Can your PC or Mac run on-device AI? This handy new Opera tool lets you find out

Opera wants to make it easy for everyday users to find out whether their PC or Mac can run AI locally, and to that end, has incorporated a tool into its browser.

When we talk about running AI locally, we mean on the device itself, using your system and its resources for the entire AI workload being done – in contrast to having your PC tap the cloud to get the computing power to achieve the task at hand.

Running AI locally can be a demanding affair – particularly if you don’t have a modern CPU with a built-in NPU to accelerate AI workloads happening on your device – and so it’s pretty handy to have a benchmarking tool that tells you how capable your hardware is in terms of completing these on-device AI tasks effectively.

There is a catch though, namely that the ‘Is your computer AI ready?’ test is only available in the developer version of the Opera browser right now. So, if you want to give it a spin, you’ll need to download that developer (test) spin on the browser.

Once that’s done, you can get Opera to download an LLM (large language model) with which to run tests, and it checks the performance of your PC in various ways (tokens per second, first token latency, model load time and more).

If all that sounds like gobbledegook, it doesn’t really matter, as after running all these tests – which might take anything from just a few minutes to more like 20 – the tool will deliver a simple and clear assessment of whether your machine is ready for AI or not.

There’s an added nuance, mind: if you get the ‘ready for AI’ result then local performance is good, and ‘not AI ready’ is self-explanatory – you can forget running local AI tasks – but there’s a middle result of ‘AI functional.’ This means your device is capable of running AI tasks locally, but it might be rather slow, depending on what you’re doing.

Opera AI Benchmark Result

(Image credit: Opera)

There’s more depth to these results for experts, that you can explore if you wish, but it’s great to get an at-a-glance estimation of your PC’s on-device AI chops. It’s also possible to download different (increasingly large) AI models to test with, too, with heftier versions catering for cutting-edge PCs with the latest hardware and NPUs.

Analysis: Why local AI processing is important

It’s great to have an easily accessible test that anyone can use to get a good idea of their PC’s processing chops for local AI work. Doing AI tasks locally, kept within the confines of the device, is obviously important for privacy – as you’re not sending any data off your machine into the cloud.

Furthermore, some AI features will use local processing partly, or indeed exclusively, and we’ve already seen the latter: Windows 11’s new cornerstone AI functionality for Copilot+ PCs, Recall, is a case in point, as it works totally on-device for security and privacy reasons. (Even so, it’s been causing a storm of controversy since it was announced by Microsoft, but that’s another story).

So, to be able to easily discern your PC’s AI grunt is a useful capability to have, though right now, downloading the Opera developer version is probably not a hassle you’ll want to go through. Still, the feature will be inbound for the full version of Opera soon enough we’d guess, so you likely won’t have to wait long for it to arrive.

Opera is certainly getting serious about climbing the rankings of the best web browsers by leveraging AI, with one of the latest moves being drafting in Google Gemini to help supercharge its Aria AI assistant.


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Android’s Find My Device trackers are missing one big AirTags feature, but that could soon change

Google's upgraded Find My Device network is slowly rolling out globally to help Android fans find their lost belongings. And it seems that Google is already planning to add a key feature that the network lacks compared to Apple's AirTags – support for UWB (ultra-wideband) tech.

UWB is one of the main technologies that powers Apple AirTags' Precision Finding feature (below). That feature gives you directions, down to a few feet, to where your lost keys are. But Google's Find My Device network doesn't currently support the tech – even though many of the best Android phones now support ultra-wideband. 

While that oversight means that the first wave of Find My Device trackers lacks the feature, Google appears to have plans to fill the gap. As spotted by Android Authority, some code references in the latest version of the Find My Device app suggest that Google is working on adding UWB to its new network.

That doesn't necessarily mean that Google is planning to bring the feature to Find My Device soon, but it is a promising sign. And it might not be the only new feature in the pipeline for the network – another code reference points to AR (augmented reality) features via the ARCore software development kit (SDK).

