Microsoft published a list of applications and services that will be removed or deprecated in the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. One of the applications stated for deprecation is the 32 year old MS Paint, that has been part of every version of Windows ever made.
After an overwhelming response from users on the internet, Microsoft announced in a blog post that the venerable drawing utility will be removed as part of default software suite but will be available as a download through the Windows Store. Microsoft instead wants users to use Paint 3D, which was introduced earlier this year in the Windows 10 Creators Update and features a much expanded set of drawing tools, including 3D objects.
The new version of Windows will be available later this year in fall.
WhatsApp has been on a roll this year, adding feature upon feature to the world’s most popular messaging app to make it more appealing to the users. The company is continuing the streak, and has added support for all types of file transfers (including archives) as well as shared media bundling in the stable version of the Android app. These features had been under testing in WhatsApp beta for Android for some time now. However, users still continue to wait for the final release of the message recall feature that has been leaked several times already.
To use the new feature, WhatsApp users on Android can head to Google Play to download the latest version of the app. Apart from support for all file types and media bundling, the latest WhatsApp update also enables text formatting in the chat. When typing text in a chat window, users can now tap and hold to select the text to easily bold, strikethrough, or italicise. This feature was also available earlier to beta users.
WhatsApp media bundling
Several beta users last month also started receiving new shared media bundling feature. WhatsApp users will now be able to send a bunch of photos to their friends, who will receive them bundled as an album and not as before, one after another. With the new update, once a user opens an album, all images are shown on a single page. The feature also indicates that WhatsApp will give more room for shared photos. This WhatsApp feature was rolled out to iPhone users last month, and refines the sharing of multiple photos on the platform.
The new WhatsApp for Android update also brings minor change to the WhatsApp call screen where users will now have to swipe up instead of sideways to pick up a call. The revamped WhatsApp call screen was also spotted last month.
There’s no avoiding it: High Sierra, the next major release of macOS, is going to feel like a somewhat boring update to most people. It’s full of foundational refinements and new technologies that will prepare your Mac for very cool things that are coming over the next few years. There’s a whole new file system underneath everything! But feature-wise, High Sierra lacks any new apps or consumer-facing changes that will make it all that exciting for Mac users.
If you’re a photographer, you’ll certainly appreciate the revamped Photos app and its more powerful editing tools. Mail, Safari, Notes, Spotlight, and Siri are all slightly better on High Sierra, too. But even Apple’s other refinement-focused macOS releases — such as El Capitan or Mountain Lion or Snow Leopard — contained more new stuff. This time, the most important changes are all happening under the hood. And even if you’re unlikely to notice all of them, some are pretty monumental for the operating system’s future. You can install the public beta for High Sierra as of today.
THE SMALL CHANGES YOU CAN SEE
Photos is the app that’s received the most attention from Apple in macOS High Sierra, and the payoff for that work is significant. Over the last couple years, Photos has focused largely on simplifying the hassle of managing your photo library and syncing your pictures across devices through the cloud. But with High Sierra, it’s once again starting to feel like a capable, robust piece of editing software. The sidebar is now persistent and displays your library, Memories, Live Photos, and albums. You can view your photos based on media type (burst shots, selfies, panoramas, slow-mo, etc.), and GIFs are finally supported, too.
The edit view has been totally reworked and now offers a wider selection of tools including curves (for finer adjustments) and selective color, which lets you change the color of a specific thing in your shot without affecting the entire image. A new “Compare” button in the upper left corner makes it easy to reference the before and after of each adjustment you make to be sure you’re not ruining everything. And similar to iOS 11, the app’s built-in filters have gotten more natural and subtle.
Plus, if Photos still falls short for your image processing needs, Apple now lets you kick an image out to your editor of choice — Photoshop, Pixelmator, etc. — and saves any edits you make non-destructively. That way, you’re not left with multiple copies of the same photo on your Mac, and your edits sync across your devices just as they would if you’d been working in Photos the whole time.
