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.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Adobe After Effects gets native Apple M1 support at last

Adobe has announced native Apple M1 silicon support, hopefully meaning faster launch and rendering times for motion designers and video creators. 

In benchmark tests released by the company, running After Effects on a high-end M1 Ultra Mac is now up to three times as fast, and those using the video effects software on standard M1-powered devices should see performance jump to double the speed.  

According to Adobe, the power boost makes it easy for motion designers, “to explore ideas and iterate more quickly on their compositions.” 

Adobe benchmarks for M1 support

(Image credit: Adobe)

 What else is new in Adobe After Effects? 

Native support for Apple’s proprietary chip is just part of a wider package that’s being deployed by Adobe as it looks to better supply users across the world. 

 – After Effects and Premiere Pro subscribers now get free access to the Frame.io remote video collaboration service , which comes built into both the VFX tool and Adobe’s much-loved video editing software

– With 3D making (yet another) comeback, Extended Viewer and Binning Indicators for 3D layers now make it easier for designers to visualize compositions and move through three-dimensional spaces in real-time. 

– Scene Edit Detection finally makes the jump from Premiere Pro to After Effects. Powered by Adobe Sensei’s machine learning and AI, the new tool intelligently detects cut points in rendered footage and adds markers at edit points for more efficient creations. 

 The need for speed

Adobe clearly feels the need for speed – only last year, the software house unveiled Multi-Frame Rendering, boosting speeds by up to four times. This latest update continues a drive to improve motion graphics software performance and delivery for VFX artists. 

However, Adobe warns that certain new features and functionalities will be limited or unavailable when using incompatible third-party plugins, or plugins that aren’t ported for Apple silicon, with users seeing a warning pop up when the VFX tool spots an issue at launch. 

Adobe also confirmed users can even use older versions of Adobe After Effects on M1 chips – but you’ll need Apple’s Rosetta 2 emulation software to get it running. 

The After Effects 22.3 update, which launches today (April 12 2022), is available to all users via a staggered roll-out from the Creative Cloud desktop app.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Adobe After Effects gets native Apple M1 support at last

Adobe has announced native Apple M1 silicon support, hopefully meaning faster launch and rendering times for motion designers and video creators. 

In benchmark tests released by the company, running After Effects on a high-end M1 Ultra Mac is now up to three times as fast, and those using the video effects software on standard M1-powered devices should see performance jump to double the speed.  

According to Adobe, the power boost makes it easy for motion designers, “to explore ideas and iterate more quickly on their compositions.” 

Adobe benchmarks for M1 support

(Image credit: Adobe)

 What else is new in Adobe After Effects? 

Native support for Apple’s proprietary chip is just part of a wider package that’s being deployed by Adobe as it looks to better supply users across the world. 

 – After Effects and Premiere Pro subscribers now get free access to the Frame.io remote video collaboration service , which comes built into both the VFX tool and Adobe’s much-loved video editing software

– With 3D making (yet another) comeback, Extended Viewer and Binning Indicators for 3D layers now make it easier for designers to visualize compositions and move through three-dimensional spaces in real-time. 

– Scene Edit Detection finally makes the jump from Premiere Pro to After Effects. Powered by Adobe Sensei’s machine learning and AI, the new tool intelligently detects cut points in rendered footage and adds markers at edit points for more efficient creations. 

 The need for speed

Adobe clearly feels the need for speed – only last year, the software house unveiled Multi-Frame Rendering, boosting speeds by up to four times. This latest update continues a drive to improve motion graphics software performance and delivery for VFX artists. 

However, Adobe warns that certain new features and functionalities will be limited or unavailable when using incompatible third-party plugins, or plugins that aren’t ported for Apple silicon, with users seeing a warning pop up when the VFX tool spots an issue at launch. 

Adobe also confirmed users can even use older versions of Adobe After Effects on M1 chips – but you’ll need Apple’s Rosetta 2 emulation software to get it running. 

The After Effects 22.3 update, which launches today (April 12 2022), is available to all users via a staggered roll-out from the Creative Cloud desktop app.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Microsoft Outlook gets emails that update themselves after you send them

After being announced at Microsoft Ignite last year, Loop components are now rolling out in Microsoft Outlook.