In theory, that could tie in nicely with the UWB support, with a camera UI visually showing you how to track down your lost valuables. That would be a very Google integration with echoes of Google Lens, but for now, its Find My Device network lags behind its Apple rival in one small but useful area.

A nudge in the right direction

An iPhone showing the Precision Finding feature of Apple AirTags

(Image credit: Apple)

The lack of UWB support on Google's Find My Device network certainly isn't a deal-breaker for the early trackers that are available now from the likes of Chipolo and Pebblebee.

Like Apple's Find My network, Google's new network anonymously leverages millions of phones worldwide to help you locate lost items. You can attach the trackers, which come in tag and card form, to valuables and tap to 'play sounds' in the app to trigger a sound or get the tracker to emit an LED flash.

Both things help compensate for the lack of a visual Precision Finding feature like the one you get with AirTags. But those visual cues can still be very handy if you can't quite tell where the sound is coming from, and Apple's integration also gives you increasingly powerful vibrations alongside the UWB-powered directions.

Then again, UWB is only really helpful at very short range, so it only really becomes a benefit when you're in the same room as your lost item. So while it's certainly a nice-to-have that will hopefully come to the Find My Device, Google's rebooted network and the new trackers that support it are still a big upgrade from what was available before on Android.

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Microsoft forgot to remove Windows 10’s File Explorer from Windows 11 – here’s how to find it

An especially inquisitive Reddit user has worked out a trick that lets you use Windows 10’s File Explorer in Windows 11 without having to mess with your Windows Registry.

Windows 10’s File Explorer and overall user interface (UI) are some of the biggest reasons that many folks prefer the older operating system, so this will be regarded as quite the breakthrough in some respects. Mainly because other workarounds to be able to achieve the same end require that you tinker with your Windows Registry, requiring a degree of understanding and care (or a third-party tool, most of which are not free).

Now, thanks to Reddit user The_Blank_Spot, you can achieve the same thing a lot more easily. 

To fire up Windows 10’s File Explorer within Windows 11, follow these steps: 

1. Type ‘Control Panel’ into the search box in the Windows 11 taskbar and open the panel.

2. Click on ‘System and Security.’

A screenshot of the home screen of Control Panel, with an arrow pointing to 'System and security'

(Image credit: Microsoft)

3. Click on ‘Windows Tools.’

A screenshot of the 'System and Security' page, with an arrow pointing to 'Windows Tools'

(Image credit: Microsoft)

This should open the ‘Windows Tools’ folder, but here’s the trick: it opens in the classic Windows 10 File Explorer UI. From here, you can go on to navigate to different file locations or system drives, and those who have tried, including us, have observed that the interface won’t change while that window stays open.

In other words, you’ll have the Windows 10 File Explorer the whole time you’re working with this window, until you close it.

An easy workaround with seemingly no downside

This workaround seemingly doesn’t cause any issues with your OS and it also doesn’t replace the current Windows 11 UI. You can use the rest of Windows 11 as usual, and you can even use both File Explorers side by side at the same time (if you open any folder in Windows 11 as normal).

Using Windows 10’s UI here also means you get access to a feature that was cut in Windows 11 – though admittedly it’s coming back in testing – namely ‘drag and drop’ in File Explorer’s address bar. This allows you to select a file or folder that’s currently open in a location in File Explorer, then drag it to another location listed in the address bar to move it there. 

A commenter in the thread regarding The_Blank_Spot’s discovery, RockFox, pointed out that once you’re in ‘System and Security’ within ‘Control Panel,’ you can right-click ‘Windows Tools’ and use ‘Create shortcut.’ Then, you can right-click this shortcut and select ‘Pin to Start’ or  ‘Pin to Taskbar’ to place it in a convenient place in those parts of the Windows 11 interface, and rename it to whatever you want.

Many people might be delighted to find out about this, and I will probably take these steps on my own device, too. However, since this does appear to be a bug that Microsoft hasn’t caught yet, it’s likely the company might close this loophole when the next huge Windows 11 update, 24H2, is released later in 2024.



