Meta can’t stop leaking its next VR headset, as it accidentally shows off the Quest 3S

Meta has to know what it’s doing, because for the second time in as many weeks it has leaked the Meta Quest 3S – this time its next VR headset made a cameo in the background of a video filmed by its CTO.

In a video highlighting the new mixed-reality upgrades arriving as part of Horizon OS update v66 which Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth posted on Threads, we see a view of someone’s home office with some kind of Meta Quest headset on a desk in the background.

The thing is, this Quest device doesn’t appear to be anything we recognise. It looks too bulky to be a Meta Quest 3, while it has cameras in the wrong places and it isn't round enough to be a Quest 2. The white plastic cladding also confirms it’s not an original Quest or Quest Pro.

Instead, it looks nearly identical to the leaked Quest 3S design. Luna – the leaker sharing the bulk of the Quest 3S info – took to Twitter to point out this accidental teaser, which Bosworth then replied to, saying “love that higher quality video over on Threads…”

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This is far from a confirmation, but combined with the Quest 3S appearing accidentally on some Meta Quest Store pages it seems very likely that the so-called cheaper Quest 3 model is coming soon; most likely at Meta Connect 2024 which Meta revealed is taking place on September 25 and 26.

That said, with all these leaks Meta may make an earlier official teaser ahead of its wider reveal later this year to try and regain some control over the situation.

It’s time to eat my hat 

I was convinced the Meta Quest 3S wouldn’t return to the Oculus Quest 2’s bulky design when I first saw the leaks. I fully expected Meta to prioritize comfort as this was a major critique in Vision Pro reviews – Meta’s most high profile rival.

Instead I was prepared to see it shave off the price by using lower quality displays, less RAM, cheaper materials, or perhaps using a less impressive mixed-reality camera system. Heck, with all the hand-tracking updates we've seen, I wouldn’t have been surpised if the controllers had been let go – even if that wouldn’t be a great idea overall.

But with this latest leak I have to accept that I was wrong. The Quest 3S does look to be a Quest 3 in the Quest 2’s bulky body. The only remaining question is how much will it cost?

Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset under a green light

Welcome back Quest 2 design, we hardly missed you (Image credit: Shutterstock / Boumen Japet)

This is where I’m a little worried. If the Quest 3S isn’t the technical downgrade I was anticipating, can a price drop to the Quest 2’s launch price of $ 299 / £299 / AU$ 479 be justified? I mean, Meta can do whatever it wants, but pricing the 3S will be a challenge.

If it goes too low – which $ 299 / £299 / AU$ 479 feels like it might be – can we justify spending $ 499 / £479 / AU$ 799 on the full-on Meta Quest 3? If Meta instead aims higher, maybe $ 399 / £399 / AU$ 599, then this won’t feel like the budget Quest 2 replacement leaks have teased the device to be – and begs the question if it’s not just worth spending that bit extra to get the full-on Quest 3.

At least even if Meta does go for the cheaper end of the scale it won’t anywhere close to as big a burn to Meta Quest 3 customers as when it teased the Quest 3 as it’s “most powerful headset yet” less than six months after it launched the Quest Pro – with it then selling the Quest 3 for only a third of the Pro’s original price.

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Meta can’t stop making the Meta Quest 3’s mixed reality better with updates

June is here, and like clockwork the latest update for your Meta Quest 3 headset is ready to roll out. 

The standout upgrade for v66 is to the VR headset’s mixed reality (again) – after it was the main focus of Horizon OS v64, and got some subtle tweaks in v65 too.

We aren’t complaining though, as this improvement looks set to make the image quality even better, with reduced image distortion in general and a reduction to the warping effect that can appear around moving objects. The upshot is that you should notice that it’s easier to interact with real-world objects while in mixed reality, and the overlay that displays your virtual hands should better align with where your actual hands appear to be.

If you want to see a side-by-side, Meta has handily released a video showcasing the improvements to mixed reality.

If you’re using your hands instead of controllers, Meta is also adding new wrist buttons.

Should you choose to enable this option in the experimental settings menu, you’ll be able to tap on your right or left wrist to use the Meta or Menu buttons respectively.

According to Meta, wrist buttons will make it a lot easier to open a menu from within a game or app – either the in-game pause screen, or the system-level menu should you want to change to a different experience, take a screenshot or adjust your headset’s settings. We’ll have to try them out for ourselves, but they certainly sound like an improvement, and a similar feature could bring even more button controls to the hand-tracking experience.