High Sierra gives Photos the same, new Live Photos tricks as iOS 11 including the loop, bounce, and long exposure effects. Apple is also ramping up its continued war with Google Photos by making the Memories feature smarter; Photos will now create memories involving pets, babies, birthdays, sporting events, outdoor activities, weddings, and anniversaries. And Photos supports the new file formats meant to save space when you’re shooting images and video on a device running iOS 11. To round things out, you can now publish books (and even websites) with third-party companies like Shutterfly and Wix.
Apple has declared war against annoying auto-playing videos and creepy ad tracking across the websites you visit. In High Sierra, the company has ramped up Safari’s capabilities to shield you against both. And these auto-playing defenses are incrediblyeffective. You can set preferences for individual websites or a blanket rule that bans all autoplay, only stops content with sound, or lets everything play.
And it works! I’ve been unable to find any site that can successfully break through Safari’s new safeguards against unexpected media playback. For most, I’ve had to manually hit the play button or at least take some action. In other instances, loading animations made clear that sites were trying to auto-play something, but they still failed. This feature alone might make many give Safari another try as their primary Mac browser. Apple insists it’s way faster than Chrome, remember.
Another new, great Safari feature is intelligent tracking prevention. Apple’s browser will now use machine learning to identify the advertisers that track you around the web and remove the cross-site data that’s responsible for your Amazon browsing and other brief shopping sessions following you for days and weeks on end. You’ll know it’s working when ads start seeming less creepy and directly relevant to that thing you just searched for. Advertisers will no doubt try to circumvent this pro-consumer feature, setting up a game of cat and mouse in future updates to macOS and Safari.
Safari is also adding more granular controls over content blockers and privacy controls for your Mac’s camera, location, microphone, and notifications. And you can now set the Reader mode, which strips pages of everything but article content, as the default whenever it’s available.
Right off the bat, the updated Mail app should save some space on your Mac’s hard drive. Once you upgrade to High Sierra, Mail will compress all of your messages that it stores. Apple says this could result in Mail taking up to 35 percent less space compared to whatever amount of room it’s eating up on your computer right now.
Mail also gets one significant new feature that’ll come into play when you search through your inbox for that one important email: Top Hits. The idea here is to make search much more accurate by factoring in how often (and recently) you’ve read a message and whether the sender is a favorite contact or someone you’ve set as a VIP in Mail preferences. It also takes into account how frequently someone emails you and your rate of actually replying. Apple says that Top Hits will get more relevant and helpful the more you use it and search in the Mail app.
Notes can now be pinned, so you can keep the important ones at the top of your list. Tables can be added to notes, too. I had to think long and hard about what I’d need a table for when coming up with the fake travel schedule below, but I’m sure there are some of you who’ll find this small thing very useful. And now when you search for a word in notes, it’ll be highlighted so you can easily located it in results.
With High Sierra, Siri is getting the same, more natural voices that are also coming to iOS 11. The assistant is also better at music-related requests. Aside from the straightforward play this song by this artist stuff, you can ask Siri to “play some music” for a personalized playlist or ask her to play something sad or genre-specific.
Spotlight can now track flight status, if that’s a thing you want to do. It’ll show you whether a flight is on time, its path, duration, and the key departure / arrival terminal info you need. You can get this from Google, of course, but if you’re a big Spotlight user, maybe this is just ever so slightly quicker.
OTHER RANDOM NEW THINGS
Messages in iCloud: Just like iOS 11, High Sierra now offers to store your iMessage history in the cloud, making it easier to retrieve all those conversations whenever you set up a new device. Everything is still end-to-end encrypted to ensure privacy.
FaceTime Live Photos: When you’re on a FaceTime call with someone, you can capture a Live Photo that uses the other person’s camera and mic on their Mac or iOS device for greater quality. Both parties on the FaceTime call are notified whenever a Live Photo is taken.
Universal Clipboard between Macs: You can copy something on one Mac running High Sierra and paste it onto a nearby Mac that’s also signed into your account. Universal Clipboard is already a convenient feature between macOS and iOS, and now it works across Macs.
