Windows 11 just got a new preview build in the Beta channel that brings a bunch of changes with it, some of which are hidden.
As flagged up by @PhantomOfEarth on Twitter, beta build 2262x.1465 introduces a new name for the ‘Recommended’ section at the bottom of the Start menu panel, where recently used apps and files that you might want to quickly access again are flagged up.
It’s called the ‘For you’ section in the beta, but note that this remains hidden in testing, and the leaker only found it by hunting around with a Windows configuration tool (ViVeTool).
2262x.1465 brings the new ‘For you’ name for the Start menu recommended section to Beta, hidden obviously pic.twitter.com/RKALrvuobXMarch 16, 2023
Elsewhere in the beta build, Microsoft has made the new Voice Access commands help page fully accurate and functional, and it now works properly when in Dark Mode. Also hidden away in this preview build are presence sensing privacy settings (to automatically turn your PC off or on when you leave it or come back).
Other bits have been tacked on to File Explorer, too, and @PhantomOfEarth believes these might pertain to the depth effects we’ve recently heard about, using AI to give the desktop background a ‘3D’ kind of effect. That could be pretty cool to see (despite our misgivings about letting AI loose on the desktop in general).
With this fresh beta release, Windows 11 has also got live captions in many more languages, updated touch keyboard settings, and a VPN status icon for the system tray (which will allow you to tell if you’re connected to your VPN at a glance, a nifty touch).
Analysis: More than meets the eye?
It’s interesting to see the ‘For you’ name change is apparently inbound, moving forward to beta testing – albeit still hidden. Given that the new name hints at further personalization for the Start menu, might we see more targeted bits and pieces appear here?
It doesn’t appear that this will be anything but a name change, at least not for now, although we still get the feeling it’s a sign that more tailored suggestions might be coming down the line. With AI inevitably being brought more into the mix with Windows 11, this will surely be an avenue for future exploration…
What’s also interesting to note is that only a beta build came out this week, with Microsoft not providing Dev or Canary releases. The hope, then, is that some decent changes could be in the pipeline for these earlier test builds when the next preview release rolls around (perhaps next week).
Apple’s iOS has come a long way from its iPhoneOS starting point, and all of the best iPhones have built on the operating system’s initial promise. Steve Jobs demonstrated the power of the iPhone in 2007 with a huge on-stage Starbucks order, and the platform has grown year after year with each update adding new features.
Multitasking, the notification and Control Center, and even the App Store, were all added to the iPhone after its first iteration, and that rapid pace of innovation can make it hard to keep up with new features.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of useful features you may have missed. Some are accessibility options, some need to be enabled, and others are just waiting to be used. All of them, though, will make your iPhone experience better.
1. Use a cursor to select text
Texting is a way of life, but it’s still surprisingly cumbersome even at the best of times. If you’ve ever had an errant word added by autocorrect but not spotted it until you’ve written a few dozen words more, this tip is for you.
Sure, you can hold your finger to the text to jump to it, but this can occasionally lead to highlighting an entire word or sentence. For more granular control, we’d recommend the following:
Hold your finger or thumb at the bottom of your screen, underneath the keyboard.
This will grey out the keyboard, and turn it into a trackpad until you raise your finger or thumb.
Hey presto, easy text selection!
2. Create text snippets
Text snippets are popular for macOS power users, but you can achieve the same result with your iPhone. Better yet, it doesn’t require any third-party software.
Text snippets are ideal shortcuts for copying in certain phrases you’ve pre-registered. If you’re dealing with a client via iMessage, for example, you may want to send a standardized response. With text replacement, you can create a block of text to be posted whenever you type a phrase.
Open Settings, then head to General, then Keyboard.
Pick Text Replacement and you’ll be able to create new replacements, and the words required to trigger them.
In our example, you can see that typing 'omw' brings up 'On my way!', but there are plenty of places where this would be useful. You can also set emoji to appear when you type, which feels pleasantly nostalgic in a way you just don’t get from the emoji picker.
3. Enable the scientific calculator
The iPad may not feature a calculator, but the iPhone does. The trouble is, it can feel a tad limiting outside of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division – at least until you find a new perspective.
Turning your iPhone to the side with the calculator app open will enable the scientific calculator. This adds brackets, square roots, cos/sin/tan options, and the ever-handy π command, among plenty of others.
4. Enable an additional ‘button’
While intended as an accessibility feature, the iPhone’s ‘back tap’ button is handy for power users looking for additional input for their device.
Go to Settings, then Accessibility, then Touch.
Select Back Tap and you’ll be presented with plenty of options.
You can use this in a number of ways, such as triggering the App Switcher, snapping a quick screenshot, or opening Spotlight search from anywhere on your device. There are also double and triple tap options, meaning you can set multiple functions for it.