A gif showing a person pinching their fingers to open the Quest menu

You’ll no longer need to pinch to open menus (Image credit: Meta)

Lastly Meta is making it easier to enjoy background audio – so if you start audio or a video in the Browser, it’ll keep playing when you minimize the app – as well as a few changes to Parental Supervision features. Namely, from June 27, children aged 10 to 12 who are supervised by the same parent account will automatically be able to see each other in the Family Center.

As Meta warns however its update is rolling out gradually, and because this month’s passthrough change is so big it’s saying it will be sending out updates even more slowly than usual – and what’s more, some people who update to v66 might not get all the improvements right away.

So if you don’t see the option to update right away, or any passthrough improvements once you've installed v66 on your Meta Quest 3, don’t fret. You will get the upgrade eventually.

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Six major ChatGPT updates OpenAI unveiled at its Spring Update – and why we can’t stop talking about them

OpenAI just held its eagerly-anticipated spring update event, making a series of exciting announcements and demonstrating the eye- and ear-popping capabilities of its newest GPT AI models. There were changes to model availability for all users, and at the center of the hype and attention: GPT-4o. 

Coming just 24 hours before Google I/O, the launch puts Google's Gemini in a new perspective. If GPT-4o is as impressive as it looked, Google and its anticipated Gemini update better be mind-blowing. 

What's all the fuss about? Let's dig into all the details of what OpenAI announced. 

1. The announcement and demonstration of GPT-4o, and that it will be available to all users for free

OpenAI demoing GPT-4o on an iPhone during the Spring Update event.

OpenAI demoing GPT-4o on an iPhone during the Spring Update event. (Image credit: OpenAI)

The biggest announcement of the stream was the unveiling of GPT-4o (the 'o' standing for 'omni'), which combines audio, visual, and text processing in real time. Eventually, this version of OpenAI's GPT technology will be made available to all users for free, with usage limits.

For now, though, it's being rolled out to ChatGPT Plus users, who will get up to five times the messaging limits of free users. Team and Enterprise users will also get higher limits and access to it sooner. 

GPT-4o will have GPT-4's intelligence, but it'll be faster and more responsive in daily use. Plus, you'll be able to provide it with or ask it to generate any combination of text, image, and audio.

The stream saw Mira Murati, Chief Technology Officer at OpenAI, and two researchers, Mark Chen and Barret Zoph, demonstrate GPT-4o's real-time responsiveness in conversation while using its voice functionality. 

The demo began with a conversation about Chan's mental state, with GPT-4o listening and responding to his breathing. It then told a bedtime story to Barret with increasing levels of dramatics in its voice upon request – it was even asked to talk like a robot.

It continued with a demonstration of Barret “showing” GPT-4o a mathematical problem and the model guiding Barret through solving it by providing hints and encouragement. Chan asked why this specific mathematical concept was useful, which it answered at length. 

A look at the updated mobile app interface for ChatGPT.

A look at the updated mobile app interface for ChatGPT. (Image credit: OpenAI)

They followed this up by showing GPT-4o some code, which it explained in plain English, and provided feedback on the plot that the code generated. The model talked about notable events, the labels of the axis, and a range of inputs. This was to show OpenAI's continued conviction to improving GPT models' interaction with code bases and the improvement of its mathematical abilities.

The penultimate demonstration was an impressive display of GPT-4o's linguistic abilities, as it simultaneously translated two languages – English and Italian – out loud. 

Lastly, OpenAI provided a brief demo of GPT-4o's ability to identify emotions from a selfie sent by Barret, noting that he looked happy and cheerful.

If the AI model works as demonstrated, you'll be able to speak to it more naturally than many existing generative AI voice models and other digital assistants. You'll be able to interrupt it instead of having a turn-based conversation, and it'll continue to process and respond – similar to how we speak to each other naturally. Also, the lag between query and response, previously about two to three seconds, has been dramatically reduced. 

ChatGPT equipped with GPT-4o will roll out over the coming weeks, free to try. This comes a few weeks after Open AI made ChatGPT available to try without signing up for an account. 

2. Free users will have access to the GPT store, the memory function, the browse function, and advanced data analysis

OpenAI unveils the GPT Store

OpenAI unveils the GPT Store at its Spring Update event. (Image credit: Open AI)

GPTs are custom chatbots created by OpenAI and ChatGPT Plus users to help enable more specific conversations and tasks. Now, many more users can access them in the GPT Store.