Improved family sharing and shared iCloud storage: Starting with High Sierra, Apple now lets you set up different aspects of family sharing (Apple Music, shared purchases, etc.) as you need them. Also, everyone can take from the same storage plan. 200GB of iCloud storage is $2.99 per month, or you can jump up to 2TB — hopefully enough to cover everyone — for $9.99 a month.
New Touch Bar tricks: The tiny strip of a display on MacBook Pros is getting ever-so-slightly more useful in High Sierra. You can double tap the volume button to mute your Mac’s audio. Swiping to adjust display brightness and system volume is faster since you don’t have to bring up sliders first. And there are new buttons for Night Shift and AirPlay.
Better iCloud file sharing: Files saved to iCloud Drive can be shared with other people for collaborative work. Everyone sees the same document and will always get the latest version with any edits and changes. “Compatible” third-party apps can also work on iCloud Drive files and the document is still kept up to date. And now, you can share directly with people from the share sheet.
THE BIGGER CHANGES YOU CAN’T SEE
APPLE FILE SYSTEM
Apple is making some radical changes to the underpinnings of your Mac. High Sierra will mark the changeover to the company’s own, modern Apple File System. iOS users made this transition back in March, and now the Mac’s time has come. APFS is optimized for the flash / SSD storage in most new Mac computers today. It’s faster, more efficient, and advances Apple’s focus on encryption and security. Here are a few examples of the noticeable benefits of APFS:
Saved space: As with iOS 10.3, you might notice some freed up storage on your Mac once you’ve made the upgrade to High Sierra. This is a result of the file system’s greater efficiency.
Cloning: When files or folders are copied, they are now “cloned,” which happens instantaneously and the duplicated file eats up barely any additional storage on your computer.
Fast directory sizing: You’ll no longer have to spend any time waiting for macOS to calculate the size of a particular folder or file in the “Get Info” screen. High Sierra keeps much better track of file / directory size and can display that data right away.
Snapshots and crash protections: AFPS can take snapshots, which are read-only copies of the state of the file system at a given time. This makes backups easier and more reliable — both for app developers and Apple’s Time Machine software.
The rise of high-resolution displays and 4K video has led Apple to bring support for HEVC (H.265) to High Sierra. The pitch for HEVC is that it enables video streaming and playback of 4K content, but with file sizes that are up to 40 percent smaller than H.264 videos. All Macs will get software support for HEVC, but hardware acceleration, which will improve playback and encoding even more, is exclusive to only the most recent Macs.
EXTERNAL GPUS AND VR
Sometime next year (Apple is saying spring 2018), owners of supported Macs will be able to connect external graphics cards over Thunderbolt 3 and instantly boost the gaming power of their system for far better performance with top titles and — eventually — support for virtual reality experiences. High Sierra is Apple’s initial step into eGPUs and VR, and it’ll be some time before we know how serious the company is about taking the fight to Windows here.
WHAT DIDN’T APPLE CHANGE AT ALL?
iTunes and the Mac App Store. Perhaps more than any other apps on macOS — well, besides Chess, DVD player, and Stickies — those two are in need of some rethinking. The App Store is being completely redesigned on iOS 11 with a bigger emphasis on editorial, but that’s not (yet) true of the Mac. Maybe next year.
Dashboard is also still hanging around and continues to feel largely ignored and unchanged dating back to sometime in 2006. It’s turned off by default. For all of Apple’s efforts to be super efficient, there’s still a lot of ancient software left untouched in High Sierra. Why not just cut the cruft?
So that about covers what’s new in High Sierra. Should you install the beta? I can’t see any pressing reason to over the summer. This isn’t akin to the huge upgrade that iOS 11 gets you on the iPad. That’s perhaps worth dealing with some bugs for. But the Mac’s new software features are relatively small in scope, so it’s probably worth holding out until the steady, official release this fall — unless auto-play videos are really bugging you.
High Sierra will be available as a free download for all the same Macs that received Sierra in 2016.
