Clubhouse finally gets dark mode on Android and iOS

The exclusive audio-only social media platform is finally getting a dark mode on its Android and iOS apps.

Starting from April 14, those using an Android smartphone or an iPhone to access Clubhouse can at long last enter dark mode to turn the app’s UI black (or “velvety dark” as the blog post put it, *sigh*).

To turn this feature on you simply need to head to settings and select ‘Dark Mode’. From here you’ll have two options.

For those after the dark mode aesthetic 24/7, you’ll want to turn on ‘Always Dark Mode’. Meanwhile, those of you who use dark mode to reduce eye strain at night can turn on ‘User Device Settings’, causing the app to automatically shift between light and dark mode based on your phone’s settings.


Everyone's invited

The update should have already begun rolling out, though it can sometimes take a bit of time for it to reach everyone. You can check the Play Store or App Store on your phone to see if it’s updated or to force it to update for you a little sooner.

If this dark mode update has convinced you to finally give Clubhouse a try, then you’ll be glad to hear that the app is no longer invite-only. Anyone has been able to join Clubhouse since July 2021, but the reputation it built up from its invite-only beta has left some still thinking you can only join if you know someone who’s already on the inside.

To get started on the app simply download it from the Play Store or App Store and create an account.

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You can finally get unlimited Google Photos storage but there’s a catch

A new Google One membership is on the way, offering users unlimited Google Photos cloud storage – however it’s only available to T-Mobile customers in the US, and it’ll cost $ 15 per month. 

Google Photos delivers one of the best photo cloud storage services – ideal for users who upload a lot of high-res images. T-Mobile’s latest Google One membership plan, which the mobile network provider says is launching soon, will also give users 2TB of cloud storage across Gmail and Google Drive. This matches the current top-tier Google One subscription package offered to all Google account holders.

What makes the mobile brand’s announcement unique is that not even Google is giving away unlimited Photos storage for high-quality uploads. 

The One membership

It wasn’t that long ago that Google Photos used to offer unlimited high-quality uploads – a promise it had kept since its unveiling in 2015. 

However back in June 2021, the company started limiting basic users to just 15GB free cloud storage across Google Photos, Drive, and Gmail. 

In a move that mirrors Apple’s own iCloud expanded storage subscription options, media-heavy users looking to expand or upgrade their cloud storage options must join the Google One subscription service. 

Google One is billed as ‘one membership to get more out of Google’. The packages, which are available on a Basic, Standard, and Premium subscription tier, includes perks like expanded Google Drive cloud storage and a VPN for Android and iOS – all of which can be shared with up to five family and friends.  

Finding the right Google One plan

The newest option builds on T-Mobile’s two existing Google One packages: $ 5 a month nets customers 500GB of storage, while a monthly fee of $ 10 delivers 2TB of cloud storage without unlimited Google Photos. 

However, if it makes you feel better, note that T-Mobile’s unlimited photo and video storage plan is only available to the main account holder. 

T-Mobile’s unlimited Google Photos plan will be available from April 26 2022. 

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It’s finally happening – Twitter is working on an edit button, but is this a good thing?

If you've been wishing to edit those tweets with spelling mistakes without having to delete them, Twitter has announced that it's working on an edit feature.

This feature request has become a meme in itself, with many users asking for this for years. If you use Twitter, you've most likely been in a situation where you've posted a tweet from the previous evening, and you notice that there's a missing letter or a missing comma that skews what you were trying to convey.

Twitter has confirmed that the feature will first arrive as a test for Twitter Blue users, which is its subscription service that brings benefits such as undoing a sent tweet after a short amount of time.

But while this sounds like good news for many, it may be an example of being careful what you wish for.


Analysis: This may hinder rather than help users

Other social platforms have had this feature for years. If you posted something on Facebook for example and it's missing a word, you can quickly edit the post and add the word back in.

Instagram and Tiktok also have similar features, but for Twitter, it's not as simple as adding an edit button.

Many users have wanted an easy method to edit a tweet without deleting it, especially if it's about a topic that's long since finished for example. But Twitter has a slippery slope with this, as many use the platform as a news feed and as a way of conversing with followers on certain subjects. Editing these tweets could make your input worse.

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But there are other dangers to this feature if it's not implemented right. Twitter's Head of Consumer Product, Jay Sullivan, rightly said during the announcement, that editing a tweet could alter a topic of conversation that could be sensitive to many, and could construe different meanings.