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Haven’t activated Windows 11? Then you might find yourself locked out of some Microsoft Edge browser settings

If you’re running an unactivated version of Windows 11 (or Windows 10), your access to Microsoft Edge’s settings might be restricted in the future. This is already the case when it comes to things like Personalization settings for Windows 11 in an unactivated installation, as well as constant reminders prompting you to activate the OS.

If you don’t mind those constraints and plentiful reminders, you can install and run Windows 11 and Windows 10 without activation for free.

However, it seems like Microsoft has added multiple flags in testing that allow for blocking certain browser capabilities in an Edge preview build – if you’re using Windows 11 (or Windows 10) and it’s unactivated. The three flags in question in Edge spotted by Windows Latest are:

  • msEdgeActivatedStateCheckAndUpdate
  • msEdgeNonActivatedOSTrigger
  • msEdgeLockSettingsInNonActivatedOS

Looking to see the effects of each of these flags being enabled, Windows Latest tried running the Edge Canary test build with one flag enabled at a time. Windows Latest turned on the ‘msEdgeLockSettingsInNonActivatedOS’ flag successfully, which resulted in some of Edge’s settings being locked. Then, when Edge’s settings page was opened, it displayed a banner that stated:

“We notice your Windows is not activated, some customization has been limited.”

Pushing further, Windows Latest explored other parts of Edge settings and also discovered that the ‘When Edge starts’ panel (which allows for configuration of what happens when the browser launches) was blocked due to Windows 11 not being activated.

An unwise move?

This is an interesting strategy that doesn’t entirely make sense to me, because as Windows Latest points out, the policy seemingly only targets Windows – Edge users on Mac devices and mobiles don’t see this kind of interference. That makes me think, well, Microsoft is mulling this move simply because it can, and if you want Windows enough to install it, then you want the OS enough to tolerate measures like this. 

Considering how clearly desperate Microsoft is for more people to use Edge, having instigated multiple instances of aggressively pushing users to make Edge their browser of choice, this strategy is even more puzzling since it could drive people away (having finally gotten what Microsoft wants, apparently!).

If you want to continue using Windows unactivated, you could just switch to Chrome, Firefox, or another of the best web browsers that doesn’t have these restrictions. It’s worth remembering that this development is still in the early testing stages, though, and hopefully won’t make it to the final version rollout – but I wouldn’t put it past Microsoft. 


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A big WhatsApp update will soon make it easier to find your chats – here’s how

Meta is making it much easier to locate chatrooms on WhatsApp by introducing four new filters to the service's inbox. This may seem like a small, inconsequential update on the surface. After all, filters already exist on the platform, how much can four more really help? In this case, each one will help you cut through all the chaos of an active WhatsApp inbox. 

As Meta points out, the new tools will make fast and simple the chore of “finding the right conversation” especially as Meta continues launching new features and the app becomes more bloated over time.

These filters will show up as bubbles above the chat list on the WhatsApp home page. “All” is the default setting letting you view an inbox without any filters enabled. “Unread” highlights all of your unread messages. Chats that have yet to be responded to will have an indicator next to them on the right. 

There's “Groups,” which apparently was a “highly requested feature.” This allows you to see all of the group chats you’re currently a part of. Plus, ongoing conversations from Community subgroups will appear under the filter as well. 

Finally, there is “Contacts.” The X post doesn’t describe what this filter does, however it did show up months ago on a past WhatsApp beta. WABetaInfo in their coverage says the Contacts filter lets you find messages from people on your contacts list while blocking spam from unknown numbers.

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Potential future update

The patch is currently rolling out “and will be available to everyone” within the coming weeks on mobile. No word if it’ll make its way to the desktop version of WhatsApp

There may be more filters on the way. Back in February 2024, hints found in an old WhatsApp beta indicate Meta was, at one point, working on a Favorites filter for friends or family you frequently interact with. What's more, users might even receive the ability to create custom tags that “suit their preferences.” It’s unknown if either of these are still under development, but they are something to look forward to on WhatsApp.

