Home Widget brings a feature that I hoped would come in iOS 16

During the first few months of the pandemic in 2020 when the UK was in lockdown, I decided to finally follow through with some plans for the house to help make some appliances easier to manage.

The first easy win in this was smart lights. Over a weekend, I replaced every light that we used across the house with a smart one that would be available to manage over Apple's Home app, or Amazon's Alexa as a way to command the lights in the living room.

But while Apple's Home app, in which you can manage all of your lights and other smart home appliances, was easy enough to use, it's never had widgets, which has always baffled me.

Widgets first arrived in iOS 14 back in 2020, but it's taken an innovative app called Home Widget to lessen my annoyance with the lack of a Home one. Now, I've got a bunch of widgets on my home screen for my lights, without opening a single app.

Let there be (smart) light

Home Widget app in iOS

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Available for free, alongside an in-app purchase of $ 8.99 / £8.99 / AU$ 10.99 to let you create an unlimited amount of widgets, the app will monitor every smart appliance that's connected to your iPhone, and these will show in the app.

After this, you can create different panels for the lights or other appliances in your home, alongside choosing the colors, icons, and more.

Once you're done, you can place them on your iPhone or iPad home screen. Pressing one of these will either switch on or off what you've selected, without having to go into an app like Apple's Home.

Yes, this may sound very obvious to those who don't have smart lights in their home that manage them through an iPhone, but after two years of using the Home app, it's always felt off that a tentpole iOS feature that Apple has been showcasing since 2020, is nowhere to be found in its own Home app.

But Home Widget does it well, especially in how easy it is to manage your widgets. There's also a nice touch of the app showing all the widgets you've made on its launch screen, in a Tetris layout.

The app recently updated to 1.2, which brings support for HomeKit cameras, battery sensors, the color of your lights, and more.

Regardless of whether Apple brings widgets to its Home app in the future, perhaps at WWDC 2022, Home Widget is already a favorite and scratches a big itch that I've had for my house for two years.

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As Google Chrome 100 arrives, we tried version 1.0 on Windows 11 to see how far it’s come

In the mid-2000s, Google was known for announcing joke software for April Fools Day that we all knew wouldn't ever be made. So, when its new web browser, Google Chrome first arrived in September 2008, users had thought that the company had delayed the joke by a few months.

However, since its arrival, Chrome has seen many changes and revamps, to the point where it's the most-used web browser in the world. It's now also been made available on smartphones and tablets, further changing how we browse the web.

Google is now about to launch version 100, and as it's close to April 1, we wouldn't be surprised if there's a major new feature or two coming to the update, perhaps as a hint to its April Fool gags of yore, or to tie in with Google Mail's launch, which actually launched on April 1 2004.

With this in mind, we tracked down version 1.0 of Google Chrome and tried it in Windows 11 to see how it handles modern websites… or if it is even usable.

Using Google Chrome 1.0 in 2022

Google Chrome version 1.0 About screen in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The internet of 2008 was very different compared to what we use in 2022. It was a year when Apple's App Store launched alongside the iPhone 3G, and we were all still trying to get used to browsing the web on our smartphones.

Trying to play a 4K video on YouTube back then would have been an impossible task, and streaming Banjo Kazooie on Game Pass through Chrome would have been as likely as seeing Mario come to the Steam Deck in a sequel to Half Life.

After finding version 1.0.154 of Chrome, released on December 11 2008, we installed it and saw the familiar layout of the web browser, but in a shade of light blue that seemed to be a constant presence in these early versions. Tabs were still relatively new at the time, with Mozilla's Firefox, and Apple's Safari having had the feature for only a few years at the time.

But, it defined Chrome, encouraging you to press the '+' button to open multiple tabs for the sites you wanted to visit.

But this is where the troubles began for us.