NEET 2017 controversies continue to increase panic among students. At present, the students who appeared in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test on May 7 are divided into two groups. One group which is hoping that the NEET 2017 is cancelled. Another group is praying desperately for the turmoil to get over and get on with their lives. In the meanwhile, anxious parents, students and teachers keep searching for latest news update about NEET 2017. Between the delays in the NEET 2017 Results, the Stays imposed by the Madras HC and the plea pending in Supreme Court, we bring to you how CBSE and HRD Ministry is trying to solve the NEET Controversies.
That is right. Sources close to the ministry and the Central Board of Secondary Education have shared that CBSE and the HRD Ministry is working overtime to figure out the best possible solution. Though CBSE has not commented on the disparity and the controversy regarding regional language papers, it is not ignorant to the fact. While the official update is awaited from CBSE, sources have revealed that HRD Ministry has also offered to help CBSE ride through the problems. A senior official suggested that if CBSE would have been confident that cancelling the paper was the best step forward, it would have done so by now. The ambiguity of the situation where incidents were localized makes the decision to cancel the entire paper unreasonable. On the other hand, not addressing the concerns of the students voiced is also not an option. An expert panel of professors of respective subjects as well as regional language experts has been called on by the CBSE. Source reveals that the answer keys are being evaluated and concerns being marked after discussion. Related News | CBSE 12th Board Results Delay & NEET 2017 re-exam: HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar assures students of fair assessment
HRD Ministry, on the other hand is trying to reason with the various State Governments and council. Only yesterday, HRD Minister, Mr. Prakash Javadekar met with Gujarat Education Minister to discuss the matter. Around 40 students from the state had also filed a plea in the respective High Court against the difference in difficulty level. News also confirms that HRD Ministry is talking with West Bengal to understand the concern and find a solution.
In the meanwhile, CBSE is troubled with releasing multiple results including the CBSE Class 12 Board Results 2017. The results are also delayed due to on-going row over moderation. The many concerns at the Board are keeping the Chairman and the Core Committee very busy, commented an official who did not wish to be named. CBSE only has the best interests of the student at its heart and would do whatever it takes to find a solution that best fits all. An expert has reiterated that cancelling NEET 2017 may not be the best solution. CBSE is mindful of the concerns and is contemplating releasing the NEET 2017 Answer Keys and OMR Sheets soon to further the process.
However the events turn out, what is clear is that with each passing day, the anxiety increases. The fate of around 12 lakh students from across the country hangs in the balance while the controversies are sorted out. Supreme Court is all set to hear a plea by an NGO to cancel NEET 2017 next week. How the events unfold would be shared with you. The status at present is in utter chaos. There is no confirmation or affirmation from CBSE in regards. Also read |NEET 2017 to be cancelled? SC to hear please next week.
NEET or National Eligibility cum Entrance Test was conducted by CBSE on May 7, 2017. The examination is the entrance criteria for MBBS and BDS courses across all private and government Medical and Dental Colleges in the country. The controversies that arose immediately afterwards have caused delay in the process. CBSE was to release the NEET 2017 Answer Keys by May 20 and the NEET 2017 Results by June 8, as per initial updates. However, NEET 2017 Results have been stayed by Madras HC till June 7. Whether it would cause a delay in NEET 2017 Answer Keys or not is not certain. In the meanwhile, a plea is being prepared to be presented in Supreme Court, asking for NEET 2017 to be cancelled. Stay updated with the latest news, videos and updates about National Eligibility cum Entrance Test here.
We’ve been talking about the problem of forced non-security updates since Windows 10 launched, so I won’t belabor the point again here. Instead, I’d like to point out that the issue here isn’t even just a question of forcing an update — it’s about forcing updates that break existing system configurations. If you’ve used Microsoft Windows for any length of time, you’re aware that the OS has its own built-in mechanisms for determining which software and hardware are already installed in your machine. Try to install a Windows Update that’s already been installed, and the computer informs you of that fact. Try to install an application, and you get a similar message. If you try to install old graphics drivers on top of newer drivers and you’ll get an error message. Windows is required to know how many displays you have connected to it, or it wouldn’t be able to offer color profile management or an appropriately scaled desktop. Similarly, the OS has to remember which windows belong on which screens to display information appropriately and it has information on what kind of GPU is installed.
