Outlook update will give you more control over those nagging notifications

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be difficult especially as notifications begin to pile up on your smartphone which is why Microsoft is rolling out a new update to its email service.

According to a new post on the Microsoft 365 roadmap, the software giant has updated its email client with new settings that make it easier to manage email notifications on mobile.

These new settings are now rolling out to smartphones running both Android and iOS so that Outlook users can stay on top of the things that matter to them and ignore the ones that don’t.

Upgrading Outlook for hybrid work

In a separate post on the Microsoft 365 roadmap, Microsoft has revealed that it will add working hours and location settings to Outlook later this summer.

Whether you’re still working from home or back at the office as part of your organization’s hybrid work model, you’ll soon be able to add your working hours and location in Outlook. This will allow your co-workers and others to know exactly when they can reach you so that they won’t need to worry about bothering you during your off hours.

While this feature was initially added to the Microsoft 365 roadmap back in December of last year, it will finally become generally available beginning in June of this year.

By allowing users to more easily manage their notifications and let others know where and for how long they plan to work each day, Microsoft is giving workers the tools they need to succeed in a hybrid working world.

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Outlook update will give you more control over those nagging notifications

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be difficult especially as notifications begin to pile up on your smartphone which is why Microsoft is rolling out a new update to its email service.

According to a new post on the Microsoft 365 roadmap, the software giant has updated its email client with new settings that make it easier to manage email notifications on mobile.

These new settings are now rolling out to smartphones running both Android and iOS so that Outlook users can stay on top of the things that matter to them and ignore the ones that don’t.

Upgrading Outlook for hybrid work

In a separate post on the Microsoft 365 roadmap, Microsoft has revealed that it will add working hours and location settings to Outlook later this summer.

Whether you’re still working from home or back at the office as part of your organization’s hybrid work model, you’ll soon be able to add your working hours and location in Outlook. This will allow your co-workers and others to know exactly when they can reach you so that they won’t need to worry about bothering you during your off hours.

While this feature was initially added to the Microsoft 365 roadmap back in December of last year, it will finally become generally available beginning in June of this year.

By allowing users to more easily manage their notifications and let others know where and for how long they plan to work each day, Microsoft is giving workers the tools they need to succeed in a hybrid working world.

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“It’s important to give people choice”: Instagram explains why it brought back chronological feeds

Instagram has finally confirmed that the option to use a chronological feed is rolling out to all users on iOS and Android from today, March 23.

The rolling feed of images and video had changed in 2016 to one that was instead judged by algorithms. Instagram thought that users would prefer to be shown what they might like, rather than showing the latest images, with no ability to switch between modes.

However, users have been clamoring to scroll through a feed from newest to oldest, and Instagram has finally relented. Eventually, you will be given two options on your feed – Following and Favorites, which can then be set to show your posts chronologically.

TechRadar spoke to the company to find out why this change has occurred now, and whether this applies to Instagram's other features.

A logical choice, at last

This is an update that won't require you to go to the App Store or Google Play Store to update – it should appear on your feed soon.

It's a welcome change, and many had been wishing for the company to revert back to a chronological feed since it changed back in 2016. So much so, Instagram commented on this at the end of 2021 through a series of tweets.

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In the meantime, we asked an Instagram spokesperson as to why it decided to make the change. “For some time now, we’ve been working on different ways to give people more control over their experience. This is one of the many things we’re doing to give people more choice,” the spokesperson explains. “We moved away from a full chronological feed because we learned that many people were missing posts. That said, we think it’s important to give people choice – so we’re providing them with more options in Feed to tailor their experience.”

There is a small caveat to the return of the chronological feed; you can't currently set it as the default option, compared to what you can do with Twitter's two feeds. We asked if this was something that the company would consider in the future. “We’re giving new options within your Feed to give people more control and choice,” Instagram's spokesperson clarifies. “The Home Feed will remain a mix of content that you see today, including ranked content from people you follow, recommended content you may like, and more.”

Instagram Desktop creation on the web

(Image credit: Instagram)

Six years is a long time in technology, especially when it comes to social media. Since then, we've seen Instagram Stories and Reels arrive, alongside being able to access the platform on the web. We asked whether the chronological feed would also apply here as well, with some bad news, confirming just two platforms again to us. “This feature is currently only available on iOS and Android.”