Image 1 of 6

Google Chrome 1 in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Image 2 of 6

Google Chrome 1 in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Image 3 of 6

Google Chrome 1 in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Image 4 of 6

Google Chrome 1 in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Image 5 of 6

Google Chrome 1 in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Image 6 of 6

Google Chrome 1 in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)

As the above screenshots show, loading up our Apple Studio review brought up the text, but it was the only aspect we could decipher. Chrome 1.0 couldn't render the photos or any sections correctly. Some would load up, but they would be stretched to the point that they would be pixelated. We thought we'd go to YouTube to see how this would fare, and not only did it show the mobile version, but nothing was displaying correctly anyway; only YouTube's logo.

There were other times when we would visit other sites, and we would receive a pop-up saying 'You're using an old version, please upgrade your browser.' Ignoring this would try to display the website in question regardless, but none of them worked. Ironically, searching for trees in Google was the one website that did show correctly, albeit in its mobile version.

Google Chrome 1 preferences

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Looking around Chrome 1.0.154's features, it's as barebones as you would expect for a web browser that was officially two months old at the time. There's a Preferences section, but nothing in the way of themes and web extensions that today's web browsers offer.

The idea of doing some work in this version of Chrome through Google Docs or Apple's Pages is impossible – this was an era of the internet where you'd be browsing the web to be rid of boredom or to find the answer to something.

While it was a short-lived trip using one of the first versions of Google Chrome, it's at least showed us how far Chrome – and the internet itself – has come.

In 2022, playing Sea of Thieves or watching the upcoming Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi in 4K, is seen as a normal task in Chrome. After 100 versions and almost 14 years of Chrome, it only makes us wonder as to what version 200 could bring, and the devices we'll be browsing the web on then.

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As Google Chrome 100 arrives, we tried version 1.0 on Windows 11 to see how far it’s come

In the mid-2000s, Google was known for announcing joke software for April Fools Day that we all knew wouldn't ever be made. So, when its new web browser, Google Chrome first arrived in September 2008, users had thought that the company had delayed the joke by a few months.

However, since its arrival, Chrome has seen many changes and revamps, to the point where it's the most-used web browser in the world. It's now also been made available on smartphones and tablets, further changing how we browse the web.

Google is now about to launch version 100, and as it's close to April 1, we wouldn't be surprised if there's a major new feature or two coming to the update, perhaps as a hint to its April Fool gags of yore, or to tie in with Google Mail's launch, which actually launched on April 1 2004.

With this in mind, we tracked down version 1.0 of Google Chrome and tried it in Windows 11 to see how it handles modern websites… or if it is even usable.

Using Google Chrome 1.0 in 2022

Google Chrome version 1.0 About screen in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The internet of 2008 was very different compared to what we use in 2022. It was a year when Apple's App Store launched alongside the iPhone 3G, and we were all still trying to get used to browsing the web on our smartphones.

Trying to play a 4K video on YouTube back then would have been an impossible task, and streaming Banjo Kazooie on Game Pass through Chrome would have been as likely as seeing Mario come to the Steam Deck in a sequel to Half Life.

After finding version 1.0.154 of Chrome, released on December 11 2008, we installed it and saw the familiar layout of the web browser, but in a shade of light blue that seemed to be a constant presence in these early versions. Tabs were still relatively new at the time, with Mozilla's Firefox, and Apple's Safari having had the feature for only a few years at the time.

But, it defined Chrome, encouraging you to press the '+' button to open multiple tabs for the sites you wanted to visit.

But this is where the troubles began for us.

Image 1 of 6

Google Chrome 1 in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Image 2 of 6

Google Chrome 1 in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Image 3 of 6

Google Chrome 1 in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Image 4 of 6

Google Chrome 1 in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Image 5 of 6

Google Chrome 1 in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Image 6 of 6

Google Chrome 1 in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)

As the above screenshots show, loading up our Apple Studio review brought up the text, but it was the only aspect we could decipher. Chrome 1.0 couldn't render the photos or any sections correctly. Some would load up, but they would be stretched to the point that they would be pixelated. We thought we'd go to YouTube to see how this would fare, and not only did it show the mobile version, but nothing was displaying correctly anyway; only YouTube's logo.