Additionally, free users will be able to use ChatGPT's memory functionality, which makes it a more useful and helpful tool by giving it a sense of continuity. Also being added to the no-cost plan are ChatGPT's vision capabilities, which let you converse with the bot about uploaded items like images and documents. The browse function allows you to search through previous conversations more easily.

ChatGPT's abilities have improved in quality and speed in 50 languages, supporting OpenAI’s aim to bring its powers to as many people as possible. 

3. GPT-4o will be available in API for developers


3. GPT-4o will be available in API for developers (Image credit: OpenAI)

OpenAI's latest model will be available for developers to incorporate into their AI apps as a text and vision model. The support for GPT-4o's video and audio abilities will be launched soon and offered to a small group of trusted partners in the API.

4. The new ChatGPT desktop app 

A look at the new ChatGPT desktop app running on a Mac.

A look at the new ChatGPT desktop app running on a Mac. (Image credit: OpenAI)

OpenAI is releasing a desktop app for macOS to advance its mission to make its products as easy and frictionless as possible, wherever you are and whichever model you're using, including the new GPT-4o. You’ll be able to assign keyboard shortcuts to do processes even more quickly. 

According to OpenAI, the desktop app is available to ChatGPT Plus users now and will be available to more users in the coming weeks. It sports a similar design to the updated interface in the mobile app as well.

5. A refreshed ChatGPT user interface

ChatGPT is getting a more natural and intuitive user interface, refreshed to make interaction with the model easier and less jarring. OpenAI wants to get to the point where people barely focus on the AI and for you to feel like ChatGPT is friendlier. This means a new home screen, message layout, and other changes. 

6. OpenAI's not done yet

Open AI

(Image credit: Open AI)

The mission is bold, with OpenAI looking to demystify technology while creating some of the most complex technology that most people can access. Murati wrapped up by stating that we will soon be updated on what OpenAI is preparing to show us next and thanking Nvidia for providing the most advanced GPUs to make the demonstration possible. 

OpenAI is determined to shape our interaction with devices, closely studying how humans interact with each other and trying to apply its learnings to its products. The latency of processing all of the different nuances of interaction is part of what dictates how we behave with products like ChatGPT, and OpenAI has been working hard to reduce this. As Murati puts it, its capabilities will continue to evolve, and it’ll get even better at helping you with exactly what you’re doing or asking about at exactly the right moment. 

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Windows 11 users, watch out – you’re in for an upgrade you can’t ignore thanks to mandatory adverts

Microsoft seems intent on making ads disguised as recommendations a fact of life in Windows 11, and the tech giant has apparently begun testing promotional recommendation pages that take up your whole screen, urging users to install Edge and other services – similar to the page you see when you first set up your device or install Windows 11.

Thinking back, I recall a few times when this screen appeared on my own Windows 11 PC after an update, and it caught me off guard as my PC is already set up to my liking. Like myself, some users would be greeted with “Let’s finish setting up your PC” automatically after a Windows Update had been installed. Before this, this sort of notification might appear if you bought a PC and set it up for the first time, but now it looks like anyone already up and running could also see it. 

Man sitting at a table and looking at a laptop, holding one hand in the other in front of his face and looking concerned

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Space_Cat)

A breakdown of the new notification in Windows 11

The new notification screens were spotted by Windows Latest following Microsoft’s monthly Patch Tuesday update in April 2024. As shown in a screenshot provided in Windows Latest’s report, the notification screen explains that the ‘set-up’ process will involve backing up your files using OneDrive, restoring “Microsoft recommended settings” (read: setting Edge as your default browser), backing up your phone on your PC, setting up Windows Hello, as well as getting a Microsoft 365 subscription, and turning on Phone Link between your phone and PC.

You are then given two options, neither of which is to opt out of the notification if you’re not interested. You can choose to “Continue” or select “Remind me in 3 days,” and the pop-ups will eventually return. Windows Latest tried the ‘Continue’ option, which led to a “Let’s customize your experience” page which prompts users to customize their Start menu’s ‘Recommended’ section. As shown in a provided screenshot, users would be given some control over the apps that appear in this section. 

If you decide not to make any adjustments you’ll be guided to a page with the heading “Use recommended browser settings.” The top option, not by coincidence, is Microsoft Edge – Windows 11’s default browser. This is accompanied by Bing as the default search engine, which again no surprise. Enabling these also pins the Edge icon to the taskbar and creates a desktop icon (if you’ve removed these). Luckily, if you’re not interested in using Microsoft’s web browser and search engine, you can click on “Don’t update your settings,” (which sounds like you’re getting left behind), and you can keep your previous settings. 

Woman standing in a room at night time with a backdrop of a city, while holding a laptop and using it with one hand

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff)

A closer look at Microsoft's promotional tactics

This isn’t the first of Microsoft’s heavy-handed attempts to get people to use its software and services, and not the first to be met with distaste from users. As Windows Latest points out, Edge already comes preinstalled, and it’s difficult to remove for users running Windows 11 outside of Europe. 

If you make it through all of these option screens and have any patience left, you’ll be met with more promotional pages for other Microsoft services, like the offer to try Microsoft 365 Family with a free trial. You could forgo this and subscribe to Microsoft 365 Basic, which includes ad-free OneDrive and Outlook, along with 100GB of cloud storage. In the screenshot that Windows Latest includes, no prices are stated – just a ‘Continue’ button. After this page, users are urged to set up Microsoft’s Phone Link app, which works in a similar way to Apple’s AirDrop feature, and allows you to access data on a linked Android phone on your PC.

Each page does at least have an option to skip that particular step and finish the PC setup process, but this is strange wording, because as I mentioned earlier when I saw the notification, and as Windows Latest stated while documenting this process, our PCs were already set up to our liking.

This has been happening in parallel with Microsoft adding ads disguised as recommendations in the Start menu and experimenting with adding Xbox Game Pass ads on the Settings page. I don’t like this direction for Microsoft, and if it’s not careful, it could end up annoying users rather than encouraging them to try out the software.  We live in a time when people’s attention spans can be short, but frustrations and annoyance can live in people’s minds for a pretty long time. 


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Google Maps is getting a new update that’ll help you discover hidden gems in your area thanks to AI – and I can’t wait to try it out

It looks like Google Maps is getting a cool new feature that’ll make use of generative AI to help you explore your town – grouping different locations to make it easier to find restaurants, specific shops, and cafes. In other words, no more sitting around and mulling over where you want to go today!

Android Authority did an APK teardown (which basically means decompiling binary code within a program into a programming language that can be read normally) which hints at some new features on the horizon. The code within the Google Maps beta included mention of generative AI, which led Android Authority to Google Labs. If you’re unfamiliar with Google Labs, it’s a platform where users can experiment with Google’s current in-development tools and AI projects, like Gemini Chrome extensions and music ‘Time Travel’. 

So, what exactly is this new feature that has me so excited? Say you’re really craving a sweet treat. Instead of going back to your regular stop or simply Googling ‘sweet treats near me’, you’ll be able to ask Google Maps for exactly what you’re looking for and the app will give you suggestions for nearby places that offer it. Naturally, it will also provide you with pictures, ratings, and reviews from other users that you can use to make a decision.

Sweet treat treasure hunter 

I absolutely love the idea and I really hope we get to see the feature come to life as someone who has a habit of going to the same places over and over again because I either don’t know any alternatives or just haven’t discovered other parts of my city. The new feature has the potential to offer a serious upgrade to Google Maps’ more specific location search abilities, beyond simply typing in the name of the shop you want or selecting a vague group like ‘Restaurants’ as you can currently. 

You’ll be able to see your results into categories, and if you want more in-depth recommendations you can ask follow-up questions to narrow down your search – much in the same way that AI assistants like Microsoft Copilot can ‘remember’ your previous chat history to provide more context-sensitive results. I often find myself craving a little cake or a delicious cookie, so if I want that specific treat I can specify to the app what I’m craving and get a personalized list of reviewed recommendations. 

We’re yet to find out when exactly to expect this new feature, and without an official announcement, we can’t be 100% certain that it will ever make a public release. However, I’m sure it would be a very popular addition to Google Maps, and I can’t wait to discover new places in my town with the help of an AI navigator.

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The Meta Quest 3’s popularity is proof a cheap Vision Pro can’t come soon enough

The Oculus Quest 2 has been the most popular VR headset in the world for the past couple of years – dominating sales and usage charts with its blend of solid performance, amazing software library and, most importantly, affordability. 

Now its successor – the Meta Quest 3 – is following in its footsteps. 

