The popular productivity and live streaming app Microsoft Teams will now be integrated directly into the UI, getting its own icon on the taskbar. The app allows chat, calls, video calls with anyone anywhere in the world on platforms including, Windows, iOS, Android and others.
For those using their Windows device as a tablet, Windows 11 will be very familiar to users with few visual changes when the device is in tablet mode. Users will still be able to snap to navigate between various open apps. And if one rotates the screen the apps will get vertically staked for easy navigation.
A new feature to Windows 11 will be a floating keyboard and voice typing that uses auto punctuation and can follow voice commands like “delete that word.”
For gamers Windows 11 is offering “Auto HDR” which automatically improves the color and lighting of game visuals. This technology was first developed for Microsoft’s Xbox gaming consoles. In Windows 11 Xbox Game Pass will now be built in and give subscribers access to a library of hundreds of PC games.
The Microsoft Store has been redesigned to be faster. Users will also have a larger selection of apps including Android apps from the Amazon App Store allow users to load thousands of Android apps on their PC.
While rebuilding the Microsoft Store, Microsoft fire a metaphorically shot at Apple’s iOS store which takes a cut of each app purchase. Microsoft Store does not.
However, to date, the Microsoft Store has not been largely popular. Most apps are still downloaded and installed from .exe files.
Google Maps has rolled out some new features on its app that are focus on community engagement. This is all intended as part of Maps evolution from how-get-there app to a question-and-answer engine for businesses and customers.
Firs they’ve added a live feed that will so users recent reviews, photos and posts added to maps by people they follow and Goolge selected “experts.” Kind of like Yelp, but all inside Maps.
Messaging for Maps is the next new feature which will allow customers and businesses to contact each other directly inside of maps instead of relying on second-party messaging or a phone call.
Maps will now provide performance insights for businesses. While limited in scope, the feature will measure what kinds of interactions the business is getting inside the Maps app with customers and provide that data to the business.
As a final update users can now add their own street view images from their phones.
The app version of Google Maps was released in 2005.
Wow – that sounds confusing. And it is. You purchase something you think is good tech only to find out it is no longer usable. The Victor crew came across this article and it is true. Many things no longer work because it is no longer supported.
For instance, in 2011, Lenovo came out with an Android tablet IdeaPad K1. So that Christmas, I treated myself to one. I went all out and bought the keyboard, a nice leather case, and carrier. I was set. About 6 months later, I find out it will no longer get updates of Android and they left us with and Android 4.0 update to flash on it which would wipe out any customizations ore even any apps on it. I did flash it but the hardware now is old enough it probably won’t run much anymore.
Another example is HP Printers. For some printers to print, you HAVE to be enrolled in their InstantInk program or they can remotely disable your printer.
Back to the article. It is about Sonos. Sonos announced they will stop sending security and software updates to their legacy systems. Products introduced between 2005 and 2011 are considered legacy. People are being offered a 30% discount to trade in their old systems, however, they put the item into a 21 day countdown before goint to “recycle mode”. Once in this mode, it cannot be used or repurposed without their permission.
It would be nice to know the expiration dates of our devices, whether it is security updates, general software updates, or when they think the hardware will no longer work.
So the Victor crew had an interesting problem. The update in the App Store on one of the apps got stuck. It kept spinning and spinning. For days. Tried closing the app in the app manager. Tried closing the App Store app in the app manager. Opened up the app store again. Still spinning.
Of course we “Googled” the problem to see if anyone else had this problem. Some suggestions were to stop the automatic updates in the settings but that didn’t help. Some were to delete the app and redownload or remove the app data. We chose a different way. We rebooted the iPad. That did the trick. So the age-old fix for just about anything is reboot it.
It is important to keep all software you use up to date. There are updates for a reason – most likely some of the code used was found to be vulnerable to attacks.
This past week, a popular extension was hijacked. The developer of the Web Developer for Chrome extension had his own account hijacked. The hijackers phished his Google account, then modified the code in his account and pushed it out to users. The version of Web Developer for Chrome that was pushed out is 0.4.9. You need to make sure you have the updated version 0.5 installed NOW!
The version the hijackers uploaded can force ads on pages, capture passwords, or other unreported problems. Consider changing passwords to pages visited during the time of the compromise. The date was August 2. The developer himself admits he fell for a phishing attack that started this. This effected over one million users.
The developer details the events in his blog. The bottom line is anyone can click on a bad link and it is important to have two-factor verification in place.
The Jody Victor crew ran across an article that is truly disturbing.
A flaw in Microsoft Office given the ID CVE-2017-0199 has quite a history. This vulnerability allowed remote attackers to use Microsoft products to execute arbitrary code and take over computers. Ryan Hanson found the flaw last year. He spent some time to see if it could be made more deadly before contacting Microsoft in October 2016. Microsoft did not patch this right away. If they told people of a change in Word settings that would fix the flaw, then word would be out that there was a flaw with more ramifications.
They decided to release a fix in a later update. However, they sat on it and took their time. They started working on a solution in January but attacks had already begun. Through links in email, computers were infected with software that allowed eavesdropping. McAfee saw some attacks on April 6 of this year and blogged about it April 7. April 9, a program was for sale underground for hackers to exploit the flaw. On Tuesday, April 11, the flaw was finally patched in an update.
They don’t know how many computers were hacked or how much money was stolen before this exploit was patched. If you don’t automatically patch your PC, please do so now!
Google just revamped the Gmail app for iOS devices today. Why use Gmail app for your Gmail on iOS instead of the native email app? In our opinion, it just works better with Gmail.
Now with its new look, it’s even better. There are quick links to Reply and Forward on the bottom that make it easier to respond. They are calling this the biggest overhaul in four years. This new look makes it more like the Gmail app on Android.
Here are some of the new features:
Undo Send: just like you can on desktop, you can stop the mail mistakes before that mail get sent.
Search Faster: they have sped up instant results and can correct spelling mistakes.
Swipe to archive or delete: In settings, you can choose to have swiped emails either delete or archive into ‘all mail’.
Google has also updated Google Calendar for iOS.
Month view and week in landscape view so you can see your schedule in a glance.
Spotlight search support for Apple’s Spotlight Search.
Alternate calendars – you can add Lunar, Islamic, Hindu calendars alongside your current calendar.
As time goes on and we approach July 29, 2016, it appears that Windows is getting more aggressive to get people to upgrade to 10. It is free up until that date on the device you have it on. On some systems, they have even started the download process to make it easier and faster for when you do upgrade.
If you have automatic upgrades enabled, you might find your machine already updated – and you didn’t even initiate it. If you aren’t ready for the upgrade, make sure to disable automatic updates and do them manually. Even doing them manually you will have to look at your list of updates and uncheck the Windows 10 upgrade to get the regular security updates for your version.
Here is some more information: