A big WhatsApp Desktop update comes to Windows 11, making the web version pointless

While 2021 brought the WhatsApp Desktop app to Windows 11, alongside a new look in January, there's new features about to appear in the beta version.

The new update of the beta version, that’s been available on the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 and Windows 11 since November, showcases message reactions and the ability to permanently archive chats.

These are two features that users had been long-requesting, and while they arrived in the iOS and Android versions, they were yet to arrive for Windows 11, until recently.

However, with video calling in the desktop app, and GIFs having just arrived after the web version has had the ability for the last year, it makes us wonder if there's any point in using WhatsApp in our web browsers anymore. 


Analysis: Time to move on from WhatsApp Web

Using WhatsApp on the web on your PC or Mac has been the norm for years now. Using a tab in your web browser to quickly reply to messages, instead of reaching for your phone, is very useful.

However, there's times when you can discover its limits, such as missing reactions and video calling.

This is where the desktop app has already superseded the web version on Windows and Mac. Calling your contacts through audio or video will be a big benefit to many, and while GIFS are already on the web version, they feel faster and display in a higher quality compared to how they show on the web browser.

It's at the point where we're already making sure that the app starts up alongside Steam, Chrome, and more when we switch on our PCs.

Reactions and the method to keep archived chats, archived, are only going to spur users to move away from the web version as well, and as far as we're concerned, any way to reduce the tabs in our web browser is a benefit regardless to make them more manageable.

Via WindowsLatest

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A big WhatsApp Desktop update comes to Windows 11, making the web version pointless

While 2021 brought the WhatsApp Desktop app to Windows 11, alongside a new look in January, there's new features about to appear in the beta version.

The new update of the beta version, that’s been available on the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 and Windows 11 since November, showcases message reactions and the ability to permanently archive chats.

These are two features that users had been long-requesting, and while they arrived in the iOS and Android versions, they were yet to arrive for Windows 11, until recently.

However, with video calling in the desktop app, and GIFs having just arrived after the web version has had the ability for the last year, it makes us wonder if there's any point in using WhatsApp in our web browsers anymore. 


Analysis: Time to move on from WhatsApp Web

Using WhatsApp on the web on your PC or Mac has been the norm for years now. Using a tab in your web browser to quickly reply to messages, instead of reaching for your phone, is very useful.

However, there's times when you can discover its limits, such as missing reactions and video calling.

This is where the desktop app has already superseded the web version on Windows and Mac. Calling your contacts through audio or video will be a big benefit to many, and while GIFS are already on the web version, they feel faster and display in a higher quality compared to how they show on the web browser.

It's at the point where we're already making sure that the app starts up alongside Steam, Chrome, and more when we switch on our PCs.

Reactions and the method to keep archived chats, archived, are only going to spur users to move away from the web version as well, and as far as we're concerned, any way to reduce the tabs in our web browser is a benefit regardless to make them more manageable.

Via WindowsLatest

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Windows 11’s best new feature comes with a big catch

Microsoft has announced a powerful new feature for Windows 11 that can protect users from malicious apps and downloads – but to enable it, you’ll have to deal with a pretty big catch: a total reinstall of Windows 11.

The Smart App Control feature aims to keep your PC protected from malicious apps, and as PCWorld reports, this “major enhancement to the Windows 11 security model,” as Microsoft calls it, will be baked into Windows 11, with every new app you run checked to see if it may be a virus – or worse.

It appears to be based on similar tech to SmartScreen, which is included in the Edge web browser, but will go much further in checking apps you run on your PC, including ones you download using other browsers.

This increased level of threat protection is great to have, and will be of particular use to businesses and enterprises that want to ensure their devices are protected. However, it comes with a pretty big caveat: existing Windows 11 users will need to reinstall Windows 11 completely. This means wiping your entire PC and starting again, and that could be a real pain for many users.


Analysis: is it worth it?

Angry man ripping out his hair in front of his laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

As Microsoft explained when it announced the feature, “Devices running previous versions of Windows 11 will have to be reset and have a clean installation of Windows 11 to take advantage of this feature.”

For new Windows 11 devices, this shouldn’t be an issue, as hopefully they'll ship with the latest version of the operating system which includes this feature. However, if you're already running Windows 11 you’ll be faced with a dilemma: do you wipe and reinstall Windows 11, or miss out on added security?