Finally, with Reels attempting to take on TikTok in its rolling video, we wondered whether this would also reap the benefit of an organized feed. “Currently, Favourites only applies to posts that appear in Feed.”

For now at least, the first steps of a chronological feed have arrived. And while you can't make it the default view for your feed, alongside being able to apply it to your Reels or hashtag feeds, it's a start.

But with more users accessing the platform through iPads and web browsers on their Windows PCs, it's now a matter of when, not if, the chronological feed will also appear there as well.

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“It’s important to give people choice”: Instagram explains why it brought back chronological feeds

Instagram has finally confirmed that the option to use a chronological feed is rolling out to all users on iOS and Android from today, March 23.

The rolling feed of images and video had changed in 2016 to one that was instead judged by algorithms. Instagram thought that users would prefer to be shown what they might like, rather than showing the latest images, with no ability to switch between modes.

However, users have been clamoring to scroll through a feed from newest to oldest, and Instagram has finally relented. Eventually, you will be given two options on your feed – Following and Favorites, which can then be set to show your posts chronologically.

TechRadar spoke to the company to find out why this change has occurred now, and whether this applies to Instagram's other features.

A logical choice, at last

This is an update that won't require you to go to the App Store or Google Play Store to update – it should appear on your feed soon.

It's a welcome change, and many had been wishing for the company to revert back to a chronological feed since it changed back in 2016. So much so, Instagram commented on this at the end of 2021 through a series of tweets.

See more

In the meantime, we asked an Instagram spokesperson as to why it decided to make the change. “For some time now, we’ve been working on different ways to give people more control over their experience. This is one of the many things we’re doing to give people more choice,” the spokesperson explains. “We moved away from a full chronological feed because we learned that many people were missing posts. That said, we think it’s important to give people choice – so we’re providing them with more options in Feed to tailor their experience.”

There is a small caveat to the return of the chronological feed; you can't currently set it as the default option, compared to what you can do with Twitter's two feeds. We asked if this was something that the company would consider in the future. “We’re giving new options within your Feed to give people more control and choice,” Instagram's spokesperson clarifies. “The Home Feed will remain a mix of content that you see today, including ranked content from people you follow, recommended content you may like, and more.”

Instagram Desktop creation on the web

(Image credit: Instagram)

Six years is a long time in technology, especially when it comes to social media. Since then, we've seen Instagram Stories and Reels arrive, alongside being able to access the platform on the web. We asked whether the chronological feed would also apply here as well, with some bad news, confirming just two platforms again to us. “This feature is currently only available on iOS and Android.”

Finally, with Reels attempting to take on TikTok in its rolling video, we wondered whether this would also reap the benefit of an organized feed. “Currently, Favourites only applies to posts that appear in Feed.”

For now at least, the first steps of a chronological feed have arrived. And while you can't make it the default view for your feed, alongside being able to apply it to your Reels or hashtag feeds, it's a start.

But with more users accessing the platform through iPads and web browsers on their Windows PCs, it's now a matter of when, not if, the chronological feed will also appear there as well.

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Google could give free G Suite users a way out of paying for Workspace

G Suite users upset at Google's recent move to make them pay for their office software could be in luck thanks to a potential loophole.

The company recently announced that all G Suite legacy free edition users would been shifted over to a paid version of Google Workspace in order to keep access to tools such as Gmail, Meet and Docs.

This had upset users who may have recently signed up for the software, particularly non-business users facing having to pay for the first time – but help could be at hand.

Free G Suite

Google had said the G Suite legacy free edition itself will no longer be available from July 1, 2022, with any users found not to have started paying after 60 days being locked out.

But a loophole spotted by Ars Technica writer Ron Amadeo means that non-business users could potentially get around the change. The site spotted that a section on the FAQ for the transition included a section for users that “use G Suite legacy free edition for personal use and don’t want to upgrade to a Google Workspace subscription.”

This includes users who may have signed up to use the initial build of Workspace, known as Google Apps, when it was launched in 2006, but with a non-gmail.com email address. It may also include users who provided family or friends with Google accounts that have certain services still linked, but not the entire Workspace suite of tools.

