://www.upload.ee Sharecode [?]: /files/13567801/H.D.S.Hungary.Hard.Disk.Sentinel.Professional.v5.70.8.11973.Beta-DVT.zip.html or Site: https://krakenfiles.com Sharecode [?]: /view/8zu9IrodkS/file.html Hard Disk Sentinel Pro 5.70.8 Beta Portable: Site: https://www.upload.ee Sharecode [?]: /files/13568148/Hard_Disk_Sentinel_Pro_Portable_v5.70.8_Beta.7z.html
  20. Popular software programs contain millions of line of code. Bad guys exploit flaws (vulnerabilities) in the code to deliver malware. Except when they can't. Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit wraps three layers of security around popular browsers and applications, preventing exploits from compromising vulnerable code. Not an antivirus, but compatible with most antivirus, Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit is a small, specialized shield designed to protect you against one of the most dangerous forms of malware attacks. Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit is a straightforward piece of software that protects your system's vulnerable points from web-based attacks. The installation procedure takes little time to finish and does not need special attention from the user. At startup, Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit creates an icon in the system tray area and activates the protection status. You can bring up the main application window to view total shielded applications, blocked exploit attempts, and quarantined files. In the secondary tab you can view the list of third-party applications that can be guarded by Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit. It includes Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Opera, Java, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft office tools (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), VLC Media Player, and so on. All activity is recorded to a log window; selected entries can be excluded from the list as well as cleared. It is possible to create exclusions when it comes to guarded applications. There are no other notable features provided by the application. Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit runs on a barely noticeable amount of CPU and RAM, so it is not a concern to the computer's overall performance. Since it minimizes to the taskbar, it does not interfere in the user's regular activity. We have not come across any issues throughout our evaluation, as the app did not hang, crash or pop up error dialogs. All in all, Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit is a simple yet effective tool for safeguarding programs against e-threats. Since it does not comprise a complex configuration set, the tool is accessible for advanced users as well as rookies. Changelog: https://forums.malwarebytes.com/topic/205865-malwarebytes-anti-exploit-113-build-424-released-oct-27-2021/ We're happy to announce the release of Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Beta 1.13 Build 424. This is a full Beta version with premium features available to Free users: Download this Release version here Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Stability/issues fixed: Fixed slowdown issues with MS Excel application Fixed false positives with MS Office products Improved Logging capabilities Internal Product Improvements Home: https://www.malwarebytes.com/antiexploit/ / https://forums.malwarebytes.com/forum/126-anti-exploit-beta/ Changelog: https://www.malwarebytes.com/support/releasehistory / https://support.malwarebytes.com/hc/en-us/sections/360005863433-Release-History-News Download: https://data-cdn.mbamupdates.com/web/mbae-setup- or https://malwarebytes.box.com/s/4jj2ck57d0sjzsydb9o7zr37jfbf72ft
  21. Homepage : https://www.7-zip.org/ 21.04 beta 2021-11-02 ------------------------- - 7-Zip now reduces the number of working CPU threads for compression, if RAM size is not enough for compression with big LZMA2 dictionary. - 7-Zip now can create and check "file.sha256" text files that contain the list of file names and SHA-256 checksums in format compatible with sha256sum program. 7-Zip can work with such checksum files as with archives, but these files don't contain real file data. The context menu commands to create and test "sha256" files: 7-Zip / CRC SHA / SHA-256 -> file.sha256 7-Zip / CRC SHA / Test Archive : Checksum The commands for command line version: 7z a -thash file.sha256 *.txt 7z t -thash file.sha256 7z t -thash -shd. file.sha256 New -shd{dir_path} switch to set the directory that is used to check files referenced by "file.sha256" file for "Test" operation. If -shd{dir_path} is not specified, 7-Zip uses the directory where "file.sha256" is stored. - New -xtd switch to exclude directory items from processing. Download 7-Zip 21.04 beta (2021-11-02): Link Type System Description Download .exe 64-bit Windows x64 7-Zip for Windows Download .exe 32-bit Windows x86 Download .exe 64-bit Windows arm64 Download .msi 64-bit Windows x64 (alternative MSI installer) 7-Zip for 64-bit Windows x64 (Intel 64 or AMD64) Download .msi 32-bit Windows x86 (alternative MSI installer) 7-Zip for 32-bit Windows Download .7z Windows x86 / x64 7-Zip Extra: standalone console version, 7z DLL, Plugin for Far Manager Download .tar.xz 64-bit Linux x86-64 7-Zip for Linux: console version Download .tar.xz 32-bit Linux x86 Download .tar.xz 64-bit Linux arm64 Download .tar.xz macOS (arm64 / x86-64) 7-Zip for MacOS: console version Download .7z any / Windows 7-Zip Source code Download .7z any / Windows LZMA SDK: (C, C++, C#, Java)