Just four months after launch it’s the third most popular headset used on Steam (and will likely be the second most popular in the next Steam Hardware Survey). What’s more, while we estimate the Quest 3’s not selling quite as well as the Quest 2 was at the four-month mark, it still looks to be a hit (plus, lower sales figures are expected considering it’s almost double the launch price of the Quest 2).

Despite its higher cost, $ 499.99 / £479.99 / AU$ 799.99 is still relatively affordable in the VR space, and its early success continues the ongoing trend in VR that accessibility is the make or break factor in a VR gadget’s popularity.  

Oculus Quest 2 floating next to its handsets

The cheap Oculus Quest 2 made VR mainstream (Image credit: Facebook)

There’s something to be said for high-end hardware such as the Apple Vision Pro bringing the wow factor back to VR (how can you not be impressed by its crisp OLED displays and inventive eye-and-hand-tracking system), but I’ll admit I was worried that its launch – and announcement of other high-end, and high-priced, headsets – would see VR return to its early, less affordable days.

Now I’m more confident than ever that we’ll see Apple’s rumored cheaper Vision Pro follow-up and other budget-friendly hardware sooner rather than later.

Rising up the charts 

According to the Steam Hardware Survey, which tracks the popularity of hardware for participating Steam users, 14.05% of all Steam VR players used a Quest 3 last month. That’s a 4.78% rise in its popularity over the previous month’s results and means it’s within spitting distance of the number two spot, which is currently held by the Valve Index – 15% of users prefer it over other VR headsets, even three-and-a-half years after its launch.

It has a ways to go before it reaches the top spot, however, with the Oculus Quest 2 preferred by 40.64% of Steam VR players. The Quest 3’s predecessor has held this top spot for a couple of years now, and it’s unlikely to lose to the Quest 3 or another headset for a while. Even though the Quest 3 is doing well for itself, it’s not selling quite as fast as the Quest 2.

(Image credit: Future)

Using Steam Hardware Survey data for January 2024 (four months after its launch) and data from January 2021 (four months after the Quest 2’s launch) – as well as average Steam player counts for these months based on SteamDB data – it appears that the Quest 3 has sold about 87% as many units as the Quest 2 did at the same point in its life.

Considering the Quest 3 is priced at $ 499.99 / £479.99 / AU$ 799.99, a fair bit more than the $ 299 / £299 / AU$ 479 the Quest 2 cost at launch, to even come close to matching the sales speed of its predecessor is impressive. And the Quest 2 did sell very well out of the gate.

We don’t have exact Quest 2 sales data from its early days – Meta only highlights when the device passes certain major milestones – but we do know that after five months, its total sales were higher than the total sales of all other Oculus VR headsets combined, some of which had been out for over five years. Meta’s gone on to sell roughly 20 million Quest 2s, according to a March 2023 leak. That's about as fast as the Xbox Series X is believed to have sold, which launched around the same time.

This 87% of Quest 2 sales figure can be taken with a pinch of salt – you can find out how I got to this number at the bottom of this piece; it required pulling data from a few sources and making some reasonable assumptions – but that number and the Quest 2 and 3’s popularity on Steam shows that affordability is still the most powerful driving force in the VR space. So, I hope other headset makers are paying attention.

Lance Ulanoff wearing Apple Vision Pro

The Apple Vision had me a little concerned (Image credit: Future)

A scary expensive VR future

The Apple Vision Pro is far from unpopular. Reports suggest that between 160,000 and 200,000 preorders were placed on the headset ahead of its release on February 2, 2024 (some of those orders have been put on eBay with ridiculously high markups and others have been returned by some disappointed Vision Pro customers).

The early popularity makes sense. Whatever Mark Zuckerberg says about the superiority of the Quest 3, the Apple Vision Pro is the best of the best VR headsets from a technical perspective. There’s some debate on the comfort and immersive software side of things, but eye-tracking, ridiculously crisp OLED displays, and a beautiful design do make up for that.

Unfortunately, thanks to these high-end specs and some ridiculous design choices – like the outer OLED display for EyeSight (which lets an onlooker see the wearer’s eyes while they're wearing the device) – the headset is pretty pricey coming in at $ 3,499 for the 256GB model (it’s not yet available outside the US).