Be sure to join TechRadar's official WhatsApp channel to get our latest articles and reviews on your smartphone.

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Confused about Google’s Find My Device? Here are 7 things you need to know

It took a while, but Google has released the long-awaited upgrade to its Find My Device network. This may come as a surprise. The update was originally announced back in May 2023, but was soon delayed with apparent launch date. Then, out of nowhere, Google decided to release the software on April 8 without major fanfare. As a result, you may feel lost, but we can help you find your way.

Here's a list of the seven most important things you need to know about the Find My Device update. We cover what’s new in the update as well as the devices that are compatible with the network, because not everything works and there’s still work to be done.

1. It’s a big upgrade for Google’s old Find My Device network 

Google's Find My Device feature

(Image credit: Google)

The previous network was very limited in what it could do. It was only able to detect the odd Android smartphone or Wear OS smartwatch. However, that limitation is now gone as Find My Device can sniff other devices; most notably Bluetooth location trackers. 

Gadgets also don’t need to be connected to the internet or have location services turned on, since the software can detect them so long as they’re within Bluetooth range. However, Find My Device won’t tell you exactly where the devices are. You’ll instead be given an approximate location on your on-screen map. You'll ultimately have to do the legwork yourself.

Find My Device functions similarly to Apple’s Find My network, so “location data is end-to-end encrypted,” meaning no one, not even Google, can take a peek.

2. Google was waiting for Apple to add support to iPhones 

iPhone 15 from the front

(Image credit: Future)

The update was supposed to launch in July 2023, but it had to be delayed because of Apple. Google was worried about unwanted location trackers, and wanted Apple to introduce “similar protections for iOS.” Unfortunately, the iPhone manufacturer decided to drag its feet when it came to adding unknown tracker alerts to its own iPhone devices.

The wait may soon be over as the iOS 17.5 beta contains lines of code suggesting that the iPhone will soon get these anti-stalking measures. Soon, iOS devices might encourage users to disable unwanted Bluetooth trackers uncertified for Apple’s Find My network. It’s unknown when this feature will roll out as the features in the Beta don’t actually do anything when enabled. 

Given the presence of unwanted location tracker software within iOS 17.5, Apple's release may be imminent. Apple may have given Google the green light to roll out the Find My Device upgrade ahead of time to prepare for their own software launch.

3. It will roll out globally


(Image credit: Future)

Google states the new Find My Device will roll out to all Android devices around the world, starting in the US and Canada. A company representative told us other countries will receive the same update within the coming months, although they couldn’t give us an exact date.

Android devices do need to meet a couple of requirements to support the network. Luckily, they’re not super strict. All you need is a smartphone running Android 9 with Bluetooth capabilities.

If you own either a Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro, you’ll be given an exclusive feature: the ability to find a phone through the network even if the phone is powered down. Google reps said these models have special hardware that allows them to pour power into their Bluetooth chip when they're off. Google is working with other manufacturers in bringing this feature to other premium Android devices.

4. You’ll receive unwanted tracker alerts

Apple AirTags

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple AirTags are meant to be attached to frequently lost items like house keys or luggage so you can find them easily. Unfortunatley, several bad eggs have utilized them as an inexpensive way to stalk targets. Google would eventually update Android by giving users a way to detect unwanted AirTags.

For nearly a year, the OS could only seek out AirTags, but now with the upgrade, Android phones can locate Bluetooth trackers from other third-party brands such as Tile, Chipolo, and Pebblebee. It is, by far, the most single important feature in the update as it'll ensure your privacy and safety.

You won’t be able to find out who placed a tracker on you. According to a post on the company’s Security blog, only the owner can view that information. 