For those unfamiliar, Microsoft Loop is a new app that combines a powerful and flexible canvas with portable components that move freely and stay in sync across the software giant's apps. It is made up of three elements in the form of Loop components, Loop pages and Loop workspaces.

While Loop pages are flexible canvases where users can organize all of their Loop components in one place and Loop workspaces are shared spaces that allow teams to see and group everything important to a project, Loop components are an evolution of Fluid components that help users collaborate and get things done in chats, emails, meetings and documents.

Now Microsoft Outlook users will be able to leverage the power of Loop components when using the company’s email service.

Loop components in Outlook

According to a new post in the Microsoft 365 roadmap, Loop components are now rolling out in Microsoft Outlook and these live, interactive objects can be embedded in email messages to provide real-time collaboration.

In a support document, Microsoft highlights several of its Loop components that users can add to emails in Outlook or even messages in Microsoft Teams. These include bulleted lists, checklists, numbered lists, paragraphs, tables, task lists and more.

One of the nice things about Loop components is that they are automatically saved to OneDrive so that you’ll be able to easily find and use them again later.

With the addition of Loop components in Outlook, emails will become much more fluid as they’ll even be able to update themselves after being sent. Say you add a list of follow-up tasks to an email, collaborators can check off items as they complete them and all of the changes made to the Loop component will be reflected in the original email. This way users don’t have to waste time sending emails back and forth to one another once a task has been completed.

We’ll likely hear more from Microsoft regarding Loop components once Microsoft 365 users get a chance to test them out for themselves.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Windows 11 gets overhauled Your Phone app with a new name that people hate

Microsoft has announced that it's releasing an update for the Your Phone app from today (April 1) on PCs with Windows 11, which includes a new name – Phone Links – and a redesign that lines it up with other updated Windows 11 apps.

The Your Phone app has been a useful tool since its release in October 2018. It enables you to link up your Android phone with a Windows PC, where you can sync up your contacts, messages, and some apps that are compatible.

The new Phone Links app, available as a new update as well as a companion app on the Google Play Store, features the same new design that Paint and Windows Media Player have been given in other updates to Windows 11.

However, the new name has already proved to be divisive, and makes us wonder if Microsoft is coming up with  these terrible names on purpose.


Analysis: Another bad name from Microsoft

Phone Link app in Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has had a reputation over the years for having terrible names for its products. Whether it's Zune for its iPod-rival, or the Kin phone, which sounded outdated as soon as it launched back in 2010.

Microsoft's most recent naming confusion had been its Xbox Series consoles. Released back in November 2020, the Series S and the Series X made gamers wonder what the letters stood for. Microsoft still hasn't explained the reasoning, and probably never will.

Considering the Xbox has had '360' and 'One' to mark major releases, it's probably best to just go with the flow when it comes to Microsoft's gaming names.

To be fair, Your Phone wasn't exactly a good name to start with – users just accepted it, mainly due to how good the app has consistently been.

But, Phone Links carries on Microsoft's terrible naming tradition. Granted, your PC does link up with your Android phone, but it makes the name feel a bit on-the-nose.

Name it WinPair, Continuity, or Matchup, just to give the app some excitement at least.

But regardless, the app looks better thanks to its Windows 11 redesign, and there's still plenty of opportunities for how the app could improve for Android users in the future, especially with apps from the Amazon App Store coming to Windows 11 soon.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Windows 11 gets overhauled Your Phone app with a new name that people hate

Microsoft has announced that it's releasing an update for the Your Phone app from today (April 1) on PCs with Windows 11, which includes a new name – Phone Links – and a redesign that lines it up with other updated Windows 11 apps.

The Your Phone app has been a useful tool since its release in October 2018. It enables you to link up your Android phone with a Windows PC, where you can sync up your contacts, messages, and some apps that are compatible.

The new Phone Links app, available as a new update as well as a companion app on the Google Play Store, features the same new design that Paint and Windows Media Player have been given in other updates to Windows 11.