Seeing this, and the instant renewed attention Apple has drawn to the VR space – with high-end rivals like the Samsung XR headset now on the way – I’ll admit I was a little concerned we might see a return to VR’s early, less accessible days. In those days, you’d spend around $ 1,000 / £1,000 / AU$ 1,500 on a headset and the same again (or more) on a VR-ready PC.

Valve Index being worn by a person

The Valve Index is impressive, but it’s damn expensive (Image credit: Future)

Apple has a way of driving the tech conversation and development in the direction it chooses. Be it turning more niche tech into a mainstream affair like it did for smartwatches with the Apple Watch or renaming well-established terms by sheer force of will (VR computing and 3D video are now exclusively called spatial computing and spatial video after Apple started using those phrases).

While, yes, there’s something to be said for the wow factor of top-of-the-line tech, I hoped we wouldn’t be swamped with the stuff while more budget-friendly options get forgotten about because this is the way Apple has moved the industry with its Vision Pro.

The numbers in the Steam Hardware Survey have assuaged those fears. It shows that meaningful budget hardware – like the Quest 2 and 3, which, despite being newer, have less impressive displays and specs than many older, pricier models – is still too popular to be going anywhere anytime soon.

If anything, I’m more confident than ever that Apple, Samsung, and the like need to get their own affordable VR headsets out the door soon. Especially the non-Apple companies that can’t rely on a legion of rabid fans ready to eat up everything they release. 

If they don’t launch budget-friendly – but still worthwhile – VR headsets, then Meta could once again be left as the only real contender in this sector of VR. Sure, I like the Meta headsets I’ve used, but nothing helps spur on better tech and/or prices than proper competition. And this is something Meta is proving it doesn’t really have right now.

Girl wearing Meta Quest 3 headset interacting with a jungle playset

(Image credit: Meta)

Where did my data come from?

It’s important to know where data has come from and what assumptions have been made by people handling that data, but, equally, not everyone finds this interesting, and it can get quite long and distracting. So, I’ve put this section at the bottom for those interested in seeing my work on the 87% sales figure comparison between the Oculus Quest 2 and Meta Quest 3 four months after their respective launches.

As I mentioned above, most of the data for this piece has been gathered from the Steam Hardware Survey. I had to rely on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to see some historical Steam Hardware Survey data because the results page only shows the most recent month’s figures.

When looking at the relative popularity of headsets in any given month, I could just read off the figures in the survey results. However, to compare the Quest 2 and Quest 3’s four-month sales to each other, I had to use player counts from SteamDB and make a few assumptions.

The first assumption is that the Steam Hardware Survey’s data is consistent for all users. Because Steam users have to opt-in to the survey, when it says that 2.24% of Steam users used a VR headset in January 2024, what it really means is that 2.24% of Steam Hardware Survey participants used a VR headset that month. There’s no reason to believe the survey’s sample isn’t representative of the whole of Steam’s user base, and this is an assumption that’s generally taken for granted when looking at Hardware Survey data. But if I’m going to break down where my numbers come from, I might as well do it thoroughly.

Secondly, I had to assume that Steam users only used one VR headset each month and that they didn’t share their headsets with other Steam users. These assumptions allow me to say that if the Meta Quest 3 was used for 14.05% of Steam VR sessions, then 14.05% of Steam users with a VR headset (which is 2.24% of Steam’s total users) owned a Quest 3 in January 2024. Not making these assumptions leads to an undercount and overcount, respectively, so they kinda cancel each other out. Also, without this assumption, I couldn’t continue beyond this step as I’d lack the data I need.

The Oculus Quest 2 headset sat on top of its box and next to its controllers

Who needs more than one VR headset anyway? (Image credit: Shutterstock / agencies)

Valve doesn’t publish Steam’s total user numbers, and the last time it published monthly active user data was in 2021 – and that was an average for the whole year rather than for each month. It also doesn’t say how many people take part in the Hardware Survey. All it does publish is how many people are using Steam right now. This information is gathered by SteamDB so that I and other people can see Steam’s Daily Active User (DAU) average for January 2021 and January 2024 (as well as other months, but I only care about these two).

My penultimate assumption was that the proportion of DAUs compared to the total number of Steam users in January 2021 is the same as the proportion of DAUs compared to the total number of Steam users in January 2024. The exact proportion of DAUs to the total doesn’t matter (it could be 1% or 100%). By assuming it stays consistent between these two months, I can take the DAU figures I have – 25,295,361 in January 2024 and 24,674,583 in January 2021 – multiply them by the percentage of Steam users with a Quest 3 and Quest 2 during these months, respectively – 0.31% and 0.37% – then finally compare the numbers to one another.