There were other times when we would visit other sites, and we would receive a pop-up saying 'You're using an old version, please upgrade your browser.' Ignoring this would try to display the website in question regardless, but none of them worked. Ironically, searching for trees in Google was the one website that did show correctly, albeit in its mobile version.

Google Chrome 1 preferences

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Looking around Chrome 1.0.154's features, it's as barebones as you would expect for a web browser that was officially two months old at the time. There's a Preferences section, but nothing in the way of themes and web extensions that today's web browsers offer.

The idea of doing some work in this version of Chrome through Google Docs or Apple's Pages is impossible – this was an era of the internet where you'd be browsing the web to be rid of boredom or to find the answer to something.

While it was a short-lived trip using one of the first versions of Google Chrome, it's at least showed us how far Chrome – and the internet itself – has come.

In 2022, playing Sea of Thieves or watching the upcoming Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi in 4K, is seen as a normal task in Chrome. After 100 versions and almost 14 years of Chrome, it only makes us wonder as to what version 200 could bring, and the devices we'll be browsing the web on then.

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Here’s how you can save Wordle offline and play for years to come

While Wordle has been bought by the New York Times for an undisclosed amount, a method has been discovered to play the game offline for years to come, while still being able to share your daily results as normal.

Since the debut of Wordle in November 2021, which was meant by Josh Wardle to be used as a way of keeping in touch with his partner, it’s grown into over 300,000 users playing a day. Sharing your score to Twitter has been a big part of this, with it being unlikely to log on to the social website and not see a tweet with green and white dots.

But some users have been anxious as to how their winning streak would continue, once the buyout by the New York Times is complete. In the past, some games have moved behind a paywall, requiring you to sign up. But while Wardle mentioned in a tweet that saving your streaks is in progress, users have already found alternate ways if the dreaded scenario comes true.

However, with countless copycats having appeared on the App Store, but still appearing on the Google Play Store, there’s a risk that we could see an influx of these once the sale is done.

A time capsule of January 2022

Across the years there have been other games that have taken off, similar to Wordle. Eventually, they either slowly faded away or were bought by another company.

Flappy Bird was one such game in 2013 before the developer took it down from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores. There was also Temple Run back in 2011, where there would be leaderboards between my friends and family as to how far we could run.

But Wordle has a userbase that wants to keep the daily routine of solving a word, then sharing it with friends and family. Users have discovered that saving the page in a web browser, will also store the words that are to come for many years.

See more

Launching this on Safari on my MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) loaded up Wordle with no issues. I switched off the Wi-Fi, just in case it was trying to reach the site, but sure enough, the latest word was ready to be solved.

The only downside is that my streak is reset – but it’s a small price to pay for the changes that may be coming to Wordle soon.

Playing Wordle offline on a MacBook Pro

(Image credit: TechRadar)

I’m expecting a dedicated app to appear on most platforms – from the App Store to the Nintendo Switch in time. The New York Times will want to make the game available on more platforms than just the web. But as long as you can share those green and yellow marbles on social media, users may have no issue with this.

For the time being, Wordle is still the same as it was in December, but if you want to move to your PC or Mac to get ahead of the curve for the changes that may happen to the game in the coming months, it wouldn’t be a bad move.

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Amazon’s Plan to Track Worker Keystrokes: A Sign of Controls to Come?

Data theft, insider threats and imposters accessing sensitive customer data have apparently gotten so bad inside Amazon, the company is considering rolling out keyboard-stroke monitoring for its customer-service reps. A confidential memo from inside Amazon explained that customer service credential abuse and data theft was on the rise, according to Motherboard which reviewed the document. […]
Threatpost

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Samsung S10 and S10 Plus deals come with a free smartwatch…but not for long

If you've been casually eyeing up one of Samsung's two top tier Galaxy S series devices – the S10 and S10 Plus – now looks like the perfect time to invest. And when we say now…we mean the next two days.