5. Chipolo and Pebblebee are launching new trackers for it soon

Chipolo's new trackers

(Image credit: Chipolo)

Speaking of Chipolo and Pebblebee, the two brands have announced new products that will take full advantage of the revamped network. Google reps confirmed to us they’ll be “compatible with unknown tracker alerts across Android and iOS”.

On May 27th, we’ll see the introduction of the Chipolo ONE Point item tracker as well as the Chipolo CARD Point wallet finder. You’ll be able to find the location of whatever item they’re attached to via the Find My Device app. The pair will also sport speakers on them to ring out a loud noise letting you where they are. What’s more, Chipolo’s products have a long battery life: Chipolo says the CARD finder lasts as long as two years on a single charge.

Pebblebee is achieving something similar with their Tag, Card, and Clip trackers. They’re small and lightweight and attachable to larger items, Plus, the trio all have a loud buzzer for easy locating. These three are available for pre-order right now although no shipping date was given. 

6. It’ll work nicely with your Nest products

Google Nest Wifi

(Image credit: Google )

For smart home users, you’ll be able to connect the Find My Device app to a Google Nest device to find lost items. An on-screen animation will show a sequence of images displaying all of the Nest hardware in your home as the network attempts to find said missing item. Be aware the tech won’t give you an exact location.

A short video on the official announcement shows there'll be a message stating where it was last seen, at what time, and if there was another smart home device next to it. Next to the text will be a refresh option in case the lost item doesn’t show up.

Below the message will be a set of tools to help you locate it. You can either play a sound from the tracker’s speakers, share the device, or mark it as lost.

7. Headphones are invited to the tracking party too

Someone wearing the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones against a green backdrop

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch/TechRadar/Future)

Believe it or not, some insidious individuals have used earbuds and headphones to stalk people. To help combat this, Google has equipped Find My Device with a way to detect a select number of earbuds. The list of supporting hardware is not large as it’ll only be able to locate three specific models. They are the JBL Tour Pro 2, the JBL Tour One M2, and the high-end Sony WH-1000XM5. Apple AirPods are not on the list, although support for these could come out at a later time.

Quite the extensive list as you can see but it's all important information to know. Everything will work together to keep you safe. 

Be sure to check out TechRadar's list of the best Android phones for 2024.

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How much will it cost to keep Windows 10 alive next year? You’ll have to wait to find out

Microsoft is keeping its cards close to its chest regarding how much consumers will need to pay if they want to keep Windows 10 support alive when it officially runs out in October 2025.

Windows Latest noticed that Microsoft penned a blog post detailing the options and costs for businesses looking to have extended support in terms of security updates being piped through into 2026 and potentially beyond.

This is nothing to do with consumers, however, although everyday users of Windows 10 will also have a choice to pay for extending security updates should they want to keep the OS after October 2025.

Microsoft has clarified that point in an update to the post, stating that: “The details and pricing structure outlined in this post apply to commercial organizations only.”

So when will we find out about the cost for consumers? We don’t know is the short answer – you’ll have to wait. Microsoft wrote: “Details will be shared at a later date for consumers on our consumer end of support page.”

Note that even with paying for extended support, this is just security patches you’ll be getting, and Microsoft won’t be developing or applying any new features to Windows 10.

Analysis: Should you pay for extended Windows 10 support?

Windows 10 Logo on Laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock – Wachiwit)

To be fair to Microsoft, we are still a year and a half away from support expiring for Windows 10, so it’s not exactly a surprise that pricing options aren’t worked out fully yet. Although if Microsoft has managed to count the relevant beans and do the math for business customers, hopefully consumers won’t be left in the dark for too much longer. It's a little frustrating to see pricing for some customers, and not for others.

As to the wider issue of whether you want to pay for extended support for Windows 10, well, there are some folks in the unhappy position of not being able to upgrade to Windows 11 due to the hardware requirements. If you’re in that boat, then it might be worth exploring the options available to make your PC compatible and then migrate to Windows 11 – depending on what that entails.