Editing tweets is not something that I've wanted Twitter to focus on – it's rather a bigger focus on curtailing abuse and spam accounts that have been more prevalent since the pandemic began in 2020.

But this feature could stay as a test, or as an exclusive feature of Twitter Blue. However, the announcement has excited many, so it now depends on whether the feature measures up to the wishes of its users, or if it's used to alter conversations for the worse.

Regardless of what happens, Twitter clearly has another challenge on its hands now that editing tweets are finally official.

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It’s finally happening – Twitter is working on an edit button, but is this a good thing?

If you've been wishing to edit those tweets with spelling mistakes without having to delete them, Twitter has announced that it's working on an edit feature.

This feature request has become a meme in itself, with many users asking for this for years. If you use Twitter, you've most likely been in a situation where you've posted a tweet from the previous evening, and you notice that there's a missing letter or a missing comma that skews what you were trying to convey.

Twitter has confirmed that the feature will first arrive as a test for Twitter Blue users, which is its subscription service that brings benefits such as undoing a sent tweet after a short amount of time.

But while this sounds like good news for many, it may be an example of being careful what you wish for.


Analysis: This may hinder rather than help users

Other social platforms have had this feature for years. If you posted something on Facebook for example and it's missing a word, you can quickly edit the post and add the word back in.

Instagram and Tiktok also have similar features, but for Twitter, it's not as simple as adding an edit button.

Many users have wanted an easy method to edit a tweet without deleting it, especially if it's about a topic that's long since finished for example. But Twitter has a slippery slope with this, as many use the platform as a news feed and as a way of conversing with followers on certain subjects. Editing these tweets could make your input worse.

See more

But there are other dangers to this feature if it's not implemented right. Twitter's Head of Consumer Product, Jay Sullivan, rightly said during the announcement, that editing a tweet could alter a topic of conversation that could be sensitive to many, and could construe different meanings.

Editing tweets is not something that I've wanted Twitter to focus on – it's rather a bigger focus on curtailing abuse and spam accounts that have been more prevalent since the pandemic began in 2020.

But this feature could stay as a test, or as an exclusive feature of Twitter Blue. However, the announcement has excited many, so it now depends on whether the feature measures up to the wishes of its users, or if it's used to alter conversations for the worse.

Regardless of what happens, Twitter clearly has another challenge on its hands now that editing tweets are finally official.

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Windows 11 update finally brings tabs and other features to File Explorer

Having been accessible through a tool in recent Insider builds, tabs for File Explorer are now available to all users in an update to Windows 11, rolling out from today alongside other features for the app.

The ability to have multiple tabs open in a single File Explorer window, similar to a web browser, is something that users, this writer included, have been wanting for years. It's felt like an obvious feature for the file manager to have, as we've all been in the situation where we've had to have multiple windows open to drag and drop files between folders.

As macOS has had tabbed windows in its Finder app since 10.9 Mavericks, it's a relief to see this feature cross over to Windows 11, however late this may feel to some.

But there's also other features arriving for the app, such as file suggestions and a new home page.


Analysis: It's about time

A homepage for File Explorer sounds strange at first, but it makes sense as an app that you most likely check every day on your PC. If you use Microsoft Edge or Apple's Safari web browser, you'll find some familiarity here, as they both feature a start page that shows your Favorite links, the latest news and more.

The same concept could work well for File Explorer, except for the latest news. Many users have network drives attached, and cloud storage folders that are prevalent in their Explorer sidebars. To have another easy method of reaching these will be welcome.

But the main feature for File Explorer will be tabs regardless. Having used the feature through ViveTool and following the steps to enable them in an Insider Build, which showcases features under development, it works as well as a web browser.

It's surprising to see this feature arrive so soon, especially with rumors that Windows 11's next major update, codenamed Sun Valley 2, is on track to be released in the second half of 2022. It makes us wonder if major updates are becoming a thing of the past for Microsoft, and instead, we're seeing major updates across the year.

With Windows Media Player and now improvements to the Start menu and File Explorer already appearing, we may be seeing the start of a reworked update process for Windows 11, without any of us knowing.

And if that's the case, we're all for it, and only makes us want Apple to do the same and move away from its major yearly releases.