While that might seem like a pretty quick turnaround on something you're going to own for the next two years, there is good reasoning behind it. Until January 29, Samsung is throwing in a free Galaxy Watch Active with select Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus plans.

That's a pretty great freebie alongside your phone, especially considering we gave it a 4 star review when we tested it. And the equally great news is that prices on both the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus are looking pretty great right now.

We've picked out a selection of the top Samsung Galaxy S10 deals and its plus sized brother and listed them below. Or if you find that none of the tariffs quite agree with you, consult our guide to the best mobile phone deals to see what else is out there.

  • Don't see anything you like? Check out the competition with our iPhone deals guide

Divider

Samsung Galaxy S10 deals + free Galaxy Watch:

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus deals + free Galaxy Watch:

How to claim your free Samsung Galaxy Watch Active:

All you have to do is purchase a Samsung Galaxy S10 or S10 Plus deal before January 29. After that, go to this link and claim your new free watch. It can take up to 45 days for your Samsung Galaxy Watch Active to arrive so don't worry too much if you don't see it straight away.

What other retailers are offering the watch?

Affordable Mobiles
Amazon.co.uk
Argos
Buymobiles.net
Carphone Warehouse
Currys PC World
e2save.co.uk
EE Mobile
ID Mobile
John Lewis
Mobile Phones Direct
Mobiles.co.uk
Samsung
Three
Very
Vodafone

What is the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus like?

Samsung Galaxy S10:

The S10 is an excellent smartphone. Fitting perfectly between Samsung's affordable S10e and its mammoth S10 Plus and Note 10 devices, this phone is the ideal middle ground. You're getting a high-quality screen, in-screen fingerprint scanner and a powerful battery/processor combo.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S10 review here

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus:

Samsung's greatest 2019 handset, the S10 Plus is about as good as phones come right now – it's gone straight to the top of our best smartphone chart. The S10 Plus has a beautiful infinity-O display, in-screen fingerprint scanner, strong battery life and a powerful processor. But obviously with all of these features comes a big price, which is where these affordable offers come into play. 

Read our review on the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

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Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus will come free with Galaxy S20 Plus – if you preorder

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus will reportedly come free when you preorder one of the brand's more expensive S20 smartphones, which are due to be unveiled on February 11 at Samsung's Unpacked 2020.

A promotional image posted by renowned tipster Evan Blass shows off the new true wireless earbuds alongside the Galaxy S20+ and S20 Ultra, while text at the top of the image reads: "Preorder now and get Galaxy Buds+ for free."

It doesn't look as though preorders for the regular Galaxy S20 will qualify for this offer – although, it's important to note that Samsung hasn't yet verified whether the promotional image is authentic, and we probably won't find out for sure until February 11.

samsung galaxy s20

Lots of leaks

Based on the leaked image, it appears that the new Galaxy Buds Plus will sport a very similar design to their predecessors, with slick pearlescent housings and adjustable silicone eartips.

There's been a number of leaks in the run up to Samsung's new true wireless earbud's launch date, including a purported lack of noise cancellation.

According to a report by SamMobile, the second-gen true wireless earbuds won't be as big an upgrade as we were hoping for, eschewing the AirPods Pro-style noise-cancelling tech we were expecting. Prolific tech leaker @UniverseIce made the same claims in early January, too.

It's possible that Samsung is planning to release a more premium version of the Galaxy Buds Plus in the future, which come with noise cancellation – this would allow the brand to offer two models at different price points, like Apple does with the original AirPods and AirPods Pro.

The new Galaxy Buds Plus will also reportedly boast a much longer battery life than their predecessors, at 12 hours from a single charge. 

An FCC filing for the new buds revealed that they'll use 300mAh batteries, while the charging case will use 600mAk batteries; the original Galaxy Buds used 150mAh and 300mAh batteries respectively.

Of course, we'll need to wait until February 11 to find out exactly what the new true wireless earbuds will offer, but at this rate, there won't be many surprises at Samsung Unpacked 2020. 

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