The result is that the number of Steam users with a Quest 3 in January 2024 is 87.05% of the number of Steam users with a Quest 2 in January 2021.

My final assumption was that Quest headset owners haven’t become more or less likely to connect their devices to a PC to play Steam VR. So if it's 87% as popular on Steam four months after their respective launches, the Quest 3 has sold 87% as well as the Quest 2 did after their first four months on sale.

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A new, much more convenient way to join Wi-Fi networks may be coming to Windows 11 and I can’t wait

Microsoft could be releasing a new feature for Windows 11 that would make connecting to Wi-Fi networks so much quicker and easier. Users may soon be able to join new networks by scanning a QR code with the camera app, eliminating the need to muck about searching for (or remembering) complicated passwords and keeping track of which password belongs to each network. 

According to MSPoweruser the feature is part of the latest Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26052. The Windows Insider program is a community that allows Windows enthusiasts and developers to get early access to potential new features and give feedback before they make these features available to regular Windows 11 users. 

The build was made available to the Dev Channels in Preview Build in early February, which demonstrated how users can point their phone camera at a QR code displayed on a laptop or PC already connected to the Wi-Fi, and a pop-up will appear on their phones that will let them connect to the Wi-Fi network without having to enter in any passwords.

This also works with the Camera app in Windows 11, allowing you to connect new Windows 11 devices to the wireless network (either via a QR code displayed on a connected device, or be scanning the QR code that is sometimes included with new routers and printed in their manuals). Of course, those devices will need a camera, which won't be too hard for Windows 11 tablets and laptops, though maybe a bit cumbersome. Desktop PCs will be harder, but you can add a camera to your computer – check out our best webcams guide for our top picks.

Sharing is caring

The feature should also work for mobile hotspots, so you’ll be able to share your connection a lot quicker when you’re working on the go with other team members, or collaborating on group projects for school outside of the classroom. One of my least favorite parts of setting up a new device or working outside is fiddling with the Wi-Fi, so I’m pretty hyped about this feature.

We do have to keep in mind that often some of the features that are put in the Dev Channels don’t actually make it to the public. 

That being said, we do hope the feature does come to regular Windows 11 soon, because it’s an incredibly convenient way to make Wi-Fi sharing much easier and make sure other people can connect to your network without actually having to be given the password, which means this method is more convenient as well. And, if you want to give your wireless network an upgrade, check out our picks for the best Wi-Fi routers.

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Windows 11 users can’t get enough of Copilot, apparently – that’s why Microsoft supersized the AI’s panel

The Copilot panel in Windows 11 has been tinkered with a good deal in recent times, and a newer change that has been applied is one to switch up the way it appears by default, which has now been accompanied by a prompt from Microsoft explaining why.

This was spotted by regular leaker Leopeva64 on X (formerly Twitter), who noted that the Copilot pane is now wider than it used to be, and opens as an overlay, rather than in side-by-side view (a more compact form, where it’s always nestling next to your active window).

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Leopeva64 explains that the Copilot interface has opened this way for a short while now, but a new addition is a prompt Microsoft has added to explain why.

The ‘What’s new’ pop-up tells us that the recent change to make the panel wider so there’s “more space to chat” was due to Windows 11 user feedback requesting that additional real-estate. It also notes, however, that there’s a button at the top of the panel you can click to switch back to the more compact side-by-side layout, if you wish.

Analysis: Copilot expansion

It’s useful to have an explanation of the recent move to change the default settings for how the AI opens, and by all accounts, this points to Windows 11 users favoring a larger Copilot panel. (Or at least some of them, and we could assume the majority, at least of those who’ve fed back to Microsoft on Copilot’s interface).

Certainly those who use Copilot quite a lot in Windows 11, engaging in longer sessions of queries, may welcome the AI assistant getting more screen space by default.

The truth is we can expect to see a lot more of Copilot, one way or another, going forward. By which we mean Microsoft is already testing the waters for having the AI assistant appear when Windows 11 first boots (in a limited fashion thus far, mind). Furthermore, there are clues that Copilot may be integrated into other parts of the Windows 11 interface (such as File Explorer). We can envisage further possibilities like being able to dock Copilot elsewhere (it sits on the right-hand side of the screen currently).