However, the new name has already proved to be divisive, and makes us wonder if Microsoft is coming up with  these terrible names on purpose.


Analysis: Another bad name from Microsoft

Phone Link app in Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has had a reputation over the years for having terrible names for its products. Whether it's Zune for its iPod-rival, or the Kin phone, which sounded outdated as soon as it launched back in 2010.

Microsoft's most recent naming confusion had been its Xbox Series consoles. Released back in November 2020, the Series S and the Series X made gamers wonder what the letters stood for. Microsoft still hasn't explained the reasoning, and probably never will.

Considering the Xbox has had '360' and 'One' to mark major releases, it's probably best to just go with the flow when it comes to Microsoft's gaming names.

To be fair, Your Phone wasn't exactly a good name to start with – users just accepted it, mainly due to how good the app has consistently been.

But, Phone Links carries on Microsoft's terrible naming tradition. Granted, your PC does link up with your Android phone, but it makes the name feel a bit on-the-nose.

Name it WinPair, Continuity, or Matchup, just to give the app some excitement at least.

But regardless, the app looks better thanks to its Windows 11 redesign, and there's still plenty of opportunities for how the app could improve for Android users in the future, especially with apps from the Amazon App Store coming to Windows 11 soon.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

The best podcast app on iOS gets a major redesign, leaving Apple’s app in the dust

The popular podcast app Overcast has been updated for iOS, bringing the first steps of a redesign to the home screen, alongside custom playlists, choices for different playback colors, ways to filter podcasts in three ways, and more.

Created by developer, writer, and podcaster Marco Arment, it's been the go-to podcast app for many who haven't been entirely happy with Apple's Podcast app. While Apple recently added some updates to help users manage their subscribed shows, Overcast has other features that make it a great alternative.

Called 2022.2 for this latest update, it lets you pin podcasts to the home screen and mark podcasts as played, which can save you from wasting cellular data downloading episodes you've already listened to.

With Overcast's significant update, we're wondering what Apple's own Podcasts app must do to stay competitive.


Apple's Podcast app has always felt like a catch up

Apple Podcasts Subscriptions design

(Image credit: Apple / Future)

Podcasts have always felt as though they've been around as long as we've been able to send emails to one another. While they first appeared as a new medium in the early 2000s, podcasts arrived on Apple's platform in 2005 with iTunes 4.9. It was a way of subscribing to shows on Windows and macOS machines back then, which we would then connect our iPods to sync up our favorite podcasts.

That year, Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder and then CEO, gave an impromptu demo of the feature at one of The Wall Street Journal's early All Things D conferences.

Once the iPhone arrived in 2007, podcasts would be part of the original Music app, but at the time, it was still a challenge to subscribe and download new podcast shows.

Finally, a dedicated app arrived in 2012 from Apple, and while there have been regular updates to it, alongside a macOS version that debuted in 2019, it's still playing catch up in features, especially when you compare it to Overcast.

Arment's app has long had an innovative feature called smart speed, where the app identifies silent pauses and speeds the episode up at those points. Once the host or guests speaks again, the playback speed returns to normal.

Podcast options in new Overcast update

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Having used the Overcast 2022.2 update on an iPhone 13 Pro, being able to pin podcasts, and, at last, change the colors of the controls, it's clear Apple has its work cut out for it.

Apple has introduced subscriptions and the ability to track listens for podcast creators to its own app, but the app still feels as though it's playing catchup.

Apple's take of a podcast app has the basics covered, but you can't pin shows, there's no smart speed, and links in show notes still don't show correctly. There's no hook from Apple here to tempt you to use its app – everything looks and feels run of the mill, a podcast app that does the basics, and that's it.

There's no killer feature like smart speed to tempt you away from Overcast, and in a way, that's only good news for Arment's alternative, especially in the last decade of Apple's Podcast app being available to download.

To catch up, Apple could buy Overcast – it won't – or shift how it updates the app and move from annual major updates to a once-every-few-months cadence. In this way, Apple's Podcasts app could build on what listeners and podcasters want.