Performing a fresh install of Windows 11 is not a minor task. Although it’s certainly easier than with previous versions of Windows, you’ll be erasing all your apps, documents and settings. You’ll need to make sure all your important documents are backed up before you do this, and then spend time re-downloading and installing your apps and games, and tweaking your settings.

This is a time-consuming process on a single device, but for businesses that have a large number of Windows 11 PCs already it could cause major logistical issues.

Despite this, it’s advisable for many people to perform the reinstall to get the new feature, as any additional protection against online threats is worth having, especially if that protection is baked-in at a system level, which should minimize any impact on performance.

For people who download a lot of programs from the internet, and businesses for which the protection of devices and the data they hold is of the utmost importance, this is an inconvenience that's worth enduring – and the earlier you do it, the less impact it should have.

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Windows 11’s best new feature comes with a big catch

Microsoft has announced a powerful new feature for Windows 11 that can protect users from malicious apps and downloads – but to enable it, you’ll have to deal with a pretty big catch: a total reinstall of Windows 11.

The Smart App Control feature aims to keep your PC protected from malicious apps, and as PCWorld reports, this “major enhancement to the Windows 11 security model,” as Microsoft calls it, will be baked into Windows 11, with every new app you run checked to see if it may be a virus – or worse.

It appears to be based on similar tech to SmartScreen, which is included in the Edge web browser, but will go much further in checking apps you run on your PC, including ones you download using other browsers.

This increased level of threat protection is great to have, and will be of particular use to businesses and enterprises that want to ensure their devices are protected. However, it comes with a pretty big caveat: existing Windows 11 users will need to reinstall Windows 11 completely. This means wiping your entire PC and starting again, and that could be a real pain for many users.


Analysis: is it worth it?

Angry man ripping out his hair in front of his laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

As Microsoft explained when it announced the feature, “Devices running previous versions of Windows 11 will have to be reset and have a clean installation of Windows 11 to take advantage of this feature.”

For new Windows 11 devices, this shouldn’t be an issue, as hopefully they'll ship with the latest version of the operating system which includes this feature. However, if you're already running Windows 11 you’ll be faced with a dilemma: do you wipe and reinstall Windows 11, or miss out on added security?

Performing a fresh install of Windows 11 is not a minor task. Although it’s certainly easier than with previous versions of Windows, you’ll be erasing all your apps, documents and settings. You’ll need to make sure all your important documents are backed up before you do this, and then spend time re-downloading and installing your apps and games, and tweaking your settings.

This is a time-consuming process on a single device, but for businesses that have a large number of Windows 11 PCs already it could cause major logistical issues.

Despite this, it’s advisable for many people to perform the reinstall to get the new feature, as any additional protection against online threats is worth having, especially if that protection is baked-in at a system level, which should minimize any impact on performance.

For people who download a lot of programs from the internet, and businesses for which the protection of devices and the data they hold is of the utmost importance, this is an inconvenience that's worth enduring – and the earlier you do it, the less impact it should have.

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Android app support in Windows 11 comes with a few nasty surprises

One of the most exciting new features coming to Windows 11 is its ability to run Android apps, but Microsoft has revealed a few requirements that may dampen people’s enthusiasm.

According to Microsoft’s new FAQ for the feature, if you want Android apps to run on your PC, you’ll need to meet certain requirements to do so.

So, you’ll need to have a device that runs Windows 11 version 21H2, or later, which is the version that introduces the new feature.

You’ll also need a solid state drive (SSD) and have a modern x64 or ARM64 processor. While these requirements aren’t too bad, and most people running Windows 11 will have them, things then become a little trickier.

Microsoft says you need 8GB of RAM minimum, but16GB is recommended. That 16GB recommendation is quite surprising for a feature we wouldn’t have thought was too demanding (these are apps that are supposed to run on smartphones, after all).

However, the 8GB minimum setting means people running Windows 11 on devices with 4GB of RAM – which is technically possible – won’t be able to use this feature. So low-powered, older, or embedded devices, which may have benefitted the most from getting Android apps, will be left out.

You’ll also need to turn on the Virtual Machine Platform, which is a setting found in Windows 11’s Control Panel.

There’s also one final requirement that may annoy people. As we’ve reported before, Windows 11 uses the Amazon Store for Android apps, rather than Google’s own Play Store.