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Windows 11 update finally brings tabs and other features to File Explorer

Having been accessible through a tool in recent Insider builds, tabs for File Explorer are now available to all users in an update to Windows 11, rolling out from today alongside other features for the app.

The ability to have multiple tabs open in a single File Explorer window, similar to a web browser, is something that users, this writer included, have been wanting for years. It's felt like an obvious feature for the file manager to have, as we've all been in the situation where we've had to have multiple windows open to drag and drop files between folders.

As macOS has had tabbed windows in its Finder app since 10.9 Mavericks, it's a relief to see this feature cross over to Windows 11, however late this may feel to some.

But there's also other features arriving for the app, such as file suggestions and a new home page.


Analysis: It's about time

A homepage for File Explorer sounds strange at first, but it makes sense as an app that you most likely check every day on your PC. If you use Microsoft Edge or Apple's Safari web browser, you'll find some familiarity here, as they both feature a start page that shows your Favorite links, the latest news and more.

The same concept could work well for File Explorer, except for the latest news. Many users have network drives attached, and cloud storage folders that are prevalent in their Explorer sidebars. To have another easy method of reaching these will be welcome.

But the main feature for File Explorer will be tabs regardless. Having used the feature through ViveTool and following the steps to enable them in an Insider Build, which showcases features under development, it works as well as a web browser.

It's surprising to see this feature arrive so soon, especially with rumors that Windows 11's next major update, codenamed Sun Valley 2, is on track to be released in the second half of 2022. It makes us wonder if major updates are becoming a thing of the past for Microsoft, and instead, we're seeing major updates across the year.

With Windows Media Player and now improvements to the Start menu and File Explorer already appearing, we may be seeing the start of a reworked update process for Windows 11, without any of us knowing.

And if that's the case, we're all for it, and only makes us want Apple to do the same and move away from its major yearly releases.

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Microsoft Teams will finally play nice with Mozilla Firefox

Using Microsoft Teams on Mozilla Firefox could soon be a much nicer experience after a number of key features were announced to be finally coming to the browser.

The company has said it is working on bringing what it called “improved meeting support” for Teams users looking to work with the Firefox browser.

This includes full audio and screensharing support for any Microsoft Teams meetings carried out in Firefox, which up until now has struggled to allow users to utilize the video conferencing tool to its full strength.

Microsoft Teams and Firefox

In the Microsoft 365 roadmap entry, the update is still said to be in development, however the company says it should roll out by the end of April, meaning users should not have to wait too long.

Firefox had been one of a number of browsers unable to fully support Microsoft Teams calls, alongside the likes of Safari and Internet Explorer. 

Anyone attempting to join a Teams meeting using Firefox would be directed towards downloading the software's desktop client, a somewhat more lengthy process that could make you late for a call.

Although some users of these browsers may have been able to join a Microsoft Teams call, they would have had to deal with a potential lack of video or audio, as well as lacking desktop, window and app sharing.

When available, Microsoft says the upgraded experience will be available to all Teams users in the Firefox browser across the world. The latest data suggests Teams has racked up more than 270 million monthly active users (MAUs), up from fewer than 50 million daily active users before the pandemic began.

Microsoft Teams has enjoyed a regular schedule of updates and upgrades in recent months as the company looks to ensure its platform remains on top of its game.

The news follows a similar recent update from the company revealing that Microsoft Teams apps will soon be available on Office.com and the Office for Windows app as the company looks to further expand the reach of its video conferencing service. This should help improve the user experience for Teams customers around the world, meaning there’s no longer a need to switch between platforms to use specific apps.

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Microsoft Teams will finally play nice with Mozilla Firefox

Using Microsoft Teams on Mozilla Firefox could soon be a much nicer experience after a number of key features were announced to be finally coming to the browser.

The company has said it is working on bringing what it called “improved meeting support” for Teams users looking to work with the Firefox browser.

This includes full audio and screensharing support for any Microsoft Teams meetings carried out in Firefox, which up until now has struggled to allow users to utilize the video conferencing tool to its full strength.

Microsoft Teams and Firefox

In the Microsoft 365 roadmap entry, the update is still said to be in development, however the company says it should roll out by the end of April, meaning users should not have to wait too long.

Firefox had been one of a number of browsers unable to fully support Microsoft Teams calls, alongside the likes of Safari and Internet Explorer. 