“We understand some customers may not use their G Suite legacy free edition for business and may be interested in other options,” the company noted. 

Such non-business users with 10 or fewer users in their group are instructed to log into their administrator account to provide more information, meaning they may be able to continue with their current situation at least a little while longer.

Google had planned to automatically upgrade free users from May 1 to “an upgraded Google Workspace paid subscription” based on its analysis of the customer's usage and the features it thinks you'll need.

Google Workplace plans start at $ 6/user/month for its Business Starter option, with Business Standard ($ 12/user/month) and Business Plus ($ 18 /user/month) also on offer, providing an increasing level of services with the amount paid.

Google is offering a discount for twelve months, and won't start charging subscription fees until July 1, 2022. The company is also offering businesses who don't want to pay or upgrade the chance to export their data at no extra cost.

Google rebranded G Suite as Workspace back in October 2020 in a bid to bring more structure to its myriad of apps and services.

Initially described as “the future of work”, the new platform looked to improve the interoperability of its various productivity services, blurring the lines between each product for a more fluid feel.

Via 9to5Google

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This Outlook email update will give your calendar a splash of color

Microsoft Outlook users will soon be able to liven up their work calendars with a bit of color thanks to a new update coming to the service.

An upcoming upgrade will soon allow Outlook web users to customize the color of the events in their calendar app, letting them not only liven up the view, but also create better distinction and visibility into their working week.

The official entry in the Microsoft 365 roadmap notes that users of the email service will be able to select custom colors for their calendar events using hexadecimal values, RBG values, or a color picker control.

Outlook update

The update is currently still in the development phase, but Microsoft has pegged it for a release in February 2022. It will only be available to web users to begin with, but may roll out elsewhere soon.

The move brings Outlook up to speed with some of its biggest rivals, with Google Calendar already allowing users to set a number of different colors for events.

Microsoft has revealed a number of useful updates for Outlook in the last few months as it looks to further assist those embracing the hybrid working lifestyle.

This includes a tool that will help users eliminate mistakes from their messages with the launch of spelling and grammar checks for its Outlook on mobile platform.

Another update will allow workers to set a notice showing where they are working, whether that be at home, in the office, or anywhere else.

Google Calendar received a similar feature in August 2021, allowing users to highlight exactly where they would be working, with the options of home, office, or a specific other location.

Users can also create a weekly working location routine if they plan on going into the office on certain days and working remotely on others, which can be updated at any time if plans change. There was no information as to whether Microsoft's Outlook update will do the same, but we're hopeful it will.

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Microsoft Edge is about to give you an excellent new way to procrastinate

Microsoft is giving Edge users yet another way to procrastinate online by adding a new Games panel to its browser.

After releasing its Chromium-based browser last year, the software giant has continued to update it with new features like Vertical Tabs, Collections, Web Capture and more in an effort to get users to switch from Google Chrome.

Now though, it appears Microsoft is readying a new feature that will help users kill time online as opposed to being more productive while working from home. If browser-based games are your thing, then the company's new Games panel in Edge could be the perfect way to help pass the time while waiting for renders or downloads to finish.

Microsoft Edge Games Panel

(Image credit: Leo Varela)

Games panel

As reported by Windows Latest and first spotted by Leo Varela, Edge's new Games panel allows you to play classic games like Solitaire, Mahjong Arcade and others from MSN Games right in your browser.

These games can be accessed from Microsoft's new “Games” toggle in Edge's toolbar though you'll also likely be able to open the new Games panel from the browser's three-dot menu as well.

Clicking on the game controller icon in the toolbar will bring up a new panel on the right side of the browser in a similar way to how Collections work in Edge. From here, you just need to find a game you want to play and the MSN Games website will launch in your browser. Thankfully though, the Games panel will be disabled by default but you can enable it from the Appearance tab in Edge's settings.

While Microsoft's new Games panel is currently being tested out in Edge Canary, it will likely come to the browser when the next stable update for Edge arrives.

We've also highlighted the best anonymous browser, best proxy and best VPN

Via Windows Latest

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