For now, though, this is all wishful thinking. Overcast has been updated with a great redesign, and there are further plans to look into redesigning the Now Playing screen. While you can download Overcast for free, there is a yearly fee of $ 9.99 / £8.99 / AU$ 10.99 to get rid of ads and use a dark-themed icon. Apple's Podcast app is free.

With this substantial 2022.2 update, we can confidently say that it's worth the price if you're a heavy podcast listener.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

The best podcast app on iOS gets a major redesign, leaving Apple’s app in the dust

The popular podcast app Overcast has been updated for iOS, bringing the first steps of a redesign to the home screen, alongside custom playlists, choices for different playback colors, ways to filter podcasts in three ways, and more.

Created by developer, writer, and podcaster Marco Arment, it's been the go-to podcast app for many who haven't been entirely happy with Apple's Podcast app. While Apple recently added some updates to help users manage their subscribed shows, Overcast has other features that make it a great alternative.

Called 2022.2 for this latest update, it lets you pin podcasts to the home screen and mark podcasts as played, which can save you from wasting cellular data downloading episodes you've already listened to.

With Overcast's significant update, we're wondering what Apple's own Podcasts app must do to stay competitive.


Apple's Podcast app has always felt like a catch up

Apple Podcasts Subscriptions design

(Image credit: Apple / Future)

Podcasts have always felt as though they've been around as long as we've been able to send emails to one another. While they first appeared as a new medium in the early 2000s, podcasts arrived on Apple's platform in 2005 with iTunes 4.9. It was a way of subscribing to shows on Windows and macOS machines back then, which we would then connect our iPods to sync up our favorite podcasts.

That year, Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder and then CEO, gave an impromptu demo of the feature at one of The Wall Street Journal's early All Things D conferences.

Once the iPhone arrived in 2007, podcasts would be part of the original Music app, but at the time, it was still a challenge to subscribe and download new podcast shows.

Finally, a dedicated app arrived in 2012 from Apple, and while there have been regular updates to it, alongside a macOS version that debuted in 2019, it's still playing catch up in features, especially when you compare it to Overcast.

Arment's app has long had an innovative feature called smart speed, where the app identifies silent pauses and speeds the episode up at those points. Once the host or guests speaks again, the playback speed returns to normal.

Podcast options in new Overcast update

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Having used the Overcast 2022.2 update on an iPhone 13 Pro, being able to pin podcasts, and, at last, change the colors of the controls, it's clear Apple has its work cut out for it.

Apple has introduced subscriptions and the ability to track listens for podcast creators to its own app, but the app still feels as though it's playing catchup.

Apple's take of a podcast app has the basics covered, but you can't pin shows, there's no smart speed, and links in show notes still don't show correctly. There's no hook from Apple here to tempt you to use its app – everything looks and feels run of the mill, a podcast app that does the basics, and that's it.

There's no killer feature like smart speed to tempt you away from Overcast, and in a way, that's only good news for Arment's alternative, especially in the last decade of Apple's Podcast app being available to download.

To catch up, Apple could buy Overcast – it won't – or shift how it updates the app and move from annual major updates to a once-every-few-months cadence. In this way, Apple's Podcasts app could build on what listeners and podcasters want.

For now, though, this is all wishful thinking. Overcast has been updated with a great redesign, and there are further plans to look into redesigning the Now Playing screen. While you can download Overcast for free, there is a yearly fee of $ 9.99 / £8.99 / AU$ 10.99 to get rid of ads and use a dark-themed icon. Apple's Podcast app is free.

With this substantial 2022.2 update, we can confidently say that it's worth the price if you're a heavy podcast listener.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Annoying Windows 11 bug finally gets fixed

Windows 11 has hampered some users with a slow-performing right-click context menu for a good while now, something Microsoft has previously admitted – but the speed of the menu has been improved with the most recent preview of the OS.

Build 22572 was released last week with a bunch of improvements and fixes, including work to resolve the bug with the sluggish right-click context menu which appears when you click the right mouse button in File Explorer (meaning anywhere on a file or folder on the Windows 11 desktop, where this menu offers quick access to some core options).