What we definitely don’t want to see are nudges or adverts to use Copilot, but sadly – yet somewhat predictably – this has been spotted in testing too (promoting Copilot Pro, the supercharged paid version of the AI, we should clarify).

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The Apple Vision Pro comes with a Guest Mode dilemma – you can share the love but can’t keep the settings

Apple’s newly-launched Vision Pro comes with a guest mode, but it appears to be frustratingly limited. It seems that (rather reluctantly), Apple has included a “Guest User” mode to let users share their shiny new device with family and friends without having to give them access to your personal information and data. That said, if you hope it’ll be like guest modes on other devices we’ve become accustomed to, you’ll need to think again. 

While friends and family will be able to experience the magic of the Vision Pro on a user’s device, according to 9to5Mac the device won’t store any of their settings. This will no doubt be disappointing for anyone who got it hoping to be able to share it with a group – such as with the rest of their family. Also, Guest Mode will allow you to “share specific apps and experiences with family and friends,” which sounds like the ability to share may not extend to all apps.

So, guest users will only have limited settings and app capabilities, settings will not be stored from any sessions, and the Vision Pro won’t actually even save guest calibration data. If a guest wants to use a specific user’s Vision Pro other than their own, they’ll have to go through the process of calibrating eye tracking, hand scanning, and pairing ZEISS Optical Inserts every time.

An Apple Store staff member shows a customer how to use a Vision Pro headset.

(Image credit: Apple)

Possible concerns ahead for the Vision Pro

This isn’t due to a technical limitation either, Apple chose to have it be this way. If a friend or family member just wants to give it a spin and try it, this isn’t so bad. However, with a $ 3,500 price tag, some people probably bought it hoping to be able to share it with people they live with. 

This Guest Mode makes it tough to do so, and puts users and guests off of using it like this multiple times. As far as we know, that’s how things stand for now – you can have one main user account, plus the built-in Guest Mode, but there's no option to create separate accounts (guest or otherwise). 

While not totally unheard of for Apple, I can imagine this being disappointing news for some recipients of the Vision Pro. For example, the iPad doesn’t have guest-sharing specific features, but this doesn’t really hinder sharing the iPad with people, and a guest mode probably doesn’t add as much to it. To be able to use the Vision Pro at all, you have to at least calibrate it to your face and eyes, so it’s a different story. 

We await the Vision Pro’s arrival in US stores on February 2 and reviewers have already started posting their first impressions of the device. I can see this becoming a real drawback that users get vocal about  – but would it convince Apple to change the guest mode? Because this is a bold first-gen launch for Apple, users are willing to let its vision develop and give it a chance. Hopefully Apple doesn’t burn through that good will.

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Even OpenAI can’t tell the difference between original content and AI-generated content – and that’s worrying

Open AI, the creator of the incredibly popular AI chatbot ChatGPT, has officially shut down the tool it had developed for detecting content created by AI and not humans. ‘AI Classifier’ has been scrapped just six months after its launch – apparently due to a ‘low rate of accuracy’, says OpenAI in a blog post.

ChatGPT has exploded in popularity this year, worming its way into every aspect of our digital lives, with a slew of rival services and copycats. Of course, the flood of AI-generated content does bring up concerns from multiple groups surrounding inaccurate, inhuman content pervading our social media and newsfeeds.

Educators in particular are troubled by the different ways ChatGPT has been used to write essays and assignments that are passed off as original work. OpenAI’s classifier tool was designed to address these fears not just within education but wider spheres like corporate workspaces, medical fields, and coding-intensive careers. The idea behind the tool was that it should be able to determine whether a piece of text was written by a human or an AI chatbot, in order to combat misinformation

Plagiarism detection service Turnitin, often used by universities, recently integrated an ‘AI Detection Tool’ that has demonstrated a very prominent fault of being wrong on either side. Students and faculty have gone to Reddit to protest the inaccurate results, with students stating their own original work is being flagged as AI-generated content, and faculty complaining about AI work passing through these detectors unflagged.

Turnitin’s “AI Detection Tool” strikes (wrong) again from r/ChatGPT

It is an incredibly troubling thought: the idea that the makers of ChatGPT can no longer differentiate between what is a product of their own tool and what is not. If OpenAI can’t tell the difference, then what chance do we have? Is this the beginning of a misinformation flood, in which no one will ever be certain if what they read online is true? I don’t like to doomsay, but it’s certainly worrying.

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