Microsoft’s lock screen cards for Windows 11 are about to arrive – and a much-needed addition will follow

Microsoft recently tested a new feature for the lock screen in the form of info cards in both Windows 11 and Windows 10, which are now imminent, but this functionality is missing an important piece of the puzzle – something the software giant is going to remedy, thankfully.

The widget-style lock screen cards give you a snapshot of the current weather, or stocks (finance), local traffic, and so on, but the problem was you could either switch them all on, or all off – with no fine-tuned control.

So, if you wanted weather and sports scores, but not traffic updates and stocks, you were stuck with the latter two.

However, according to a report from Windows Latest, Microsoft has told the tech site that you’ll be able to customize which cards appear on the lock screen in the future. However, no timeframe was mentioned for when this might happen.

Analysis: Get on with it (please)

Do this already, Microsoft. We made the observation before that it seemed pretty odd to introduce lock screen cards as an all-or-nothing affair, because many folks won’t want a load of these – and will regard that as clutter – but might be happy with one or two tucked away on the lock screen.

So, this was an obvious – and very necessary – move in our books. And hopefully, it won’t take long to usher in this change, as we can’t see that it’ll be all that complex to implement a choice here. Maybe the feature will arrive with the 24H2 update, at the latest we’d hope.

Meantime, all Windows 11 users will get the new lock screen cards later today in the cumulative update for April, or they almost certainly will, unless Microsoft delays the rollout if any problems were encountered in the March preview update (we haven’t heard about any issues in testing). And the same is presumably true for the Windows 10 update also coming today.

Speaking of the Windows 10 incarnation of these lock screen cards, something else we’d like to see is Microsoft working on the layout and presentation here, so it looks neater like the Windows 11 design. The reality may be that Windows 10 is not that high a priority any longer, though (when you consider that for a time, Microsoft froze all feature development on the older OS, before having a rethink).

You might also like

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Microsoft is pushing out Copilot AI to more Windows 11 users – ready or not – and Windows 10 will follow shortly

Microsoft just announced that Copilot is rolling out to more Windows 11 users right now, and also it’ll be inbound to more Windows 10 users soon enough.

Neowin spotted the revelation in the Windows message center where Microsoft let us know that Copilot is coming to a wider audience – so, if you haven’t seen the AI assistant yet, you may well do soon enough.

Microsoft also let us know that from this week, it’s possible to use up to 10 queries with Copilot before you have to sign in to your Microsoft account. So, you can give the AI a bit of a try even if you don’t have an active Microsoft account on your Windows installation.

The ‘new wave’ of Copilot additions is happening now with Windows 11 (23H2 and 22H2), at least for consumers (with businesses, it will depend on admin policies). And eligible Windows 10 devices on Home or Pro versions (22H2) will start to get Copilot in this broader rollout later in March – so within the next week.

Microsoft tells us: “This current rollout phase will reach most of its targeted Windows 11 and 10 devices by the end of May.”

Meanwhile, Microsoft is also busy expanding Copilot’s repertoire of tricks regarding changing Windows settings, though it’s very slow going on that front thus far.

Analysis: AI for everyone

It sounds like most folks will have Copilot by the end of May, then. We’ve already seen it arrive on our Windows 10 PC, so that rollout is definitely already underway – it’s just about to step up to another level.

How will you know if you get Copilot? You can’t miss the colorful icon which will appear in the taskbar, on the far right (in the system tray). It’s marked with a ‘Pre’ on the icon to denote that the AI is still in preview, so it’s still possible to experience wonky or odd behavior when running queries with Copilot.

While you can turn off the Copilot icon if you don’t want to see it, you can’t actually remove the AI from Windows as such (not yet) – it’ll still be lurking in the background, even if you never access it. That said, there are ways to extract Copilot from your Windows installation, such as using third-party apps (though we wouldn’t recommend doing so, as previously discussed).

You might also like…

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

WhatsApp Channels may be the best way to follow your favorite sports team

WhatsApp Channels is preparing for a global tour as the feature will be released to users in over 150 countries over the coming weeks.

As a quick refresher, Channels is the platform’s “one-way broadcast tool” allowing specific entities to send various forms of content like photos or videos to followers. It’s primarily a way for people to receive live updates from local government institutions, sports teams, artists, and celebrities. Channels is kept separate in its own section so you won’t have to worry about your chat rooms suddenly getting flooded with extra messages. The company states in the announcement post it protects “the personal information of both admins and followers.” The Channels you’re subscribed to will not be visible to anyone else. 

Alongside the official launch, WhatsApp will also be adding four new Channels-centric features. All these are the result of user feedback the platform received during the testing phase.

First, there's Reactions to, well, react to posts using a single emoji. Everyone will be able to see the total amount of emojis a piece of content has to gauge whether it was well–received or not. Next is Forwarding, which lets subscribers share posts with friends. The forwarded message will “include a link back to the [source] so people can find out more.” Then there's the Enhanced Directory to help you find popular or newly formed Channels to follow. Do note that what you see in the Directory is “automatically filtered” for your country only.

WhatsApp Channels new features

(Image credit: WhatsApp)

There is more on the way as WhatsApp plans to expand the feature even further. Soon, Channel “admins will be able to make changes to their [posts]”. They have up to 30 days to make edits. After that, the platform will delete everything from their servers. Later down the line in the coming months, it will be possible for the average user to create their own personal Channel. A specific date was not given.

Rolling out

The upgrade is currently rolling out so keep an eye out for the patch when it arrives. 

There is a waitlist for mobile devices that you can join on the WhatsApp Help Center page for Channels. The link doesn’t work on desktop however, possibly hinting that the expansion will be exclusive to smartphone users. We should mention WhatsApp has created its own Channel for users to follow and stay up-to-date on the future of the platform.

We reached out to WhatsApp asking when will Channels for desktop launch as well as when will people be able to create their own feed. This story will be updated at a later time.

In the meantime, check out TechRadar's list of the best encrypted messaging apps for Android in 2023.


TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

How CISOs Follow The Money

The Crown Jewels, Internal Dollars, Funded Adversaries, VC Money, Value At Risk, Business Alignment shared as options of how to follow the money. Also suggested are a few ways to protect the organizat…

Articles RSS Feed

Read More