  22. HitmanPro.Alert is a lightweight application able to monitor your browser activity and detect potential threats that may comprise system security. The tool was specifically built to add an extra layer of security to your system, in order to protect you whenever you shop on the Internet or perform online banking operations. It offers real-time PC protection against software exploits, drive-by downloads, crypto-ransomware, online fraud, and identity theft. Intuitive interface and malware scans The tool sports an attractive and clear-cut interface, and offers to perform a malware scan right after installation, in order to get the security assessment of your computer. Scan results show the name, full path of infected file and type of each threat. You can either delete files or ignore threats, as well as apply an action to the current file or all of them. These log details can be saved to file for later examination. Safe browsing and exploit mitigation When it comes to safe browsing, HitmanPro.Alert protects your activities surrounding online banking, shopping or web mail. It offers support for many browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Maxthon, Comodo Dragon, Pale Moon, Tor Browser Bundle, Avant Browser, Spark Browser, SRWare Iron and Yandex Browser. The feature dedicated to exploit mitigation prevents several third-party applications from current and future vulnerability attacks, like Java, VLC Media Player, Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, Wordpad and Adobe Flash Player. Currently running processes that aren't supported by HitmanPro.Alert are shown in another panel, so you can at least be aware of risks. Vaccination, CryptoGuard and webcam notifier The software application sports additional tools to reduce the risk of malware infections. For instance, it can stop sandbox-aware malware by making the computer look like it belongs to a virus researcher, block crypto-ransomware (like CryptoLocker) by keeping local and shared files safe, or warn you when your webcam was silently turned on to watch you. Keystroke encryption, process protection, network lockdown and USB blocker Moreover, the program is able to encrypt all keystrokes to prevent keyloggers from hijacking your passwords, private messages and other sensitive information, prevent malware from infecting the main executable of a trusted process (e.g. antivirus), stop backdoor traffic by locking down the network, and block malicious USB devices that pose as a keyboard. Home: https://www.hitmanpro.com/en-us/alert.aspx Changelog: https://www.hitmanpro.com/en-us/whats-new/hitmanpro.alert Download Page: https://www.hitmanpro.com/en-us/downloads WilderSecurity Release Info: https://www.wilderssecurity.com/threads/hitmanpro-alert-support-and-discussion-thread.324841/page-663#post-3049496 Downloads: Installer: https://secure2.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/hitmanpro-alert.aspx or Installer - Direct Link: https://dl.surfright.nl/hmpalert3b927.exe PreActivated EXE: Site: https://www.mirrored.to Sharecode [?]: /files/MSAMPK89/HitmanPro.Alert_3.8.20_Build-927_Beta_PA.rar_links
  23. Google has released the final beta build of Android 12 adding a couple of changes to the overall design of the OS. A new lock screen shortcut, a new clock widget, and a redesigned calculator app, a new widget called “Paint Chip” are some of the headline features of the Android 12 Beta 5 update. As pointed out by 9to5Google, the Clock app now respects the Material You colors — it’s now responsive to your wallpaper’s color. The Clock app also has a revamped timer, and it looks beautiful. The final beta update extends the availability of the Material You design to the Calculator app as well. The buttons in the Calculator app are now circled, and that makes it a lot like the iOS Calculator app. Image: 9to5google Apart from extending the availability of the Material You design to some of its stock apps, Google has also added changes to other areas of the OS. For example, the final beta build adds a universal search bar within the app drawer of the Pixel launcher, enabling users to search for items like system settings, apps, contacts, and pretty much everything that’s in your phone. Also, the final beta update has added some changes to the lock screen. The updated lock screen now has all your smart home shortcuts and Google Wallet shortcut. Image: XDA Talking about the Paint Chip widget, it can only be unlocked after dialing the clock in Android 12’s Easter egg to midnight(via XDA). It shows you the color palette, which is generated by monet, of your wallpaper. Tapping on each item will show you the exact color value and framework entry. Image: XDA The latest beta update also includes other minor changes, you can learn about them in this post published by XDA-Developers. Meanwhile, Google will release the stable Android 12 update in a few weeks, but if you cannot wait to try out the latest version of Android, you can install the beta update on your supported Pixel smartphone. You can follow The Verge‘s guide on how to install the beta update. Android 12’s last beta build released: new animation and Material You makeover