If it’s a matter of adding a TPM (trusted platform module), that wouldn't be very expensive compared to the ongoing cost of subscribing (on a monthly or perhaps yearly basis) to post-support security updates for Windows 10. You could even pay a computer repair shop to help with the upgrade, as that’ll likely still work out cheaper than a support subscription in the longer run.

On the other hand, if you'll likely need to upgrade much of your PC to be able to install Windows 11, that would be more challenging (both financially and practically). For example, you may have an older unsupported CPU, which would likely requite a new motherboard or RAM. That being the case, staying on Windows 10 could make sense until you can afford a new Windows 11 PC – or indeed a Windows 12 device by that time, no doubt.

The other alternative is to shift away from Microsoft completely to one of the best Linux distros, which won’t cost you a penny – and you can always choose a distro that’s a fair bit like Windows in its interface. Although bear in mind that you’ll still face a lot of limitations using Linux rather than Windows.

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Feeling lost in the concrete jungles of the world? Fear not, Google Maps introduces a new feature to help you find entrances and exits

Picture this: you’re using Google Maps to navigate to a place you’ve never been and time is pressing, but you’ve made it! You’ve found the location, but there’s a problem: you don’t know how to get into whatever building you’re trying to access, and panic sets in. Maybe that’s just me, but if you can relate it looks like we’re getting some good news – Google Maps is testing a feature that shows you exactly where you can enter buildings.

According to Android Police, Google Maps is working on a feature showing users entrance indicator icons for selected buildings. I can immediately see how this could make it easier to find your way in and out of a location. Loading markers like this would require a lot of internet data if done for every suitable building in a given area, especially metropolitan and densely packed areas, but it seems Google has accounted for this; the entrance icons will only become visible when you select a precise location and zoom in closely. 

Google Maps is an immensely popular app for navigation as well as looking up recommendations for various activities, like finding attractions or places to eat. If you’ve ever actually done this in practice, you’ve possibly had a situation like I’ve described above, especially if you’re trying to find your way around a larger attraction or building. Trying to find the correct entrance to an expo center or sports stadium can be a nightmare. Places like these will often have multiple entrances with different accessibility options – such as underground train stations that stretch across several streets.

Google's experimentation should help users manage those parts of their journeys better, starting with only certain users and certain buildings for now, displaying icons that indicate both where you can enter a place and exit it (if there are exit/entrance-only doors, for example). This feature follows the introduction of Google Maps’ recent addition of indicators of the best station exits and entrances for users of public transport.

Google Maps being used to travel across New York

(Image credit: Shutterstock / TY Lim)

The present state of the new feature

Android Police tested the new feature on Google Maps version 11.17.0101 on a Google Pixel 7a. As Google seemingly intended, Google Maps showed entrances for a place only when it was selected and while the user zoomed in on it, showing a white circle with a symbol indicating ‘entry’ on it. That said, Android Police wasn’t able to use the feature on other devices running the latest version of Google Maps for different regions, which indicates that Google Maps is rolling this feature out gradually following limited and measured testing. 

While using the Google Pixel 7a, Android Police tested various types of buildings including hotels, doctors’ offices, supermarkets, hardware stores, cafes, and restaurants in cities that include New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Berlin. Some places had these new entrance and exit markers and some didn’t, which probably means that Google is still in the process of gathering accurate and up-to-date information on these places, most likely via its StreetView tool. Another issue that came up was that some of the indicated entrances were not in the right place, but teething issues are inevitable and this problem seemed more common for smaller buildings where it’s actually easier to find the entrance once you’re there in person.

The entrances were sometimes marked by a green arrow instead of a white circle, and it’s not clear at this point exactly what it means when a green arrow or a white circle is used. Google Maps has a reputation as a very helpful, functional, and often dependable app, so whatever new features are rolled out, Google probably wants to make sure they’re up to a certain standard. I hope they complete the necessary stages of experimenting and implementing this new feature, and I look forward to using it as soon as I can.