Anyone attempting to join a Teams meeting using Firefox would be directed towards downloading the software's desktop client, a somewhat more lengthy process that could make you late for a call.

Although some users of these browsers may have been able to join a Microsoft Teams call, they would have had to deal with a potential lack of video or audio, as well as lacking desktop, window and app sharing.

When available, Microsoft says the upgraded experience will be available to all Teams users in the Firefox browser across the world. The latest data suggests Teams has racked up more than 270 million monthly active users (MAUs), up from fewer than 50 million daily active users before the pandemic began.

Microsoft Teams has enjoyed a regular schedule of updates and upgrades in recent months as the company looks to ensure its platform remains on top of its game.

The news follows a similar recent update from the company revealing that Microsoft Teams apps will soon be available on Office.com and the Office for Windows app as the company looks to further expand the reach of its video conferencing service. This should help improve the user experience for Teams customers around the world, meaning there’s no longer a need to switch between platforms to use specific apps.

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Your Macbook Pro or Display XDR can finally shine brighter with new macOS app

Vivid is available for Apple's Macs from today (April 4), where it can double the brightness of your Pro Display XDR or MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021), with no loss in quality of the image.

Apple has been showcasing how bright these products can go, but this level of brightness has only been reserved for certain use cases such as editing videos and watching HDR movies. The maximum brightness has been 500 nits for both the MacBook Pro and Pro Display XDR for its users, with no override on the user's part to enable this higher brightness for other methods.

This is where Vivid comes in. Available to download as a free trial, alongside a one-off fee of $ 15 / £15 / AU$ 17 to remove the split-screen that shows the default brightness, and Vivid's settings.

On the day of its launch, TechRadar spoke to its two developers, Jordi Bruin and Ben Harraway, about how Vivid came to be, and whether there's any risk to leaving the brightness on for longer than needed.

We speak to Vivid's developers

Sonic 3 A.I.R on Vivid

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Having used Vivid before its launch, we were taken aback as to how much of a difference the full brightness made, especially with games. Playing Streets of Rage 4 on macOS through Steam, or Metal Gear Solid 5 through Parallels, really showed off what the display of the MacBook Pro 14-inch is capable of.

We asked Bruin and Halloway what prompted them to create Vivid in the first place. “Back in October of last year I received my new MacBook Pro and was very surprised when I saw the brightness of HDR videos. It made it seem like the rest of my screen was becoming dimmer when in fact the video was just getting brighter.” Bruin explains.

“I like to work from different places throughout the day and often end up outside on a terrace or in a park. I tried watching some HDR videos outside and they were much more visible than the other content on the screen. After spending a few weeks working on different approaches I gave up for a few months until reaching out to Ben, who found a solution that worked great!”

Using the brightness keys on our MacBook Pro 14-inch, once you reach the maximum setting, a further option appears thanks to Vivid, where you can go even brighter, taking advantage of the display.

While there's a small hit on the battery life, it's a hit worth taking once you see how much everything pops with the extra brightness.

However, we asked Bruin and Halloway whether there was any danger to the display, in way of screen burn. “Vivid doesn’t use any hacks or low-level system calls to achieve the higher brightness. We believe that makes it really safe to use,” Halloway explains.

“We don’t make your display do anything it’s not supposed to. Vivid just enables the extra brightness usually reserved for HDR content, so it’s exactly the same as watching an HDR video.” Bruin clarifies. 

“Apple claims the following: “Pro Display XDR can sustain 1000 nits of brightness across the full screen. This means that a pro can edit an HDR photograph or video with the entire frame at 1000 nits of brightness, indefinitely.”

The official word from Apple on this topic is here. macOS has built-in protections to dim the screen if it would get too hot as well. But to be clear, we are not changing anything on the display level, we are overlaying an HDR window which triggers the extended brightness mode.”

DOOM on Vivid

(Image credit: TechRadar)

While Vivid is a simple app, it gets the job done, and the difference is night and day, especially when you're using it at night. Even though we're at the launch of the app, we wondered if there were already any features in the planning for future versions.

“We wanted to keep the first version tightly integrated with the system and easy to use, so that we could get feedback from users on what they would want to see. We have a version that includes Shortcuts and Widgets, but right now we’re not sure if those features would really add something that our customers would be looking for.” Bruin explains. 