This means you don’t get the vast collection of apps that you’d find in the Play Store. Nor can you use Play Store credit to buy apps, and any apps or games you’ve bought on your Android devices through the Play Store will need to be re-bought.

You’ll also need an Amazon account as well. While many people probably already have one, due to the popularity of the online store, there will be plenty of people who don’t want an Amazon account for various reasons. Having to sign up for yet another account you don’t want may be too much of an ask.


Analysis: Does this kill the Android app hype in Windows 11?

Are these requirements enough to kill off some people’s excitement for getting Android apps in Windows 11? While the potential of having thousands of apps instantly available in Windows 11, and which can be installed via the Microsoft Store like other Windows 11 apps, remains exciting, we have to admit having our hype has reduced a bit.

The 8GB RAM requirement, for example, means that hopes of making an old, less powerful, Windows 11 device essentially an Android tablet, are less likely now.

Microsoft’s decision to go with the Amazon Appstore also continues to baffle and annoy. Many of us will have a large library of Android apps installed on our devices, and the thought that we’d have to pay for certain apps and games again because we bought them through Google Play instantly puts a damper on things.

If you want to give Android apps a go in Windows 11, you can download the Windows 11 KB5010414 update, which is an optional update that adds an early look at how Android apps will be integrated into the operating system. At the moment, this feature is only available in the US.

Via WindowsLatest

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WhatsApp comes to Windows 11 and 10 as an app – here’s how to try it out

With WhatsApp bringing out many new features this year, such as disappearing messages, an updated look and more, users had been wondering what else could be coming from the company

They didn't have long to wait, as a beta version of a native app on the Microsoft Store has been released for both Windows 10 and Windows 11.

You can try it right now and decide whether you'll prefer to use WhatsApp on your laptop or tablet device instead. But so far the app has a lot of features that you most likely use on your smartphone each day anyway, so you may prefer to keep using the app.

However, the question will be, whether a dedicated app on Windows is necessary, when your phone is an arms-length away, alongside being able to use WhatsApp on your web browser.

Analysis: Turning the WhatsApp dial to 11

While we ironically use our web browsers for more than just browsing the web, having a dedicated app for WhatsApp can enable more features compared to using a web page.

The app in testing showcases this, with handwriting features and notifications that work with Windows 10 and 11, alongside Focus Assist.

There's plenty of apps coming to the Microsoft Store, and that's not forgetting about Android apps coming to it soon thanks to Amazon.

It could be very helpful if you use WhatsApp more than others, saving you to use your smartphone, and instead replying to a message through your laptop.

However, time will tell if users will be more comfortable in using an app on the desktop, rather than through a web browser, or again, through their phone.

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PS5 is already beating Xbox Series X when it comes to developer interest

The next-gen console war hasn't officially started yet but, when it comes to developer interest it seems the PS5 is already beating Xbox Series X – and the Nintendo Switch.

That's according to GDC's State of the Game Industry 2020 survey, which surveyed 4,000 game developers on a variety of industry topics ahead of GDC 2020 in March. And, of course, the next-gen consoles were top of the agenda.

When asked which platform they planned to launch their next project on, 23% of those surveyed said the PlayStation 5, while 17% said the Xbox Series X and 19% said the Nintendo Switch – suggesting the Switch is also currently more appealing to devs than Microsoft's next-gen console.

However, not even the PS5 could hold a candle to PC, which remains the most popular platform among game developers, with 52% saying they were developing their next project for PC.

When it comes to the platform devs are most intrigued by, the PS5 once again leads the pack when it comes to consoles, with 38%, but the Switch only just behind on 37%. Again, the Xbox Series X is seriously lagging behind, piquing the interest of just 25% of devs. 

The survey also revealed that 10% of developers are currently working on a game for the next-gen consoles.

Other interesting trends

Xbox Series X

While the survey seems to suggest that game developers are favoring the PS5 over Xbox Series X, there were some other interesting trends that emerged from the data. 

It seems there's a rising interest in VR, and the Oculus Quest headset specifically, while interest in game streaming services like Google Stadia is also growing. However, the number of devs making mobile games is decreasing. 

It also seems like we won't be dealing in next-gen exclusives anytime soon, as only 5% of developers are creating next-gen exclusive titles – with a third expecting their games to be cross-generation.

While these kinds of surveys aren't always a precise indicator of industry trends, these are the people making games right now, and their views on the industry landscape give us a pretty good idea of the general direction of travel. 

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