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WhatsApp for Android is making it much easier to find older messages

WhatsApp users on Android just got access to a feature that iPhone owners have been making use of for a while now: the ability to search through conversations by date, which makes it much easier to dig out old chats.

The new feature was announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his WhatsApp channel (via TechCrunch), and is apparently rolling out to Android devices now – so if you don't have it already, you should see it soon.

To use it, head into any of your chats, then tap the three dots (top right) and Search. You should then see a calendar icon in the top-right corner, which you can tap on to jump to messages sent and received on a particular day. You can also tap on the name of the conversation at the top to find the Search option.

This is all very similar to how the 'search by date' function works on other platforms, but Android has been lagging behind in this respect – even WhatsApp for the web offers the option to search through chats by date.

Regular updates

WhatsApp date search

How the ‘search by date’ feature looks on Android (Image credit: Future)

This is of course a handy and welcome addition for WhatsApp users on Android, as it could save a serious amount of scrolling – assuming of course, that you can remember the date when you got the message or media file you're looking for.

To give the WhatsApp team credit, it's an app that gets new features on a regular basis, though not always at the same time on Android and iOS. The app actually looks different depending on which mobile OS you're using – Android puts the navigation tabs at the top, for example, but they're underneath the chat list on iOS.

Despite these disparities, the app continues to grow in popularity as a cross-platform, secure, and reliable messaging platform. It's estimated to have around 2 billion active users worldwide, which is a fair chunk of the global population.

In recent months we've seen WhatsApp roll out upgrades for photo and video sharing, as well as test an expansion of the Chat Lock feature, making it easier to protect certain conversations across multiple devices.

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Don’t know what’s good about Copilot Pro? Windows 11 users might soon find out, as Microsoft is testing Copilot ads for the OS

Windows 11 might be getting ads for Copilot Pro, or at least this possibility is being explored in testing right now it seems.

Copilot Pro, for those who missed it, was recently revealed as Microsoft’s powered-up version of the AI assistant that you have to pay for (via a monthly subscription). And if you haven’t heard about it, well, you might do soon via the Settings panel in Windows 11.

PhantomOfEarth on X (formerly Twitter) spotted the new move from Microsoft, with the introduction of a card for Copilot Pro on the Home page of the Settings app. It provides a brief explanation of what the service is alongside links to find out more (or to get a subscription there and then).

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Note that the leaker had to dig around to uncover the Copilot Pro advert, and it was only displayed after messing about with a configuration tool (in Dev and Beta builds). However, two other Windows 11 testers in the Beta channel have responded to say that they have this Copilot Pro card present without doing anything.

In other words, taking those reports at face value, it seems this Copilot Pro ad is on some kind of limited rollout to some testers. At any rate, it’s certainly present in the background of Windows 11 (Beta and Dev) and can be enabled.

Analysis: Adding more ads

The theory, then, is that this will be appearing more broadly to testers, before following with a rollout to everyone using Windows 11. Of course, ideas in testing can be abandoned, particularly if they get criticized a lot, so we’ll just have to watch this space (or rather, the space on the Home page of Settings).

Does it seem likely Microsoft will try to push ahead with a Copilot Pro advert? Yes, it does, frankly. Microsoft isn’t shy about promoting its own services within its products, that’s for sure. Furthermore, AI is set to become a huge part of the Windows 11 experience, and other Microsoft products for that matter, so monetizing it is going to be a priority in all likelihood.

So, a nudge to raise the profile of the paid version of Copilot seems to likely, if not inevitable. Better that it’s tucked away in Settings, we guess, than somewhere more in-your-face like the Start menu.

If you’re wondering what benefits Copilot Pro confers, they include faster performance and responses, along with more customization and options – but this shouldn’t take anything away from the free version of Copilot (or it doesn’t yet, anyway). What it does mean is that the very latest upgrades will likely be reserved for the Pro AI, as we’ve seen initially with GPT-4 Turbo coming to Copilot Pro and not the basic free Copilot.

Via Neowin

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