There is, in other words, no reason why Microsoft should be pushing this update as mandatory for people who game on multiple displays. In fact, given the company’s 18-month fetish for telemetry collection, there’s no reason why Redmond couldn’t notifygamers that they may not be able to play certain titles without using workarounds to do so. This hits one of the most annoying points of these so-called “service” models — despite calling it a “service,” the service doesn’t actually serve the end customer. If Microsoft wanted to get end-users onboard with its telemetry collection, it could start by using that data in ways that actually improve their customer experience.
But since Microsoft doesn’t do that, if you’re a widescreen gamer, your choices are to disable Windows Update altogether or to hope this update doesn’t impact any titles you like playing in that configuration. There aren’t many people playing games on more than one monitor, to be sure, but this kind of regression is why people don’t like mandatory updates in the first place. We’ve seen some signs of late that MS is bending a bit on this issue by giving people the ability to defer updates by 35 days once the Creators Update (Redstone 2) drops later this year. Hopefully that’s just the first step back towards a more sane update policy.
There’s some good news for privacy-minded individuals who haven’t been fond of Microsoft’s data collection policy with Windows 10. When the upcoming Creators Update drops this spring, it will overhaul Microsoft’s data collection policies. Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, has published a blog post with a list of the changes Microsoft will be making.
First, Microsoft has launched a new web-based privacy dashboard with the goal of giving people an easy, one-stop location for controlling how much data Microsoft collects. Your privacy dashboard has sections for Browse, Search, Location, and Cortana’s Notebook, each covering a different category of data MS might have received from your hardware. Personally, I keep the Digital Assistant side of Cortana permanently deactivated and already set telemetry to minimal, but if you haven’t taken those steps you can adjust how much data Microsoft keeps from this page.
Second, Microsoft is condensing its telemetry options. Currently, there are four options — Security, Basic, Enhanced, and Full. Most consumers only have access to three of these settings — Basic, Enhanced, and Full. The fourth, security, is reserved for Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education. Here’s how Microsoft describes each category:
Security: Information that’s required to help keep Windows, Windows Server, and System Center secure, including data about the Connected User Experience and Telemetry component settings, the Malicious Software Removal Tool, and Windows Defender.
Basic: Basic device info, including: quality-related data, app compatibility, app usage data, and data from the Security level.
Enhanced: Additional insights, including: how Windows, Windows Server, System Center, and apps are used, how they perform, advanced reliability data, and data from both the Basic and the Security levels.
Full: All data necessary to identify and help to fix problems, plus data from the Security, Basic, and Enhanced levels.
That’s the old system. Going forward, Microsoft is collapsing the number of telemetry levels to two. Here’s how Myerson describes the new “Basic” level:
[We’ve] further reduced the data collected at the Basic level. This includes data that is vital to the operation of Windows. We use this data to help keep Windows and apps secure, up-to-date, and running properly when you let Microsoft know the capabilities of your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating correctly. This option also includes basic error reporting back to Microsoft.
Windows 10 will also include an enhanced privacy section that will show during start-up and offer much better granularity over privacy settings. Currently, many of these controls are buried in various menus that you have to manually configure after installing the operating system.
It’s nice that Microsoft is cutting back on telemetry collection at the basic level. The problem is, as Stephen J Vaughn-Nichols writes, Microsoft is still collecting a creepy amount of information on “Full,” and it still defaults to sharing all this information with Cortana — which means Microsoft has data files on people it can be compelled to turn over by a warrant from an organization like the NSA or FBI. Given the recent expansion of the NSA’s powers, this information can now be shared with a variety of other agencies without filtering it first. And while Microsoft’s business model doesn’t directly depend on scraping and selling customer data the way Google does, the company is still gathering an unspecified amount of information. Full telemetry, for example, may “unintentionally include parts of a document you were using when a problem occurred.” Vaughn-Nichols isn’t thrilled about that idea, and neither am I.