As Windows Latest flagged up, Microsoft software engineer Jen Gentleman clarified on Reddit that right-click performance had been juiced up. In a response to a Windows 11 tester who noticed that the context menu felt faster with the latest preview build, Gentleman noted: “We did some work with 22572 to improve the context menu performance, so glad to hear it feels faster now.”

Elsewhere another eagle-eyed Redditor pointed out that the release notes for build 22572 state that Microsoft “made some more improvements to help with context menu invocation performance.”

Previously, some Windows 11 users had complained of delays of as much as one or two whole seconds when right-clicking before the context menu actually appears – which is bound to make the OS feel horribly unresponsive.

Now this sluggishness appears to have been largely remedied going by Microsoft’s official announcements, plus multiple reports on that Reddit thread.


Analysis: Better late than never – but test builds are shaping up promisingly

As ever, it’s good to see Microsoft fix a problem in Windows 11, particularly one as aggravating as this must be for affected users. Still, we can’t help but feel that it should have been tackled more quickly, seeing as this problem has been around since the launch of Windows 11 (more or less; or at least the first complaints emerged not long after the OS came out).

The fix seems to work for the majority of admittedly anecdotal observations that we’ve seen, and there is evidence of an optimistic outlook for the improvement of Windows 11 performance overall going forward. Another Redditor on the above highlighted thread commented that “overall the dev channel builds are a lot faster than the 22000 builds” and that “22H2 will be amazing”, so let’s keep our fingers crossed on that score.

Windows 11 22H2 is due in the second half of 2022, naturally, and it’s expected to further work on the design and appearance of the OS, with various important interface tweaks – like bringing back drag and drop functionality to the taskbar – as well as introducing that much-awaited support for Android apps on the desktop (that’s currently available in limited fashion for public preview, meaning testing).

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Annoying Windows 11 bug finally gets fixed

Windows 11 has hampered some users with a slow-performing right-click context menu for a good while now, something Microsoft has previously admitted – but the speed of the menu has been improved with the most recent preview of the OS.

Build 22572 was released last week with a bunch of improvements and fixes, including work to resolve the bug with the sluggish right-click context menu which appears when you click the right mouse button in File Explorer (meaning anywhere on a file or folder on the Windows 11 desktop, where this menu offers quick access to some core options).

As Windows Latest flagged up, Microsoft software engineer Jen Gentleman clarified on Reddit that right-click performance had been juiced up. In a response to a Windows 11 tester who noticed that the context menu felt faster with the latest preview build, Gentleman noted: “We did some work with 22572 to improve the context menu performance, so glad to hear it feels faster now.”

Elsewhere another eagle-eyed Redditor pointed out that the release notes for build 22572 state that Microsoft “made some more improvements to help with context menu invocation performance.”

Previously, some Windows 11 users had complained of delays of as much as one or two whole seconds when right-clicking before the context menu actually appears – which is bound to make the OS feel horribly unresponsive.

Now this sluggishness appears to have been largely remedied going by Microsoft’s official announcements, plus multiple reports on that Reddit thread.


Analysis: Better late than never – but test builds are shaping up promisingly

As ever, it’s good to see Microsoft fix a problem in Windows 11, particularly one as aggravating as this must be for affected users. Still, we can’t help but feel that it should have been tackled more quickly, seeing as this problem has been around since the launch of Windows 11 (more or less; or at least the first complaints emerged not long after the OS came out).

The fix seems to work for the majority of admittedly anecdotal observations that we’ve seen, and there is evidence of an optimistic outlook for the improvement of Windows 11 performance overall going forward. Another Redditor on the above highlighted thread commented that “overall the dev channel builds are a lot faster than the 22000 builds” and that “22H2 will be amazing”, so let’s keep our fingers crossed on that score.

Windows 11 22H2 is due in the second half of 2022, naturally, and it’s expected to further work on the design and appearance of the OS, with various important interface tweaks – like bringing back drag and drop functionality to the taskbar – as well as introducing that much-awaited support for Android apps on the desktop (that’s currently available in limited fashion for public preview, meaning testing).

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More