  24. Making what’s possible today even faster and easier Google’s Chrome Beta 94 announcement mentions that Google is implementing some new web standards that could make browser-based gaming experiences even better. The soon-to-be-released WebCodecs could help make cloud gaming easier and faster, while the experimental WebGPU could make it easier for developers of games that run in the browser to tap into your computer’s power. WebCodecs is an API designed to give developers better access to the video encoding/decoding codecs that are already bundled with your browser, which figure out what to do with video streams. While there are already methods of getting video to play in Chrome, they’re not necessarily designed for things like cloud gaming, which is best when it’s as low-latency as possible. WebCodecs is built to avoid overhead, making it easier to get the incoming video stream onto your screen as fast as possible, potentially with the help of hardware decoding. This will also, in theory, make it perform better than it currently does on slower machines (which are the kinds of computers where cloud gaming is most desirable anyhow). The newer, more experimental WebGPU gives web developers better access to your computer’s graphics horsepower, by letting them hook into your computer’s native graphics API (similar to Apple’s Metal, Microsoft’s DirectX 12, or Vulkan). In simpler terms, it makes it easier for web developers to talk to your graphics card in a language it understands, without having to go through other layers that could slow things down. It’s meant to be a next-generation version of WebGL, which lets developers tap into the (now reasonably out of date) OpenGL framework. In the future, the tech should make it easier for developers to make graphically intense games that run in the browser, tapping into the full power of current-generation GPUs. Both technologies have their place outside of gaming too. In a July 2020 talk, Google mentioned that Zoom was interested in using WebCodecs for videoconferencing, and WebGPU could be used to render 3D models in the browser or to accelerate machine learning models. It makes sense that they’d show up in Chrome, as these are all areas Google plays in, from cloud gaming with Google Stadia, to its own video conferencing apps. Both pieces of tech are open standards though, developed by the W3C, and other browser makers have begun testing them as well. Of course, we probably won’t be seeing experiences powered by WebCodecs or WebGPU for a little while. While WebCodecs is actually getting close to release (it’s expected to be turned on by default in the upcoming Chrome 94), developers will still have to make their apps work with it. As for WebGPU, it’s currently in its experimental trial phase, which Google expects to end in early 2022. Whether it’ll end up as a feature at that point depends on how the trial goes, if the specification is done, and if enough people are interested in using it. While these technologies may not make things that were impossible possible, they’re exciting nonetheless. When things are easier, or more flexible, it lowers the barrier of entry for developers. For gamers looking to play on the web, either through streaming or native games, the time developers save on figuring out how to get frames onto your screen is time they can spend making other parts of the experience better. Chrome 94 beta tests some next-gen tech for gaming in your browser
  25. The Android 12 beta 4 was released a few weeks ago. Along with this latest full iteration of the beta program, we received a few new features and bug fixes. Google has now released a minor update to fix a few bugs that were present in beta 4. So far, there are no apparent changes to the Android 12.4 OS. This means the latest release is probably just to fix a few of the bugs. This release is also a very small release at only 6MB, possibly indicating a last bug squashing before the final stable release, which should be coming in mid to late September. Beta 4.1 fixes a boot loop issue that irritated users, along with a fix that now allows your Android 12 device to connect to a VPN. Other issues addressed with this bug fix include fixing the heads-up functionality, which means that notifications now pop up immediately. Here is the full list of bug fixes that have been release: As mentioned they fixed issues where some devices ended up in a boot loop after restarting. Also, they fixed the heads-up notifications not appearing. They addressed issues where certain device volume controls sometimes did not work when casting. They fixed Face Unlock not working on some devices. They addressed the issues that kept users from granting the Nearby Devices permission to the Phone app. As brought up briefly, they fixed issues where, after connecting the phone to a VPN, the phone could not connect to the internet. If you are already part of the Android 12 beta program, you will receive an OTA to install this latest update. However, if you want to test out the latest version of Android 12, you can also manually download the OTA and flash it to your device to install and test it. Many of us were hoping that the next release would be the ‘Release Candidate’, which would indicate that the stable release is next. However, bug fixes are a critical part of the process and cannot be overlooked. Closing words Google has released a minor update for Android 12 beta 4, which aims to correct a few bugs that users were experiencing. While bug fixes are critical to ensuring that a stable release is possible, I look forward to the stable release coming, hopefully, at the end of September. Android 12.4.1 released to fix some bugs
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