5. Use your camera’s 'Burst Mode'
Your iPhone’s camera is plenty powerful enough, but there’s one trick you may have missed: Burst Mode. Burst mode, as the name suggests, takes a series of rapid-fire images in one press which means your iPhone can capture a series of action shots.
It’s ideal for pets and excitable toddlers, letting you go back and look at your pictures after the event and pick out the best ones. It’s easy to access, too. Just slide the Shutter button (the one you use to take photos) to the left when you’re in the Camera app.
You can also head into Settings, then Camera, and toggle Use Volume Up for Burst to allow your volume rocker to trigger Burst mode – just hold it when you’re taking an image.
6. Scan documents using the camera
Your iPhone’s camera can double as a very respectable document scanner, and while Live Text means you can extract text from images, it’s entirely possible to digitize an entire document. Because it’s buried in the Notes app, though, you may not have spotted how to do it.
Open Notes, then tap the camera icon, then Scan Documents.
Highlight your document and it should automatically save. You can also manually take a scan with the shutter button.
Once the scan is saved, you can sign it, too, or just share it via any email or messaging app. It’s not got the same level of quality as a bespoke scanner, but it’s not far off, and will certainly do in a pinch.
One final camera trick, which is a little different. As an accessibility feature, you can trigger your iPhone’s camera flash to go off when you receive a notification, providing a more visual way of knowing someone is calling or messaging.
Head into Settings, then Accessibility.
In the Audio/Visual section there’s an option for ‘LED Flash for Alerts’.
You can also trigger it to only work when your phone is on silent, which is ideal if you’d prefer your phone not to vibrate on a desk.
8. Master Control Center
Introduced as part of iOS 7 all the way back in 2013, Control Center has moved from the bottom of the screen to the top as the years have gone by, and it has a lot more utility than you may be aware of.
While Apple doesn’t offer Force Touch these days, you can long-press on Control Center icons to get additional options.
Through this, you can enable Spatial Audio with compatible earphones, pick a Focus mode, get a better look at what’s playing on your audio app, or even go two layers deep – the quadrant with Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile signal can be expanded to allow you to easily select a Wi-Fi access point, for example.
9. Recognize any song with Shazam in the Control Center
Remember Shazam? The music recognition service was purchased by Apple in 2018 and remains a great way to identify whatever song is playing – whether you’re in a store, at a party, or just missed the name on the radio.
While Shazam has an app, you can also add it to your iPhone’s Control Center for easy access.
Open Settings, then enter Control Center and tap the Plus button next to Music Recognition to add it.
Now, whenever you hear a great song playing, you can pull down from Control Center and hit the Shazam icon to find out what’s playing. If you’re on Apple Music, it’ll even give you the option to add the track to your library.
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The thing about the instant messaging platform Telegram is that it is always on the ball when it comes to rolling out updates. As 2021 winds to a close, they have come out with the 12th update for the year and the second in December. Now users can add iMessage-style reactions, translate messages, get themed QR codes and even have an option to hide texts such as spoilers.
This update is Telegram 8.4, and is being rolled out to all Android users. With each new update, Telegram seems to take a new leap. The previous one significantly improved user privacy, both for individual and group chats.
Telegram, it may be recalled, was the first messaging app to add animated and interactive emojis. Now, six of these emojis — thumbs up, thumbs down, heart, fire, party, and star-eyes — are being made available as reactions to share feelings and feedback – without sending any messages. Basically, Telegram would now allow users to send reactions that attach to specific messages instead of sending as their own messages.
This is a feature that Android systems are still to crack with conviction. It is popular on iMessage, and on platforms like Slack.
To send a quick reaction, users need to simply double-tap a message. Users can also change their default reaction to another emoji in Settings.
“While Reactions are available in private chats, in groups and channels, the admins decide whether to turn on reactions and choose which reaction emoji are available in the chat,” Telegram said.
How to hide text and kill spoilers on Telegram
Another interesting update is the one to hide particular part of a message in the chat, as well as in the chat list and notifications.
This hidden text update to help mask spoilers. So if you want to hold forth about say about Minnal Murali and his epic fight with the antagonist Shibu but others in the group have still not caught the film, all you need to do is select any part of your text when typing and choose the new 'Spoiler' formatting. When others in the group are ready to read it, they just need to tap the spoiler text to read it.
One more interesting new feature that is available for Telegram users now is they can translate any message into another language, right within the app. Users can enable Translation in Settings > Language and a dedicated Translate button will be added to the context menu when selecting a message. The list of available languages for translation depends on your phone's operating system. Users can also exclude any language they speak fluently – which will hide the translate button for those messages.
The latest update also adds the ability to generate QR codes for any user that have a public username. Tap the new QR code icon next to the username of a person (or from a chat's info page), choose the colors and the pattern of your choice, then print, post or share the QR code to other apps.
Telegram has also redesigned all the context menus for macOS with new shortcut hints and animated icons for every single menu item in the app.
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