“We’ve designed Vivid in a way that you almost forget that it’s an extra app since you just use your normal brightness keys to activate it. Accessibility is important for both of us, which is why we’re using as many native components as possible. After launch, we will be searching for feedback on this front to fix any issues we might have overlooked.”

So far, Vivid is something that can make you look at your MacBook Pro or Display XDR in a different way, especially as you watch videos or play games. As the displays improve and the brightness gets brighter, it looks as though this app will be useful to many Mac users for the next few years at least.

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Your Macbook Pro or Display XDR can finally shine brighter with new macOS app

Vivid is available for Apple's Macs from today (April 4), where it can double the brightness of your Pro Display XDR or MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021), with no loss in quality of the image.

Apple has been showcasing how bright these products can go, but this level of brightness has only been reserved for certain use cases such as editing videos and watching HDR movies. The maximum brightness has been 500 nits for both the MacBook Pro and Pro Display XDR for its users, with no override on the user's part to enable this higher brightness for other methods.

This is where Vivid comes in. Available to download as a free trial, alongside a one-off fee of $ 15 / £15 / AU$ 17 to remove the split-screen that shows the default brightness, and Vivid's settings.

On the day of its launch, TechRadar spoke to its two developers, Jordi Bruin and Ben Harraway, about how Vivid came to be, and whether there's any risk to leaving the brightness on for longer than needed.

We speak to Vivid's developers

Sonic 3 A.I.R on Vivid

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Having used Vivid before its launch, we were taken aback as to how much of a difference the full brightness made, especially with games. Playing Streets of Rage 4 on macOS through Steam, or Metal Gear Solid 5 through Parallels, really showed off what the display of the MacBook Pro 14-inch is capable of.

We asked Bruin and Halloway what prompted them to create Vivid in the first place. “Back in October of last year I received my new MacBook Pro and was very surprised when I saw the brightness of HDR videos. It made it seem like the rest of my screen was becoming dimmer when in fact the video was just getting brighter.” Bruin explains.

“I like to work from different places throughout the day and often end up outside on a terrace or in a park. I tried watching some HDR videos outside and they were much more visible than the other content on the screen. After spending a few weeks working on different approaches I gave up for a few months until reaching out to Ben, who found a solution that worked great!”

Using the brightness keys on our MacBook Pro 14-inch, once you reach the maximum setting, a further option appears thanks to Vivid, where you can go even brighter, taking advantage of the display.

While there's a small hit on the battery life, it's a hit worth taking once you see how much everything pops with the extra brightness.

However, we asked Bruin and Halloway whether there was any danger to the display, in way of screen burn. “Vivid doesn’t use any hacks or low-level system calls to achieve the higher brightness. We believe that makes it really safe to use,” Halloway explains.

“We don’t make your display do anything it’s not supposed to. Vivid just enables the extra brightness usually reserved for HDR content, so it’s exactly the same as watching an HDR video.” Bruin clarifies. 

“Apple claims the following: “Pro Display XDR can sustain 1000 nits of brightness across the full screen. This means that a pro can edit an HDR photograph or video with the entire frame at 1000 nits of brightness, indefinitely.”

The official word from Apple on this topic is here. macOS has built-in protections to dim the screen if it would get too hot as well. But to be clear, we are not changing anything on the display level, we are overlaying an HDR window which triggers the extended brightness mode.”

DOOM on Vivid

(Image credit: TechRadar)

While Vivid is a simple app, it gets the job done, and the difference is night and day, especially when you're using it at night. Even though we're at the launch of the app, we wondered if there were already any features in the planning for future versions.

“We wanted to keep the first version tightly integrated with the system and easy to use, so that we could get feedback from users on what they would want to see. We have a version that includes Shortcuts and Widgets, but right now we’re not sure if those features would really add something that our customers would be looking for.” Bruin explains. 

“We’ve designed Vivid in a way that you almost forget that it’s an extra app since you just use your normal brightness keys to activate it. Accessibility is important for both of us, which is why we’re using as many native components as possible. After launch, we will be searching for feedback on this front to fix any issues we might have overlooked.”

So far, Vivid is something that can make you look at your MacBook Pro or Display XDR in a different way, especially as you watch videos or play games. As the displays improve and the brightness gets brighter, it looks as though this app will be useful to many Mac users for the next few years at least.

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