The problem with Microsoft’s disclosure is it mostly doesn’t disclose. Even basic telemetry is described as “includes data that is vital to the operation of Windows.” Okay. But what does that mean?
I’m glad to see Microsoft taking steps towards restoring user privacy, but these are small steps that only modify policies around the edges. Until the company actually and meaningfully discloses what telemetry is collected under Basic settings and precisely what Full settings do and don’t send in the way of personally identifying information, the company isn’t explaining anything so much as it’s using vague terms and PR in place of a disclosure policy.
As I noted above, I’d recommend turning Cortana (the assistant) off. If you don’t want to do that, you should regularly review the information MS has collected about you and delete any items you don’t want to part of the company’s permanent record.
When will Apple release a new Mac Pro? And what new features, specs and design changes should we expect when Apple updates the Mac Pro line for 2016? Is there any chance Apple will discontinue the Mac Pro instead of updating it?
Apple’s Mac Pro line-up could do with an update. The current Mac Pro model was announced at WWDC in June 2013 and, for a top-of-the range system, the Mac Pro is looking pretty long in the tooth. But when will Apple announce a new Mac Pro? And what hardware improvements, design changes, tech specs and new features will we see in the new Mac Pro for 2016? (Or 2017, or…)
There’s some good news for expectant Mac Pro fans: code in Mac OS X El Capitanhints that a new Mac Pro (one with 10 USB 3 ports) could arrive soon. But nothing is certain at this point, and some pundits believe the Mac Pro should simply be discontinued.
Whatever the future holds for the Mac Pro, in this article we will be looking at all the rumours surrounding the next update of the Mac Pro line: the new Mac Pro’s UK release date and pricing, its expected design, and the new features and specs we hope to see in the next version of the Mac Pro.
Updated on 6 December 2016 to discuss the chances of a new Mac Pro appearing in March; and on 15 November with updated processor rumours
For more discussion of upcoming Apple launches, take a look at our New iMac rumours and our big roundup of Apple predictions for 2017. And if you’re considering buying one of the current Mac Pro models, read Where to buy Mac Pro in the UK and our Mac buying guide.
In a statement sent to The Wall Street Journal, a LeEco spokesperson stated that it is currently investigating why its stock price had dropped close to eight percent on Tuesday, and thus made the decision to halt trading. The spokesperson added that the company is “in the process of planning major matters, which are expected to involve integration of industry resources.” Exactly what types of changes are in the works are currently unknown.
Less than two months ago, LeEco was holding a big press conference in San Francisco, announcing its official launch of products in the US. That included its Le Pro3 and Le S3 Android smartphones. However, the press conference was an odd affair, full of unconnected buzzwords and demos of products like an Android-based bicycle that may now never come to market.
Since then, rumors about the company’s financial issues have continued, even though LeEco announced it had raised $600 million in new financing. Last week, sales of its phones began in the US at its own LeMall website, along with Amazon, Target and Best Buy. However, the company could decide to make an early exit from the US market as part of its upcoming changes.
Original post, December 7: A few days ago, the security firm Zimperium publicly revealed that the popular remote access management app AirDroid had some serious security issues. Today, the developer behind AirDroid has released a beta version of the app that it hope fixes these problems.
Zimperium stated that it had found that AirDroid in its current form could allow an attacker on the same network to gain full access to the owner’s device through the app. The firm actually found this flaw a number of months ago and informed the app’s development team, but for some reason that team did nothing until Zimperium make the decision to publicly reveal their findings earlier this month.
Now, the team has quickly pushed out beta 188.8.131.52 of AirDroid that reportedly does fix the security problems. Zimperium is apparently going to test the beta out to make sure all the holes are closed up before the app team releases the non-beta version in the Google Play Store. In the meantime, we don’t recommend using AirDroid until it has been verified that the app has indeed plugged its security leaks. You can’t be too careful.